Bret Bielema’s false bravado

Bret Bielema thinks that when it comes to scheduling a quality non-conference opponent, Wisconsin is too pretty for its own good.

Bret Bielema believes one of the factors preventing the University of Wisconsin from playing a marquee nonconference opponent during the regular season is the Badgers’ home record. Bielema reminded reporters Monday during the first day of the Big Ten Conference preseason football meetings that UW is a combined 30-3 at home over the last five seasons.

“That really becomes evident when we try to schedule nonconference opponents and we try to go after a certain caliber of opponents,” Bielema, 28-11 in three seasons as UW’s head coach, said of the Badgers’ home record since 2004. “In the beginning they start to get intrigued and they are interested in coming.

“But when we start to talk about home-and-home . . . all of a sudden it’s not as good a deal as they thought.”

So exactly which schools outside the Big Ten has Wisconsin built that intimidating record against?  Here’s a list of the non-conference opponents UW has hosted in the past five seasons:  Central Florida, UNLV, Bowling Green, Temple, Bowling Green, Western Illinois, San Diego State, Buffalo, Washington State, The Citadel, Northern Illinois, Akron, Marshall and Cal Poly.  The record against that murderers’ row (only one BCS-conference school)?  14-0.

I am curious which schools Bielema is referring to as being scared off.  All I know is that were I the head coach or athletic director at a competent BCS-conference school, Wisky’s last home effort against a non-conference opponent wouldn’t exactly have me running for the hills.

By the way, it’s not totally on point, but Steele ranks Wisconsin’s home winning percentage for the decade as only 33rd best in the nation over that time.

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5 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Blowing Smoke

5 responses to “Bret Bielema’s false bravado

  1. G.O.B.

    Let’s pit Richt’s road record against their home record and see what happens. I’m game for a home-and-home.

  2. Ben in Georgia

    In all fairness though, why shouldn’t potential non-conference foes consider Wisconsin’s home record vs. other Big Ten teams? If they’re beating better teams on a regular basis at home (just assuming that the potential teams Bielema’s speaking of are generally worse than the likes of Penn St, Michigan, Ohio St, Illinois, etc.), perhaps he does have a point.

    But as Steele pointed out, there may not be much to that anyways.

    • The Badgers lost to Ohio State and Penn State at home last year, and didn’t cover the spread in either case (PSU essentially demolished them).

      Their other home loss in the last five years was to an unranked Iowa team in 2005.

      This team simply wasn’t very good last year, as the 7-6 final mark indicates. So I’m amused by Bielema’s chest beating.

  3. Dog in Fla

    I say we pay no attention to Bilemia until he tells us how he voted on Tebow.

  4. Wolfman

    Apparently UW had a contract with Virginia Tech that didn’t work out, although the rumor up here is that the Badgers are the ones who backed out. That’s what leads to the games like the one you linked against Cal Poly, which make no sense. I had the “pleasure” of being at that game, which, presumably due to having to find a team fast because others were “scared off”, was the last game of the season. The only reason they won that game was because the CP kicker missed an extra point in regulation and another in overtime.

    It was, in fact, not very scary at all. As fun as Madison is, intimidating isn’t the word I’d use. This sounds to me like a last ditch effort from Bielema to keep his job.