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Paul Chryst out as Wisconsin football coach

An unexpected loss to Illinois was enough to send the Badgers in a new direction

Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst looks on during the third quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Camp Randall Stadium. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Some Sunday firing news that was somewhat unexpected: Paul Chryst has been fired as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers in the middle of his eighth season in Madison.

The Badgers lost 34-10 to the Illinois Fighting Illini at home on Saturday, led by former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema, to fall to 2-3 on the season. Chryst was 67-26 in Madison, and 6-1 in bowl games with his only loss being in the 2019 Rose Bowl to Oregon.

While images of students leaving Camp Randall Stadium early after the 4th quarter “Jump Around” tradition were all over the internet, it’s still surprising that after a mostly successful tenure that the Badgers would make a move this dramatic midseason. But with the transfer portal and Early Signing Day now more of a factor than ever in the acquisition of talent, it’s not completely stunning either.

Even for a man with ties to the school this deep.

Wisconsin joins Nebraska (Scott Frost), Arizona State (Herm Edwards), Colorado (Karl Dorrell), and Georgia Tech (Geoff Collins) in schools that have pulled the trigger already this season. Bryan Harsin at Auburn and Jeff Scott at South Florida might be the most likely next candidates as well.