I'll tell you something. Cards on the table. A moment of honesty from me to you. There came a point in my life when I was ready to let go of Coach Bielema.
I thought he was going to be a bust. And after the Badgers rushed the field after the last time they survived against an FCS school (if Cal Poly had a kicker that could make an extra point we'd be fine), I was ready to root for a new head coach.
So what happened? What made me change my feelings on Bielema? Well, the title's a good clue.
There's a lot of teams that have a standard joke identity to them. LSU has a head coach who's more coyote trickster than man. Oregon is a team that can put any reasonably athletic guy at quarterback and have success. Wisconsin? We have a chart where we will go for two at any point. It doesn't have to be a football game. If there was going to be a joke about binge drinking, it would go here. But I can't think of one. You can choose your own.
Because here's the point. When the Badgers went for 2, up 25, with 4:26 left against Minnesota? My friends, this is when I found myself illusioned by Bret Bielema. You see, it showed that Bielema had a certain temperament that one needs in order to be the coach of a great program. In short, you have to be willing to let your jerk flag fly and make other fanbases hate you if you're going to get anywhere in college football.
I was going to call this the Steve Spurrier method, as he is the modern coach who made his program a success by running up the score, being roguishly quotable, and to quote modern parlance, "Ain't caring." But the ol' Ball Coach has mellowed out in the second act of his SEC career. The OBC would have went for the touchdown against Vanderbilt instead of a 20 yard field goal.
But Wisconsin has the coach who's the closest thing to the Emory and Henry running, Ray Goff stunning, Florida State punning, free wheeling, tiny receiver stealing, Wuerffeling, Turffeling old ball coach. And it's all happened in the past two seasons.
I mean, Wisconsin has been one of the most dominant offenses in the past two seasons. And they did run up the score on several occasions, which I have to admit was fun to see. And if we're talking about a willingness to troll other programs? Well, there's a reason I'm putting this up today.
Now I know what you're saying, what's going to happen if the Badgers fall off? I mean, it's bound to happen. But here's the thing. I remember the 80's. I remember Miami going into Madison, and the U getting 51. I remember Antwaan Randle El getting 62 on the Badgers. I've walked through the darkness of rooting for the nice little nobodies. I'm happy to say hello to the bad guy.