Does Wisconsin have enough talent to win a national title?

Success in college football can be attributed to many things. It can come as a result of culture, coaching, player development, specific moments and even luck. There is nothing, however, with a more strict cause-and-effect relationship than recruiting success and winning national titles.

A main talking point of Wisconsin Athletic Director Chris McIntosh, new Head Coach Luke Fickell and members of the new coaching staff has been the program will compete for and win championships. Whether it’s Big Ten championships or national titles, McIntosh has set a duantingly-high standard for the new regime.

Getting to and winning a national title will be a step-by-step process for the Wisconsin program. There is a recent trend of losing the Big Ten West to reverse, that before reversing a longer history of losing the conference title game, that also likely before an appearance in the College Football Playoff, and so on.

This is not an article to predict what will or will not happen when the 2023 Badgers take the field against a relatively poor schedule with all of the in-house changes that have been made.

Instead, this is an article to simply point out a longstanding trend in the sport that says 2023 is way too early for a national title to be the expectation. I’m just the messenger.

The trend is a metric coined by 247Sports and CBS Sports’ Bud Elliott: the Blue-Chip Ratio. In simple terms, no team has won a national title in the online recruiting rankings era without at least 50% of its roster consisting of blue-chip talent — 4-star and 5-star recruits.

Some teams not at that threshold have played for a championship, 2022 TCU being the most recent example. But none belowthe 50% threshold have ever won it.

After all of the additions through the portal, the 2021 recruiting class still on campus and with the 2023 Badgers set to be talented all over the field, did Wisconsin make this year’s list? Unfortunately not.

This year’s list is Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Texas A&M, Clemson, LSU, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Notre, Dame, Florida, Miami, Penn State, Michigan, USC and Auburn.

For reference, Wisconsin’s highest recruiting output to this date was the 2021 class. It finished with a Blue-Chip Ratio (BCR) of 26%. The BCR of the incomplete 2024 class which Fickell has done an impressive job of building: 16%.

This is not written to doubt what Wisconsin can achieve this season or in the future under Luke Fickell, but rather to point out the importance of the recruiting trail and transfer portal in today’s world. Fickell and his staff have done a commendable job acquiring talent in a short time frame to compete this season. That standard of talent will need to be raised even further before the program reaches the pinnacle of the sport.

Football is still football, and the games need to be played on the field. But Wisconsin likely will not be mentioned in the class of Alabama and Ohio State until some of the three-stars become four-stars and the program raises its recruiting floor and ceiling. If Fickell does that, it could very well be the most impressive coaching job the sport has seen.

Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire