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Biggest opening game since...

Posted: 8/25/2014 8:42 AM

Biggest opening game since... 


1995 vs. #13 Colorado. The Badgers were ranked #21. The only ranked team we've opened against since was #17 Syracuse, at the Kickoff Classic (Giants Stadium) in 1997 (we were #24). Here's a list of opening-game opponents over the 20 seasons from that CU game until this year:

1995 - #13 Colorado
1996 - Eastern Michigan
1997 - #17 Syracuse (Kickoff Classic)
1998 - San Diego State
1999 - Murray State

2000 - Western Michigan
2001 - Virginia (Eddie Robinson Classic)
2002 - Fresno State
2003 - West Virginia
2004 - Central Florida

2005 - Bowling Green
2006 - Bowling Green
2007 - Washington State
2008 - Akron
2009 - Northern Illinois

2010 - UNLV
2011 - UNLV
2012 - Northern Iowa
2013 - Massachusetts
2014 - #13 LSU

Let's enjoy the next three openers. They're rare exceptions, not just for us but for most schools.
These ARE the Good Old Days.
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Posted: 8/25/2014 8:59 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


I was more excited for the Colorado game back in 1995 than any Badger game I can remember, at the time.  I also remember getting pounded 43-7, or something close to that, and being actually sick to my stomach for a couple of days after.  One of the biggest disappointments I've witnessed in the sports senario.
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Posted: 8/25/2014 9:30 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


That is not good news. Twice we have opened the season with a ranked opponent and gotten destroyed both games.
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Posted: 8/25/2014 10:32 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 



DocWrestling wrote: That is not good news. Twice we have opened the season with a ranked opponent and gotten destroyed both games.


That was then, this is now. 1995 and 1997 were not among the best squads for us. The program now has had nearly 20 years to become deeper and more solid. I'm not afraid of getting destroyed these days. We may lose, but we should be competitive.
These ARE the Good Old Days.
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Posted: 8/25/2014 11:21 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


Right with you on the Colorado game...that is the only game from Camp Randall I left dramatically early in my 20+ career of season tickets...I was sick to my stomach as well.

I went to the game out in the Meadowlands vs. Syracuse and you could tell we were not even close to good enough on that day, opening kickoff for a TD and it never got better.

Let's hope this one is better - and it should be, this is a much different program now.

killler wrote: I was more excited for the Colorado game back in 1995 than any Badger game I can remember, at the time.  I also remember getting pounded 43-7, or something close to that, and being actually sick to my stomach for a couple of days after.  One of the biggest disappointments I've witnessed in the sports senario.
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  • mbadger
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Posted: 8/25/2014 11:32 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


i was also sick to my stomach after the 95 colorado game.  we got pounded in 94 at their place and than they came to madison and pounded us the same way.  keep one thing in mind.  both those colorado teams and the syracuse teams were veteran teams that were just much better than our young, not deep, badger teams of those years.  this LSU team is really young.  they are not better than us as the spread shows.  the points have as much to do with the virtual home game than anything else.  I would be surprised if LSU whipped us as they have plenty of question marks too.
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  • kthwlsn
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Posted: 8/25/2014 12:31 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


My most eagerly anticipated opener was the Kick Off Classic in '97. My alma mater coming to my home state. I rallied up a bunch of old high school friends and coworkers that didn't go to big time football colleges to show them what it was all about. We had a great tailgate. The run on with the band got my heart racing. Then came the opening kickoff...

I don't think I'll have have a better memory than being at the Rose Bowl in '94 my senior year or a worse Badger memory than being at that Kick Off Classic. You take the good with the bad and we've gotten A LOT more good than bad the last 24 years.
"Bucky stares into your soul, stealing your life force 35 seconds at a time." -photo caption from maizenbrew.com after 2013 UW-UM BTT game
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Posted: 8/25/2014 3:59 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


Good stat ole badger!

Next year vs Alabama will be a top 5 team....
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Posted: 8/25/2014 4:29 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


Glad you're certain of that.  Let's keep this thread alive until Sunday morning just to keep you honest.
OlBadger wrote:
DocWrestling wrote: That is not good news. Twice we have opened the season with a ranked opponent and gotten destroyed both games.


