"Oh no, Rosin's talking about quarterbacks."
One of you is likely saying that. It's where there's a schism between myself and the base. Where even daring to call Joel Stave's 2013 season an overall B- causes an apoplexy of teeth-gnashing.
But that was last season. And this year, there's hope, hype and a few question marks going toward who's actually going to catch passes. The receiver question? That's for another day. Today, we're going to talk probabilities, and quarterbacks. Basically, I'm here to answer questions.
1. Who starts opening day against LSU?
I know Stave is going to miss the start of spring practice. I know some of you were aghast when we called Stave's season a B-. But here's the thing: At this juncture, the most likely player to beat out Stave was causing match-up problems in the secondary last season. McEvoy has a bad spring, he goes back from whence he came.
Houston and Gillins would then get most of that putative 17 percent, but they would need to make up ground to get to get to Stave. Not to say that either can't, just that Stave's ahead of them right now.
2. Does Stave start nine games?
Yes: 80 percent
No: 20 percent
Will anyone challenge Joel Stave?
Spring practices start March 5. Let's begin our position-by-position previews with the most important, particularly in light of last year: the quarterbacks.
Stave's your likely starter, but that doesn't mean that he's going to stay that way. Now, I'm not going to say his play causes him to lose the job, because by all logic he should improve on his statistics from last season. Gut feeling on a degeneration is five percent.
So why is it at 20 percent? Because Stave keeps finding a way to get his throwing arm hurt. That's kind of important. And while the Badgers have a road-grading offensive line, they're an average pass-blocking line. I can see Stave getting hurt.
I can see myself being disappointed in how the fan base handles it.
3. Over/under on Wisconsin touchdown passes?
Over: 20.5 +600
Under: 20.5 -100
Let's be honest. Right now, the cupboard looks very bare for receivers to throw to. Jared Abbrederis, James White and Jacob Pedersen combined for 72 percent of UW's receptions and 75 percent of its receiving yards. Add in the loss of clutch receiver Jeff Duckworth and goal-line efficiency expert Brian Wozniak (six catches, 33 yards and four touchdowns), and the Badgers have lost over 80 percent of their completions, yardage and touchdowns that Stave was able to produce.
I'm not trying to manage expectations, but gosh. That could well make it hard for whoever starts that LSU game.
4. Stave's final completion percentage?
Over 65.5 percent: +400
Under 65.5 percent: -100
Here's one where I'd take the over. And I know you think I'd be crazy and you'd troll me by saying if you loved Joel Save so much why don't you marry him? But I have a response to the straw man. One, Stave was at 65.1 percent completion percentage through nine games last season. A slight improvement and some good health would make that very possible.
And two? I am not 9 years old. I do not fall for such schoolyard churlishness.
5. Will Stave end 2015 as the Badgers' starting quarterback?
Yes: 55 percent
No: 45 percent
When Stave leaves the Badgers, he will be the last of his breed that takes snaps under center in Madison or a while. It bears repeating that when the quarterback job became open at Utah State, there was a pretty solid JUCO pocket passer in Adam Kennedy, and a mobile true freshman in Chuckie Keeton. We all know which way Andersen went.
Next season, the Badgers will add another true freshman in Austin Kafentzis who's likely to get every opportunity to become a starter. Gillins, Houston and maybe McEvoy will also have another year in the system to try and take Stave down.
I'm a Joel Stave guy, but each day he grows a little more anachronistic to what Andersen wants to do offensively.