Since my blood pressure can't get any higher when I think about the Wisconsin Badgers' football team, maybe it will go down if I get my thoughts out.
I have been a UW fan my entire life. My dad has had season tickets to home football games since the late 1980s and I make sure I get to as many of those games as possible. I was even there back in 2001 when the Badgers upset Ohio State University after OSU won the National Championship the season prior.
While I've been there for the good times and the bad, I can't help but feel stressed out every week during the season.
One reason for this is that, at least with this season, any time the Badgers start to get some momentum going or make a big play, it's called back due to a penalty.
You just can't win that way against tough teams. Not going to happen. Simple as that. Undisciplined penalties have really been hurting the Badgers this season, regardless of what their 5-2 record says.
What bothers me so much about it is that this problem can easily be fixed. They're always shooting themselves in the foot.
Another thing bothering me is the fact that UW always seems to play down to lesser teams. One example of this is, with the exception of Wofford, UW has had trouble with FCS teams within the last few years. Teams such as Cal Poly and The Citadel come to mind.
While these are top tier Football Championship Subdivision schools, they're still FCS schools. If the players on those teams weren't talented enough to play at the Football Bowl Subdivision level, they shouldn't be too difficult to beat.
Now, I understand they may run different offenses the Badgers aren't used to facing, but that's what a week's preparation is supposed to take care of.
Another example of UW playing down to their competition is the trouble they had beating Northwestern when the Wildcats were always near the bottom of the Big Ten Conference. Whether it was at NU or at Camp Randall Stadium, the Badgers have always struggled to beat them.
Even though players should never go into a game thinking it will be a guaranteed win, it would be nice if I could at least go into the game knowing the Badgers will be guaranteed to win. It just feels like every game could be a potential loss.
What also keeps me stressful as a Badger fan is the fact that they never seem to have great recruiting classes, even when they're a great team like they were a few years back.
They do do a fantastic job of coaching the players they get and I understand they like to recruit players that will stay for four years, but a top tier recruit can drastically change how good a team is.
I also understand, as far as recruiting, UW has a few things stacked up against them. For one, a lack of tradition compared to an OSU, University of Michigan, or Penn State University doesn't help. Second, Wisconsin isn't exactly the warmest state and some players obviously like to play in warmer weather.
Those factors certainly don't help UW's case when it comes to getting players to sign with them, but it would be nice to get some great players and start making themselves a school with tradition at the level of the schools mentioned earlier.
All I'm saying is that it would certainly be nice to see the Badgers with a consistent Top 25 recruiting class because I think they have the potential to do it.
I hope in time I will be able to relax when thinking about or discussing the Badger football team, but as of now, it's been one big stress fest the last few seasons. I'll be crossing my fingers.