Michaels: Wisconsin lands at 7 on preseason top-10 list

John Michaels
August 06, 2018 - 10:05 am
Wisconsin Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor

© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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Wisconsin was 13-1 and oh, so close to the College Football Playoff in 2017. That would have been a great year for most teams. But for my No. 7 team, the Badgers will look back and think about what could’ve been.

Positives: Johnathan Taylor is a top-5 Heisman contender and is coming off a brilliant debut in college football with 2,016 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. Wisconsin loves to play behind a big physical offensive line, so look for Taylor to put up huge numbers again. Four upper classmen and a talented sophomore man the front-5. Also returning are six of the top seven returning receivers, including Quintez Cephus, who is a big play waiting to happen.

Negatives: Alex Hornibrook had a marvelous Orange Bowl with four touchdown throws, but must get more consistent. If he can propel the offense, Wisconsin will go to another level. The defense only returns four starters, so it will rely on a bunch of new faces. Trips to Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern and Penn State could define the season.

Look for Wisconsin to be in the mix again to play in the Big 10 Championship game.