The Wisconsin Badger open defense of their Big Ten Championship tonight. Here are my predictions for the upcoming season.
Week 1 tonight versus UNLV. You may recall the Rebels hung with the Badgers in a game at Vegas last season. But that had a game time temp of over 100 degrees. I think the Badgers pull away again in the second half tonight and roll to a 45-17 win. 1-0
Week 2 versus Oregon State. This game was set up after the Beavers went to a BCS Bowl Game. Like the rest of the Pac-12 (hey! a conference that knows how to count!!), they have gone downhill since then. Plus, game time is set for 11:00 our time--so the OSU players will feel like its 9:00 am. Expect the Badgers to roll again--38-13. 2-0
Week 3 aginst Northern Illinois at Soldier Field. There is already some concern about the quality of field conditions for this one. One thing that can be guaranteed: Soldier Field will look more like Camp Randall as the Badgers overwhelm the Huskies 40-14. 3-0
Week 4 versus $outh Dakota $tate. When I become Czar of the NCAA my first move will be to ban these games involving Fooball Playoff Sub-Division teams. The dollar signs represent the cash payment the Jackrabbits get for being scrificial lambs at Camp Randall--and the millions the Badgers make for getting another home game on the schedule. 56-13. 4-0
Week 5 versus Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are now officially my second most hated team in the Big Ten. It's not because of any great rivalry with the Badgers--but rather because their addition to the conference lead to the stupid divisions, with the stupid names and the stupid championship game in a sterile NFL dome. I'll hate the 'Shuckers even more after they beat the Badgers 27-23. 4-1
Week 6 versus Indiana. Big Red gets a week off to lick its wounds after its first loss and rolls the pathetic Hoosiers 48-23. 5-1
Week 7 at Michigan State. This is the first real road game for the Badgers--and the Spartans beat Wisconsin at home last year--but I think Wisconsin plays better on special teams and holds down the score this time 27-21. 6-1
Week 8 at Ohio State. Until Terelle Pryor and Jim Tressel combined to bring the Buckeyes program to its knees, this was the game of the year on the schedule--as it would probably decide who wins the (insert stupid name here) division. But I think THE Ohio State University comes into the game with a couple of losses already and some real doubt in the new head coach. The Badgers get a big road win 33-24. 7-1
Week 9 versus Purdue. The Boilermakers stink. 45-20. 8-1
Week 10 at Minnesota. The Gophers are due for their one win per decade in the Ax Game--but it ain't this year. 77-21. 9-1
Week 11 at Illinois. This is one of those "danger games"--second in a row on the road--a middle of the pack team. But the Badger running game grinds out a win over the Illini 32-27. 10-1
Week 12 versus Penn State. With a (insert stupid name here) Division championship on the line--and an ailing Joe Paterno back in Happy Valley, the Badgers roll the Nittany Lions 37-21. 11-1
Big Ten Championship versus Nebraska. In the biggest game of the year, the Badgers rise to the occasion and avenge their week 5 loss to the Cornhuskers 31-27. 12-1
THE ROSE BOWL!!! Bucky makes his second back-to-back appearance in Pasadena in school history taking on Stanford and Heisman Trophy winner Andrew Luck. Bret Bielema and his coaching staff learn from their mistakes in last year's Rose Bowl and run the ball on every single play--until a play-action pass to the tight end late in the 4th quarter scores the winning touchdown 44-38. 13-1
Of course, now I have scared myself--because the Badgers have a history of falling flat in seasons where big things are expected of them. Honestly, they are an injury to quarterback Russell Wilson away from finishing 5-7 and staying home for the holidays. But let's stay positive and get ready for another great run. ON WISCONSIN!!