Back in the 1960s as I was growing up a football fan in Tennessee, we thought the college football world was the SEC. Sure, there was Notre Dame, Michigan and even USC for some west coast flavor.
But these teams were looked on as afterthoughts. And when one of them was voted national champs, we always had a team in mind that we felt were better. Know what that made us? Typical football fans, nothing more or less.
I have grown older and wiser and now I understand, it's not just all about the SEC anymore. Now it's all about the SEC and the Big Ten. Then, throw in Notre Dame, maybe Oklahoma and USC for that west coast thing.
Back in my youth, teams like Indiana, Iowa or Wisconsin were the also-ran of the Big Ten. Much as Vanderbilt was for the SEC, these were the bottom-dwellers of their respected division.
Even in the early 1980s when Wisconsin had a few years of relative success, they still were not considered in the elite of the Big Ten conference, let alone college football. In the latter part of the 1980s, Wisconsin Football seemed to fall off the tracks.
From 1986 through 1989, the Badgers won a total of nine games! In 1990, Wisconsin hired Barry Alvarez, a former assistant with Iowa and Notre Dame, to change their fortunes.
The following is a list of five major developments that have transformed the University of Wisconsin into one of the most successful college football teams in the Big Ten for the past 18 years. Read on and see why!