Wisco Wednesday: Homecoming, There’s No Way Bucky Can Screw Up a Party

What’s a Peacock? Iowa won with Wisco’s leftovers. Rutgers for Homecoming, maybe not my first choice.

Watch out Rutgers, this Wisconsin team had an extra week to prepare and isn’t satisfied with their results so far. They may be itching to make an example of someone. And Badgers, this isn’t the same old Rutgers, watch out. This is only Wisconsin’s second conference game of the season, but it’s their first opponent out of the East. Later on, I’ll talk about some East teams doing very well right now, but this is Wisconsin’s opportunity to prove the West isn’t all bad. If they get the win, they will double the West’s win total over their Eastern counterparts 

Looking Back: Wisco’s Week Off

Want to Read about the Purdue Game?

Check out last week’s Wisco Wednesday.  We covered the Purdue game (Boiler Down!) as well as other games that Badger fans might have had an interest in in week 4.

Bucky was on vacation,

And so is our looking back segment. Move on to the next part to read about what happened in the B1G last weekend.

Around College Football: 

Iowa fans, it’s time to panic.

Many of you likely didn’t watch the Michigan State at Iowa game. You didn’t miss much, but at the same time, you missed a great game – for people who hate offense.

FYI, Michigan State might be a bottom 4 team in the B1G. They are very bad. 


  • Had 222 total yards
  • Was 2/13 on 3rd down
  • Ran 17 fewer plays than MSU
  • Had 7 punts and 2 turnovers
  • Lost Time of Possession by 7.5 min

They still won by 10 points (26-16). They can’t keep getting away with this! 

And I don’t think they will. 

On the 2nd drive of the game: Starting QB Cade McNamara sustained a leg injury that took him out for the rest of the game. Recent reports suggest the injury is likely season-ending. He was supposed to be their savior. He was going to get them over 25 points per game. And now he’s gone. The replacement – former badger Deacon Hill. He’ll get to suit up against his former teammates in a couple of weeks, but we’ll talk more about that then.

Hey, at least with Hill under center they broke 25, right? Wong. Iowa’s CB/S/NCB/KR/PR, do everything man Cooper DeJean returned a punt for a TD in the 4th Quarter to break the 16-16 tie. So the offense really only scored 19. Just as disappointing as ever.

Hill is a solid Quarterback, but he’s nowhere near as good as McNamara. Cade was the starting QB for Michigan’s first playoff team. With Hill, Iowa’s offense will hold them back for yet another season. Iowa fans should be in full-blown panic mode. 

Michigan #1?

I did not release a top 25 this week. If I did, Georgia would not have been #1. They’ve played 2 bottom-tier SEC teams and looked sluggish against both (Auburn and South Carolina). Michigan has played 2 bottom-tier B1G teams and absolutely obliterated them. 31-7 against Rutgers and 45-7 at Nebraska. Those are dominant wins. There are cases to be made for Florida State (win over LSU – week 1) and Texas (win at Alabama – week 2) to be #1. But those teams also have shown weaknesses: FSU at Boston College in week 3 was 31-29… and Boston College had 18! penalties; Wyoming at Texas was tied 10-10 entering the 4th quarter, what? 

If you want to put Georgia #1 based on what’s happened this season, I think you’re nuts. 

If you want to put Florida State, Texas, or even OSU #1, I can live with that.

I would have Michigan #1 right now. They’ve played 5 games, and blown out all 5 opponents. Heads up if you have Michigan coming up on your schedule, it could be a rough 4 quarters.

Rank Maryland you cowards!

Maryland should be ranked right now. That’s it, end of story. You may be thinking: but WOF, they’re 26th if you look at “others receiving votes.” Well, that doesn’t get them a number next to their name on TV, does it? 

Maryland is the 4th best team in the B1G right now. The B1G is still a good conference. Maryland is 5-0 with 3 Power Five wins, and every game was a blowout. Maryland plays at Ohio State this week, and Taulia Tagovailoa is better than Kyle McCord by every metric. He’s just wearing the wrong jersey to get any attention. 

Voters likely expect Maryland to get blasted by OSU on Saturday and don’t want to look wrong by “overrating” Maryland for one week. I call bull. Rank Maryland you cowards.

