Here is team #17 and the 2010 Wisconsin Badgers Football Preview. All part of our 31 teams in 31 days college football season preview highlighting the best college football teams while look for good spots to fade and use the Badgers for ncaa football picks for the upcoming 2010 College football season.
No. 17 Wisconsin Badgers
2009 record: 10-3
2009 Bowl Game: 20-14 win over Miami, Fl. In Champs Bowl
2009 ATS: 6-6
Returning starters: 16 (10 on offense, 6 on defense)
The Badgers return ten starters on offense and look like a contender in the Big Ten. Senior quarterback Scott Tolzin passed for 2,705 yards and 16 touchdowns in the 2009 campaign. He also had 11 interceptions, a number which he will want to cut back on.
Wisconsin also returns all of their top rushers, most notably junior running back John Clay. He carried the ball 287 times last season and ran for 1,517 yards. He scored 18 touchdowns on the ground in 2009.
Wide receivers Nick Toon and Isaac Andrews as well as tight end Lance Kendricks return as the teams best pass catchers. The Badgers lose tight end Garrett Graham, but junior Jake Byrn is ready to step in.
Toon caught 54 passes for 805 yards and four touchdowns. Anderson averaged 16.0 yards on 30 catches and hauled in two touchdown passes. Kendricks caught 29 balls for 356 yards and three scores.
The Badgers are set on the offensive line, with seven players that have starting experience returning. They are huge at an average 321 lbs. and might be the best offensive line in the Big Ten and have the talent and size to rank among the best in the country.
The Badgers’ defense had a strong year in 2009. They have to replace some players on the line, but they look like they can continue their defensive improvement. They lose their star O’Brien Schofield, who had 12 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss last year.
They return defensive ends JJ Watt and Louis Nzegwu and linebacker Chris Borland who combined for 13 sacks. Watt had 11 tackles for a loss, and Borland was fifth on the team with 54 tackles.
Borland and fellow linebacker are coming off offseason surgery and it remains to be seen how much of an impact the procedures will make on their level of play.
The secondary had some holes last season, and the Badgers will lose safety Chris Maragos, who had four interceptions in 2009. They hope for cornerbacks Devin Smith and Niles Brinkley to step up their game and improve on last year’s numbers.
Smith had 55 tackles and two interceptions, and did show some promise with nine passes broken up. Senior Brinkley had two interceptions and broke up four passes.
Kicker Philip Welch made 17 of his 24 field goal attempts and connected on 47 of 49 extra points. He was perfect from 29 yards and under and showed off his leg by making a 57-yarder in a 34-31 double-overtime win over Fresno State.
Brad Norman will take on punting duties and hopes to repeat his 2009 success. He averaged 42.0 yards per attempt in 2009 and forced eight fair catches. He made opposing offenses start within their own 20-yard line 17 times.
David Gilreath took one punt to the house for a touchdown, but only averaged 5.6 yards on his returns. He also returned the majority of kicks, averaging 23.7 yards per attempt.
Against the spread
The Badgers went 6-6 against the college football betting line in 2009. They went 3-3 ATS as the home favorite and 1-2 when favored on the road. They didn’t have a game as the home dog, and went 1-1 ATS as the away underdog. The Badgers had a 4-4 record ATS when playing Big Ten teams. They went 2-2 in non-conference competition.
The Badgers are 24-24 ATS under fifth-year coach Bret Bilema and 61-61-1 in the last ten years.
You can bet on it
Bet the Badgers at home against Indiana on November 13. They have won straight against the Hoosiers. In last year’s matchup, the Badgers got out to a great start, outgaining Indiana by 184 yards in the first two quarters. Running back Clay got hurt in the game and the final score of 31-28 was a lot closer than it should have been.
Favor the fade
Fade the Badgers at home against Ohio State on October 16. Wisconsin is 1-4 at home against the Buckeyes and has lost the last three.