Wisco Wednesday… On A Thursday: Free Agent QB Arrives in Madison

Free Agency in CFB. Does anyone sit anymore? Who is QB #1 in Madison? 

Wisconsin fans, you’ve seen this story before. You were just on the other side of it.

Graham Mertz was a 4* QB fans thought would elevate the program. He showed promise in year 1, regressed in years 2 and 3, and eventually became a turnover machine that Badger fans couldn’t wait to run out of town. His time in Madison ended with him transferring to Florida to salvage his college career.

This is Tyler Van Dyke’s story… except he’s going from Florida (Miami) to Wisconsin

Why Tyler Van Dyke?

Okay, so Mertz and Van Dyke aren’t exactly the same, but they are very comparable. Tyler Van Dyke was actually better in 2021 than Mertz ever was. In the 2021 season, Van Dyke averaged over 300 ypg, and threw 25 TDs to 6 INTs. That was good enough for him to win ACC Rookie of the Year. A lot of the credit for his success, in hindsight, has gone to the up-tempo, air-raid offense Miami ran in 2021… you see where I’m going with this. 

In 2022: he had a new offensive coordinator (…

Wisco Wednesday: Transfer Portal Open Season

The Transfer Portal is Open. A Camp Randall Update. Fullbacks are People Too. 

WR Exodus

The transfer portal is open, and that means some Badgers are leaving.

The top 3 WRs from 2022 all entered the portal on Dec. 4th

  • Chimera Dike
  • Skyler Bell
  • Kiontez Lewis

While I’m not thrilled about losing these guys, a lot of it has to do with a loss of playing time. Transfers that Wisconsin brought in last year are just getting the majority of the snaps (particularly Pauling and Green). I also expect Wisconsin to go get more transfer WRs this cycle. 

A Few Other Loses

  • Braelon Allen is going to the NFL draft
  • LT Jack Nelson and C Tanor Bortolini may enter the draft (currently undecided)
  • Myles Burkett (QB3) has entered the transfer portal
  • A couple of previous walk-on guys have entered the portal

Yes, these are losses… but they are not major losses (except Braelon) or big surprises. It won’t take much for the Badgers to be net positive in the transfer portal this offseason. 

Tearing Up Alvarrez Field

Camp Randall’s turf is being torn out. It’s been through 2 football seasons, and now it’s done. …

B1G Bowl Games Announced

Dates, Locations, and Opponents Are Set.

In a normal year, there are a lot of B1G vs SEC bowl games. This year, there are even more. College Football is racing towards a Power 2 and all other conferences are becoming less relevant. See, 13-0 FSU missing the CFP as proof. Of the 12 teams playing in the NY6, 10 of them will be in the SEC or B1G next year (5 a piece). 

I have the Pac-12 members who are joining the B1G in August 2024 listed as “Bonus” B1G bowl matchups. All 4 of the new B1G members (USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington) have at least 6 wins this season, which is more than B1G West was able to muster. 

  • Odds listed were taken from FanDuel at the time of writing.

SEC vs B1G

Rose Bowl: 1 Michigan vs 4 Alabama (+1.5) – CFP
Jan 1, 2024 – Rose Bowl Stadium – Pasadena, California

Cotton Bowl: 7 Ohio State vs 9 Missouri (+3.5)
Dec 29, 2023 – AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas

Peach Bowl: 10 Penn State vs 11 Ole Miss (+3.5)
Dec 30, 2023 – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, Georgia…

Tolly Predictions: B1G Bowl Games

Who Goes Where? Who Plays Who? 

These predictions are based on 4 things.

The B1G has a bowl draft structure where the bowls pick in a specific order, but the conference has to approve the pick. There are also back door deals for teams, certain bowls want a certain team, and the B1G has a loose no repeat rule so a team doesn’t go to the same bowl year after year.

Here are my B1G Bowl predictions listed in the order they get to “draft” B1G teams.

1 – Rose Bowl

Michigan vs Oregon – CFP Semi-Final

One last traditional Rose Bowl. Pac-12 vs B1G. I predict Michigan will be ranked #2 and Oregon will be #3. Michigan gets the Rose Bowl because #1 Georgia gets their preference between the Sugar and the Rose… they will pick the Sugar.

2 – Orange Bowl

Ohio State vs Florida State – ACC vs SEC/B1G/ND

The Orange Bowl gets the top ACC team that doesn’t make the playoffs. Well, I have the ACC missing the playoffs completely because of a Louisville win over FSU. BUT, I think the committee …

Wisco Wednesday: A Good Ending to a Bad Season

The Ax is Back Home, But This is Not the Season Wisconsin Wanted Back in August. 

Looking Back: The Hurry-Up Raid Works

Wisconsin 28
Minnesota 14

The Offense Clicked

2 Weeks, 2 games played, 2 good offensive performances. It’s a Wisconsin miracle. Was it the Air-Raid finally working? Kinda… but not really the way you would expect. It was the Hurry-Up Raid. A balance of pass and run (lots of run), but sped way up. The hurry-up worked against Nebraska, and it worked again against Minnesota. 28 points is the most the Badgers have put up since week 4 at Purdue. Maybe Longo does know what he’s doing. I just wish it didn’t take a full season to figure it out. 

The Ax is Home

The Ax is back where it belongs: Madison, Wisconsin. Braelon Allen got to chop down the goalposts in Minneapolis before he goes to the NFL. All is well. 

