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Wisconsin football: Bowl projections entering Badgers’ bye week

Take ’tak (noun): a strong opinion, frequently wrong to a hilarious degree, designed primary to elicit a visceral response in the listener and to boost social media traffic.


Not gonna lie, it’s a slow takes week.

With Wisconsin’s precipitous fall in the rankings post-BYU loss, the national media hype machine has gone quiet. The Badgers’ bounce-back win against Iowa on Saturday hushed the apocalyptic howling of the fanbase down to a dull roar. (Auth. note: I saw a poorly-spelled one about moving on from Paul Chryst that I’m not even going to dignify with a snarky .gif)

With the early-season take storm dissipated, we creep into a sleepy bye week. While we patiently wait a week to stomp a mudhole in Nebraska under the lights, let’s take a peek at where the #experts think that Wisconsin will be spending its postseason.

The Big Ten, as per tradition, has a gaggle of bowl partners and determination procedures that read like the Handbook for the Recently Deceased (tl;dr, since the Badgers have been to the Holiday Bowl and the Outback Bowl in the past four years, it’s unlikely that they’ll be tabbed for those games if they miss out on the New Year’s Six bowls). Also for those interested, here’s a comprehensive list of all bowl tie-ins for 2018–19).

Let’s take a look at Wisconsin’s possible destinations.

Holiday Bowl

Outback Bowl

Prediction: Sporting News (vs. Kentucky)

Heat Index:

I clustered these together because of Wisconsin’s recent trips to both games. As mentioned above, given the Big Ten’s desire to spread its teams out throughout bowl partners, I think it’s unlikely that Wisconsin goes to either (even if it means the Badgers end up at a “lesser” bowl as a result). Regardless, I don’t think either one moves the needle for the fan base, though San Diego is a pretty swell town.

Citrus Bowl

Prediction: Sports Illustrated (vs. Auburn); CBS Sports (vs. Auburn); SB Nation (vs. Kentucky); ESPN (Sherman) (vs. Auburn)

Heat Index:

Assessment: After four weeks, the expert money is on the Citrus. Orlando is fine. I have found memories of Orlando, having watched the Badgers upend Auburn there back in January 2006 in Barry Alvarez’s (first) last game. Harry Potter apparently lives there now. I could live without seeing the Tigers for a while, though, since Wisconsin played them a few years back in the Outback Bowl.

Peach Bowl

Prediction: USA Today (vs. West Virginia)

Heat Index:

Assessment: Short of a run through the Big Ten Championship Game all the way to the Rose Bowl, the Peach and Fiesta are the best-case scenarios for the Badgers (the Cotton and Orange Bowls are home to the College Football Playoff this year and the Sugar Bowl is a Big 12-SEC game).

This one would be great. A third straight New Year’s Six game. A third straight new bowl. A novel opponent. Sounds fun.

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