3 Wisconsin Badgers football bold predictions for 2022 season
Regardless of just how many teams get added to the Big 10 conference, the Wisconsin Badgers will continue to be one of college football’s most consistent squads. Heading into their 2022 season, the Badgers have a few questions to answer, especially if they want to win their division.
WATCH 2022 COLLEGE FOOTBALL LIVE
The Badgers have produced seven-consecutive winning seasons under Paul Chryst, and the offensive mind that leads Wisconsin is back again to try and improve upon their 2021 9-4 record. Winning the Las Vegas Bowl over Arizona State was a nice finish to a trying season, but this team is capable of much more than that.
Watch college football games live with fuboTV (click here for a free trial)*
Wisconsin Badgers 2022 Season Predictions
3. Bobby Engram & Jim Leonhard will coach three All-Americans
Remember these three names, because by the end of the season, they will all be All-Americans: Nick Herbig, Braelon Allen, Joe Tippmann.
Herbig, who will be coached by Jim Leonhard, was named to the Bednarik Award watch list this offseason, and he has a great shot at winning it. Helping anchor one of the nation’s best defensive units top to bottom, Herbig will be able to expand upon his league-leading pass rush skills, turning them into All-American honors.
Allen is just another other strong running back to come to UW and make a name for himself, as he did last year as a freshman. Over 1,100 yards and 12 TDs made up Allen’s freshman campaign, monstrous numbers for an 18-year-old back playing in one of the nation’s toughest conferences.
Tippmann has a chance to continue the NFL pipeline of offensive linemen that the Badgers have established, and his Outland Trophy watch list inclusion is very much justified. Also named to the Rimington Award watch list, Tippmann’s experience on the line will be a huge help for his QB and RB.
2. Graham Mertz fails to solidly grab the starting role
Securing the commitment of four-star QB Graham Mertz was an absolute coup for Chryst, as big-name signal callers commonly pass up the Badgers. But so far during his career, Mertz has failed to really show why he was ranked so highly in high school.
Heading into the third full season of Mertz as the starter, the Badgers have struggled, with Mertz’s inability to shoulder the load of the passing game as a big reason why. Even with a new offensive coordinator in Bobby Engram, Mertz may still struggle this season, potentially paving the way for Bucky to look to the transfer portal next offseason.
Last season saw Mertz throw for 1,821 yards, 9 TDs, and 10 interceptions, numbers that certainly look as bad as they were. He did show some signs of growth along the way, but his high turnover numbers make it tough to predict that he will finally make that next jump.
1. Braelon Allen cements UW as RBU and wins the Heisman Award
With Lamar Jackson currently holding the title of the youngest player ever to win the Heisman, Allen would be quite the polarizing winner this year if he is able to replicate Jackson’s age-19 success. But with a few tweaks to his game and changes to the offense around him, Allen certainly is capable of doing that.
A key part that Allen needs to work on is his involvement in the passing game. Having only caught six passes last season, Allen will need to not only be in on more plays with routes but also hone his craft and develop into more of a bonafide dual-threat option.
The rushing ability is definitely there for Allen, but if he expands into being a solid pass-catching option for the Badgers (something that will also fall on Engram’s shoulders with play-calling), then the chances of him being the first Badgers running back to win the Heisman since 1999.