Not here to vent or boast up with disappointment, and many other things. The seasons of the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers have ended. We know. Both had great seasons differently and seem to be on the adjust to change. Almost. However like any other fan/observer I will break down the reasons why from my point of view.
For the Badgers, I was sick and tired of hearing of the talk about “last year with the team and Russell Wilson”. Ok, I get it. We know! But that was last year. Last year they had a good rating, and this year not so much. But what about Joel Stave, and or Curt Phillips? Curt Phillips haven’t played ball in about 3 years due to surgeries. But he balled. Montee Ball, I think had one of best seasons and made a conscious decision of staying in Madison one more year before going to the NFL. Running backs James White, and Melvin Gordon are going to get the torch in the running game no doubt. Chris Borland and the rest of the pack who stepped up and played defense were solid I think. Of course this was the team that lost 5 games in and all, but and still made it to the Big Ten Championship and the Rose Bowl. Also the barn burner of all was having Bret Bielema leave Wisconsin after winning the Big Ten Championship, in which the Badgers slaughtered Nebraska 70-31. Many thought that a team like Wisconsin had no business being in a game like that due to their status in the Big Ten standings. Look here: If the Penn State Nittany Lions or the Ohio State Buckeyes had their NCAA stuff straighten out, then one of them would have represented in the Rose Bowl. Did either team went? No. So basically Wisconsin was just a runner up in terms of representing and controlling their own destiny.
About the Rose Bowl, fool me once – TCU.
Fool me twice – Oregon.
But three times?-Stanford.
I’m beginning to think when you win 3 Big Ten Titles, and lose 3 Rose Bowls, stalemate. But the part of losing the three Rose Bowls, don’t that tell you something? No question, Barry Alvarez was put in to coach. He had the knowledge in all. Many say that he should have stayed out of it and let Matt Canada per say take over. Alot of us thought including me thought that Barry Alvarez had the answers, but then came the questions, after the Rose Bowl loss to Stanford. I would beg to differ that Wisconsin is still a good football team. However any team would team, and I mean ANY TEAM has a right and need to “Change The Culture”. Still the Badgers are good contenders to win in Football games if they put up their full potential. Not hating. Just saying. Knowingly the Badgers have found a new coach, in which the same person that impressed Barry Alvarez, the former Utah State Coach, Garry Anderson. Let’s see if Coach Anderson can help or infuse a need to “Change the Culture” with Wisconsin in terms of the in thing now with the fast plays of the (Badger Barge) Wildcat Offense, and many others that teams are catching on. Including the Defense packages.
For the Packers: I would say that the Packers had a good season. Still repeated as NFC North Champions. Aaron Rodgers to me had a decent season. And to think that guys like Greg Jennings and/or Donald Driver would be suited for the last time. Plus, I don’t know if Jermichael Finley would be back, but I do know, that Randall Cobb will continue to be a threat on Special Teams and or the Offense. And to think that the rest of the Green and Yellow crew still have alot to prove like Clay Matthews, AJ Hawk and a revived Mason Crosby. Even in the upcoming off-season. I will say that the games that gave the Packers a hard road the most were indeed San Francisco. Not only with Alex Smith, but Colin Kaepernick? Here’s a tidbit for you, Colin Kaepernick grew up in my home city, Milwaukee and rooted/cheered for the Green Bay Packers. And to see Colin using his skills against the Packers in the recent Divisional Playoff game was I have to say was impressive. Even the GM’s of the Packers have to give him his props. (Jaw dropping) Now many others are going to say, who cares?!! It was the Green Bay Packers vs the San Francisco 49ers and they had a battle. Just like when Aaron Rodgers beat the Niners in Lambeau in the old school uniforms in 2010. It was my 34th Birthday FYI, and Aaron rooted for the 49ers as a young fan in California. Another team for the Hard Road: Seattle. That controversial ending still stings. No question the rivalry between the Seahawks and Packers will be down the road, and in the Packers minds, they want to right a wrong. And after the reaction of the players, the change was needed. Another Game: New York Giants. No comment. And lastly, the Minnesota Vikings. This game was more about Adrian Peterson getting the record in which he came nine yards short! But in the playoff game he got the record, but still lost “round 3”. The other games were just wins.
The main wins I think that stood out was against:
Bears – Sorry Chicago! One thing about the Old School Rivalry, these games are never easy. And the talk about them winning the Superbowl years ago was and still their best outlook. That was so 20+ years ago! It’s like hearing Al Bundy always talking about the 4 touchdowns in a single game. I’m sorry. OK, the last time the Bears went for broke against Green Bay: Lovie Smith did say he wanted to beat Green Bay. Done. Win the NFC Championship. Done. And the SuperBowl? Who won that at the time? Reference the Indianapolis Colts! In the same SuperBowl for the first time that the game featured two black coaches that know each other. All in Black History Month. Speaking of Lovie Smith, word is he is need of work. Green Bay, perhaps?
Houston- That bulls on parade stuff was not happening. But I’ll give JJ Watt and Owen Daniels props though. Just a thought, they played for Wisconsin.
Detroit-Same story and still cant get a win in Lambeau after what, 21+ years?!
Tennessee – Winning 55-7 was a cake walk.
And many other games that I can’t think of that stood out from an observers standpoint. Technically not a bad season, but still should have been an improvement. After all of this, what next for the Packers? Back to drawing board as usual. Or as I say on Twitter, next season please. Now that the seasons have been closed, I have to say this from a fan/observer standpoint: Change the Culture. Now I know there is going to be a question, but what does that mean? The term I’m using is from the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team after 2004 when the team came back with a Bronze Medal. At the time, many were questioning about the culture at the time being the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team and taking charge. That was reality in the face. The payoff in my view came true when the team not only had Kobe, but also generated a new Change in Culture in terms of being humble and not worry about the endorsements and more. Technically, they needed to change and still be a reckoning force in World Basketball. In other words, since the rest of the world caught up with the U.S. in Basketball, the U.S. basketball team had to change in order to prevail their status as gold medal contenders. I think that is what the Wisconsin Badgers Football Team, and the Green Bay Packers have to do in their games. Even if it’s to adapt to the style of these Wildcat Offenses, Pistol Offenses, mobile QB’s of Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick or even RGIII, and the defenses that are more jailbreaking and physical, then yes changes have to happen! I wonder that is what I think Dom Capers has to do. Possibly.
This is not my father’s NFL, this is the new NFL, and that training camp all started in the colleges where they went. So, yes I will say to the Packers and Badgers: “Change the Culture!”
- Packers’ Jennings, Driver consider their futures (jsonline.com)
- Tom Oates: Barry Alvarez shouldn’t have trouble finding a replacement for Bret Bielema (host.madison.com)
- Like or not, the Badgers are Rose Bowl bound, yet again. (smcclintonjr.wordpress.com)
- Gary Andersen not a great hire, but a good hire for the Wisconsin Badgers (thesportsbank.net)
- Packers’ Jennings, Driver contemplate their futures (jsonline.com)
- Green Bay Packers offseason Preview: Who Stays and Who Goes? (lombardiave.com)
- Green Bay Packers Should Hire Lovie Smith as Defensive Coordinator (rantsports.com)
- Report: Badgers’ AD Alvarez to coach Rose Bowl (tracking.si.com)