Aug 21, 2012

2012 Big Ten Previews: Wisconsin with Bucky’s 5th Quarter

We’re previewing the upcoming season with help from SBNation. Today, Nathan Palm from Bucky’s 5th Quarter talks Wisconsin.

For the second-straight season, the Badgers will have a former ACC starting quarterback under center when Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien leads Wisconsin out of the tunnel on opening day. O’Brien and company have a fairly manageable road back to the Big Ten Championship Game, facing only one ranked opponent away from home (No. 17 Nebraska, Sept. 29.) The Badgers miss Michigan out of the Legends division and host Michigan State and Ohio State at Camp Randall.

2011 Record: 11-3

2011 Bowl: Rose Bowl vs. Oregon, 38-45

2012 Bowl Projections:

Orlando Bowl History

2006 Capital One Bowl vs. Auburn, 24-10
2007 Capital One Bowl vs. Arkansas, 17-14
2008 Champs Sports Bowl vs. Florida State, 13-42
2009 Champs Sports Bowl vs. Miami, 20-14

Q&A with Nathan Palm from Bucky’s 5th Quarter

Describe the 2011 season in two words.

Roller coaster

All the quarterback talk has focused on Danny O’Brien, but Joel Stave begins fall camp as the starter. Who is most likely to be under center by Week 10?

I fully believe Danny O’Brien will be Wisconsin’s starter for the season opener, and pending injuries or severely underwhelming performances, he should retain that position for the rest of the season. Sophomore Joel Stave only began camp as the starter because O’Brien missed all of spring practice while he completed his degree at Maryland, before transferring to Wisconsin. O’Brien is the favorite to win the job, but Stave will remain O’Brien’s most worthy challenger for the starting role. At 6-5, 220 pounds, Stave fits the physical mold and has the best arm on the team, but he lacks the consistency and experience of O’Brien. Although an arm injury abruptly ended his last season at Maryland, O’Brien was still a two-year starter for the Terrapins, coming off an impressive freshman season as ACC rookie of the year. I see O’Brien’s past accolades earning him the starting quarterback job, and with the help of a strong running game and defense, he’ll lead the Badgers through the season and to their bowl game.

With Ohio State and Penn State both ineligible for the postseason, pundits are quick to anoint Wisconsin as two-time Leaders Division champions. What hidden obstacles should Badger fans be prepared for this season?

First of all, the Badgers need to avoid complacency. The Big Ten is a tough conference every year and no win is ever guaranteed. The postseason bans of Ohio State and Penn State — most likely Wisconsin’s main competition in the division — presents the Badgers with another great opportunity to win a conference title, so they can’t waste it away by expecting to coast to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game. Wisconsin should also keep its eyes on the Purdue Boilermakers this season. Head coach Danny Hope has them headed in the right direction after a strong finish last season, and a showdown in West Lafayette with Wisconsin could have major implications on the Leaders Division race.

On paper, what looks like the toughest game this season?

I would be more inclined to pick either Michigan State or Ohio State if those games were not scheduled to take place at Camp Randall, where Wisconsin hasn’t lost in over two seasons. In particular, the Spartans return a stingy defense and could cause problems for the Badgers’ offense, which has been a mighty task in recent years. But ultimately Wisconsin’s toughest match will come when they face Nebraska on the road. Memorial Stadium is a difficult venue for opposing teams to play and the Huskers will be seeking redemption after the 48-17 beat down Wisconsin delivered at Camp Randall last year. The Badgers have been known for inconsistent play on the road — especially in big-time games — and have not faired well in Big Ten road openers the past couple seasons (consecutive loses to Michigan State). I don’t think Nebraska is necessarily better than Michigan State or Ohio State, but the circumstances of that game make it a more daunting task for Wisconsin.

Best case/worst case scenario for the postseason.

Best: Danny O’Brien’s play mirrors the success of former Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien, who led the Badgers to the 2011 Rose Bowl. Translation: he takes care of the football, relies on a strong running game and makes the necessary throws to keep drives alive and win games. A couple young players emerge at wide receiver as well, while the defense builds on last year’s success and becomes a dominant force. O’Brien leads Wisconsin to a one-loss season and the Big Ten Championship, where the Badgers knock off Michigan in an upset en route to head coach Bret Bielema’s first Rose Bowl victory.

Worst: A quarterback controversy continues deep into the season as Danny O’Brien fails to meet expectations. Consequently, the offense lacks any sort of balance as running back Montee Ball is forced to carry the team. The lack of offensive production puts more pressure on the defense, which struggles against the better offenses of the Big Ten. A season that began with so much promise and what once seemed like an automatic trip to Indianapolis, ends with four losses and the Badgers surrendering the division title to Purdue. Rather than sunny Pasadena, California, Wisconsin finds itself in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (formerly known as the Insight Bowl).

Question: College football is about tradition and bowl games have played a large part in that rich history. What is the history of the Capitol One Bowl and how did it evolve into one of the premier bowl games in college football?

Answered by Director of Digital Media Matt Repchak: Today’s Capital One Bowl started in 1947 as the Tangerine Bowl, a name it kept until 1982 (when Doug Flutie and Boston College met Bo Jackson and Auburn in one of our more memorable games). The next big signpost was 1991 when we hosted No. 2 Georgia Tech vs. Nebraska, a 45-21 win for the Yellow Jackets that led to them earning a share of the national championship that season.

Two years later in 1993, we began our partnerships with the Big Ten and SEC to create the top non-BCS matchup that we still maintain today. These two decades have delivered some of our greatest games (including Iowa over LSU in 2005 and Michigan over Florida in 2008). All told, we’ve had over 60 years of history in the Central Florida and college football communities. Locally, we started as an event for the local Elk’s Lodge to raise money for a children’s hospital, and we continue that mission today through the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation. Nationally, we’ve been hosting major programs and marquee matchups over the long history of the game, and we’ve taken great pride in being “the best bowl trip in America.” Hopefully the Wisconsin fans who have made a trip or two down here in the past few years can agree.


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