Luke Fickell From Cincinnati Is the Next Coach of Wisconsin Badgers

Luke Fickell

Luke Fickell, the former head coach of Cincinnati, has been chosen by Wisconsin to fill its head coaching position, the program announced. Pete Thamel of ESPN broke the news that Wisconsin had focused its search on Fickell. Later, Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated corroborated the information and said that a deal was imminent.

Luke Fickell’s Decision

Luke Fickell had already told the Bearcats about his decision to accept the Wisconsin position, according to sources, Pat Forde reported before Wisconsin’s announcement. Kerry Coombs, head coach of Cincinnati’s cornerbacks and coordinator of special teams, will lead the Bearcats in the interim, and Forde said a search for Fickell’s replacement will start right away.

Luke Fickell at Press Conference

In a statement to Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal, former Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez called the selection “a home run hire.” A formal announcement is expected to be made, according to Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal.

Fickell Already Has an Amazing Career

Luke Fickell worked as an assistant for 15 years on the defensive coaching staff at Ohio State. He departed Columbus in 2017 to become the head coach of the Bearcats, where he has served for the previous six seasons. Luke Fickell has assisted Cincinnati in developing the Bearcats into one of the nation’s finest programs. The squad has won at least nine games in five straight seasons under his direction, including three seasons with double-digit victories and the American Athletic Conference championships in 2020 and 2021. The Bearcats were 13-0 during the regular season a year ago, making them the first non-Power Five school to make it to the College Football Playoff.

While in his ninth season with the squad, Wisconsin sacked its head coach in October. The Badgers finished 67-26 under Chryst and qualified for a bowl game in each of the previous seven campaigns, including three New Year’s Bowls.

Jim Leonhard, the club’s defensive coordinator who served as interim head coach for the remainder of the year, guided the team to a 4-3 record and another trip to the bowl. Although it seemed as though the program might give Leonhard a go at the full-time position, the possibility of employing Luke Fickell was reportedly too good to pass up.

Will Home Advantage Count for Anything in the 2020 MLB Season?

Home field advantage is something that baseball teams are often hoping for, but it’s one of the sport’s great unquantifiables. Atmosphere certainly impacts the events on the field, but does it give the home side an added advantage? MLB’s 2020 season is initially set to be played in front of no fans, so will that home advantage count for anything in the coming months?

A Different Ball Game

The 2020 MLB season is going to be like nothing we have ever seen before. There will be just 60 regular season games, with no fans in attendance for at least the very beginning of the season. Teams will be traveling much less, with 40 of those 60 games to be played in their own division.

Familiarity may breed contempt between MLB franchises this season as tensions arising from game to game will be escalated the more they play each other. The hastily-put-together MLB schedule has thrown up some interesting quirks, like how the Red Sox play seven of 10 games against the Yankees in New York.

Home Advantage

A 2014 study conducted by the Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology, discovered that MLB teams win just 53.6 percent of their home games. This is hugely different from NBA teams who win 61 percent of their home games. Those MLB figures are with crowds having minor influences on umpires and opposition fans. With players less weary from their travels, and less intimidating atmospheres in 2020, it’s unlikely there will be as much fear for the road team.

Should fans be allowed back into the stands for the later part of the season, we will be able to compare results and see how big an advantage they really bring. Considering there is only a small home advantage in MLB according to reports, that could completely diminish this season. Perhaps we’ll even see road teams winning a higher percentage than home teams.