Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Another poor performance by Wisconsin.

In my recent post about how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will never be elected president, I mentioned several ways that Minnesota outperforms Wisconsin economically despite Minnesota having fewer people than Wisconsin. Maybe because I am not as big a sports fan as Mr. Torvik, I neglected to mention that Minnesota is apparently also historically better at college football than Wisconsin.

Matt Brown at Sports on Earth has done a ranking of the 100 best college football teams of all time. 100-76 are here, 75-51 are here, 50-26 are here, and 25-1 are here. Wisconsin has one team ranked in the top 100, the 1962 team that lost the Rose Bowl to USC is ranked as the 62nd best college football team. Among the schools that have more than one team ranked in top 100 are Northwestern and Yale.

Minnesota, on the other hand, has a whopping six teams ranked in the top 100 and one in the top 25. Only two of Minnesota's six teams are ranked below the only Wisconsin squad to make the list. My native state, Iowa, has three teams ranked in the top 100.  Although only the 1960 Iowa team rates higher than Wisconsin's entry.

I doubt Wisconsin's poor showing in the top 100 is another reason that Governor Walker will not be elected president. If it does maybe he can use the fact that none of the good Wisconsin football teams during Governor Walker's lifetime were ranked as proof of media bias against him.

What do you think Mr. Torvik?  Is Mr. Brown's analysis sound? Are you surprised that the Wisconsin teams of your lifetime did not make the list?


  1. I am quite confident that all of the best 100 college football teams played in the last 25 seasons or so, and therefore I think this list is stupid.

    But I was aware that Minnesota had a very old history of success in football, and that they claim several retroactively awarded "national championships." Lou Holtz also coached there for a couple of years. So they've got that going for them.

    Since I went to college, Wisconsin is 18-3 against Minnesota. Should be a good game this year, though!

  2. If you are talking simply in matters of size, then certainly the current Wisconsin squad would pummel the Yale teams on the list. But as the author of the list notes, the point is to try and find the most dominant teams of all time and he uses a system that attempts to control for what era they are playing in.

    I guess if we are using the "since I went to college" method, I'll point out that Iowa is 17-10 against Wisconsin.

  3. When I was 20 years old, Wisconsin was 1-17-1 against Iowa during my lifetime -- and that one win cam when I was 2 months old, in 1976.

    Since then, however, the Badgers are a respectable 10-6 in the series.

  4. One final factoid: Wisconsin's all-time record against Marquette: 32-4

    1. At football? I'm surprised they played that often given that Marquette quit fielding football teams in 1960

    2. Looks like it was a pretty regular affair- right up until the day Marquette canceled football out of the blue in 1960. Does look like they didn't play as much in the 20s and 30s when apparently Marquette was actually good. (This is all based on one JS online article I read)


Comments on posts older than 30 days are moderated because almost all of those comments are spam.