Sunday, October 3, 2010

Why Wisconsin Was Overrated

All the talent in the world cannot overcome a completely incompetent head coach in college football.

I doubt he cares much. Long as he keeps getting into the Capital One Bowl he'll keep Barry happy and never have the pressure of high expectations.

Disgraceful coaching performance yesterday, absolutely atrocious.

Good season, Bret. Now you get to booze it up til that late December third-tier bowl game!


Chris said...

Well said E, well said indeed

Jib said...

Hell, if he nukes a parrot, ol' BB will probably have a job for life.

Jon said...

I watched parts of the game, seems like our defense sucks, why is Bielema so bad? (I dont see them enough to have a good opinion). Also, i don't think we've had a top 25 recruiting class in years, so to expect the program to be top5 or top10 seems crazy unrealistic to me. People forget pretty quickly how horrible the team could be based on history, and based on the lack of quality in-state recruits. I'm pretty thrilled with a 10-3 type season that ends with a win over a top 25 team like Miami.

PaulNoonan said...

Ditto, though it has been a long time since I've seen teams run on us like this. Denard Robinson may set some kind of record.

I'm of the same mind as Jon though. Absent some kind of amazing recruiting upgrade expecting them to consistently contend for a title is unrealistic.

Still, losing to Michigan State blows.

E.S.K. said...

I guess you and I have different ideas of "consistently." In my life time the Badgers have only ever been a real national contender once, and even then the only reason we finished #4 was because McNown and the Bruins cared not a whit about that football game.

For the amount of money the state pours into that program, I don't think it's unrealistic to expect a top 5 finish once a decade.

As for Bielema, aside from the obvious complete inability to motivate or prepare a team for Saturday, this is why I almost broke my hand Saturday afternoon:

Player Carries AVG YPC
Clay 17 4.7
White 10 9.8

Clay should not have seen the field in the 4th quarter. Simple as that. Clay did his job and wore down the Spartans front 8. At that point a decent coach would have realized, "hey, this might be a good time to use my big play threat." And he did, but sparingly, which is an absolute crime. White was not on the field 1st and 2nd down when the Badgers were pinned on their own 2. For that alone I would take offensive personnel decisions away from Bielema.

Jon said...

Actually, i think expecting them to ever contend for a national title is unrealistic. Expecting them to contend for the Big 10 title 2-3 times a decade and hopefully win it once a decade is i think the max of reasonable expectations. Have you ever compared recruiting rankings of top Wisconsin preps to states like Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania?

E.S.K. said...

If you win the Big Ten you are necessarily in contention for the National Title 9 of 10 times.

You keep bringing up the recruiting classes; you know those aren't accidents right? The head coaches run recruiting. How middling recruiting classes take heat off of Bielema is beyond me.

Jon said...

My point was more that expecting Wisconsin to have top recruiting classes seems crazy to me. As an outsider of the state who is an alum, when i was a kid watching football Wisconsin was the equivalent of Rutgers or Northwestern. They play in a state with freezing weather, and without many good in-state recruits other than lineman. The fact they've become a perennial top 25 team is pretty amazing to me, and i'm thankful for that. Again, i'm not commenting on Bielema's qualifications, i don't follow them closely enough these days to know whether he's good or bad. Just that the overall shape of the program is pretty good and it seems to me like alot of fans have been spoiled by the relative success.

E.S.K. said...

The only reason I am so disappointed with the trajectory of this season is because it's one of the most talented teams the Badgers have had in a long time, at least offensively, and I feel like Bielema is hindering its progress.

As to recruiting, again that is the coaches job. Saying Wisconsin can't recruit is saying Bielema can't recruit.

As to being "spoiled"...maybe. I can't stand the "well, hey, top 25 is pretty good." If you aren't improving, you are failing and others are passing you. If the Badgers really are content with where they are at, then what is the point in passionately following them? He not busy being born is a-busy dying, isn't that right Mr. Dylan?

TD said...

Not sure where you come down on recruiting E. Not sure if you agree with Jon or not on his allegations that Wisconsin can't recruit enough talent to compete for a National Championship or not ... but if you do, it seems incongruent with your statement that they have one of the most talented teams in a long time. Those kids found their way to Wisconsin somehow. If they were crappy recruits, then this staff did one hell of a job coaching them up to be as talented as most of us thought they were. Or perhaps the recruiting has been just fine.

Personally, I find the whole 'compare their recruiting' with to be a bunch of crap. First off, I don't know how anyone can assess a recruiting class of high school seniors, particularly when you know damn well the people evaluating haven't seen more than a handful of plays of 90% of the kids they assign 'Stars' too. Its even more voodoo then trying to evaluate an NFL draft class the day after the draft completes.

I have no idea what 'Star Ratings' guys like Owen Daniels, Joe Thomas, Mark Tauscher, O'Brien Schofield and others got coming out, but my guess they were not the guys in their classes that were expected to be NFL starters, except maybe Thomas. Jim Leonard was a walk on for chrissakes, and he's starting for the Jets. Looking at this year's team, I think White was a 3 star and anyone watching him can tell he's a star in the making. Kohout, Watt, Borland, Taylor, Konz ... none of them were highly touted nationally when recruited. Michigan, however, always is rated as one of the best recruiting classes in the country ... where has that gotten them the last decade?

I thought they made a significant step forward under Bielema last year. I was expecting them to continue that this year, making Saturday's loss VERY disappointing. But playing on the road in the Big Ten is a bitch no matter who you are, or where you play. Ohio State struggled to beat Illinois ... Michigan damn near got bumped off by Indiana in Bloomington. Michigan State certainly is better than Indiana or Illinois and might very well have beaten Michigan or OSU on Saturday.

Lets also not forget that they're missing their best defensive player in Borland, and had 3 offensive starters, two at WR, making thier first starts in almost a month.

I'll reserve final judgement on this team until the season is over, and evaluate the recruiting job based on performance on the field and not prognostications about 17 and 18 year olds by a bunch of hacks who probably haven't seen more than a few plays of over 90% of the kids they supposedly evaluate.

E.S.K. said...

Recruiting is a crap shoot, rating classes even more so. The discussion got tortured but my point is that saying Wisconsin can't recruit is not some alibi for Bielema.

I think Wisconsin recruits to their strengths. They don't get athletes (who seem to get the 5-star ratings) they get football players. Plodding, 5 yard-per-carry guys do not generally get more than 4-stars but they are perfect for Wisconsin's style. Same for wideouts. The Badgers generally go after possession type receivers and dynamic "tweener" tight-ends.

I honestly have no problem with the players Bielema has brought in. I do have a problem with his handling of them once they get there.

tracker said...

What does Tuscaloosa have that Madison does not?

E.S.K. said...

tracker said...

Oh. No wonder they're always good.