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There’s a very real chance Graham Mertz has thrown his last pass at Wisconsin.
The Badgers officially introduced Luke Fickell as the new head coach of the program Sunday night, and now all eyes turn to Graham Mertz’s future with the program.
Will Mertz ever suit up again for the Badgers? My early guess is fans won’t see Mertz play under Fickell’s regime.
Everyone is waiting to see what Graham Mertz decides to do.
Now, let me be clear, I have no idea what will happen with Fickell, Graham Mertz and the offense as a whole moving forward. I simply don’t know. Nobody other than Fickell and the veteran Badgers QB do.
However, as an outside observer, it would appear very likely that Mertz’s time in Madison is likely over.
The reality of the situation is that Mertz has been a massive disappointment. He was the most hyped Wisconsin recruit in history. Nobody can argue he has lived up to the hype. Is it all his fault? No, of course not. You can place a lot of blame on Chryst for his lack of development and the Badgers simply don’t have the NFL weapons the team traditionally does on the offensive line and at running back to help him out.
However, you can’t deny that the Mertz/Wisconsin marriage needs a divorce at this point, and with Fickell coming in, we’re likely going to get it. You can bank on Fickell hitting the transfer portal incredibly hard or taking some guys with him from Cincy.
The reality is that Luke Fickell doesn’t have any other choice. Over the past four games, Mertz has averaged 126.5 passing yards, completed 45.9% of his passes and has two passing touchdowns to four interceptions. The last third of the season was an utter disaster for Mertz.
It’s just a small snippet, but late in the game against Minnesota when Wisconsin needed a play, Mertz threw one of the worst interceptions we’ve seen all season.
Also, Fickell will now be his third coach since August. Does Graham Mertz really want to stick around at this point? A fresh start might be in his best interest and the best interest of the program.
I just don’t see any situation where Fickell and Mertz both look at the cards on the table and decide he’s the best QB option available. I know I said I expected Graham Mertz to stay when Jim Leonhard was believed to be the coach, but clearly, the dynamics have shifted in a significant way.
As a betting man, I’d bet against Mertz ever playing a game under Luke Fickell. I could be wrong, but right now, that’s my read on the situation.