Wisconsin tries to master transition game

August, 20, 2012
8/20/12
3:30
PM ET
Four Big Ten teams had massive coaching staff overhauls during the offseason. Three lost their head coaches. One won the Big Ten championship.

Wisconsin finds itself in an odd spot, having to replace six assistant coaches despite back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances. Head coach Bret Bielema is firmly entrenched in Mad City, but his program faces significant turnover on the staff as well as other new faces, such as that of new starting quarterback Danny O'Brien.

I write about the Badgers' approach to the transition game for today's Big Ten preview:
Why is Wisconsin so comfortable with all the new faces in the program? For starters, the Badgers don't have an identity crisis. They lost one of the nation's top playcallers in Chryst, but the offensive structure isn't changing. They lost one of the nation's top line coaches in Bostad, but they're still expected to have multiple linemen in the mix for national honors.

"The brand of football we play," Faulkner said, "is not going to change."

Wisconsin has had tremendous stability at the top -- two head coaches since 1990, both of whom are still with the program. Plenty of assistants have left, but the wins keep coming.

"Coaching's overrated at times," Azzanni said. "If you're saying it's all about coaching, then you're saying our players aren't very good. That's how I approach it with our wideouts. If your offensive coaching is so great and now there's new coaches and we're going to be awful, then that means you guys aren't very good either. It's about players. … Coach Bielema and Coach Alvarez have built a machine here.

"We just plug in the right people, the right fits and keep on the same path."
Check out the full story here.

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