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B5Q Roundtable: Wisconsin Badgers season predictions

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Now that you’ve read this you don’t even need to watch the games!

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Our last Roundtable of the week focuses entirely on Wisconsin. Everyone picked Jonathan Taylor to lead the team in rushing yards, which is wild!

What is Wisconsin’s final record? Who do they lose to?

Bob: I think it will be a positive season and Wisconsin will hold steady in the low 20 rankings throughout the season. I’m going 9-3 with losses against Michigan, Northwestern and Ohio State. I may have some protesters outside my house if I call that a success, but I would be mildly happy with those results given the difficulty of the schedule.

Tyler: I am going to go with 9-3. I think Wisconsin losses to Ohio State, and drops one of either Michigan or Michigan State. I think they drop one game in the West, but I don’t know to who just yet.

Matt: The Vegas line is eight and a half, and they are good at their job, as I could see anything between 7 and 10 wins. I found myself teetering between 8 and 9 wins this summer. After watching fall camp, and the idea of Quintez Cephus returning I have come to terms with 9-3. I think two losses will come from the East division, and Wisconsin drops one game in division. I wouldn’t be surprised to see ten wins though, or seven if the team somehow stumbles out of the gates against South Florida.

Rock: 8-4. Two losses from the crossover games, two from the rest of the West division. I don’t think we’ll be on the ugly end of an ugly beating from an ugly stick, but there’s too many question marks in the defensive pass rushing and passing game to overcome a significantly more difficult schedule.

Who leads the team in passing yards, rushing yards and receiving yards?

Bob: If Jonathan Taylor doesn’t lead the team in rushing yards, it’s DEFCON 1 for the Badgers. Or is it DEFCON 5? I forget which one is the worst one. I’m going to assume Quintez Cephus will play at least 10 games this season and he will lead the team in receiving yards by at least 150 yards.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

And, you know what? I’ll give the people what they want. Graham Mertz will take over in a way similar to how a certain other freshman QB took over in 2016, and he will go on to lead the team in passing yards.

Tyler:

Rushing- JT, easy. If not, we’re in for a long year.

Passing- Sorry kids, I think it’s Jack Coan.I’ve seen some improvements in his game and I think he’s done enough to be the guy. If he struggles and the Badgers drop a few games they should have won, then Mertz should take over and sling it all over.

Receiving- I’ll take Danny Davis. He had a good connection with Coan down the stretch. Big fan of his game.

Matt: Jonathan Taylor, need I say more. He will lead the team in rushing yards, but Garrett Groshek should have a good year. For passing yards I think Coan will lead the team, but I think Wolf and Mertz will both play. How much, no one knows. For receiving yards I would have said A.J. Taylor a few days ago, but with Cephus back, I am going with him. He was the primary target in 2017 before his injury, and he brings a skill set to the receiver position that elevates the group. I don’t think he will play much, if at all against South Florida, but he will make up for it the rest of the season.

Rock: Rushing is Taylor. Passing, I have deleted this sentence four times and will just leave it on Mertz and not attempt to defend that answer. Receiving, I like Jake Ferguson. Did you know his brother is Barry Alvarez’s grandson?

Who leads the team in tackles, sacks and interceptions

Bob: I’ll go with Chris Orr for tackles, Zack Baun for sacks and Scott Nelson for interceptions. Now, I would like to discuss the benefits of the oxford comma, Drew. (Editor’s note: This damn style guide is CHOKING THE LIFE OUT OF ME!)

Tyler: I’ll take Jack Sanborn for tackles, I am adopting him as my new favorite player now that Ryan Connelly is gone. Sacks I hope will be Baun, but Izayah Green-May could be a force on the other side. Interceptions? I’ll say Reggie Pearson. Kid’s got game.

Matt: I will go with the youth movement, Sanborn for tackles, Green-May for sacks, and Deron Harrell for interceptions.

Rock: Orr for tackles, Baun for sacks, Madison Cone for picks.

Do the Badgers end the season ranked? Where?

Bob: Yes, around the low 20s. The Badgers will be in the upper teens after a bowl win.

Tyler: Yes, I think where they are preseason is probably where they end up at the end of the year.

Matt: Yes. 19. That is all.

Rock: High teens, behind 3 B1G East teams.

What bowl game will the Badgers play in?

Bob: TaxSlayer Gator Bowl because I don’t see a New Years 6 bowl in the forecast, and Wisconsin has played bowls like the Outback Bowl to death.

Tyler: I think it has to be TaxSlayer Gator Bowl or the Redbox Bowl (That’s still a thing? You can download every movie ever now.)

Matt: I will go with the Citrus Bowl. I think a B1G team will end up in the playoff and bump everyone up a line.

Rock: Gator Bowl - Citrus is a little high, and it can’t be the Outback Bowl since Iowa’s double-dipped there.

Who goes pro early?

Bob: Jonathan Taylor, unless he wants to be this generation’s Ron Dayne demigod. Otherwise Tyler Biadiasz could be a first rounder in 2020. I suppose Cole Van Lanen could also test the waters.

Tyler: I think JT is going pro good, bad, or great season. No matter what. I believe Biadasz is too. As they should. Go get your money when you can fellas. Maybe the NCAA should…..

Matt: I agree with Bob and Tyler. Biadasz and Taylor will both be gone. Isaiahh Loudermilk and Van Lanen are both guys who with huge seasons could see what grade they may get.

Rock: I’m going with all those preseason All-Americans.