Football season is right around the corner and I was wondering how people see the WIAC shaping up this year.
This is how I see it.
2014 WIAC standings
1. UW Whitewater: After a down 2012, the Warhawks rebounded in a big way winning yet another D3 title. They are the unanimous #1 team in the country heading into the season as well they should be. Coach Leopold has a great squad once again who should have no problem going unbeaten again and finding themselves in yet another title game.
2. UW Oshkosh : They enter the season ranked 18th in the nation and many see them finishing 3rd or fourth in the conference I am picking them to finish second. They lost offense and defensive talent but bring back just as much defense last year to cover up some offensive flaws. The one thing they have going for them is they play whitewater and Platteville 2 of their last three games. That means any flaws they can have figured out by then, and going 1-1 in those games should get them in playoffs. Coach Cerroni has done a miraculous job here and will continue to put a competive playoff caliber squad out there.
3. UW Platteville: The Pioneers had a great run last year making it to level 3 in playoffs before bowing out. They enter this season #8 in nation. They will have to go through UWW and UWO to make playoffs, and as good of talent as they have up and down their roster I think they just miss playoffs losing to Oshkosh on the final game to get booted. Don't get me wrong they can make a run, but it will be tough.
4. UW Stevens Point: The Pointers have been down in recent years, but coach Journell saw his squad show signs of life last year. They will have a good offense once again this year, the only question is can they get defensive stops and help this year. They brought in some decent recruits and I see this team as a team on the rise in the WIAC.
5. UW La Crosse: Coach Detwieller has always had talent and has always known how to utilize that, but the top of this conference is so much better than anyone else that it doesn't show. THis year he will have to have his eagles scratch and claw just to avoid the bottom third of the league. They will have a disappointing season in coaches mind, but will grow as season prolongs.
6. UW Stout: After 3 straight disappointing years, Coach Birmingham May have more smiles this year. They have been bringing in a lot of good recruits recently and this year you may see some of them starting to develop. If they can expect stout to be scary in the future, if not a new coach may be on the horizon.
7. UW Eau Claire: The bluegolds were always a great team early on in coach Glasser's career, but as other teams got better his didn't. Now with the top of the league so good, it is hard to get back to that elite status. Eau Claire will try and improve on a terrible campaign last year but it will be hard as it seems every other team may have improved from last year.
8 UW River Falls: I hate to do this to coach Walker and his program, but I have too. They appeared to be on the right track in recent years as a team that could move up in the standings. Now their was some off season talk going on with some in house issues with the coach I believe? I don't know the whole story, but I see that being a season long distraction. If that is the case it will be disaterous for the Falcons and you will probably see a new coach next year and this team will be in for a rude awakening for 4-5 years