That was then, this is now. 1995 and 1997 were not among the best squads for us. The program now has had nearly 20 years to become deeper and more solid. I'm not afraid of getting destroyed these days. We may lose, but we should be competitive.
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Posted: 8/25/2014 5:28 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


My recollections, subject to some memory failures.
OlBadger wrote: 1995 vs. #13 Colorado. The Badgers were ranked #21. The only ranked team we've opened against since was #17 Syracuse, at the Kickoff Classic (Giants Stadium) in 1997 (we were #24). Here's a list of opening-game opponents over the 20 seasons from that CU game until this year:

2000 - Western Michigan  (WMU lost two or three games that season, IIRC. They beat Iowa the next week)
2001 - Virginia (Eddie Robinson Classic) UVa was probably in the top 30 early that season, but wasn't really good. Al Groh wasn't as great a coach as we thought he'd be.
2002 - Fresno State Tough game. Good team, but no David Carr. Jimmy Leonhard coming out party.
2003 - West Virginia Was Rich Rod coaching them?  They went something like 9-3 that season and won a bowl game. Respectable opponent that we beat handily.
2004 - Central Florida Bad team.

2005 - Bowling Green Tough game. They had a great offense, but no defense. IIRC they made the MAC championship game that season.
2006 - Bowling Green Team in decline. Not nearly as good as the year before, but game was played in Cleveland.
2007 - Washington State The beginning of a long string of poor NC opponents.  When this game was scheduled, however, Wash State was a decent team.

Bret Beilema meatball specials:
2008 - Akron (The year we cancelled VaTech.)
2009 - Northern Illinois
2010 - UNLV
2011 - UNLV
2012 - Northern Iowa
2013 - Massachusetts

A really tough challenge:
2014 - #13 LSU

Let's enjoy the next three openers. They're rare exceptions, not just for us but for most schools.
We may get our heads handed to us, but at least this game will be a real test.

**

It takes two to miscommunicate effectively.
-turomon

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Posted: 8/25/2014 6:07 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


"Glad you're certain of that.  Let's keep this thread alive until Sunday morning just to keep you honest."


It must be awfully sad to be you. frown
These ARE the Good Old Days.
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Posted: 8/25/2014 6:35 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


I was at the game in Col. They kicked off into the end zone we scored and I said to the Buff fan next to me watch how deep this goes.
John Hall hit it about 10 rows deep in the south zone if you remember that's also 10 yards beyond the zone to the seats, they were gast.
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Posted: 8/25/2014 8:15 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


This feels like a remix of 1997.....lose to a ranked team to open.....run a soft schedule...struggle at the end of the year with the deciding games in the B1G.

Naw....we gotta be better than that this year, right?
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Posted: 8/25/2014 8:16 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 



OlBadger wrote: "Glad you're certain of that.  Let's keep this thread alive until Sunday morning just to keep you honest."


It must be awfully sad to be you. frown
It's sad having to read him.  I can't imagine being him.  Yikes.

I got the shotgun....you got the briefcase......all in the game though


 

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Posted: 8/25/2014 8:28 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 





---------------------------------------------
--- killler wrote:

I was more excited for the Colorado game back in 1995 than any Badger game I can remember, at the time.  I also remember getting pounded 43-7, or something close to that, and being actually sick to my stomach for a couple of days after.  One of the biggest disappointments I've witnessed in the sports senario.

---------------------------------------------
+1. The only time I've ever thrown and broken the remote.
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Posted: 8/25/2014 9:02 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


I remember the build-up to the Colorado game like it was yesterday.  I felt we had arrived with that Rose Bowl victory and thought we would compete well at the least and liked our chances of winning.  It obviously didn't play out that way and now some 19 years later I sense an eerily similar feeling.  The big difference is I believe UW has a different attitude.  I don't think they're the least bit intimidated by LSU, nor should they be.  The excitement is definitely building.
Ecclesiastes 10:2

"It's easier to fool people, than it is to convince them they've been fooled."   Mark Twain
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Posted: 8/25/2014 11:12 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


The 95 and 97 squads were both young teams, much like the '14 squad is.  The big difference may be that this year's team has an experienced offensive line. Those previous groups did not, especially the '97 team which started redshirt sophomore, Chris McIntosh and four other first time players. 

LSU might be really good, but if they're 1994/5 Colorado good, it means they will be contending for the national championship.  

I don't get the feeling Wisconsin will be as bad as 1997. This year's crop of youngsters has had more time on campus (collectively) than the '97 group with the early graduations and the summer training.  

One thing, though. That 1997 group was talented.  Jamar Fletcher and Mike Echols were held out to be redshirted, but many of the other freshmen in August 1997 became stars and helped the Badgers to two Rose Bowl wins in '98 and '99.

The 1997 recruiting class:
Chris Chambers
Carlos Daniels
Jeremy Dox
Mich Echols
Jamar Fletcher
Rasheed Golden
Aaron Haberman
Josh Jakubowski
Coleman Johnson (JC)
Donte King
Roger Knight
Chad Kuhns
Brain Lamont
Peter Lee
Dan Liswoski
Delante McGrew
George Pratt
John Sigmund
Chuck Smith
Kevin Stemke

Two All American national award winners (Stemke and Fletcher) and a future all pro, Chambers.

