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Wisconsin Football: Where Badgers Rank of Big Ten Teams in Need of Strong Camp

Nick HartCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2012

Wisconsin Football: Where Badgers Rank of Big Ten Teams in Need of Strong Camp

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    The Wisconsin Badgers recently opened fall camp in preparation for the 2012 football season.  The Badgers begin the season as the reigning Big Ten champions, and are poised to repeat again in 2012. 

    Here's a look at where the Badgers rank among the Big Ten teams in need of a strong fall camp.  

Penn State

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    Penn State needs to have a strong camp.  Between the exoduses of players, the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and a new coaching staff, Nittany Lions fans need something positive for the football program.   Bill O’Brien and his staff need to prove that they are competent football coaches, and the team needs to prove it will be competitive in 2012. 

    Penn State desperately needs a strong camp to restore faith in the program.

Iowa

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    Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes need to have a big season in 2012.  The Hawkeyes went 7-6 in 2011, making it two subpar seasons in a row, and Ferentz needs to win again in order to justify his salary. 

    The temperature is rising for Ferentz, and he needs a strong season to stay off the hot seat.  Iowa needs to return to its status as a BCS contender, and a strong camp is a good start.  

Illinois

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    Illinois was terrible in 2011, winning only two Big Ten games.  The offense needs work and they must replace first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins, while the defense lost its best player in Whitney Mercilus. 

    Illinois is also breaking in a new coaching staff after the firing of Ron Zook.  Tim Beckham and his staff need to have a strong camp in order to drum up support for the upcoming season.  

Ohio State

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    Ohio State needs to have a strong camp going into the 2012 season.  Urban Meyer has returned to Columbus to return Ohio State to its place as an elite program.  The Ohio State faithful will not suffer another losing season, and Meyer must win in 2012.  The Buckeyes are ineligible for the postseason, but are certainly capable of playing spoiler. 

    The Buckeyes need a strong camp not only to justify the hype surrounding Urban Meyer’s hiring, but also to continue their return to prominence.  

Michigan State

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    Michigan State needs a strong camp, especially on offense.  The Spartans must replace star quarterback Kirk Cousins, as well as the entire receiving corps. 

    The defense is going to be impressive, and is a major reason why Michigan State has been pegged as a Big Ten title contender.  The offense needs a strong camp in order to demonstrate that it will be capable of scoring enough to capture a Big Ten title.  

Nebraska

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    Taylor Martinez needs to have a strong camp for the Cornhuskers.  Martinez was hit or miss in 2011, and he must have a strong season in 2012 if Nebraska is going to compete for a Big Ten title.  Nebraska also has to replace stars Jared Crick and Lavonte David on defense. 

    A strong camp from Martinez and the defense will go a long way to justifying Nebraska’s preseason hype.

Indiana

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    Indiana football is terrible.  The Hoosiers only won one game in 2011, and went winless in the Big Ten.  Obviously, the Hoosiers have question marks throughout the roster and a strong camp would go a long way to helping Indiana improve overall. 

    However, the Hoosiers don’t really need a strong camp.  Indiana is a basketball school, and football will always take a backseat.  They aren’t going to compete for titles anytime soon, and one strong camp isn’t going to change that. 

Wisconsin

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    The Wisconsin Badgers enter camp with only one question mark, quarterback.  The rest of the offense is stacked, and the defense is deep and experienced as well. 

    Incoming transfer Danny O’Brien must prove that he is to be trusted with the keys to the offense.  The whole team doesn’t need a strong camp, but Danny O’Brien does need to prove he can play. 

Michigan

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    Michigan is in an ideal spot going into camp.  They have an established coaching staff, and return their star quarterback.  Additionally, they don’t have any glaring holes in the roster.

    A strong camp is simply icing on the cake, as it doesn’t change the outlook of the Wolverines 2012 season.  Similar to the Badgers, the Wolverines need to make sure they don’t lose any key contributors to injury.

Conclusion

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    The Badgers don't need to have a strong camp.  Their early schedule is a joke, and the Badgers will be able to ease into the season.  As long as the Badgers avoid any serious injuries, they will be fine.

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