No year zero in Madison: 10-plus wins, Big Ten West title; Fickell embraces expectations

swingman

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Wisconsin Badgers football coach Luke Fickell doesn’t run from high expectations.

Fickell was hired after three consecutive disappointing seasons of football in Madison. Paul Chryst is gone, the old ways for the Badgers are dead and fans have insanely high expectations going into the 2023 season.

There is real excitement around the program for the first time since when Russell Wilson transferred to the Wisconsin Badgers more than a decade ago.

Even before coaching a regular season game, Fickell is facing incredibly lofty expectations. With Tanner Mordecai under center and plenty of talent on the roster, fans expect a Big Ten West title at a minimum. Well, Luke Fickell isn’t scared at all.

“People ask, ‘Well, how do you handle expectations?’ There is nothing greater than having expectations. Let’s be honest. The internal pressure, the things that are put upon yourself, you get to find out who you are. You know, it’s much better than the other way. I know that. We love it. I love it,” Fickell told the media during a Monday press conference.

Fickell also said all the fun things Wisconsin has started doing under him, specifically highlighting recruiting on social media, is critical to “keep the energy of the program going” for everyone involved.

As a Wisconsin man, it’s great to see Luke Fickell address the issue head on and let fans know he’s going to embrace the high expectations the program is facing.

Look, Badgers fans have a lot of pride in the football program. For many people in the state, the Packers and Badgers dictate their schedules during the football season.

Fans simply won’t tolerate mediocrity. That’s what the program was sliding into under Paul Chryst and it cost him his job. Fans liked Chryst, but nobody shed a tear when he was fired.

Now, Luke Fickell must bring the Badgers back to where fans expect to be. That’s a minimum of 10 wins a year and competing for a B1G title more times than not. With an expanded CFP on the horizon, fans also expect to be in the field regularly.

Luke Fickell can and will get the job done, and as a fan, you want a coach who speaks bluntly about the situation.

Week one can’t get here fast enough. It’s time for the Wisconsin Badgers to wash away the memory of the last three seasons. As a Wisconsin man, I can’t wait.

 






mngolf

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What a load of shiite. Keyword there was insane.
 













99Gopher

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We'll see how this goes. It's one thing to be the top dog in the "The American" athletic conference and a whole new level to do it in the Big Ten. This was the Cinci 2022 schedule:

Cinci 2022 Schedule.png

The American conference isn't exactly a powerhouse when it comes to the level of competition. Anyone impressed with a 9-4 record against this list of teams. His 2022 Cinci SOS was 74th out of 131 FBS programs. I like to know how they were even ranked when they lost to the two ranked teams they played. They squeaked by a lot of teams.

I'm also not impressed with their defense as Fickel is bringing his Cinci defensive staff with him. They gave up a lot of points to average teams in the American. Don't underestimate the loss of Jim Leonard and the team having to learn a new scheme. I don't think they are bad this year, but I think Fickel could get a rude awakening what it's like to play a full Big Ten schedule. Plus he remembers it from the perspective of having OSU level talent. Should be interesting.
 
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btowngopher

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They will be good. If the gophers can finish ahead of them it would be a major accomplishment.
We have finished ahead of them the last two years. I guess it’d be a major accomplishment this year if you assume Wisconsin is going to be really good, but not sure why that would be assumed.
 

btowngopher

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They have replaced Nebraska as perennial off-season national champions
It really does feel similar. The assumption of the newcomers making a major difference before they actually do. The lack of all conference selections. The only returning player they have that made one of the three all big10 teams is Allen.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

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We have finished ahead of them the last two years. I guess it’d be a major accomplishment this year if you assume Wisconsin is going to be really good, but not sure why that would be assumed.
Agrees. Wouldn't it be a major accomplishment for them to finish ahead of us after being behind us for a couple years and then starting over with a new coach?
 

Gophers_4life

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wisconsin will be suddenly good because their fans don’t tolerate mediocrity. Got it.

They tolerated mediocrity (or worse) for about 70-80 years and they are capable of doing so again.
(I know you didn't mean it like this, but I just wanted to make the point. Not aimed at you!)

What can the fans really, actually do?

Did Gopher football have its run of mediocrity because the fans tolerated it?
 


RememberMurray

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Agrees. Wouldn't it be a major accomplishment for them to finish ahead of us after being behind us for a couple years and then starting over with a new coach?

Exactly.

If you go by recent history (Minnesota has beaten the Badgers two years running and 3 of the last 5) or by the current status of the two programs (Minnesota has an established, successful program while Wisconsin has an entirely new staff, many new players, and a new system to install), it seems to me that it would be "a major accomplishment" for Wisconsin just to win The Axe in 2023, not to mention get 10+ wins.
 


Dave H

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(I know you didn't mean it like this, but I just wanted to make the point. Not aimed at you!)

What can the fans really, actually do?

Did Gopher football have its run of mediocrity because the fans tolerated it?

Half of Gopherhole seems to think so ;) :unsure::ROFLMAO:
 

Plato

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There is not a shred of evidence that Fickell promised a certain number of wins next year.
What I do know is that he is the anti-Chryst when it comes to public relations, personality, recruiting, style of play, etc.
How that translates into the W/L record no one will know until next season is over.
 

PMWinSTP

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Exactly.

If you go by recent history (Minnesota has beaten the Badgers two years running and 3 of the last 5) or by the current status of the two programs (Minnesota has an established, successful program while Wisconsin has an entirely new staff, many new players, and a new system to install), it seems to me that it would be "a major accomplishment" for Wisconsin just to win The Axe in 2023, not to mention get 10+ wins.
So then, major disappointment if Gophs lose the axe in 2023?
 



PMWinSTP

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I don't know about "major" but it would be a disappointment.
Responding to RM who posted it would be a major accomplishment for Badgers to win the axe. Why wouldn't the opposite be true in that case?
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

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Responding to RM who posted it would be a major accomplishment for Badgers to win the axe. Why wouldn't the opposite be true in that case?
Well, the conversation was in response to someone who already said it would be a major accomplishment of us to finish ahead of Wisconsin. Not speaking for RM, but I would be majorly disappointed if we lost to a rival, who we seem to have finally moved ahead of, when they are rebuilding in the first year of a new coach. We could lose that game, and have the season turn out well enough that I am still pleased with it, but losing the Axe would definitely be majorly disappointing.
 

RememberMurray

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So then, major disappointment if Gophs lose the axe in 2023?

Huh? Where did I say that?

Minnesota has won two in a row and three of the last five against Wisconsin. I'm very, very proud of the program for that accomplishment. This team has re-established themselves as a true rival with Wisconsin.

That's not remotely the same thing as seeing it as a "major disappointment" if they should happen to lose an upcoming game against the Badgers. I'm glad the maroon and gold are competitive with the 'sconnies', and always root for the Gophers to beat them any given season. That's all.
 




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