Well, it’s that time again. College football seaosn is back upon us and Wisconsin is opening with a bang (the rest of the nonconference season? A whimper).
Much like in last year’s bowl game, few people are thinking the Badgers can knock off third-ranked Alabama. In fact, I checked last year’s final predictions and 46 prognosticators from around the web picked Auburn compared to just two who thought the Badgers would win.
So, as usual, take the picks with a grain of salt. Although the Tide are probably double-digit favorties for a reason.
OK, with that behind us, let’s look at the Week 1 predictions.
All four experts at FOXSports.com are picking Alabama to win. Further, Stewart Mandel has it 30-13 ("Nick Saban can afford to use this game as a de facto quarterback tryout because his defense is built to smother the Badgers’ conventional, run-heavy offense.") and Bruce Feldman 28-14 ("No matter who starts at QB for the Tide, he’ll have a much more athletic, better supporting cast, and I think the ‘Bama front seven can handle the Badgers’ run game.")
The Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo: Alabama 31, Wisconsin 13. (Also calls it his "best bet.")
All three Big Ten Network analysts are picking Alabama to win. The scores: Tom Dienhart 27-24; Sean Merriman 27-23; Brent Yarina 30-24.
Whatifsports.com simulation: An average score of Alabama 26.4, Wisconsin 24. The sim gives the Badgers a 40.6 percent chance of winning.
All seven CBSSports.com analysts are picking Alabama to win. Only three of the seven are taking the Badgers with 10.5 points.
Amazingly, one of the 10 members of the AL.com college football staff is picking Wisconsin to win as Joseph Goodman has it Badgers 28-15. (Add two more picking Alabama if you watch that video in the story.)
Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com: Alabama 34, Wisconsin 20. "Wisconsin will look fine, it’s not going to be embarrassed, and it’ll have a few chances to take the game over â and then Alabama’s defense will decide that fun time is over. The Badger D will keep this from getting out of hand â this won’t be the 2014 Big Ten Championship all over again â but the O will hit a hard wall when it has to try to throw."