Wisconsin Football Breakdown

B10 Freshman of the Year James White (BN.com)

Badger Nation takes an early look at the 2011 Wisconsin football team.

Last season's record: 11-2

Returning starters/letterwinners: 11 (plus PK/P)/52

Key losses: QB Scott Tolzien, LT Gabe Carimi, DE J.J. Watt. The Badgers lost three solid athletes to the NFL. Tolzien holds school records for career completion percentage at .681 (min. 300 att.) and career QB efficiency rating of 153.2 (min. 300 att.), Carimi was the 2010 Outland Trophy winner and Watt was a second-team All-American after leading the team in TFLs, sacks, quarterback hurries, forced fumbles and blocked kicks.

Key returnees: RB Montee Ball/James White, LB Chris Borland, S Aaron Henry. There are plenty of solid athletes returning to Wisconsin, but its hard to argue against this group. White lead the team in rushing yards last season while Ball led the team in touchdown, Borland was the conference freshman of the year in '09 and is finally healthy after redshirting last season and Henry is the team leader and one of the toughest players on the defense.

Best game: October 1, at Camp Randall Stadium/vs. Nebraska

Projected finish (regular season): 11-1

Outlook: The Badgers return just 11 starters, but it's a misleading stat considering Wisconsin has 25 players on the roster that have started at least one game, including quarterback Russell Wilson, who made a big splash in the offseason by deciding to 8,545 career passing yards and 76 career touchdown passes to Madison. The Wilson decision fills a major gap and weakness for Wisconsin. The schedule is manageable and the Leaders Division is weak, meaning the Badgers should be playing in Indianapolis with a chance to go back to Pasadena or better.

BadgerNation.com Recommended Stories


  • One of three players expected to sign with Wisconsin today, Brewster (NH) Academy three-star power forward Alex Illikainen's goal of playing college basketball in the Midwest was fulfilled by a…

  • Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Rusty Reeves predicts a heaping handful of players who will decline in the coming weeks. They should be downgraded at least one tier. Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler …

  • Best friends off the field and heated competitors on it, Wisconsin junior tailback Melvin Gordon and Nebraska senior running back Ameer Abdullah are always trying to push one another to be better…

  • Winners of four straight, No.22 Wisconsin needs a victory over No.11 Nebraska to remain in the driver's seat of the Big Ten West Division. Badger Nation gets the inside scoop on this week's opponent…

  • Finding just the right present for that special someone can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled a wide variety of hunting, fishing and outdoor gifts that you—or Santa—can deliver this Christmas.

Up Next


NFL great and five-time Pro-Bowler Troy Vincent has a son who has the tools to be something special.…

Tweets