Big Ten Football: Wisconsin Poised to Join the Elite

Nick HartCorrespondent IAugust 23, 2012

Big Ten Football: Wisconsin Poised to Join the Elite

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    The Wisconsin Badgers are about to become one of the elite programs in the Big Ten, joining Ohio State and Michigan at the absolute top. 

    The Badgers have dominated the conference in recent years, and are poised to do so again.

    Here's a look at why the Badgers are about to ascend to the top tier in the Big Ten.  

Recent Success

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    The Wisconsin Badgers are on a roll.  They've won two consecutive Big Ten championships, and have been to two straight Rose Bowls.  Wisconsin has won at least nine games in seven different seasons since 2004, and have won ten games in five different seasons.  

    Additionally, the Badgers have been to a bowl every year since 2002, picking up wins over high-profile programs such as Auburn, Arkansas and Miami.

Raised Profile

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    Due to the Badgers' continued success on the field, Wisconsin has been able to raise the profile of its program.  The Big Ten Conference championships and Rose Bowl appearances lead to increased national exposure, as do the numerous awards that the Badgers have won over the years.  Additionally, Wisconsin has graduated numerous players to the NFL.

    The Badgers' raised profile has allowed the team to schedule high-profile games in the future, allowing for even more national exposure.  Concurrently, the Badgers' success has helped on the recruiting trail, as Wisconsin has been able to routinely sign high-profile recruits.  As the Badgers sign better players, Wisconsin will be able to take the next step toward challenging for national championships. 

Recruiting Success

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    As previously mentioned, the Badgers' on-field success has led to improvements on the recruiting trail.  The Badgers are routinely picking up multiple 4-star recruits, along with the occasional 5-star, and are filling out classes with highly regarded 3-stars.  Long gone are the days when the Badgers signed primarily 2-star recruits.  

    While I understand that the Badgers have had success with lower-ranked recruits, in order to win BCS bowls consistently, and challenge for national championships, better recruits must be brought it.

Improving Facilities

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    Believe it or not, the Badgers have some of the worst facilities in the Big Ten.  Pretty incredible considering how successful the Badgers have been over the last decade.

    Thankfully, the Badgers are in the midst of a major facility overhaul.  Wisconsin is shelling out $86 million in order to improve the locker rooms, weight rooms, academic areas and to provide new turf for Camp Randall Stadium.  

    With new facilities on the way, the Badgers will have improved standing among recruits.  In addition, the improved facilities should help improve the quality of play on the field.  

Conclusion

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    The Wisconsin Badgers are about to join the elite of the Big Ten Conference.  The Badgers are dominating on the field, recruiting is improving and the facilities are being upgraded.

    Wisconsin is gaining national exposure, and is quickly becoming one of the top programs in the nation.  As the Badgers continue to improve on and off the field, it won't be long before they are challenging for BCS National Championships.