Badger Breakdown: Paul Chryst

Jared Wickerham

In the wake of the Bret Bielema news, I go through the Badgers potential replacements. Part one is the first name that came to everybody's mind.

College Football is a business. First and foremost. And if Bret Bielema wishes to move forward? There's no reason for us to wait to discuss potential replacements. I'll be here to help guide you through the potential candidates that could very well come into Madison and be our coach. Part one is obvious. Part one is known and loved by most of us. Part one is Paul Chryst.

Overview: The former Badgers offensive coordinator is remembered fondly during his time in Madison. He was the playcaller who introduced the world to a three-headed monster that was Montee Ball, James White, and John Clay. He made Scott Tolzien into a hyper-efficient quarterback who's currently on an NFL roster. On a per-play basis? He was a real reason why the downfall of the 2012 offense felt so stark.

Why It Works? Because Paul Chryst has a way with quarterbacks. I mean he really does. Take a look at what he did with one year of Tino Sunseri. Am I going to tell you that one-time Irrelevant Joke Tino Sunseri had a tremendous year? I'll show you.

Tino Sunseri's Career Passing
Season Comp. % Yards Touchdowns Interceptions
2012 66.5 3103 19 2
2011 64.2 2616 10 11
2010 64.5 2532 16 9

I mean, he can make any quarterback into a cruelly efficient throwing machine. The passing game would never bog down like it did this season. And with the running talent? There would definitely be a peak for 2013 on offense again.

And that's not to mention the familiarity question. There are several juniors whom, if the hire goes wrong, will be joining Montee Ball in an attempt to go pro. A comfortable hire could keep a Jared Abbraderis in town. And it's not only Chryst that is familiar with Madison. He could very well bring back Joe Rudolph or Dave Huxtable.

Huxtable would be one of the more interesting defensive coordinators out there. He took over a defense with only five returning starters and after some growing pains, gelled it into the 16th best defense in the country. Even if Paul Chryst doesn't come, it may be worth it to see if Huxtable could return.

Downside? You would be getting a coach, that without the Badgers offensive line, fell to a tie for 61st nationally with his new offense. Ironically, that tie was with Wisconsin. And the offense did fall month-to-month from 29th to 71st to 104th. In fairness, Losing Ray Graham can do that to a team, but that's a troubling trend as the year developed.

Also, the situation at Pittsburgh regarding coaches has been so tumultuous in recent seasons that if one felt like making a shaky reference to the Russian Prime Ministers of 1984, you'd be right. Steve Peterson may not be an athletic director of much regard, but the fact of the matter is, he's looking for any semblance of stability in the program.

I'm not even going to mention his statement regarding the rumors. Because as we know, the truth of a head coach can be adjusted. Chryst may use this to get some form of a raise or extension, but if we're interested, he's definitely listening.

My Opinion: Definitely a good hire for the Badgers. There's a track record of success in Madison with similar talent. It fits well.

Percentage Chance: He's definitely on the shortlist. I'd even consider him one of the favorites. 30%

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