Wisconsin fell to 5-5 on the season and 3-4 in Big Ten play with its lifeless performance against Northwestern on Saturday.
There could be larger problems within the program at the moment than just a disappointing season. Luke Fickell took over, hired Phil Longo, led an excitement-filled offseason and doesn’t seem to have improved the team in any area.
Those program-wide discussions are conversations for the offseason. But for now, it’s time to accept how far this 2023 team has fallen.
Even several close losses weren’t enough to drop the group in ESPN’s SP+ metric. The 24-10 defeat at the hands of Northwestern has done that job, sending Wisconsin to No. 38 in the metric with the No. 82 offense and No. 6 defense.
WEEK 12 SP+ RANKINGS
* The Big 3 remains the Big 3 (with Oregon straining to keep up)
* The SEC's Blowout Saturday produced quite a bit of movement
* NMSU up, USC down
* CUSA > AAC
* Resume SP+ top 5: Mich, Ohio St, UGA, FSU, Oregonhttps://t.co/8nmbtC8RAw
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) November 12, 2023
I will throw a challenge flag at this one. In no world is this iteration of Wisconsin’s defense a top-6 unit. That is likely a result of too much history baked into the ranking. Because at the moment, this Wisconsin team looks nothing like the great Badger teams we got used to watching.
Things need to change. And things need to change fast.