Looking Forward: Homecoming… at 11 AM

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

Game Preview: Rutgers at Wisconsin


Wisconsin -14




Camp Randall – Madison, Wisconsin

Kickoff Time:

Saturday – 11:00 AM CT

TV Network:


Evaluating the Rutgers Scarlet Knights

How they’ve done so far:

Rutgers is 4-1 right now, that’s the best-case scenario when you realize they played at Michigan this September. 

Week 1: Won 24-7 at home vs. Northwestern

Week 2: Won 36-7 at home vs. Temple

Week 3: Won 35-16 at home vs. Virginia Tech

Week 4: Lost 31-7 at Michigan

Week 5: Won 52-3 at home vs. Wagner

Wagner and Temple are throw-away games; Rutgers blew them out like they were supposed to. The Scarlet Knights have played 3 P5 opponents, so there is something to be learned from their schedule so far. Northwestern and Virginia Tech are both poor P5 teams (comparable to Purdue) and Rutgers handled them with no issue. 

Michigan, on the other hand, completely outmatched Rutgers. I’d say Rutgers isn’t keeping up with OSU, PSU, or even Maryland this year based on how far behind Michigan they appeared to be. 

They should have no issue getting to 6 wins and making a bowl, which is better than Rutgers has been in a long time.

How they matchup vs. Wisconsin:

The O/U is 44.5, how is it so low?

Well, writers like myself and many others have complained about Wisconsin’s passing attack – rightfully so, they are 76th in FBS with only 226 yards per game… and half their games were cupcakes. 

Wisconsin looks like a rocketship compared to Rutgers though. 

Rutgers is –  there’s no way that’s right – 123rd in passing offense. Wow. I guess the forward pass makes Greg Shiano’s blood pressure spike – too risky. As bad as Rutgers is at throwing the ball, they are only 3rd worst in the B1G (Thanks Iowa and Nebraska). Remember, there are only 133 FBS teams. 

So now 44.5 makes a little more sense. Basically, both teams should run the ball enough that the clock never stops and everyone goes home after about 2.5 hours. More time to drink I guess?

Both teams are fairly effective at running the ball too, so it’s not a bad strategy. Wisconsin is 21st and Rutgers is 27th. Although, Rutgers has had more success stopping the run (24th vs.43rd). I guess that checks out, I have been complaining about the Badger defense for the entire month of September. The Badgers are going to have to tackle better this Saturday.

There’s one more stat I want to look at; it might be the key to the game. 

Wisconsin wants to be a passing team – desperately. And they’ve had an entire bye week to figure out how to make their passing offense come to life. Well, Rutgers is 14th in Passing Defense. They have held teams to an average of 169 passing yards per game. Yikes. Mordecai is going to need to have his best game of the year to get something going against the Rutgers secondary. 

Hopefully, Tanner can come through for the team.

Badger Thoughts

Homecoming at 11 AM?

It’s Homecoming! Woo! MadTown will live up to its nickname this weekend – by 5-6 PM. But at 11AM, I expect the student section of Camp Randall to be pretty barren. This isn’t the schedule maker’s fault at the B1G office. Nor is it the TV network’s fault. 

This is UW Madison’s doing via 2 policies I don’t care for. 

1st(the smaller issue) Scheduling “Automatic Wins” 

The Badgers, like every team, want to win their Homecoming game. Most B1G teams select opponents they will be large favorites against for their homecoming game. It’s rarely rivals and rarely tough matchups. There are exceptions (Purdue, Illinois, and Rutgers all have solid homecoming games), but most B1G teams don’t want to risk the loss. I don’t like this. I think homecoming is generally one of the better/fuller crowds a team gets in a season. Teams should “weaponize” their homecoming crowd to give them a better shot in a tough game. 

A tinfoil hat theory – Wisconsin may also choose bad games like Rutgers for Homecoming so they can charge way more per ticket. Rutgers is the 3rd most expensive home game for Wisconsin this year, ahead of Northwestern and Nebraska. 

