The situation at Wisconsin was getting increasingly worse. After so much early success for Paul Chryst at Wisconsin, the program has gone downhill. Chryst was firmly on the hot seat t to be let go at the end of the season.
But, Wisconsin was blown out 34-10 in week 5 by Illinois and former head coach Bret Bielema. Most embarrassingly, the Badgers only rushed for TWO yards against the Illini, despite the entire program being built on running the ball. It was the third straight loss for Wisconsin, and clearly Wisconsin brass felt like they had to do something.
Wisconsin has fired Paul Chryst
Sunday evening, a shockwave went through the college football world.
SOURCE: Paul Chryst is out as #Wisconsin coach. Jim Leonhard will be the team's interim coach. Announcement will be coming shortly.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 2, 2022
What a scoop by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg.
I am stunned that Wisconsin made the move right now. Yes, they’ve lost three in a row. But, the Big Ten West is still up for grabs as they only have two divisional losses and it’s almost certain whoever wins the division will have at least two. Wisconsin fans were almost unanimously happy.
Better late than never… but still a year too late
— Phil Giuffre (@Phil_Giuffre) October 2, 2022
LET'S F****** GO
— Mike Hughes (@Sgt13Echo) October 2, 2022
Star defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard will serve as the interim coach. He figures to be a candidate for the job, too.
But, there are some other names being thrown around to be the next coach in Madison.
There are some intriguing options for the Badgers
As I said, Leonhard is going to be given a chance to earn this job permanently. But, if not, there is one candidate that stands above the rest.
If you're a Nebraska fan, you might want to root for Jim Leonhard to win almost all of those seven games–save for the Nov. 19 game in Lincoln–so the Badgers don't try and hire Wisconsin native Lance Leipold before the Huskers could.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) October 2, 2022
That candidate is Lance Leipold of Kansas. Of course, any team in the country with an opening will be interested in him. He’s turned Kansas around in less than two years and the Jayhwakws are 5-0 right now and ranked in the top 20. But, it makes even more sense than that. Leipold grew up in Wisconsin and was the head coach at his alma mater, Division III power Wisconsin-Whitewater. All he did there was go 109-6 in eight seasons and he won six national titles there. The guy can flat-out coach.
Some other names are being mentioned, too.
Wisconsin should call
Who else ??
— CFBTalkDaily (@CFBTalkDaily) October 2, 2022
But, it seems clear that the top candidate will be Leipold unless Jim Leonhard wins out as interim coach.
This is already the fifth job opening in in the power five. It joins Nebraska, Arizona State, Georiga Tech and Colorado.