Wisconsin Badgers vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Date and Time: Saturday, October 7, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Opening College Football Odds: Wisconsin -13.5
Wisconsin vs. Nebraska TV Coverage: Big Ten Network
For everything that is going wrong for Nebraska at the moment, the team is 2-0 in the Big Ten, albeit with wins against two of the lesser sides in the conference. Mike Riley has righted the ship just a bit even though most assume that he's a lame duck on the job at the moment.
Still, this game represents a huge opportunity for the Children of the Corn. If they win this game, they're one more Wisconsin slip away from being able to win the Big Ten West without having to beat any of the other top teams in this conference. Would winning the West ultimately be enough for Riley to keep his job even if the Cornhuskers get smashed by Ohio State next week and Penn State towards the end of the season? Maybe.
Then again, Wisconsin can basically win the Big Ten West on Saturday night even though it's only the first weekend of October. The rest of the Big Ten West already has at least one loss aside from these two teams, and the other team considered to be a legitimate contender, Iowa, already has two defeats. The Badgers only have one serious game left on their docket, that coming against Michigan. Even if that game is lost, it'll be virtually impossible for anyone else to run the Badgers down in the Big Ten West.
Wisconsin is fresh off of a 33-24 win over Northwestern. The team rallied in the second half after trailing at halftime, and it had to fend off a big comeback effort by the Wildcats in the dying minutes of the game. That said, that was the toughest game of the season to date. The Badgers could really rue the fact that BYU went from a potential New Year's Six sleeper to a team that legitimately might not make a bowl game. That 40-6 victory in Provo was supposed to be a boost, but it looks now to be nothing but another win over another useless team.
5 – The number of consecutive quarters in which the Nebraska defense has held teams out of the end zone.
Sure, it's Rutgers and Illinois, but the Nebraska defense couldn't figure out how to slow down either Oregon or Arkansas State early in the season. Just the fact that this defense has now allowed almost as few points in their last three games as they did in each of their first two is a sign of things moving in the right direction.
No one ever doubted the talent on this Cornhuskers defense. We just doubted whether the team was being coached up properly or not. We'll get a good chance to see whether there has legitimately been any progress made this weekend.
Wisconsin vs. Nebraska Free Picks
Just when people are starting to feel good about Nebraska again, it's about time that the rug gets ripped out from underneath it. We have a hunch that these next two games are going to be complete duds for the Cornhuskers, and that might end up being the end of Mike Riley in Lincoln.
Wisconsin's rushing offense is averaging 233.8 yards per game, No. 23 in the nation this year, and we don't really think that it's going to end up getting slowed down by the Cornhuskers. Alex Hornibrook got a little turnover-happy last week against Northwestern, but if he gets back on point in this game, the Badgers should once again provide a cash at all of the best internet sportsbooks.
College Football ATS Pick: Wisconsin -13.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Wisconsin 40, Nebraska 13