Wisconsin Football: Post BYU Upset, What’s Next?

Wisconsin Football: Post BYU Upset

Shock. Awe. Despair.

Those are a few words to describe the weekend for the sixth ranked Wisconsin Badgers and their fans. After an agonizingly painful and unexpected loss at home to BYU, Bucky’s College Football Playoff hopes are currently on life support.

Quarterback Alex Hornibrook showcased his unflattering inconsistencies that have hung around his entire career. The offensive line has shown weaknesses in pass protection and overall toughness, while Heisman caliber running back Jonathan Taylor was unable to save the offense from its impending doom. Neither was the defense. A young and relatively inexperienced defense was unable to stifle the BYU running game, as illustrated by allowing 6.8 yards per carry.

So where do they go from here?

Head Coach Paul Chryst has his work cut for him. Furthermore, the teams ability to not just make the playoff, but the Big Ten Championship game is uncertain. At the same time, this could be the punch in the mouth they needed. This team will have now faced more adversity in week 3 of the regular season than it did in the entire 2017 regular season. Yes there are flaws, but with flaws comes the ability to fix and move forward. Above all, they have leadership that can push this team through this rough patch. Upperclassmen like linebacker TJ Edwards can be relied upon to maintain the foundation in which this team grows from.

That might be the perspective in the locker room, but what should the perspective of Badger fans be going forward in the 2018 season?

There are three options for you.

Option #1: Hop Off the Bandwagon

This is the option for your average fair-weathered fan. Yes the Badgers failed to meet lofty expectations and broke your heart relatively early in the season. It sucks. You’re not happy, they’re not happy, nobody in fact, is happy. With this loss, many fans will deem the playoffs as an afterthought, perhaps correctly, and deem the season lost forever. Coupled with the fact they couldn’t beat BYU, it is tough to imagine that they will be able to win in Happy Valley and Ann Arbor. Jumping ship now will provide you with missing what may end up being an underwhelming season, or an incredible turnaround. The decision is yours.

Option #2: Be the Never-Ending Complainer

You know who you are. Nothing can ever be perfect enough with your team. Wisconsin football will never be good enough to make the playoff in your opinion. At the same time, you watch because they are your team and you still love them. Now, it must be said there is a point to your madness, Wisconsin losing to BYU at home is not just upsetting, but tremendously disappointing. However, instead of dealing with the loss and moving on with the season, everything annoys you. Choosing this option will make your friends and family despise watching games with you.

Option #3: The Optomist

The third and final option all happens to be one in which most sane Badger fans should and will choose. Yes, the team lost a game that almost the entire country besides maybe Provo, Utah thought they would win. However, you and the team do not want this to define their season. Most, if not all the goals of the 2018 team still remain intact. While winning out looks unlikely, it remains possible. Not only would that bring a BIG Championship appearance, but it would bring the Badgers back into the playoff talk. In addition, that hypothetical run would include wins over Penn State and Michigan.

However, don’t get too far ahead of yourselves. Wisconsin just lost to BYU, the last thing on anyone’s minds should be the College Football Playoff. Instead, you can take this season week by week, and hopefully witness some special growth from a young team with the potential to get back into the race.

All things considered, it is unfortunate to see a season filled with so much promise see such a monumental letdown so early. However, the season is no where near over. It’s time to see just how much resiliency the Badgers have, from its players and coaches, as well as its fans.