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Way-too-early 2015 Big Ten football power rankings

3. Wisconsin Badgers

PI-CFB-Clement-Corey-celebrates-010115.vadapt.620.high.0Most teams wouldn’t survive the loss of a 2,500-yard running back…for their career, let alone for a single season. However, this is Wisconsin and they’ve got another great one behind him in Corey Clement, who already has nearly 1,500 yards in two years buried behind Melvin Gordon and James White.

Yet, this is a team in an interesting position, as they face transition at the top for a second time since 2012. In place of Gary Andersen is Madison’s favorite son, Paul Chryst, who has a lot to prove in his new, but old, home.

The biggest help to him is keeping defensive coordinator Dave Aranda on staff, giving a team with a ton of transition two coaches with some of the best minds in the game.

Still, this is a team that needs to find consistent and better play at the quarterback position as well as replace four of the starting front seven on defense and replace two All-Big Ten offensive lineman. Oh, and don’t forget trying to find a second wide receiver that can make a play.

Wisconsin’s passing game is the biggest question mark heading in to the offseason and the missing part to what is a much more athletic and intriguing team around that part of the game.

UW will be very young overall in 2015, and that holds it back from a top two spot — at least until we get to see how that youth looks this spring and early fall practice.

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Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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