Last Sunday Wisconsin hired Luke Fickell to be their next football coach. Luke spent the last six years at Cincinnati. He leaves with a 57-18 record. In 2021, he took the Bearcats to the college football playoffs. It was the first time a group of five team made it to the playoffs. 2017 was his worst year, where he went 4-8. Since 2018, he has never finished with less than nine wins. The year Cincinnati went to the playoffs they finished the season at 13-1.
Everybody in the state of Wisconsin thought Jim Leonard was going to be Wisconsin’s permeant head coach. He is from Wisconsin, played at Wisconsin, and coached at Wisconsin. Jim seemed to be the obvious choice. Coach Leonard went 4-3 this year after taking over for coach Chyrst. Wisconsin made it to a bowl game for the 21st straight year. Athletic director Chris Macintosh had other plans.
Chris Macintosh took a huge swing and hit a home run with hiring Fickell. He made a unpopular decision, by not hiring Jim Leonard. Luke has more experience, being a head coach, and he has won a lot of games. Jim Leonard will be a great head coach somewhere, but Wisconsin needed a change of direction. What they have been doing for the last 25 years has gotten them to the Big Ten Championship game, but that is it. If Wisconsin wants to go to the playoffs, they need to have a balance offense plus a great defense. Their offense in the last few years have not been up to par.
Now with coach Fickell, we should have a balance offense and great defense. His team averaged 250 yards a game this year in the air. Graham Mertz has thrown for that, in a handful of games, in his three years. Wisconsin is know for running the ball. If they add a passing game, they should make the playoffs.