The Wisconsin Badgers had a great offseason. Hype has been crazy in Madison, Wisconsin in anticipation for the 2011-2012 football season.
Last season's Rose Bowl will be hard to top.
Or will it?
The only way to top it will be not with a Rose Bowl victory, but with a national championship.
Call me crazy, but I think the Badgers have a chance, and here's why.
The 12th man is going to be a huge difference for the Badgers and possibly even the difference maker in their season.
October 16th, 2010 will be day that will forever live in every Badger fan's heart, including mine (I was there). It was the day the 12th man made the biggest difference, as the Badgers took down the No. 1 team in the nation, Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Badgers will have their work cut out for them when they play Nebraska under the lights to open Big Ten play. The Badgers win, they have all the momentum the rest of the season.
Camp Randall isn't called the House of Pain for no reason.
Just like the seniors did last season, this year's seniors will play a huge role in the outcome of the 2011 season.
Aaron Henry, Nick Toon, Patrick Butrym and Antonio Fenelus, just to name a few, will play huge roles in 2011. They will be the leaders of the team and will be responsible for picking other members up when they get down.
Look to the senior starters to have breakout seasons much like J.J. Watt did last year.
Need I say more?
Two heads of last year's three-headed monster will be returning to Madison for another season.
James White and Montee Ball had outstanding season's last year. They stepped up when John Clay went down.
Last season White rushed for 1,052 yards and 14 TDs, earning All-Big Ten freshman team honors.
Ball had a spectacular season himself, rushing for 996 yards and 18 TDs.
Look to these two members of the Badgers to have outstanding seasons.
Bret Bielema and Paul Chryst are back in red for Madison in 2011.
Paul Chryst is back calling the plays on offense for the Badgers. He has had a great career at Wisconsin, consistently making UW one of the most consistent offenses in the entire nation.
The question will be on defense, as Dave Doern left for the NIU head coaching job.
The Badgers hired in house, as Charlie Patridge and Chris Ash will be the co-coordinators in 2011. They know their players, and I am confident they have a good system.
The Badgers have Russell Wilson, and no one else does.
I understand the concept of not counting your chickens before they hatch, but it's hard to do when the Badgers have their first legitimate quarterback—ever.
Imagine the running game now that the Badgers have a QB threat. The play-action game is going to be the best that Paul Chryst and the Badgers have ever had.
Wilson has thrown for 8,545 yards and 76 TDs in three seasons starting at NC State.
Oh yeah, he only threw 26 interceptions.
This could be a special season for the Badgers. This could be a Badgers team that may make another run to Pasadena, or better yet, to New Orleans.