September 1, 2006

Despite change, Badgers ready for Bowling Green

Category: Badgers — Patrick Stumpf @ 11:11 pm

Bret Bielema is ready. He has awaited this weekend ever since being announced as the new replacement to Barry Alvarez early last season. Bielema is not exactly a new site to Badger fans, as he worked as Alvarez’s defensive coordinator for two years. Tommorrow fans will be anxious and excited to see what Bielema is all about, and how he will handle the team for the first time. As for the Badgers, they don’t exactly have the “flashy” squads that they have had in the past, with the exception of tackle Joe Thomas, who excepts to be a high first round pick in next season’s draft. Another senior returning for his last season with the Badgers is quaterback John Stocco, who will have to create alot more plays without the studs on offense. For the most part the Badgers are a very young team with Stocco and Thomas as some of the lone exceptions. I will be looking specifically at how Stocco handles the offense without Brian Calhoun and Jonathan Orr. Right now, I just don’t think he can do it. Stocco has really done little to nothing spectacular while at Wisconsin; hopefully he can turn that around. Add the fact that the Big Ten has always been tough. The perennial powerhouses of Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State will be especially tough, but I think it will be how the Badgers fair against the non-conference schedule that will determine their season record, and what bowl they will get into. Stocco will definitely have to step up as well as linebacker Mark Zalewski in order for the Badgers to be successful.

Prediction: Badgers struggles versus Big Ten compeition and post a record of 5-7.

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