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Wisconsin football: Grading the end of all things in the B1G Championship

This team continually builds me up just to let me down. Every. Single. Time.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Rubric - Wisconsin Football Unit Grades

Grade Description - accounting for degree of difficulty
Grade Description - accounting for degree of difficulty
A Excellent: Top-5 level performance
B Very good: Top-tier Big Ten performance
C Acceptable: Average for the Big Ten
D Unacceptable: Below average for the Big Ten
F Failure: Rutgers level performance
N/A Insufficient evidence for a grade

I had a feeling this would happen. Why do you think I rushed to grade the first half of this one? I needed to document the happiness before the horror set in.

I’ve already given my rationale for the first half in the previous post, so I’m going to gloss over it. We all know that Wisconsin came out swinging in the first half, but Ohio State was downright nasty in the second half.

This was kind of a rope-a-dope, as the Badgers punched themselves tired. So I searched that on giphy, and I got this as the first result. It has nothing to do with a rope-a-dope, but it kind of fits.

Offense: B-

QB: B -
O-line: B-


The final two plays of the game serve as a metaphor for the entire game.

Down by 14 and scoreless in the second half, Wisconsin was looking for some garbage time points with 15 seconds left. Jack Coan heaved the ball deep into a crowd, and after it hit every single player in the huddled mass, Jake Ferguson corralled it.

Wisconsin had no business catching that pass with 15 seconds left, but it gave itself an opportunity and it paid off.

The very next play ended the game. Coan scrambled right and looked like he had a slim chance to split the defenders for a touchdown, but Josh Proctor leveled Coan at the three yard line.

Defense: B-

Pass rush: B
Pass coverage: C+
Run defense: B-


The Badgers’ defense ran out of gas, and the loss of Chris Orr and Noah Burks in the second half certainly did not help.

It gave up 7 in the first half and then 27 in the second half. I really don’t want to think about how Ohio State just moved the ball at will in the second half.

Special Teams: F

Kicking: D+
Punting: F
Returning: D
Coverage: D


Whoaaaaa boy. Wisconsin had a rough day on special teams after several consecutive weeks of production from this unit. In the first half, it surrendered a fake punt that did not lead to points. However, a second half missed field goal and a fumbled snap to Anthony Lotti deep in Wisconsin territory probably gave Ohio State an extra six points or so of buffer.

Coaching: B-

Strategy: B
Adjustments: F
Play-calling: B


Wisconsin played its best half to start the game, but there’s only so much a coaching staff can do when a better squad plays excellent football for a half. That said, it seemed like the bag of tricks was empty by the end of the first half. Either that, or Paul Chryst didn’t believe in anything he had left.

Ohio State made the adjustments it needed to, and Chryst didn’t.

Overall grade: B-

Unit Grades: B-
Big plays: C
Game Control: D
Penalties & Discipline: B+


This is a dynamic B-. The first half was an A+, but the second half was a D.

Bonus grades

Referees: F

The only time the refs called the game appropriately was when OSU had the win wrapped up. Yeah I’m biased. But that’s an ad hominem fallacy. My bias does not negate the truth.

Urban Meyer: F

The dude is a pretty good analyst. He has no shame, though, when covering the Buckeyes on a neutral platform.

Gus Johnson: F

He has some really great moments, but his shtick is tired.

Making sense of it all: F

We’re all going to process this in our own ways like we do every year. I’ll talk about how I make sense of it another time, but until then, we need to give each other space to come to terms with the status of this program.

Joel Klatt: A+

“Wisconsin should go to the Rose Bowl.” — Joel Klatt

(Author’s note: apologies to those viewing this on mobile. You may have more luck reading the table directly from the source.)

2019 Wisconsin Football Grade Book

Category Mich NW MSU @ Ill. @ OSU Iowa @ Neb Purdue @ Minn B1G Championship Rose Bowl
Category Mich NW MSU @ Ill. @ OSU Iowa @ Neb Purdue @ Minn B1G Championship Rose Bowl
Overall A- C+ A+ D- B- B- C B- A- B- C-
Unit Grade Composite A C+ A D B- B- C+ B B+ B- C+
Big Plays A- B A D C+ B- C B A C D
Game Control B D A+ F N/A C D- C A D D
Penalties & Discipline C- C+ A F C+ D C+ C- A B+ N/A
Offense A D A D+ C+ B B+ B+ A- B- C+
QB B D A D N/A C C- B- A B- C
OL A+ D+ A D- C+ B- A- B B+ B- C+
RB / FB A+ B B+ C N/A A A A B B+ B-
WR / TE B D A B N/A B+ B+ A A B C
Defense A A- A+ D- B C+ D+ C B B- B+
Pass rush A- A+ A+ D+ B C+ C+ C+ B+ B B+
Pass coverage B+ B+ A+ F B C- D+ D B- C+ A-
Run defense A+ B+ A+ F B B F B+ A+ B- B+
Special Teams C+ D B- C+ B C- B+ A+ B+ F A- & F
Kicking C- B+ B C B C- B A+ B D+ D+
Punting B C C B- B C- B- N/A C- F F
Returning C+ F B C+ B C- A N/A A D A+
Coverage C- B C C+ B N/A B N/A B+ D N/A
Coaching A C A F N/A B- C- C+ A B- N/A
Strategy A+ C A D N/A B- D+ C B+ B N/A
Adjustments B C N/A F N/A B C B A F N/A
Play Calling A C A F N/A B- C B- A+ B N/A