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Wisconsin fires Paul Chryst one day after Illinois loss

The Illini broke the Badgers.

Washington State v Wisconsin Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

That’s all she wrote.

One day after Illinois’ 34-10 thumping of Wisconsin at Camp Randall, the Badgers made some BIG changes.

According to several reports Sunday night, head coach Paul Chryst is out, and defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard is in.

Now, this isn’t solely due to the Illini game. Wisconsin has been in a spiral for more than two years, and this year hasn’t been pretty, with a 2-3 start (wins over only Illinois State and New Mexico State).

Something has been off with Wisconsin, and that’s certainly why Saturday’s game felt winnable in the first place.

But the way Bret Bielema and the Illini played in Madison was just stunning, especially to see in person. I’m not sure if losing to Illinois at home was the final straw, but it seemed like it for the fans. I lived in Madison for three years (I never went to a game), but I don’t think a majority of the fans are leaving after Jump Around at the start of the fourth quarter each week.

So what’s this mean for the Big Ten West’s biggest power moving forward? That’s to be seen. Jim Leonhard comes from the Bielema, Chryst and Barry Alvarez coaching tree, and if they lift that interim tag and keep him as the head coach, Wisconsin is giving itself a chance to continue its success it has had for more than two decades.

But I’m not sure that’s the route they’ll end up going. We might be about to see a new era of Badger Football, and as that gets going, it certainly opens the door in the Big Ten West.

It’s now or never, Illini.