Wisconsin football: Badgers RB speaks out about Paul Chryst’s firing

Braelon Allen, Wisconsin Badgers. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
Braelon Allen, Wisconsin Badgers. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Wisconsin football star Braelon Allen spoke out about Paul Chryst being let go on Sunday.

It came as quite the shock when Paul Chryst was fired as the head coach of the Wisconsin football program on Sunday afternoon, in the middle of a Green Bay Packers game nonetheless.

The Packers played Jump Around at Lambeau right around the time news broke that Chryst was being let go at his alma mater. While most people expect interim head coach Jim Leonhard will get the gig full-time this offseason, not everybody was thrilled over Chryst getting the ax. Wisconsin fell to 2-3 after getting embarrassed vs. former head coach Bret Bielema’s Illinois Fighting Illini.

Badgers star running back Braelon Allen put it bluntly on Twitter about the major coaching change.

Wisconsin football star Braelon Allen speaks out about the Paul Chryst firing

While Chryst should not have much of an issue finding a new team to lead next year, if that is the route he wants to go, Wisconsin football has not been the same program since the COVID year. Chryst came over from Pitt and helped re-established a strong identity of ground-and-pound offense and an opportunistic defense. Unfortunately, most of the Big Ten West has leveled up…

Although Nebraska has been a tire fire over in Lincoln, Minnesota is humming under P.J. Fleck, Illinois is finding its footing under Bielema and Purdue is an incredibly tough out under Jeff Brohm. You also have two hall-of-fame head coaches in the division in Kirk Ferentz at Iowa and Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern. In essence, the easy wins in Big Ten West play have become harder to come by.

What Wisconsin needs is for Leonhard to pair himself with an innovative offensive coordinator in Madison. He was going to be a Power Five head coach this offseason anyway, so let’s give him the Marcus Freeman treatment and see if he can pull this thing together, much like what Dabo Swinney did replacing Tommy Bowden well over a decade ago now. Wisconsin can bounce back.

For now, Wisconsin must balance a strongly entrenched identity with a new college football landscape. The Big Ten will be going division-less in due time, so the days of Wisconsin cleaning up on the West are probably coming to an end with the overall schedule being a tad more balanced. While running backs like Allen will thrive in Madison, the Badgers must get better at throwing it.

This is a lost season for Wisconsin, but hopefully it is one where they honestly hit the reset button.

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