2nd(the main issue) Early Kickoffs for Homecoming

The TV contracts for when Homecoming games can kickoff in the B1G restrict the options to 2:30 PM and 11:00 AM (CST), and the schools prefer 11:00 AM. Every* team in the B1G does this. They don’t want things getting rowdy on homecoming. No late games, and preferably not even afternoon. They can’t have drunken students and rowdy crowds ruining their image for homecoming; it might upset the alumni *cough cough donors* attending the game or other homecoming festivities. Screw that, homecoming is supposed to be fun. You know when people have fun? 6:30 PM and later, not noon. 

*I say every B1G does this, but there is 1 exception. Purdue supports fun. Their Homecoming request in the TV contract is flipped – Primetime and afternoon kickoffs only, no early (11:00 AM) kickoffs. Be more like Purdue, Wisconsin. 


Or as it’s been known on the interweb: B1G Turd Cock

Peacock |

Put an announcer on each side of that sign (covering just a couple of letters each) and you’ll see how the fitting nickname for broadcast was born. That’s how it started, but it’s stuck because people don’t like it.

We don’t want to subscribe to a streaming service to watch 1 game for our team. The ploy is obvious, you sign up to watch your team and forget to cancel at the end of the month. Or maybe you hold on for the whole season, in case your team gets another game placed on Peacock. And BBall season is right around the corner, you might as well hold on to the subscription for the 5 games your team is playing there this winter. I see how this works. It’s not a bad strategy by NBC.

But I don’t like it.

Bars aren’t adapting fast enough, and some are just choosing not to. People are choosing to just miss 1 game, instead of signing up. Games on Peacock aren’t getting views outside the hardcore fans of the 2 teams playing. For casual fans, it’s like the game is played in a black box, and they’ll see a box score on it the next day. That’s not cool. 

And for Wisconsin: this is homecoming, this is a conference game, yeah Rutgers isn’t a big draw, but they are way better than people think this year. They could give Wisconsin a game. They could win. But no one is going to see it if it’s on Peacock. And if no one sees it, it’s just background noise in a crowded college football landscape. 

The Passing Game Clicks

The bye week needs to prove its usefulness. The best coaches get more out of their players coming out of a bye. Good teams use the time to self-scout, and make the necessary changes to improve their playcalling, scheme, and execution. 

The Badgers want to throw the ball. That’s not changing. Since Fickell insists that the Air Raid is the way of the future in Mad Town, it’s time he proves it can work. With all this time to correct mistakes, I expect the Wisconsin passing attack to finally look functional. Hell, it might even be explosive. 

Mordecai, the preseason is over, let ’er rip. 

In Braelon We Trust

Mellusi is out for the season. Jackson Acker is the next man up. No disrespect intended, but you’ve never heard of Jackson Acker. That’s not a good thing. Maybe he’s good, maybe he’s not. But for right now, it’s time for the Braelon Allen show.

I want 25 carries for Braelon. This should be a 1 man running back committee.

My Picks*

I haven’t missed a spread since week 1, but this is the hardest week to figure out yet. Rutgers has dominated bad teams, and been smoked by Michigan. Wisconsin is somewhere firmly in the middle of those two extremes. Where? I guess we’ll find out. Below is what I would pick – if I had to.


Take Wisconsin -14

Rutgers could be good this year. The problem: the 4 wins they have are against bad teams. I don’t think Wisconsin has been a bad team. And after the bye, they should be a good team – borderline great. Bucky covers comfortably. 


Over 44.5

So I get why the O/U is this low. But, because I think the Badger passing game actually works this week, I think the over hits easily. Wisconsin will look to be in the 40’s on their own.

How I did last week:

Picking the Winner: Won – Wisconsin won
Picking the Spread: Won – Wisconsin covered
Picking the O/U: Won – The Over hit

Season-Long Record Picking Wisconsin Games:

Picking the Winner: 4-0
Picking the Spread: 3-1
Picking the O/U: 2-2

*These picks are to express my opinion on games from a point spread perspective. I am not advocating for you, the reader, to gamble on any of these games. Please bet responsibly.

Rested Score Prediction:

Rutgers 24 
Wisconsin 41

The passing game works and the Badgers look the best they have all year. Great coaches always do their best work coming off a bye week.


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This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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