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Badger Bits: How underrated is Paul Chryst?

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The fight for respect from anonymous colleagues continues.

Capital One Orange Bowl - Miami v Wisconsin Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Badger fans. Here’s to a great week. Come Friday, we’ll be one week out from the return of college football.

On to today’s central question...

Just how underrated is Paul Chryst?

Ahh, one of those great questions where there’s absolutely no quantifiable answer.

That question was on my mind this weekend after reading CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson’s “Candid Coaches” post on the most overrated and underrated college football coaches. Of course, this entire premise is made to inflame the entire country as coaches are—wait for it—granted a risk-fee platform for burning their colleagues in exchange for their candor.

But typically with these sorts of questions, you can predict the most common threads before you even get into the meat of the post. Lots of Kirk Ferentz and Lane Kiffin shade in the “overrated” category, likely topped off with some ridiculous Nick Saban burn. In the underrated category, some combination of Pat Fitzgerald, a bunch of West Coast coaches, and, well, you get it. It feels natural to expect some mention of Wisconsin and Chryst here, as being “perennially underrated” seems to be one of the most common catchphrases for the national identify of our Badgers. We’re consistently excellent (often by advantage of beating up on the Big Ten’s weaker division), consistently consistent “(look at how big those o-linemen are yet again!”), and consistently overlooked by the more camera-friendly personalities in the Big Ten (Harbaugh, Meyer, Franklin, Fleck [ugh]...).

That said, it was kind of surprising to Command-F Patterson’s article for “Chryst” and see only one mention. Heck, this blurb under the “Explain yourselves (underrated)” section isn’t really even about him:

“[Jeff Brohm and Paul Chryst] I’ve always said, ‘Show me a coach that wins at Alabama and Clemson, I’ll show you a good coach. Show me a coach that wins at Wake Forest, I’ll show you a great coach.’ It’s hard to mess it up at Ohio State and Penn State. It’s really hard to win at Iowa State.”

I mean, even Colin Cowherd—who I typically despise but is complimentary of the team I support here, so...—thought Chryst and Wisconsin were overlooked in the post about overlooked college football coaches.

So, Badger fans, might question to you—knowing this conversation means absolutely nothing but is necessary to sustain us until Aug. 31—how underrated (or undervalued, or underappreciated, or... you get it) is Paul Chryst?

Every returning Wisconsin assistant got a raise

I’m unsure if this was previously known (apologies if so), but Chryst mentioned in a Jeff Potrykus story published Sunday on jsonline.com that “every returning assistant received a pay raise.” The highlights:

Leonhard, who joined UW’s staff as secondary coach in 2016 and was promoted to defensive coordinator, is set to make $966,666 this season. That includes a base salary of $304,800, another $495,200 from the UW Foundation and a retention bonus of $166,666.

Leonhard’s total compensation package in 2017 was $600,000.

Rudolph is to be paid $775,000 this season. That includes a base salary of $304,800, another $420,200 from the UW Foundation and a retention bonus of $50,000.

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