What’s the best 2-loss team in college football? The Campus Insiders team debates in this roundtable.
It’s Wisconsin. The Badgers damn near beat Michigan in The Big House, and looked like the better team for the majority of the game against Ohio State this past Saturday. Of all the respectable two-loss teams in the nation, Wisconsin is the only one that hasn’t been physically dominated – isn’t that right FSU, Arkansas, Tennessee, Stanford, Oklahoma and UNC?*
My initial thought was Tennessee. Derek Barnett is playing himself into a first-round pick. Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara are a legitimate duo in the backfield when not banged up, and Joshua Dobbs has played much better than I anticipated he would this season. However, the Vols are hampered by injuries across the board. The same can be said for Florida State, both for its talent and its laundry list of injuries.
Therefore, college football’s best two-loss team right now is Wisconsin. The Badgers exposed both Michigan and Ohio State as beatable opponents. T.J. Watt has been a force, while Corey Clement could end up rushing for 1,000-plus yards and 10 touchdowns. The individual talent for FSU and Tennessee may be better, but the Badgers are the best two-loss team.
Perhaps I am exposing my Midwest roots here, but I have to go with Wisconsin. A case can be made for a few other two-loss squads–including former Badger head coach Bret Bielema’s Arkansas team–but Paul Chryst’s outfit went toe-to-toe with the two best teams in the Big Ten, Michigan and Ohio State, and nearly beat them. The inexperience of Alex Hornibrook showed in the setbacks to the Wolverines and Buckeyes, but the Wisconsin defense has been nasty. Throw in a win against a talented LSU team–despite the Tigers not living up to preseason expectations–and the Badgers are my pick as the best current two-loss squad.
I can pick Auburn? Really? That’s an option? Awesome. Putting my bias (and dreams) aside, I’m going with Wiscon … you know what? Screw it. I’m all in on the Auburn Tigers now that they seem to have the offense going. The defense has been spectacular, and the two losses are to Clemson and Texas A&M. Since Malzahn relinquished play-calling duties, both the aerial and ground attack have been solid. This team is poised for a big second half of the college football season*.
* You can totally email me and call me an idiot if the Auburn season goes into a downward spiral. I also accept homer.
It’s Wisconsin in a landslide. Losses to the current No. 2 and No. 3 college football teams in the country by a combined 14 points are more than forgivable while having to navigate through a difficult schedule. The Badgers switched from fifth-year senior Bart Houston to redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook at quarterback and still had Ohio State and Michigan on the ropes, even taking the Buckeyes to overtime. Their defense is one of the best in the country, yet only the third-best in their own conference. Unfortunately those two defeats mean Wisconsin needs help to reach the Big Ten title game, but if it does, winning a rematch with either Michigan or Ohio State isn’t out of the question.