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Wisconsin football: midseason roundtable

Will the Badgers be in the mix for a CFP spot? Who are the best players in the conference?

@B5QPhotos; Matt Fleming

We have already handed out the midterm grades for Paul Chryst’s squad, but lets take the discussion a little bit further and potentially revise some of our preseason predictions. Who are the best players in the country? What will the CFP look like? Will the Badgers be involved until the very end?

See what Tyler, Bob, Drew and Ryan think about all of this below!

Who has been the best player on offense and defense for the Badgers so far?

Tyler: Surprise, Jonathan Taylor and Zack Baun. They’ve both been monsters through seven weeks.

Ryan: Jonathan Taylor on offense, for obvious reasons and Zack Baun on defense, because… you know.

Bob: Offense is Jonathan Taylor. On defense, I really wanted to go with Chris Orr, but Baun is the man. 10.5 tackles for loss is nearly double Orr’s six.

Drew: Well,,,I’m not going to answer this question because everyone knows it’s Taylor and Baun with Orr as a close second.

Who has been the biggest surprise player on offense and defense for the Badgers so far?

Tyler: I think the biggest surprise has Cephus. We knew what he could be but I didn’t expect him to jump right back into the no. 1 receiver role out of the gate. On defense I would say it is Jack Sanborn. He’s been a stud in the middle. Henningsen deserves a mention too. Honestly on defense you could argue almost any player.

@B5QPhotos; Matt Fleming

Ryan: I was debating Jack Coan and Quintez Cephus on offense, but I think I have to give the nod to Cephus, here. He was out of football for well over a year and came back, like he never left. It’s clear that he worked hard on the training field, while he was out. On defense, I’m going to go with Jack Sanborn. With the losses Wisconsin saw from last season at middle linebacker, it was hard to know that to expect from the group, but he has truly played a big part in the defense’ success.

Bob: On defense, I really have been impressed with Eric Burrell. He’s forced three turnovers and has been a pretty solid safety. On offense, I’ll be honest; I didn’t think Jack Coan would throw for 1,119 yards, 8 touchdowns and only one interception through six games. Really nice surprise there.

Drew: I have been pleasantly surprised with how Keeanu Benton has played at nose tackle while filling in for an injured Bryson Williams. As a true freshman it is always really hard to know what you’ll get from them, but he was stout and occupied blockers making it easier for the linebackers to make plays. He has a bright future on Wisconsin’s defense.

Coan is the answer on offense. He’s been a Wisconsin Quarterback+. He’s managed the game well, what with the one interception all year, but he has also been able to have big games. He’s been great and anyone who thought he would have this stat line at the beginning of the year is a liar.

Who are your three best players in the B1G regardless of position so far?

Tyler: Jonathan Taylor, Justin Fields, and Chase Young

Ryan: Jonathan Taylor, Justin Fields and… Zach Hintze. You cannot ignore what Hintze has done this season and if he doesn’t get a touchback, he’s going to tackle the returner.

Bob: Jonathan Taylor (RB-Wisconsin), Chase Young (DE-aOSU), and Hunter Johnson (QB-Northwestern).

Okay, I’m kidding about Johnson. My third choice is Zach Hintze (K-Wisconsin) for his kickoff work. Nobody’s perfect... except for Hintze. Yeah, Zach Hintze is better than Justin Fields — I SAID IT!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 Central Michigan at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Drew: Chase Young, Justin Fields, Jonathan Taylor...also special honorable mention to Minnesota WR Tyler Johnson and Illinois DE Oluwole Betiku Jr.

Same question, but in the nation.

Tyler: Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, JT

Ryan: Tua, Joe Burrow and JT

Bob: Joe Burrow, Ceedee Lamb, Taylor. I… don’t pay enough attention to football outside the Big Ten. How can you blame me with volleyball, women’s soccer and hockey??

Drew: Joe Burrow, Jonathan Taylor and Chuba Hubbard. This is a Big Ten blog. We honor running backs in this house.

Who is going to meet in Indy for the B1G title game?

Tyler: My preseason prediction hasn’t changed a bit, tOSU and Wisconsin. The two best programs in the Big Ten at it once again.

Ryan: Wisconsin vs. Penn State

Bob: My brain says Wisconsin vs. aOSU, and my gut says Wisconsin vs. Penn State

Drew: I mean, it has got to be Wisconsin and Ohio State...right?

Who are your four CFP teams now?

Tyler: Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma

Ryan: Mine would be Alabama, LSU, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. However, I think more realistically it would be Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Provided Wisconsin can beat OSU and win the B1G Championship, I think you would have to pencil them in at the end of the season.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 12 Alabama at Texas A&M Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bob: If it’s the most deserving teams (best season to date), I would go with: LSU, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Ohio State

If it’s the best teams in terms of ability, I would go with: LSU, Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson

If it’s who I think will be in the playoffs at the end of the year: LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma

Drew: Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma. But if Clemson loses even one game they are out and you can pencil in a second SEC team for their spot.