The Wisconsin Badgers are the No. 1 ranked team in the country after the first set of BCS rankings was released. What a time to be alive! The Badgers (6-0 overall, 3-0 B1G) sit at No. 2 in the traditional polls but the computers must’ve been impressed with some of the big, early season wins that Wisconsin had.
Undefeated Ole Miss is right on Wisconsin’s tail and the Michigan State and Nebraska are right behind the Rebels. Minnesota and Ohio State are also in the first top-10 of the season, making it an even half of the teams that hail from the B1G. You’ll note that the biggest game on the docket this coming week is No. 3 Nebraska at No. 7 Minnesota and if you look ahead one week further, the Huskers travel to Madison for another titanic showdown.
How did the Badgers get here? Mostly thanks to the legs of Jonathan Taylor, who is still leading the Heisman Trophy race, and his nearly 1,200 yards rushing.
As far as the race to Indianapolis is concerned, the Gophers are 4-0 in the B1G and leading the West with Wisconsin and Nebraska hot on their heels at 3-0. Michigan State is 3-0 and leading the East while Ohio State is a game back at 2-1. Penn State is, weirdly, 1-3 in conference and basically eliminated from the B1G Title game already.
Now let’s take a look at Wisconsin’s individual stats so far this season:
Jack Coan is on pace to have one of the better quarterbacking seasons in Wisconsin football history. If the Badgers are ever forced to throw the ball much in the second half of a game he could break some records.
Kadin Remsberg also happens to be Taylor’s top competition for the Heisman, along with the FBS rushing crown. It would be a pretty easy argument to make that Taylor is having a much better season despite having fewer yards.
Jake Ferguson is having a monster season and once the awards watch lists come out I’d imagine he’ll be near the top for the Mackey Award. Quintez Cephus and Danny Davis III have had nice seasons too and both make it hard for defenses to focus on Ferguson when all three are on the field.
Chris Orr leads the nation in solo tackles! It is a weird thing in NCAA, at least for me, that when I actually play the games there are very few “assisted tackles” as you can see on just the Wisconsin stats.
No individual players are ranked very high on the sacks list, but as a team Wisconsin gets to the quarterback more than almost any other. A couple of backup players have really shined in limited action including Matt Henningsen and Izayah Green-May.
Wisconsin’s defense has also been adept at forcing turnovers with the number one turnover collector being cornerback Rachad Wildgoose. Opposing quarterbacks keep trying him even though he has proven he is not to be tested.
Games against Purdue and Iowa have already been completed so look for recaps of those two matchups in the coming days.