MADISON, Wis. (BVM) – A 2022 season that saw a lot of ups and downs has finally ended for the Wisconsin Badgers. After a 2-3 start, the team fired head coach Paul Chryst, promoting defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard to the interim head-coaching role.
Leonhard went just 4-3 in the team’s final seven games, and while many expected the former Badgers player and assistant to get the full-time job, Wisconsin announced the hiring of Luke Fickell shortly after the conclusion of the regular season in November, stirring up plenty of mixed emotions for those around the program.
𝐀 𝐍𝐄𝐖 𝐄𝐑𝐀 𝚰𝐍 𝐌𝐀𝐃𝚰𝐒𝐎𝐍
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 27, 2022
Both Leonhard and Fickell were on the sidelines for Wisconsin’s final game of the year, a 24-17 victory over Oklahoma State in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
Luke Fickell calls Jim Leonhard up to the podium in his final game as Wisconsin's defensive coordinator. Really cool moment. pic.twitter.com/zff3EWbkTo
— Jesse Temple (@jessetemple) December 28, 2022
Although the year ended on a high note and the program looks to be headed in a positive direction already under Fickell, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the future. One key player who was missing from the Badgers’ bowl win was quarterback Graham Mertz, who entered the transfer portal shortly after the Fickell hire and has since landed at Florida.
Mertz was coming off a season in which he struggled yet again, throwing for 2,136 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, completing just 57% of his passes. While many Badger fans were ready to move on from Mertz after the season regardless, his departure leaves Wisconsin with a lot of inexperience in its quarterback room for 2023.
However, with Chase Wolf recently announcing he will be coming back for a sixth year, Myles Burkett returning, and a transfer and incoming freshmen making their way to Madison, it is a quarterback room that will also have a lot of potential. Here are the Badgers’ starting quarterback options for 2023.