first_imgGo ahead, celebrate a Badger football victory — it’s much needed across the UW campus.Despite sitting just above UW in the Big Ten standings, it turned out the Hoosiers were the far worse team and IU’s offensive and defensive capabilities dwindled as the second half began Saturday.But don’t let this Hoosier beating fool you — the Badgers have a lot to work on and will again be tested this week by their archrivals, the Golden Gophers of Minnesota.That’s right, the same Minnesota team that went 1-11 a year ago now has a better record than Wisconsin and seems to be speeding up rather than slowing down.Oh, and that abysmal Gopher team last year only lost to Wisconsin by seven points, so winning at home is by no means a sure thing four days from now.But by this point in the season, with the Badgers locked into a sub-.500 record in Big Ten play, maybe the upcoming rivalry game is of little importance in comparison to other aspects of the team.With the chances of Wisconsin making a bowl game still looming in the realm of uncertainty, the Badgers absolutely need to win their next two games in order to keep their postseason hopes alive.Right now though, it shouldn’t be the most important thing on the coaches’ minds.Now is the time for the coaching staff to decide what’s more pressing at the moment: Going to a mediocre bowl game this year, or letting the underclassmen get a chance to show what they’ll bring to the table next season.Why not let Zach Brown and John Clay get the majority of the carries? Will the drop off be that significant from what we’ve seen from P.J. Hill this season?In Big Ten play, Hill has only rushed for over 100 yards twice, both in the past two weeks. Clay has been the more productive of the two, averaging 5.7 yards per carry — that’s a higher percentage than Hill has had in his entire UW career.Maybe the coaching staff putting in the younger players would essentially mean giving up on a lost season. Well, maybe after losing its first four Big Ten games and barely reaching the .500 mark overall with a veteran team is a pretty good sign that things aren’t the way they should be.Yes, there were a few mishaps before the second quarter came to a close in Bloomington.Junior quarterback Dustin Sherer threw an interception, while redshirt freshman Mario Goins and sophomore David Gilreath each had a turnover on special teams to give Indiana great field position multiple times during the first half.But those three players, all of whom will probably be in starting roles next season, have been gaining the experience needed to lead the team next year — that’s the direction the coaching staff should be heading in. But it doesn’t look like that will be the case as the season comes to a close.For now, it seems most Badger fans can hope that the football team wins out and goes to the Motor City Bowl. For this particular program, that’s not something to be proud of.Forget about Detroit. It’s time for the Badgers to salvage what they can out of this season and let the young talent play. If they do well, then all is great. If they don’t, at least they can get their first-game jitters out of the way in a virtually meaningless season.When picked by experts all around the country to finish toward the top of the Big Ten, it’s remarkable to realize that even the lowliest of bowl games is not yet set in stone but rather a mere possibility with only two games remaining.So about that 55-20 victory on Saturday. If that’s any indication of things to come, then Cal Poly won’t be too much of a struggle in the Badgers’ last week of play.Or maybe it will — UW football has already underachieved; maybe it will reach its all-time low in the coming weeks.Regardless, whether or not the coaches let the young players or the veterans deal with the adversity is the real question going into the last weeks of 2008 Badger football.Jonah is a sophomore hoping to major in journalism. Have your own thoughts on the football team? Is it time for the underclassmen to take over? He can be reached at read more

first_imgKick-off at the RDS is at 2:40 Munster won by 21-10 to secure their first win of the new Pro 12 season.CJ Stander and Simon Zebo scored Munster’s tries at the Stadio Monigo, with Ian Keatley contirbuting 11 points from the boot. Meanwhile, Leinster’s first home game of the season will see the Scarlets travel to Dublin this afternoon.last_img