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Wisconsin got a good coach too

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All American
15 Year Member
We shall find out who is better in a few years. On the surface, looks like both schools hired well. The field will decide it. Let’s see what’s happening in a few years.


All Big 10
20 Year Member
Chryst? What if he ends up being their version of Frank Solich?

I don’t think that Fickell will end up being their version of Bill Callahan, though, so it will probably work out for them. But firing a successful coach and hiring someone else is not necessarily the pathway to greater success.
I think this will be a very interesting experiment ... Fickell is a good if not great coach, he may be a slightly more desired coach than Matt Rhule.

But I do think that Wisconsin is undertaking a dramatic shift in culture.

The whole Alvarez-Bielema-Chryst era was built on a certain style of football. A (1) run centric, (2) OLine centric, (3) QB game manager and (4) light's out defense. They not only built their game plan on that strategy but also built their recruiting, S&C and development programs on that style of football.

When Chryst essentially fired Rudolph he announced his intention to change strategies. Recruiting fell off and the whole Graham Mertz experiment failed.

Now Fickell comes in ... Chris McIntosch UW's AD is announcing his un-Wisconsin-like intention to move on from the style that has become the DNA of the Wisconsin program. Can the rest of the organization adapt? Will the walk-on program adjust? Will S&C take these corn-fed walk-on Wisconsin linemen and make AA's out of them?

It seems simple but the one thing about Wisconsin that has persevered in the 2000's is consistency. They have essentially been the same thing the last 20 years. Does Fickell tweak but keep that DNA or does he "modernize" and will the infrastructure, leadership and state embrace that change?
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2 Year Member
Kind of feel like our "rivalry" will organically grow into Nebraska-Wisconsin. The Red Rivalry! Rather than the media fabricated Nebraska-Iowa rivalry.


Red Shirt
Fickell did a really good job at Cincinnati. He was there long enough and had enough success that you'd feel pretty good about what you are getting if you are Wisconsin.

That said, Cincinnati isn't the worst setup there is. Cincinnati is in a solid place for recruiting (Ohio is a good football state- especially the city of Cincinnati). It isn't a place that has been void of success prior to Fickell. Cincinnati has posted 10+ win seasons in 8 of the last 15 seasons (plus three 9-win seasons). While we've seen that success in the American Conference does always translate (Frost), I think the sample size and philosophy make you feel like it will be a pretty good fit.

What I will find most interesting is if Fickell tries to change what Wisconsin football is? For years now, they've been a line up and run behind a big bruising line and strong defense. Fickell being a defensive guy, I would think would keep the defense strong, but what will their offense look like? When Ridder was at Cincy, the spread things out a bit.

Wisconsin has an identity. I'm not saying that changing that identity would be wrong, but it does definitely cause some extra bumps in the road.


Red Shirt
Kind of feel like our "rivalry" will organically grow into Nebraska-Wisconsin. The Red Rivalry! Rather than the media fabricated Nebraska-Iowa rivalry.
I've always felt more of a rivalry with Wisconsin, I'm not sure how much that is reciprocated on their end. Our volleyball bouts certainly add to that rivalry.

I think the Iowa rivalry is a bigger deal to people that live in the area, but as a fan who lives outside Nebraska, I don't hold it in the same regard.
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