Wisconsin plays likely its biggest game of the season (well, the regular season) when it travels to No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday.
The Buckeyes are 16-0 with Urban Meyer as head coach and are a seven-point favorite. No wonder it is hard to find anyone picking Wisconsin to win. Even some of the Badgers faithful can’t bring themselves to pick UW.
It should be a good game. We’ll find out Saturday night who below was right and who was wrong. Here are this week’s picks from around the web (I’ll add more if/when I find some. A few more predictors out there this week with this being a key game):
Our own Jesse Temple via his Know the Foe series: Ohio State 28, Wisconsin 20
FOXSports.com’s Clay Travis won’t even take Wisconsin with seven points.
Collegefootballnews.com: Ohio State 37, Wisconsin 31. “Wisconsin will run the ball effectively and expose a Buckeye defensive front that needs a little work, but it won’t be enough. The Ohio State passing game will give the Badger corners problems, while the linebackers won’t be able to handle Miller and Hall in the open field. Every time it seems like Wisconsin will make a big push, the Buckeyes will answer.”
All four Big Ten Network analysts are picking Wisconsin to lose. The scores: Brent Yarina 30-24, Stephen Bardo 35-31, Tom Dienhart 31-27 and Sean Merriman 31-24.
Whatifsports.com simulation: Wisconsin given just a 29.7% chance of winning with an average margin of victory for Ohio State of 25.3-18.9.
All six CBSSports.com analysts are picking Wisconisn to lose. However, all six think the Badgers will cover a 7.5-point spread.
CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman: Ohio State 28, Wisconsin 24. “The Badgers are fantastic grinding out big yardage on first down and the Buckeyes really haven’t been tested at all yet. But I’m sticking to my rule from last year … until someone in the league beats him, I’m not picking against Urban Meyer in a Big Ten game.”
ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett: Rittenberg — Ohio State 37, Wisconsin 20. “It wouldn’t shock me if Wisconsin records the upset, but Ohio State has too much firepower, and the Badgers remain one-dimensional on offense. Melvin Gordon shows why he’s arguably the nation’s top running back with 180 yards and two touchdowns, but Ohio State rallies in the second half behind Braxton Miller, who accounts for three touchdowns in his return. This will be a fun one in Columbus.”; Bennett — Ohio State 34, Wisconsin 28. “Fun one is right. Wisconsin never gets blown out anymore, and the Badgers have the run game to give Ohio State’s young defense fits. But I agree that the Buckeyes have a few too many weapons on offense, particularly with Miller’s return, while the Badgers’ passing game is too shaky. Miller leads the Buckeyes out to a big early lead before Wisconsin makes a late comeback behind scores from James White and Gordon. Bradley Roby intercepts Joel Stave to seal it.”
ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach: Has Wisconsin as his upset pick of the week. For what it is worth, Schlabach is 2-1 in his upset picks this year.
Of the six analysts at USAToday.com only one – Eddie Timanus – is picking Wisconsin to win.
Of the 10 analysts at the Sporting News, only one – the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein -picks Wisconsin to win.
Coachingsearch.com’s Chris Vannini: Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 28. “A year ago, Ohio State held Wisconsin’s running game in check, but this is a new front four that is unproven against a power running attack. The Badgers will move the ball, but there’s no slowing down Ohio State’s offense.”
Coachingsearch.com’s Pete Roussel: Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 24