Wisconsin football made the decision to shock the college football world by firing head coach Paul Chryst in the middle of a dramatic Packers game.
Nebraska firing Scott Frost? It was a long time coming. ASU dumping Herm Edwards? It was inevitable. But Wisconsin firing Paul Chryst? Now that one was a surprise.
The Badgers followed up a loss to Illinois on Saturday by firing their head coach on Sunday, but they did it in the cheekiest way.
The news dropped right as there was drama in the Packers game against the Patriots.
Wisconsin waiting until the fourth quarter of a Green Bay game to make the move was definitely premeditated.
This was the NFL Sunday equivalent of dropping a breaking news story at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday.
Wisconsin shocked college football fans by firing Paul Chryst
Twitter was stunned.
The cost to fire Chryst is pretty huge. He is reportedly owed a buyout of more than $16 million, per Pete Thamel.
Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard is expected to be elevated to interim head coach.
Where might Chryst land next?
There will be more than a few teams who will see Chryst as a major upgrade on the other coaching prospects available to them. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him land on his feet at a Power 5 program, whether it’s Nebraska, Arizona State, Georgia Tech or one of the other jobs sure to open before the fall is complete.
Wisconsin hired Chryst in 2015 and he won 10 or more games in four of his first five seasons. He won the division three times, with Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl wins capping the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In 2019 he took his team to the Rose Bowl but they lost.
The last three seasons have been more challenging. In 2020 the Badgers were 4-3. Last year they lost four games. The start to this season was a disappointing 2-3 with embarrassing losses to Ohio State and Illinois. Being battered by the Illini on Saturday was the final straw for Wisconsin and Chryst.