Wisconsin Football is just about halfway through its season, which means it’s time for us to hand out our Midseason Awards.
It’s safe to say that the first half of the season has been a bit of a mixed bag for this Wisconsin team.
Let’s start with the good news.
First, the Badgers took care of business against rivals Iowa and Nebraska, putting themselves in the driver’s seat of the Big Ten West and likely setting up another appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game barring any shocking losses. A College Football Playoff appearance remains within the realm of possibility.
The other good news? Jonathan Taylor is still pretty good at football, and he’s running behind an offensive line that has finally started to assert its dominance in recent weeks. The sophomore sensation is among the nation’s leaders in multiple categories and has established himself as the clear choice for the distinction of college football’s best running back. He’s inching his way back into the Heisman conversation.
Now, the bad. Those Playoff hopes we mentioned? While they still may exist, they are on life support thanks to that defeat at the hands of BYU that keeps looking uglier and uglier as a result of the Cougars’ poor play on the field. Playoff squads do not lose games like that.
The Wisconsin defense, specifically the pass-rush and secondary play, has been shaky. Look no further than what happened against Nebraska as evidence of this, as the Badgers were absolutely waxed by Adrian Martinez and JD Spielman all game long. You should always be careful drawing broad conclusions from a single game, but that performance does not bode well for this weekend’s matchup with a hot Michigan team, or for the showdown a few weeks from now against Penn State in Happy Valley.
These last few days leading up to Wisconsin’s biggest game to the season so far against the Wolverines are as a good a time as any to reflect on how we got here and, in particular, which players on the squad have stepped up the most throughout the first half of the season.
With that, read on as Badger of Honor presents its Midseason Awards.