Preseason Top 25 Countdown:
25- Northwestern Wildcats
24- TCU Horned Frogs
23- Oregon State Beavers
21- Nebraska Cornhuskers
20- Wisconsin Badgers:
Coach: Gary Andersen
2012 Record: Overall 8-6 Big Ten (5-4) Big Ten Champions
With Bret Bielema packing his bags for Arkansas, Gary Andersen takes over as head coach for The Wisconsin Badgers. Anderson worked wonders at Utah State with a lot less talent than he has at his disposal in Madison.
The offense will have to answer several questions, most importantly replacing running back Montee Ball. A few backs look to be in the running for the starting spot. Look for sophomore Melvin Gordan and senior James White to both contribute heavily for the Badgers. Another question heading into fall camp is the quarterback position. Joel Stave stepped in last season and put in solid work. Transfer Tanner McEvoy will also compete for the starting job. The receiving core is one of the better units in The Big Ten and the offensive line should reload as it always does.
Defensively there will also be competition at several positions. One position where Wisconsin is stacked is at linebacker. Ethan Armstrong, Marcus Trotter, and Chris Borland make up what might be the best linebacking core in The Big Ten. The defensive line will see four new starters, but it is a solid group. The defensive backfield returns starter Dezmen Southward who will likely help shut down one side of the field for opposing quarterbacks.
2013 Outlook: Expect Wisconsin to be the second best team in the Leaders Division of The Big Ten. Gary Andersen is a great coach, but it will take a few years to adjust to the physical play in conference. I believe it will be a nine win season for the Badgers.