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Badgers football say hello to Arizona, goodbye to Mertz

The winds of change in Madison will blow the Wisconsin Badgers to sunny Arizona later this month.


With new head coach Luke Fickell toggling at least some of the controls, the Badgers will head to Chase Field to play Oklahoma State in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Phoenix on December 27th. It will mark the first time the two teams have played each other after the Cowboys finished in fifth place in the Big 12 with a 7-5 overall mark.


One Badgers player that won't make the trip is Graham Mertz, who announced via Twitter that he was entering the transfer portal. He passed for 2,130 yards, with 19 touchdowns and ten interceptions, though he saw his completion percentage drop in recent weeks while throwing more interceptions (four) than touchdowns (two) in those games. The transfer portal opens on Monday officially.


One thing that may not change is Jim Leonhard, who is still mulling options to stay on the Badgers coaching staff despite being passed over for the head coach position. Reports over the weekend had him already pegged to stay. However, during a conference call on Sunday after the bowl announcement, Fickell said that the Badgers alum was still considering options. 

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