Badgers unbeaten, but on fringe of national title picture
FOX Sports Wisconsin
Every Wednesday, FOX Sports Wisconsin takes a look at which athletes’ stock is trending up and whose is trending down.
In other words, who is making a meteoric rise, and who is quickly plummeting.
With that in mind, let’s “take stock” of the current sports scene in Wisconsin, shall we?
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks forward (↑ UP)
Former Bucks star and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is rarely used as a point of comparison these days for pretty obvious reasons, but that's where we're at four games into Antetokounmpo's fifth season. Giannis has scored at least 30 points in all four, and dropped 44 points on the Portland Trail Blazers over the weekend. He's up to a Bucks-record 147 total points through four games, a record previously held by Kareem, who scored 146 points in the first four games of the 1970-71 season.
Kamil KrzaczynskiKamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Spor
Don Barclay, former Packers guard/center (↓ DOWN)
A few months after signing a one-year, $1.3 million extension and five years after signing with the Packers as an undrafted free agent, Barclay is out. The Packers placed the veteran guard on injured reserve in September after he suffered an ankle injury in the preseason.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Hanisch
Mirza Teletovic, Bucks shooting guard (↑ UP)
Teletovic knocked down five treys in the Bucks' win over the Charlotte Hornets, and now leads the team with nine (in 19 attempts, a 47.4 percentage). It's an encouraging sign for the sharpshooter, who became the subject of trade rumors after he made just 34.1 percent of his three-point attempts last season, making 104 in 70 games. Teletovic set an NBA record in his only season with the Phoenix Suns, making 179 three-pointers off the bench and shooting 39.3 percent from beyond the arc.
NBAE via Getty ImagesJesse D. Garrabrant
Aaron Jones, Packers running back (↑ UP)
Back in April, we speculated that the Packers were simply adding bodies to fill out their depleted backfield after they spent three draft picks on running backs. Sorry about that. It took Jones less than two months to unseat starter Ty Montgomery, and just four games to log his first two 100-yard games. He torched the Saints for 131 and a touchdown on 17 carries.
Jeff HanischJeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Ty Montgomery, Packers running back (↓ DOWN)
Tabbed as a workhorse running back heading into the season, Montgomery has been reduced to a bit part in the Packers' backfield thanks to a rib injury and the emergence of Jones. He gained just six yards on four carries against the Saints and was targeted twice in the passing game. A converted wide receiver, Montgomery hasn't had more than 35 rushing yards in a game since the opener, and has rapidly ceded ground to Jones and fellow rookie Jamaal Williams.
Wisconsin Badgers national championship hopes (➡ EVEN)
The Badgers are 7-0 and ranked No. 5 in the country … but there isn't much national title game vibe surrounding Wisconsin. UW's schedule to date has been, shall we say, uninspiring? And unlike the gauntlet the Badgers had last year, especially in Big Ten play, Wisconsin's only notable games this year appear to be Iowa, which is just 4-3, and Michigan, a team that hasn’t lived up to preseason expectations. Wisconsin is a near shoo-in to make the Big Ten title game and will likely face a highly ranked team like Ohio State or Penn State. Nevertheless, oddsmakers currently put UW's chances of winning the national championship anywhere from 16-1 to 33-1, odds hardly fit for an unbeaten club. The first playoff rankings come out Tuesday and it will be interesting to see where Wisconsin is placed. We don't think a win over Illinois will advance the Badgers' cause very much.