Wisconsin Badgers predictions: Game 9 at Indiana
Here's what I've gathered in the past week:
Wisconsin is the worst 8-0 team ever.
Indiana is the best team to be 0-5 in Big Ten play ever.
Yes, despite the Badgers' high ranking in the AP poll, coming in at No. 9 in the first college playoff rankings (note: we will now use this ranking in our headline and predictions) hasn't helped the Debbie Downers.
How else to explain a couple of predictors picking Indiana to beat Wisconsin, which at last check was a 13 1/2 point favorite, this week -- not to mention some Badgers fans.
Injuries to a few key players such as running back Jonathan Taylor and wide receiver Quintez Cephus, both listed as questionable for Saturday's game, and a general feeling of dread by some with Alex Hornibrook at quarterback haven't helped the cause.
Indiana also has potential to be a trap game. As mentioned, the Hoosiers are winless in conference play and the Badgers have games against Iowa and Michigan upcoming.
Or maybe, just maybe, this will be a statement game from Wisconsin. Of course, that statement might just be another uninspiring win.
Here are this week's picks from around the web and Twitter:
The Associated Press' Ralph D. Russo: Wisconsin 28, Indiana 20.
Tom Dienhart of BTN.com: Wisconsin 35, Indiana 10.
J.P. Scott of Athlon Sports: Wisconsin 27, Indiana 13. "The Badgers seem to know exactly what they need to do each and every week this season in order to get the win and go home. This weekend is not likely to be any different. Even with a wounded roster heading into Saturday, Wisconsin is the more talented and physical team on both sides of the ball. Look for the visitors to control the clock with the run and limit Indiana's offensive possessions. When the Badgers are on defense, look for them to pin their ears back and rush the passer as they show little respect for an Indiana rushing attack that ranks among the worst in the country. If Wisconsin can throw off the timing of the Hoosier passing attack, it should be all she wrote."
Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com: Wisconsin 34, Indiana 20. "The game will be about the Wisconsin secondary. Alex Hornibrook will be Alex Hornibrook, hitting plenty of third down plays while the Badger running back rotation makes up for a gimpy Taylor. Indiana will have its moments – expect a few big downfield plays to keep it close for a while – but the Wisconsin secondary will come up with three picks, the offense will grind out the clock, and it’ll be on to the Michigan showdown. Win, rinse, repeat."
Josh Slagter of MLive.com: Wisconsin 24, Indiana 14.
Kyle Swick of The Crimson Quarry: Wisconsin 23, Indiana 10.
Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register: Wisconsin 28, Indiana 20. "Fans of Iowa and Northwestern who have any prayer of chasing down a Big Ten West title need Indiana to pull the upset. The Hoosiers have been close, time after time. They had three receivers, including ultra-talented Simmie Cobbs Jr., with at least 10 catches each in last week’s 42-39 loss to Maryland. A defense that allows just 3.8 yards per rush should be able to keep Indiana competitive against the Badgers, who might not have Big Ten rushing leader Jonathan Taylor. He’s questionable with an ankle injury. This game reminds me of Iowa’s trip to Indiana in 2015; the banged-up Hawkeyes were 8-0 and faced a better-than-the-record-showed Hoosier outfit. That game was close in the fourth quarter, but Iowa pulled away to win by eight."
Athon Sports' Mitch Light: Wisconsin 28, Indiana 17.
Daniel Gallen of pennlive.com picks Wisconsin.
Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press: Wisconsin 37, Indiana 17.
Jeff Seidel of the Detroit Free Press: Wisconsin 28, Indiana 21.
The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel: Indiana 22, Wisconsin 21.
Jesse Temple of Land of 10: Wisconsin 35, Indiana 17.
Dan Murphy is the only one with pick from the ESPN.com group this week, and it's a doozy: Indiana 24, Wisconsin 21. "Is this the week? Can the Hoosiers finally get over the hump and beat a top-10 team after pushing so many of them to the brink only to fall short? Wisconsin stars Jonathan Taylor, Quintez Cephus and D'Cota Dixon were all listed as questionable as they work through injuries this week. Even if they all play Saturday, the Badgers aren't at full strength. A sleepy noon start dooms Wisconsin this week and lowers a big blow on the West Division's credibility."
Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report: Wisconsin 31, Indiana 10.
Jim Boozell of NCAA.com: Wisconsin 21, Indiana 14.
Bill Connelly of SB Nation: His S&P+ projection has it Wisconsin 29, Indiana 18.
The Sagarin Ratings predict Wisconsin 28.4, Indiana 15.92.
PickCenter: No projected score from TeamRankings this week for whatever reason but NumberFire's average is 36.5-23.9. The latter also gives the Badgers a 43.2 percent likelihood over covering a 14-point spread.
We're going to keep doing this until someone in a group of predictors goes against the Badgers. So, here's this week's list of the websites that give picks from multiple analysts who are, of course, picking Wisconsin:
The seven of CBSSports.com analysts -- although only two think the Badgers can cover a 9.5-point spread.)
The three Athlon Sports analysts.
The six analysts at USAToday.com.
The nine analysts for the Dallas Morning News, although only five think Wisconsin will cover a 10-point spread.