Redshirt freshmen that year included Casey Rabach, Jason Doering, Dave Costa, and Bill Ferrario who all starred later in their Badger careers.

**

It takes two to miscommunicate effectively.
-turomon

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Posted: 8/26/2014 2:37 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


Prediction: Saturday will be very familiar for those of you who remember the 1995 and 1997 openers. I do. 2014 Wisconsin is the equivalent of those squads talent and experience wise. A mobile QB offers little to no advantage against LSU IMO which makes the McEvoy "leaked" announcement very strange indeed. Stave will play but it makes little difference as the LSU secondary dominates our weak and/or inexperienced WRs. No down-field passing game spells trouble early, unsurprisingly LSU effectively sells out to stuff the run, Wisconsin cannot match that and a smallish and green Wisconsin defense is out-manned. It is LSU's brutal run game and stellar OL play which is the story of the game. LSU 35, UW 13. It could well be uglier.

The other parallel with those 1995 and 1997 squads is the lost opportunity. This time it is on a larger stage, more riding on it. We are not struggling for relevancy, we are struggling for legitimacy. Wisconsin has lost it's last 4 bowl games and, like the Big Ten as a whole, is seen as something of a paper tiger. Add to that Andersen has not won a significant game since his arrival in Madison.  Aranda has a golden opportunity to atone for the defensive meltdowns against PSU and South Carolina in this game as well.

It all sets up well but you still got to win 'em.

Last edited 8/26/2014 2:48 AM by TheNewRed

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  • panama74
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Posted: 8/26/2014 2:55 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


Prediction: You're going to keep being a negative nancy regardless of the outcome.
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Posted: 8/26/2014 3:27 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


No.  It is not about being a negative nancy, it is about realistically looking at where we are and being honest and analytical. It is also about countering OlBoy's tiresome Pollyanna  drag show.  Mostly he regurgitates whatever latest spin press releases are being issued by the AD's and commissioner's offices:  I assume most of us here read those as they are more than adequately reported by the BadgerNation staff, ESPN, USAToday, etc.



I'm sure there will be positives from Saturday's game but, OlBoy opened a can of worms with the comparisons to those two squads in particular:  they were huge disappointments which also gave the program nationally recognized black-eyes.  Then his blithely dismissing that comparison with "the program's in a much better place"  without explaining why is lazy thinking.  The program is also in a much riskier place IMO.

panama74 wrote: Prediction: You're going to keep being a negative nancy regardless of the outcome.

Last edited 8/26/2014 3:28 AM by TheNewRed

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Posted: 8/26/2014 10:01 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 



TheNewRed wrote:

 Then his blithely dismissing that comparison with "the program's in a much better place"  without explaining why is lazy thinking.  The program is also in a much riskier place IMO.

Just to recap...you blast OlBadger for not providing enough explanation for his statement, then end your own post with your own assertion...and provide zero explanation. 

So you are also lazy...?
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  • panama74
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Posted: 8/26/2014 11:01 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 



TheNewRed wrote:

No.  It is not about being a negative nancy, it is about realistically looking at where we are and being honest and analytical.

And that results in you predicting a 22+ point loss in a game with a 5 point spread.  Your admirable honesty could make you a lot of easy money if you were a betting man.
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Posted: 8/26/2014 11:04 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 



BadgerNiowa wrote:
TheNewRed wrote:

 Then his blithely dismissing that comparison with "the program's in a much better place"  without explaining why is lazy thinking.  The program is also in a much riskier place IMO.

Just to recap...you blast OlBadger for not providing enough explanation for his statement, then end your own post with your own assertion...and provide zero explanation. 

So you are also lazy...?
crazy
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Posted: 8/26/2014 11:15 AM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 



TheNewRed wrote:

 A mobile QB offers little to no advantage against LSU IMO

Not being negative?  C'mon man!!!

A mobile quarterback always offers an advantage, especially against a young defensive line who is unlikely to be disciplined.  LSU's DL is fast and young, a mobile qb can only help.  Imagine how good Brady and Manning would be if they could also run!!!  Silly statement on your part.

Now, a quarterback who can't throw may be a problem but we don't know if McEvoy can sling it.  I'm sure that we will find out.

I think your statement about the main asset that McEvoy brings to the game not helping is clearly being negative.
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  • cbc72
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Posted: 8/26/2014 12:04 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


My Prediction:

WI will not be wearing uniforms as ugly as the ones in the loss to CO in 95.
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Posted: 8/26/2014 1:39 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 



TheNewRed wrote:

No.  It is not about being a negative nancy, it is about realistically looking at where we are and being honest and analytical. It is also about countering OlBoy's tiresome Pollyanna  drag show.  Mostly he regurgitates whatever latest spin press releases are being issued by the AD's and commissioner's offices:  I assume most of us here read those as they are more than adequately reported by the BadgerNation staff, ESPN, USAToday, etc.

