It’s never too early to look ahead to 2023 bowl season, especially with the offseason Wisconsin football has had.
A return to a more prestigious bowl game feels likely as the Badgers have put together an offseason full of changes.
Brad Crawford of 247Sports recently released a batch of way-too-early bowl projections for the 2023 season, and he has Wisconsin matching up with an ACC squad in a historic New Years Day bowl in 2023.
Can Wisconsin return to a big-time bowl game in Luke Fickell’s first year at the helm? Here is a look at where the Badgers and the rest of the Big Ten land in 247Sports’ early projections:
Music City Bowl: Iowa vs Florida
Nov 12, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Riley Moss (33) and defensive back Kaevon Merriweather (26) carry the Heartland Trophy after the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
It will have to be a new-look offense for an Iowa team that struggled on that side of the ball last year. Does Cade McNamara at quarterback change things for the Hawkeyes?
Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Michigan State vs. Texas Tech
Dec 26, 2022; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running backs Braelon Allen (0) and Chez Mellusi (1), coach Luke Fickel,receiver Chimere Duke (13), linebacker Maema Njongmeta (55) and safety John Torchio (15) pose with trophy during Guaranteed Rate Bowl media day at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
This should sound familiar for Badger fans. Wisconsin are the reigning Guaranteed Rate Bowl champions after they defeated Oklahoma State in the 2022 edition.
247Sports sees the Spartans representing the Big Ten in 2023.
Dec 27, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Jordan Turner celebrates with the trophy after defeating the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2022 Guaranteed Rate Bowl at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Badgers in the Orange Bowl would be a serious step up from last year. Florida State is a team with real College Football Playoff aspirations in 2023.
Sugar Bowl (CFP Semifinal): Ohio State vs Georgia
Sep 24, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Cade Stover (8) celebrates the touchdown catch during the first quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
There will be some changes for Ohio State, most notably at quarterback, but 247Sports sees some things staying the same.
Rose Bowl (CFP Semifinal): Michigan vs USC
Apr 2, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh listens in as quarterback Alan Bowman (15) huddles up the offense during the Spring game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Wolverines would return to the CFP for the third straight year if this is the case. Michigan is 0-2 in those two previous appearances, having lost to TCU on New Year’s Eve 2022.