Rough Times At Wisconsin: Badgers All Around Under-Performing

Jason BravermanContributor INovember 22, 2008

The season is still very young for Bo Ryan and his crew, but if you've been paying attention to the Wisconsin's men's basketball team, you've got to be at least a little nervous. 

Yes, they're 3-0, and ranked No. 25 in the AP (No. 22 in the Coaches poll), but you have to look closer.  The Badgers have made the NCAA tournament all seven years of Ryan's tenure, and have made the Elite Eight once, and the Sweet Sixteen on numerous occasions.

In Wisconsin's first regular season game of the year, they looked flat, as they barely managed to beat Long Beach State University by only seven points.  Then, yesterday, they made devoted fans nervous as unranked Iona forced overtime, in which the Badgers escaped 60-58.  Wisconsin is not getting much help from the their conference, either, as they have two teams ranked in the top 10, Purdue and Michigan State.

While they are still undefeated, and I am certainly not taking anything away from them for that, they have to lose before they drop out of the top 25 rankings. They are the defending Big Ten champions, and they can't help but have high expectations.  I still expect them to make the NCAA tourney, but don't get too excited about them.

Now on to the other underachieving team from the University of Wisconsin, their football team.  Their regular season is done, thankfully. They started the year ranked in the top 15 (at one point they even reached No. 9), and now are thrilled to have barely made a bowl. 

The Badgers ended the year in a three way tie for sixth in the conference, boasting (not really boasting) a 3-5 Big Ten record.  The Badgers started off 0-4 in conference play, and went under .500 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2002, when the freshman this year were in 7th grade, and even the seniors were still only sophomores in high school.

And it wasn't just their conference play; the Badgers ended off their regular season with a one-point victory over Cal Poly, thanks to three missed PATs.  They also only beat a currently unranked Fresno State team by three, although, to be fair to Wisconsin, Fresno State was ranked No. 21 at the time.

Look, I don't mean to come off as completely attacking the Badgers; trust me, I'm a huge fan of Wisconsin.  I'm just a little annoyed about their performances this year, but I'll definitely still take a bowl game next month, and hopefully a win or multiple wins in the NCAA tournament.