LOL!

BTW, linking to a video of GA or other coaches' interviews/press conferences is intended to alert people that they've been posted. That's neither an endorsement nor a refutation of what they're saying. While many people here do read the sources you cite regularly, my experience is that many others don't, and that all of us miss some items because we have, you know, lives. Also, posting those items often leads to discussion, which is the purpose of this board, after all. Sometimes I like to bullet what I regard as the most interesting/significant comments. If you find this "regurgitation" uninteresting I suggest you simply not read the posts. biggrin


Now, back on topic: Wisconsin hasn't lost to anyone by more than 10 points since 2009. It could happen, but I would be surprised if it did.

These ARE the Good Old Days.
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Posted: 8/26/2014 4:09 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 



TheNewRed wrote:

Prediction: Saturday will be very familiar for those of you who remember the 1995 and 1997 openers. I do. 2014 Wisconsin is the equivalent of those squads talent and experience wise. A mobile QB offers little to no advantage against LSU IMO which makes the McEvoy "leaked" announcement very strange indeed. Stave will play but it makes little difference as the LSU secondary dominates our weak and/or inexperienced WRs. No down-field passing game spells trouble early, unsurprisingly LSU effectively sells out to stuff the run, Wisconsin cannot match that and a smallish and green Wisconsin defense is out-manned. It is LSU's brutal run game and stellar OL play which is the story of the game. LSU 35, UW 13. It could well be uglier.

I tend to agree that Wisconsin will need to pass against LSU. I know LSU plans to stack the box and make Wisconsin beat them with the pass.

Tough game to call. I think that a low-scoring, physical slugfest favors Wisconsin. LSU's talented but very green quarterbacks can make one mental mistake, toss a pick-six and lose the game. Wisconsin 14, LSU 10

But a high-scoring shootout . . . I think LSU has the edge in speed and athleticism. There will be a cushion of points to offset some rookie mistakes. LSU 35 - Wisconsin 24

Coin flip says . . .  high-scoring shootout.
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Posted: 8/26/2014 9:24 PM

Re: Biggest opening game since... 


LSU will load the box and let their talented defensive secondary play man coverage. I expect UW will run much of the time, with the occasional play action pass. Maybe look for short passes to the tight ends. Maybe look for misdirection plays to fool LSU's fast but young defense.

LSU will also run, run, run. It is anyone's guess how confident Cam Cameron is in his young quarterbacks. If they make good decisions early, get rid of the ball, find their second and third reads, and don't turn the ball over, he may pass more later in the game. LSU's Brandon Harris has a ton of potential, but his high school prom was only twelve weeks ago. LSU also has major questions at receiver, but the potential is there. Malachi Dupre was the top rated receiver in last year's recruiting class. Trey Quinn is bigger and faster, and almost broke the all time receiving yards for a high school player.

LSU had trouble stopping the run last year against Alabama, Georgia and Ole Miss, but those three teams also had strong passing games. If UW can complete short passes to the backs or tight ends, it might cause LSU problems. I don't think UW's young wide receivers will be much of a factor against a defensive secondary that is always very good. LSU has three cornerbacks that could be taken in the first round(White, Robinson and Collins) and some talented safeties as well.

LSU has also had trouble against disciplined, well-coached teams. Witness the near come-back by a clearly inferior Iowa team in the Outback Bowl. LSU is almost always in the top ten in national recruiting, and often in the top five. LSU markets itself to recruits as a three year gateway to the NFL, so a disproportionate share of LSU's talented players are always young and inexperienced.

My postion breakdown comparison:
UW o-line vs. LSU d-line: advantage UW
UW d-line vs. LSU o-line: advantage LSU
UW receivers vs. LSU defensive secondary: LSU
LSU receivers vs. UW secondary: LSU
UW rb's vs. LSU linebackers: UW (not even close)
UW linebackers vs. LSU running backs: LSU (not even close)
UW tight ends vs. LSU defensive ends: probably LSU
UW defensive ends vs. LSU tight ends: probably LSU (this is supposed to be the year Cameron incorporates the tight ends into the offense).

Special teams: LSU, potentially a huge advantage.
Quarterback: Wisconsin, but there is potential for brilliant play by Harris
Coaching: UW (Miles has built a strong program, but he has made some foolish in-game decisions, and his teams at times play sloppy).

I think the game will ride on how well the quartbacks play, and how well both of these two relatively young teams can execute.

It should be a great game.

Last edited 8/26/2014 9:41 PM by SpeedKidney

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