When Gary Andersen took over at Utah State back in 2009 he was inheriting a team that had won just six games in the past three seasons combined. Andersen won four games in each of his first two seasons with the Aggies before winning seven games in 2010 and 11 games last season.
Taking over at Wisconsin is a completely different situation for Andersen. The Badgers have been the staple of consistency the past decade, winning at least seven games every season dating back to 2002, including three straight Rose Bowl trips over the past three years.
A new coach bringing a new staff and new ideas to a program that has already seen success requires a much different approach than coming in and helping to rebuild a program, and Andersen explained after practice over the weekend that one of the major factors behind that is the players' football IQ.
"When you have a team that's had success as Wisconsin has, kids are smart. It's far different than taking over a team that really hasn't had any success, because kids at that point will just pretty much take in everything and just accept everything." Andersen responded when asked how receptive players have been to the new schemes and ideas of his staff.
"Number one, these guys are smart young men, and number two, the way that you're teaching as a coach...as long as they're backed up with what we're saying all of the time with what you're teaching with technique, and theory, and ideas and concepts than kids will wrap their arms around that and are very receptive to everything that we've asked them to do."