The Wisconsin Badgers are playing through their worst stretch of offensive football since 1990, the year the program’s savior and healer, Barry Alvarez, took over in Madison. 

Back in those days, Alvarez signed on to lead one of the Big Ten’s worst football programs. The Badgers had not had a winning season since 1984, and in the six intervening years they had won seven Big Ten games, in total. Wisconsin promptly went 1-10 in Alvarez’s first season. 

Now a fresh reminder of the bad old days has come as the Badgers matched a mark of futility from the ’90 season, scoring seven point or fewer across three consecutive football games. The most recent bout of offensive infertility occurred yesterday when the Iowa Hawkeyes—a team the Badgers went 0-17-1 against before winning in 1997—beat them 28-7 as a light snow fell inside Kinnick Stadium. 

The Badgers are 2-3 on the season and have had three games cancelled as a result of Covid-19 issues within their program. Their final game of 2020 will be a cross-division opponent as part of the Big Ten’s Championship Week. That opponent will be announced sometime in the coming hours or days.