Big Ten media days begin Monday. You've got one more weekend, then it's wall-to-wall football talk, followed by the opening of camps and then, finally, actual games.
Before media days get started in Chicago, we've been going through a list of the hottest topics each team will be addressing from the assembled reporters. Rounding out the series is Wisconsin, which is bringing linebacker Vince Biegel, running back Dare Ogunbowale and cornerback Sojourn Shelton, along with head coach Paul Chryst.
1. What's going on in the backfield?: The main questions surrounding the Wisconsin Badgers right now involve two of the most high-profile positions: quarterback and running back. Senior Bart Houston has the edge in replacing longtime starter Joel Stave under center, but redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook has the talent to overtake him, potentially. Neither one is a proven commodity. At running back, Wisconsin has several more experienced options. Ogunbowale was a pleasant surprise last year, rushing for 819 yards and seven touchdowns. Corey Clement could regain the form that once had him headed for stardom, while Taiwan Deal is pushing for carries as well. How will it all shake out?
2. Life after Aranda: Wisconsin's biggest offseason loss was arguably that of defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who left for the same post at LSU. Under Aranda, the Badgers fielded some of the best defenses in the country the past few years. Justin Wilcox, who was a rising star before hitting a bump in the road at USC, now takes over and will try to continue that success. Replacing All-American linebacker Joe Schobert won't be easy, but Biegel looks ready to dominate as a senior. Still, Aranda's creativity on that side of the ball could be missed.
3. Can they survive that schedule?: LSU. At Michigan State and Michigan. Ohio State. At Iowa. That's five of the first seven games for the Badgers, as tough as an opening stretch as perhaps any Big Ten team has faced in years. Wisconsin can only play them one week at a time, as Chryst will likely remind us, but everyone is well aware of how tough this road could be. Can the Badgers survive it, physically, mentally and in the won-loss ledger? Or will a program that has been so consistent in recent years find itself struggling just to reach bowl eligibility in 2016?