Can Luke Fickell flourish in his first season at Wisconsin? History suggests he will.

MADISON – How will Luke Fickell fare in his first season as Wisconsin’s head football coach?
History isn’t always an accurate barometer but in this case Fickell has history on his side.
Fickell is UW’s fourth full-time head coach since Barry Alvarez stepped down after the 2005 season.
Bret Bielema followed Alvarez and coached for seven seasons. Gary Andersen followed Bielema and coached for two seasons. Paul Chryst replaced Andersen and coached for six-plus seasons.
Their combined record in their first full season as UW head coach was 31-8, a winning percentage of .795.
Here is a look back at how Bielema, Andersen and Chryst fared in their first seasons as UW’s head coach:
Wisconsin falls one victory shy of perfection in Bret Bielema’s debut
After two seasons as UW’s defensive coordinator, Bret Bielema took over as head coach entering the 2006 season.
The Badgers were 3-0 when they opened Big Ten play on Sept. 23 at Michigan. A 27-13 loss to the Wolverines ended up costing UW a share of the league title. Ohio State won the title with an 8-0 mark and UW and Michigan tied for second at 7-1.
UW closed the season with a 17-14 victory over Arkansas in the Capital One Bowl to finish 12-1 and ranked No. 5 in the coaches poll and No. 7 in The Associated Press poll.
Gary Andersen’s first season with Badgers was marred by two jarring losses
When Bielema left for Arkansas after the 2012 Big Ten title game, Alvarez eventually turned to Utah State’s Gary Andersen. The Badgers went on to finish 6-2 in the league and 9-4 overall in Andersen’s first season.
The first loss of the season – a 32-30 decision at Arizona State in Week 3 – was arguably the most memorable and most frustrating.
UW trailed by two points but had a first down at the Sun Devils’ 13 with 18 seconds left. Out of timeouts, quarterback Joel Stave took the snap on the right hash, moved to his left and went down to center the ball for a field-goal attempt. The plan was to spike the ball on second down and have Kyle French attempt a game-winning field goal.
That plan went awry, however, when several defenders fell on the ball and the officiating crew froze and let the clock run out.
The other loss that stood out came in the regular-season finale, a 31-24 decision to visiting Penn State. UW entered the game 6-1 in the league and 9-2 overall and still with an outside shot to land a BCS berth.
Penn State came in at 3-4 in the league and 6-5 overall and ineligible for a bowl game because of NCAA sanctions. The Nittany Lions got four touchdown passes from Christian Hackenberg and forced three turnovers in ruining UW’s BCS hopes.
Paul Chryst’s return to Madison was a success
Once Andersen bolted for Oregon State after the 2014 Big Ten title game, Alvarez quickly turned to Paul Chryst, who was in his third season as Pittsburgh’s head coach. Alvarez and Chryst met discreetly in Florida and it took Chryst about 30 seconds to accept the offer.
UW suffered two Big Ten losses – 10-6 to Iowa and 13-7 to Northwestern – both at Camp Randall Stadium and finished 6-2 in league play. The Badgers were in scoring position late in both games but failed to reach the end zone.
Nevertheless, UW rallied for a 23-21 victory at Nebraska, rushed for 257 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-21 victory at Minnesota without tailback Corey Clement (team suspension) and capped a 10-3 season by rallying for a 23-21 victory over USC in the Holiday Bowl.

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