How would you rank the past 10 years of your college football program?
This is a question that the college football subreddit is currently fiercely debating, and it’s not a super easy question for me to answer as a Wisconsin man. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
Obviously, not counting 2020 because we’re one game into it, I can break the past decade of Wisconsin football into four tiers.
The top tier is set aside for seasons when we won the Big 10 or made an NY6 bowl game. This tier includes 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2019. Obviously, these aren’t equal seeing as how 2012 was a bad season, but we still managed to win the conference and go to the Rose Bowl.
The second tier is when we didn’t win the B1G, didn’t make an NY6 bowl game but won a decent amount of games with a solid bowl victory.
This would include 2014 and 2015. The third tier is when we were only slightly above average, won a decent amount of games and then lost in a solid bowl. The only year that fits here is 2013.
That leads me to the final tier, and it’s the year that gives me nightmares to this day. The fourth and final tier is reserved for when we were expected to win a national title, lost five games and then played in the Pinstripe Bowl.
I hate losing a hell of a lot more than I love winning. That might sound weird, but there’s a big difference between the two.
My low of lows after a loss is way deeper than my highest of highs after a win. I hate losing, and it bugs me for a long time.
Winning is great, and I get a lot of joy out of it. However, it doesn’t take long for me to move onto the next challenge.
Losses stick with me, especially when expectations are high. Wisconsin opened the 2018 season ranked fourth in America. Everyone thought we were going to dominate.
Instead, we lost to BYU, Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State and Minnesota. It was a disaster on so many different fronts.
I have vowed to do whatever is necessary to make sure a season like 2018 never happens again, and we’ve been pretty damn good ever since that disaster unfolded.
So, in closing, it doesn’t really matter what’s at the top of the list. What matters is what’s at the bottom of the list because that’s what you remember for a long time, and nothing will be worse than 2018.
Let us know in the comments how you’d grade your team’s past decade. I’m interested to hear what you have to say.