On Saturday among comparable  Big(11)Ten conference programs, Iowa played Arizona, Minnesota played Cal, Michigan State played at Notre Dame, and Wisconsin played……… Wofford ?  As they used to ask musically on Sesame Street:  ” Which of these things is not like the others……?”  If Badger fans are going to be expected at considerable expense to watch mediocre football, at least provide them with a respectable opponent.  Since it was the first game of the last 42 in Madison that  failed to sell out, many others must feel the same way.

I’m not naive to the financial concerns of the UW Athletic Department and I understand in a pragmatic sense why such games are scheduled.  But if attendance drops substantially at Camp Randall (a very real possibility given the current state of the economy), the purpose of such scheduling becomes self-defeating at the expense of the program’s reputation.

 

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  • Chris

    I happened to be one of those in attendance yesterday, there on free tickets via my employer (who was unable to give them away to others).

    Sure, they won by 30 points and the outcome was never in question. But they looked sloppy in the process. I got the feeling that had last season’s Cal Poly team been on the field UW would have paid for its mistakes and, perhaps, lost. Wofford just didn’t have the juice to make it happen.

    I don’t think scheduling teams like Wofford will be the undoing of the football program at UW — most peer schools play down at least one game, and many of those in the Camp are there for an “Experience” more than for merely a football game. Still, what is going to empty the seats is losing football, and I am not sure the program is necessarily arcing up. They look to me pretty much like last year’s team, something I expect to be exposed when they start playing real teams next week.

    Should that happen, attendance will slip, not because they are playing teams like Wofford, but because the “Camp Randall Football Experience” is diminished by lousy play. After all, what point is there to jumping around when your team sucks?

  • http://mike BigSnakeMan

    In my estimation, the program isn’t served by playing cupcakes. It would be better to challenge themselves against better competition in order to set a higher standard for their players. Last year, they begged out of an early game against Va. Tech. that had generated a little nat’l buzz only to nearly fall on their face late in the season against Cal-Poly. They inflate their record in the short term but come up woefully short on a more prominent stage in the bowl game.