Wisconsin didn’t lose to Minnesota 3 years in a row.
Wisconsin is going bowling again (and it’s not the Quick Lane Bowl).
Wisconsin will have a winning season no matter what.
Wisconsin fans are happy. 

Good things happen when

Tolly Predictions: CFB Conference Title Games – P5 Edition

The Post Season Has Begun, It’s Time to Crown Some Champions.

The outcome of these games will determine who makes the final iteration of the 4 team playoff. 7 of the 10 Power 5 teams competing next weekend have a shot to make the final 4 (sorry Louisville, Oklahoma State, and Iowa) Below are my predictions for the P5 Conference Championship games, and how I think the race for the 4 Team Playoff pans out. 

  • Odds listed refer to spreads taken from FanDuel at the time of writing
  • All kickoff times listed are Central Time

Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12):

Friday, 7:00 PM – Allegiant Stadium – Las Vegas, Nevada

Oregon vs Washington (+9.5)

Oregon 42
Washington 35

Expect a full blown offensive explosion. A lot of writers out there think Oregon will splatter the Huskies. I have Oregon winning, but I also have the score close enough that some Big Penix Energy could lead Washington to a miracle win. I know Washington won the 1st meeting between these 2, but Washington has been struggling as of late, and Oregon has been an absolute buzzsaw. 

Big 12 Conference (XII):

Saturday, 11:00 AM – AT&T Stadium –

Tolly Predictions: CFB Conference Title Games – G5 Edition

The Post Season Has Begun, It’s Time to Crown Some Champions.

The outcome of these games will not determine who makes the final iteration of the 4 team playoff. That will have to wait till next year when a G5 champion is guaranteed a spot in the 12 team playoff. There is, however, the matter of which G5 champ earns the coveted NY6 Bowl Bid. Below are my predictions for the G5 Conference Championship games, and how I think the race for a NY6 bowl game plays out. 

  • Odds listed refer to spreads taken from FanDuel at the time of writing
  • All kickoff times listed are Central Time

Conference USA (C-USA):

New Mexico State at Liberty (-10.5) – Friday, 6:00 PM

New Mexico State 10
Liberty 35

Liberty is undefeated, but their schedule is a joke. I doubt they will go to a NY6 game, even if they are undefeated conference champs. 

Mid-America Conference (MAC):

Miami (OH) vs Toledo (-8.5) – Saturday, 11:00 AM, Ford Field 

Miami (OH) 14
Toledo 33

Toledo is a good football team. Their only loss is a close game at Illinois. With a win in the MAC Title Game, they have an outside …

Wisco Wednesday: Rivalry Week

Down With Big Red. Down a Few Good Men for The Ax. Just One More Win.

Last Saturday was incredible. Nebraska has still never possessed the Freedom Trophy in the Wisco-Nebraska series. Now it’s time to put a 2nd trophy in the case this week. Win the ax, and some interesting and special streaks will continue for Wisconsin or end for Minnesota. 

But that stuff is secondary, just watching Minnesota lose is more than enough for most Badger fans. 

Looking Back: The Crowd Won the Game

Nebraska 17
Wisconsin 24

Terrible Start

What a surprise, the Badgers had a slow start for the 3rd time in a row. Well, actually it’s the 6th slow start in a row, but people are really dwelling on those 2 losses to Indiana and Northwestern

Wisconsin didn’t score on their first 2 possessions, and they gave up TDs on Nebraska’s first 2 drives of the game. After the 2nd Husker TD, it felt like this was going to be a repeat of the NW game. It was unsettlingly still in the stadium for several minutes. 

Winning at Half?

And then something changed. Most notably, the Air Raid showed up! I swear it’s …

Why 5-7 is Good Enough to Go Bowling

6 Win Team Shortage, JMU is Bowling, What’s APR?

Bowl Spots

There are 41 total Bowl Games with 82 spots available. Yes, certain conferences have tie-ins to certain bowls, but 82 is the number that matters. Teams can play in bowls not associated with their conference to make everything work. They just need 82 teams that have 6+ wins.

If all the favorites win this week (because that always happens) there will be 79 teams with 6+ wins that are bowl eligible.

So there would be 3 “open” spots.

This Means JMU is Fine.

After all the bowls are filled, best to worst, then we fill those 3 left over spots. First up are teams that are in year 2 of an FCS to FBS transition (moving up a division) that have 6+ wins. Normally these teams are barred from playing in the postseason until their 3rd FBS season, but if there is a shortage of 6+ win teams, they get a pass.

JMU and Jax State would be teams 80 and 81. 

They wouldn’t have a shot at a NY6 spot, (because that would be “filled” before these schools are even considered) but …

The Penultimate Weekend – Week 12 Picks

SEC West Cupcake Week, My Picks For This Week, It’s Almost Over

You want game picks? Well, I’ve got game picks. I’ve got more picks than I’ve done for any week all season. I also have a short rant about some certain teams scheduling practices that I need to get off my chest. I complain every year, but nothing changes. Last week every media person out there said “Upsets are coming.” Well, they lied. This is college football; favorites win almost all the time. That’s why upsets are such a big deal. I don’t foresee much in the way of upsets this week, so picking against the spread will have to be interesting enough (for most of the games). This isn’t the greatest week of matchups, but it’s not bad either. There are a lot of oddball games that are more like setups for the epicness to come next week. 

Rivalry week, I can’t wait. But for now, these games will do. 

SEC West… WTF?

It’s cupcake week in the SEC West. Every single SEC West team is playing a Group of 5 school or an FCS team. It’s basically a glorified bye week for them heading …

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