Neither Wisconsin nor Nebraska is in the top 25 but it is hard to argue these two teams aren’t playing a big a game this Saturday. And, no, I am not talking about the ridiculous Freedom Trophy.
Both the Badgers and Cornhuskers lost their first Big Ten game. Nebraska has lost three games and all were close affairs. The Badgers obviously have some injury concerns which won’t help their questionable offense.
With that backdrop, there is definitely no consensus on who will win the game between the similar programs. But, woo, the fanbase of the losing team will not be in a good mood.
OK, here’s a look at this week’s predictions from around the web and Twitter:
Two of the three Big Ten Network analysts are picking Wisconsin to win. The scores: Tom Dienhart — Nebraska 17, Wisconsin 14; Sean Merriman — Wisconsin 23, Nebraska 21; Brent Yarina — Wisconsin 20, Nebraska 13.
The Athlon Sports analysts are split, with two of the four thinking Wisconsin will win. The picks: David Fox, Wisconsin 24-20; Braden Gall, Nebraska 24-20; Steven Lassan, Nebraska 27-24; Mitch Light, Wisconsin (no score given).
Whatifsports.com simulation: An average score of Wisconsin 26.4, Nebraska 25.8. The sim gives the Badgers a 55.4 percent chance of winning. Wisconsin is also the site’s upset pick (+1.5 points) of the week.
Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com: Wisconsin 24, Nebraska 16. "Wisconsin’s defense will take over. The Badgers will have to grind it out after a tough loss, and even though there won’t be a 500-yard rushing day, the ground attack will be just effective enough to get out alive."
The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel: Nebraska, Wisconsin 21. "Two prideful Coca-Cola red programs that really just don’t have very good teams this year."
By way of the PickCenter, Teamrankings.com has an average score of Nebraska 25.2, Wisconsin 23.9 while numberFire has the average score Wisconsin 27.0, Nebraska 26.7 (and also gives the Badgers a 53.7% likelihood of covering while gaining 1 1/2 points).
Four of the seven writers at the Columbus Dispatch are picking Wisconsin to beat Nebraska.