The Wisconsin football team is as of this writing 7-0 and ranked fifth in the nation. Odds are that they will be 8-0 in another 24 hours or so as they visit my haplesss beloved Illini and are a heavy 26.5 point favorite (take Wisconsin to clear if you are a betting person).
But what have they done this year? Not much. Here is the list of teams that the Badgers have beaten this year:
Not exactly murderers row. Of course, this type of schedule is the exact thing that gets mocked by fans of the SEC - Wisconsin has not played one top 25 team so far this year and there is a very good chance that they may not play one ALL YEAR as their remaining schedule looks like this:
None of those teams are currently in the top 25.
The combined record as of now for all teams on Wisconsin's schedule is 40-46, or an atrocious .465 winning percentage. But to make matters worse, lets take a look at something else. Here are the 40 teams that Wisconsin's current scheduled teams have beaten this year so far:
North Texas (twice)
San Jose State
Middle Tennessee State (twice)
Illinois (three times)
Ohio (NOT Ohio State)
Of all of these teams, only Iowa State is in the top 25, ranked 25 this week (and they will probably drop out eventually). Many of these teams aren't even in Division One. The combined record of these teams is an abysmal 113-176 - a .391 winning percentage. This will get worse as the Big Ten teams keep cannibalizing themselves. The only top 25 victory for this list of teams was Iowa State's upset of Oklahoma earlier this year. And I would bet that if those two teams played again today that Oklahoma would beat the Cyclones like a red headed step child.
So not only are the teams that Wisconsin has played terrible, so are the few teams that THOSE teams managed to beat. It is pretty amazing if you think about it.
The odds are that the Badgers will likely not play a top 25 team this year until the Big Ten Championship game and if they manage to win it, they will be undefeated and will go to the playoff. So I guess the old strategy of lining up the patsies in your pre-conference schedule continues to be rewarded. The Badgers can't really do a lot about their Big Ten schedule, but it is clear that after so many years of awful play in the Big Ten West, there needs to be a re-alignment some time soon. I am obviously not the first person to mention this as the fans of the teams in the Big Ten East have been screaming about the scheduling issues for some time.
Look, I am not saying the Badgers are bad. In fact they are very good. But if they manage to make it to the playoff when a team from the SEC (Georgia or Alabama) might not make it with one loss, there will be screaming. And in my opinion, rightly - if they have played a tough schedule. Unlike Wisconsin.