It's business as usual for Wisconsin heading into Paul Chryst's third season as head coach.
The Badgers plowed through a ridiculous schedule last season to win the Big Ten West Division before falling 38-31 to Penn State in the Big Ten championship. Wisconsin, however, bounced back to beat Western Michigan 24-16 in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. Chryst is 21-6 the last two seasons, and with Alex Hornibrook back at quarterback the Badgers will be a popular pick to get back to Indianapolis for another shot at the Big Ten crown.
The Badgers are ranked No. 13 in Sporting News' Way-Too-Early Top 25, and here's a preview of Wisconsin's 2017 schedule, roster and biggest questions entering the season.
When is Wisconsin's spring game?
Wisconsin's spring game is scheduled for Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. CT) at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.
Where will Wisconsin's spring game be televised?
Wisconsin's spring game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
2017 Wisconsin football schedule
Sept. 1: vs. Utah State (Friday)
Sept. 9: vs. Florida Atlantic
Sept. 16: at BYU
Sept. 23: BYE
Sept. 30: vs. Northwestern
Oct. 7: at Nebraska
Oct. 14: vs. Purdue
Oct. 21: vs. Maryland
Oct. 28: at Illinois
Nov. 4: at Indiana
Nov. 11: vs. Iowa
Nov. 18: vs. Michigan
Nov. 25: at Minnesota
Dec. 2: Big Ten championship game
2017 Wisconsin recruiting class
Wisconsin did not have a composite Top 15 recruiting class. The Badgers' class ranked No. 39 on 247Sports.com. Four-star guard Kayden Lyles and four-star receiver Danny Davis are the top recruits in the class.
2017 Wisconsin roster
Wisconsin's spring and fall roster will be updated here.
Three things to watch
1. Who are the tackles?
It's arguably the most-important position at Wisconsin, and the standard is always high. Ryan Ramczyk departed for the NFL, and there will be a battle at both spots in the spring. Cole Van Lanen, David Moorman, David Edwards and Jacob Maxwell will be those in the mix in fall camp. The interior has more experience, but the objective for the Badgers is to mold a Big Ten championship-caliber offensive line that protects Hornibrook and opens up the running game. That starts in the spring.
2. Who carries the load?
Corey Clement (1,375 yards) and Dare Ogunbowale (506 yards) both are gone, so Bradrick Shaw appears next in line to be tailback at Wisconsin. That's another position that comes with a high standard. Shaw rushed for 457 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry last season, and he'll have competition from Taiwan Deal, among others. Shaw offered a sign of things to come with 15 carries for 62 yards in the Big Ten championship game. He should be in line for a big season if he takes advantage of it.
3. How will the linebackers regroup?
Wisconsin boasted one of the best defenses in the FBS last season, one that allowed just 15.6 points per game. The key was a group of linebackers that didn't miss a lot of tackles. T.J. Watt and Vince Biegel are gone, but leading tackler T.J. Edwards, who had 89 stops, and Jack Cichy, who had seven tackles for loss, are back. Safety D'Cota Dixon also returns after compiling 60 tackles and four interceptions. The Badgers will have their third defensive coordinator in three years because Justin Wilcox left to take the job at Cal, but there's familiarity with Jim Leonhard moving up from his spot as defensive backs coach.