Wisconsin Football: Firing the Offensive Line Coach Isn't the Answer

Max ManasevitContributor IIISeptember 11, 2012

CORVALLIS, OR - SEPTEMBER 08:  Head coach Bert Bielema of the Wisconsin Badgers looks at the scoreboard against the Oregon State Beavers on September 8, 2012 at the Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Wisconsin Badgers' firing of offensive line coach Mike Markuson is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.

The usually dominant offensive line was lackluster against Northern Iowa and thoroughly thrashed by Oregon State. Still, it is difficult to say that Markuson is at fault.

It is true that former coach Bob Bostad's lines never played so poorly, but his lines also boasted more talent. Last year the Badgers O-line had Kevin Zeitler (a first-round draft pick) and Peter Konz, the year before they had Gabe Carimi (another first-round pick), John Moffitt and Bill Naggy.

Bostad had a plethora of talent, while Markuson's most talented O-lineman is Travis Fredrick. The issue is not necessarily that Markuson is a bad coach, but that the Badgers, even after back to back Rose Bowl appearances, have found it difficult to replenish talent.

According to scouts.com the Badgers have not had a recruiting class the last four years that has cracked the top 30.

The firing of Markuson also seems a little premature. The Badgers suffered an embarrassing loss in Corvallis, but Markuson was only two games into his coaching career. It takes time for a new coach to implement his system and terminology. Two games, especially when one is in extremely loud and hostile confines, does not seem like a fair trail period.

Mike Markuson has been turned into a sacrificial lame for a rabid fan base. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada better hope that new line coach Bart Miller can fix the line, because if not, Canada's job may be the next penance offered to the Wisconsin faithful who will surely be out for blood.