Nebraska or Wisconsin? Josh Pate predicts which program fares better in Year 1 of a new head coach
Nebraska and Wisconsin have produced some of the major storylines in the B1G West this offseason with coaching overhauls. The Huskers tabbed Matt Rhule while the Badgers landed Luke Fickell to lead their respective programs forward.
With that in mind, it is fair to wonder which head coach will have the better year out of the gate during the 2023 season. In a recent segment, 247 Sports analyst Josh Pate listed the teams with first-year head coaches across the country and revealed he expects Fickell’s Badgers will have a better record than the Huskers this season.
“There are 5 teams here. Well, 4 teams I guess, with win totals higher than Nebraska,” said Pate in referencing the over/under numbers for first-year head coaches. “Nebraska’s is 6. Fickell in Wisconsin is all the way at 8.5. I don’t think this is gonna pan out, I don’t think Matt Rhule is gonna have the best year of any of these guys, so I’m gonna call this a 9.25 on the boldness scale only because I think Wisconsin at least will be better record-wise.”
Pate also referenced the fact Rhule has traditionally struggled in his first year at a new program though there is a hope that the transfer portal can change things this time around:
“Remember there’s that trend of Matt Rhule in Year 1 at new programs where it takes a year to really get things going,” said Pate. “There’s a thought out there — a hope in Lincoln — that with the transfer portal, what used to take 2 years now might be able to happen instantaneously. We’ll have to wait and see on that.”
Will Nebraska have the best record among P5 teams with first-year head coaches? 🤔@LateKickJosh has a hard time seeing Nebraska have a better record than Wisconsin 🗣️
— 247Sports (@247Sports) June 24, 2023