Editorial

Wisconsin Needs To Do Some Serious Soul-Searching After Embarrassing Loss To Illinois

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

The Wisconsin Badgers need to figure out who we want to be after a humiliating 23-22 loss to Illinois on Saturday.

As I sat in a bar watching the game with co-workers after dominating in our office football game, I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

What happened on that football field in Champagne yesterday wasn’t Wisconsin football. That wasn’t what being a Badger was all about. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)

I didn’t see a dominating team. I saw a team that thought they were going to get a glorified televised practice ahead of playing Ohio State.

I saw a team that was looking ahead, and as a Wisconsin man, I will never accept overlooking an opponent. As I wrote about for the game, I wasn’t overlooking Illinois.

I respect every opponent. I’m not sure what we saw on the field yesterday mirrors my mentality.

 

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There need to be some serious changes made, and that’s 100% on Paul Chryst to get done. Am I going to pretend like I know what the solution is?

No, I’m not. What I do know is Jack Coan’s play down the stretch yesterday was simply unacceptable. To paraphrase Herb Brooks, we won’t be a good team let alone a great team with that kind of play.

And stop sending me stats about how he was on third down. Yes, that’s impressive, but he threw one of the worst interceptions I’ve ever seen, which allowed Illinois to essentially win the game. That interception wasn’t on anybody other than him.

Now, we have Ohio State next weekend. If we win out, beat OSU twice and finish 12-1, we’re still probably going to the playoffs.

However, I’m not even going to speculate on that right now. I just want to see improvement. This is a gut check moment for my Badgers.

We’re either going to wake up and fight forward, or we’re going to crumble. All I know is that the Miracle on Ice team lost to the Soviet Union in an exhibition game 10-2 a couple weeks before beating them. Read into that as much as you’d like, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be the person who starts betting against Wisconsin.

Hit the music!

P.S.: Props to me for being critical of my own house when I see problems. Many people would run for the hills after losing to Illinois. I’m not most men. I’m David Hookstead, and I’ll fight a million wars on a million fronts for my guys.