Wisconsin Badgers 2017 Football Schedule and Analysis

The Badgers should have an easier slate than the gauntlet they had to run in 2016

When it comes to strength of schedule, you'd be hard-pressed to top the road the Wisconsin Badgers had to navigate in 2016. But in true Wisconsin fashion, all they did was win on the way to a Big Ten Championship Game appearance.

 

Related: Wisconsin Badgers 2017 Spring Football Preview

 

As for 2017, a couple of games against teams from the state of Utah along with what should be a yawner against Florida Atlantic will serve as an early-season tune-up for the Badgers. Their conference schedule – as are most in the Big Ten – looks formidable, but much more manageable than what they faced a season ago. The Badgers also get a week off to prepare for their conference slate after wrapping up the non-conference schedule.

 

2017 Wisconsin Badgers Schedule

 

Bye: Week 4

 

Wk Opp. Date Location
1.

Sept. 2

Madison, WI

The Aggies have become a bit of a tough out over the years, but had a rough go of it in 2016. Head coach Matt Wells will be looking to improve on last season’s 3-9 showing but his team will have its work cut out for it in their opener at Camp Randall Stadium.

2.

Sept. 9

Madison, WI

The Badgers welcome new FAU head coach Lane Kiffin to town. If nothing else, this will be a game that keeps the Wisconsin defense on its toes, thanks to both Kiffin's creative mind and the underrated athletes the Owls have at the skill positions.

3.

Sept. 16

Provo, UT

Wisconsin makes its first road trip of the season, and it won't be easy. BYU returns a seasoned team whose core was a part of nine wins in 2016.

5.

Sept. 30

Madison, WI

Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcat's are always ready for a fight and 2017 will be no different. Veterans at quarterback and running back will keep Northwestern competitive in most games, including this one against the Badgers.

6. Oct. 7 Lincoln, NE

Mike Riley has slowly filled the Nebraska offensive depth chart with guys who fit his system. On defense, the Huskers are transitioning to a 3-4 defense led by new coordinator Bob Diaco. There's no telling how good – or bad – this season's version of Nebraska could be.

7.

Oct. 14

Columbus, OH

A sneaky-talented Purdue squad will be tough to put a bead on in under first-year head coach Jeff Brohm. The Badgers shouldn't have any issues getting the win, but the trip to Nebraska the previous week could have lingering effects.

8.

Oct. 21

Madison, WI

Maryland head coach DJ Durkin is quietly building a competitive roster in College Park, but the Terrapins are still a season or two away from being a consistent threat to a program like Wisconsin.

9.

Oct. 28

Champaign, IL

As many expected, Lovie Smith is still climbing uphill in an effort to get the Fighting Illini relevant and competitive again. Like Maryland and Purdue, Illinois is not yet a real threat to the Badgers.

10.

Nov. 4

Bloomington, IN

The departure of head coach Kevin Wilson and subsequent hiring of Tom Allen should not change a whole lot about Indiana's offensive attack in the short term. If anything, the Hoosiers may become more defensive-minded in their approach.

11. Nov. 11 Madison, WI

Once again, this will probably be like looking in the mirror for the Badgers. Iowa should have some stability at quarterback by the time these two meet in what promises to be another physical matchup between the last two champions of the Big Ten West.

12. Nov. 18 Ann Arbor, MI

Any reloading Jim Harbaugh has to do thanks to the mass exodus of talent from a season ago should be complete by the time this game takes place. This could be the first of two meetings between the Badgers and Wolverines.

13. Nov. 25 Minneapolis, MN

Records won't matter in this one, as new Golden Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck will inject his energetic personality into his team and have them up for every games – especially this season-ender against a hated rival.

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 08:08

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