Badgers predictions: Game 13 vs. USC (Holiday Bowl)

We’re finally down to the last game as the 2015 edition of the Wisconsin Badgers closes the door on the season.  

Wisconsin enters 9-3, but is one of three teams in a bowl game which did not beat a winning team this year. The other two (Akron and Duke) played teams who didn’t have a winning record in their bowl game.

Can the Badgers escape that group against an 8-5 USC team which went through its share of turmoil this year (and, like Wisconsin, has had a flurry of head coaches over the past several years)?

Here’s a look around the web and Twitter for predictions of the Holiday Bowl between the Wisconsin Badgers and USC Trojans:

All four experts at are picking USC to win. Bruce Feldman (as listed in the BTN picks below) has it USC 23-20.

The Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo: USC 28, Wisconsin 17.

The Omaha World-Leader’s Sam McKewon predicts USC 24, Wisconsin 21. "The Badgers play defense like nobody’s business, but they’ll have a hard time consistently keeping up with USC’s offense, which features several NFL stars. As for Wisconsin’s offense, look for the Badgers’ run game to be much improved over where it was during the year. That’ll keep this game competitive and fun. Remember: Wisconsin almost never gets blown out."

Pete Fiutak of Wisconsin 27, USC 24. "USC has the flash and the talent, and it’s going to come into the game looking to make a big statement. It won’t matter. The Wisconsin defense is the real deal and will keep the game just close enough so much-maligned quarterback Joel Stave can finish it off in the fourth quarter. The Badger running game won’t be there, but in a close, tight battle, the defense will get it done when needed."

Mike Carmin of the Lafayette Journal & Courier: USC 32, Wisconsin 22. "The Trojans have the overall talent to make this a long night for the Badgers."

Greg Price of the International Business Times: USC 24, Wisconsin 13.

The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel: USC 29, Wisconsin 16.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: USC 27, Wisconsin 21.

FOX Sports Wisconsin Exclusive Databases simulation: USC 32, Wisconsin 26. The Badgers lose on a 51-yard TD pass as time runs out.

By way of the PickCenter, has an average score of USC 26.2, Wisconsin 22.3 while numberFire has the average score USC 25.5, Wisconsin 22.0 (and also gives the Badgers a 53.1% likelihood of covering with the addition of 3 points).

Just three of the seven analysts at pick Wisconsin to win.’s Pat Forde and Graham Watson both are picking USC.

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