The Badgers may as well just rebrand to the Wisconsin Paper Tigers, because that's all they are to me at this point.
I can't think of even once in the post-Jim Tressel era that Wisconsin has shown up to face the Buckeyes and looked half as good as I'd been led to believe.
Far too many times the Badgers have come up on the docket and everyone has insisted that *this* cut-and-paste version of the previous 10 Wisconsin teams is going to be the one to give my team trouble.
It never is. And this year's collection of lumbering beef cakes, a record-setting running back, a three-star statue quarterback, and a top ranked defense ain't gonna get it done either. I didn't need that embarrassing loss to Illinois to tell me that, but it sure is some solid supporting evidence now.
In the words of Joey Bosa: "They just lost to Illinois. What the hell? That's not a game. That's my answer. I'm not worried."
Folks have been hailing this as the Big Ten battle of the year. That may well be true, but it doesn't mean the Bucks aren't winning by 28.
As for pregame activities, if the sun is up and you live in central Ohio, that means it's Dubgate time.
The noon kick sidelines me – the weekend working man – from any and all tailgating activities, but my late father, D.J. Byrnes, will be there in the flesh to hear your complaints regarding my online words.
He will be the tall, pasty one with both the facial hair and the alcoholism of a Tolkien dwarf.
|12:00||#13 WISCONSIN @ #3 OHIO STATE||OSU (-14)||FOX|
|12:00||#21 APPALACHIAN STATE @ SOUTH ALABAMA||APP STATE (-27)||ESPNU|
|12:00||#5 OKLAHOMA @ KANSAS STATE||OKLA (-23.5)||ABC|
|12:00||#20 IOWA @ NORTHWESTERN||IOWA (-9.5)||ESPN2|
|3:30||#6 PENN STATE @ MICHIGAN STATE||PSU (-6)||ABC|
|3:30||OKLAHOMA STATE @ #23 IOWA STATE||ISU (-10.5)||FS1|
|3:30||#9 AUBURN @ #2 LSU||LSU (-10.5)||CBS|
|3:30||MARYLAND @ #17 MINNESOTA||MISS (-16.5)||ESPN|
|3:30||#15 TEXAS @ TCU||TEX (-1)||FOX|
|7:00||ARKANSAS @ #1 ALABAMA||BAMA (-32)||ESPN|
|7:30||BOSTON COLLEGE @ #4 CLEMSON||CLEM (-34)||ACCN|
|7:30||#8 NOTRE DAME @ #19 MICHIGAN||MICH (+1)||ABC|
|7:30||#24 ARIZONA STATE @ UCLA||ASU (-3)||PACN|
|10:00||CALIFORNIA @ #12 UTAH||UTAH (-21)||FS1|
|10:30||WASHINGTON STATE @ #11 OREGON||ORE (-14)||ESPN|
Word of the Day: Ravage.
THAT 11W PREGAME FIX.
- Game preview.
- Five things to know.
- Status report.
- Depth chart.
- Mid-week notebook.
- Across the Field.
- 10 reasons to hate.
- Game poster.
- Game trailer.
- Round table.
- The situational.
- Our picks against the spread.
- This is still the toughest test yet.
- The challenge of defending Jonathan Taylor.
- The will be a benchmark game for the Buckeye offense.
- Wisconsin is having success without the recruiting rankings.
- Ohio State remains focused on continues improvement despite blowouts.
- Justin Fields will have the Heisman spotlight on him the rest of the season.
- Players, coaches and administrators remember the 2014 Big Ten Title game.
- Ohio State's historic offensive pace.
MICHIGAN-LEVEL ARROGANCE. What if I told you that Bert Bielema was not the biggest jackass to ever coach the Wisconsin Badgers?
Well folks, allow Jim Baird of Land Grand Holy Land to introduce you to Paul Withington.
(Wisconsin head coach Paul) Withington was so confident was of victory that he decided to skip the OSU game. Yes, skip it. He delegated coaching to his assistant and instead went to scout the Minnesota-Illinois game. Withington reasoned that Ohio State was still a second-rate team. That Illinois, who the Buckeyes had sprung the upset on, was having a down year. That his time would be better spent scouting a tough Minnesota side.
So the Badgers showed up in Columbus without their head coach. Wilce and Harley would make them pay for their disrespect. Behind two Harley touchdowns, including a dazzling 80 yard punt return, the Buckeyes edged out the Badgers 14-13. The back-to-back victories against Illinois and Wisconsin brought the Buckeyes national attention.
After the OSU loss, things went in a different direction for Wisconsin. In their final two games of the year, the Badgers lost to Minnesota 54-0 and tied Illinois 0-0. In total, Withington’s scouting plan resulted in two losses and a draw to end the season. Clearly Withington’s approach to scouting needed some work. After all, he didn’t seem to know a second-rate power when he saw one — if he had, he may have recognized it in his own team
Are we sure this isn't the strategy that Wisconsin employed last week against Illinois?
STICKING TO HIS GUNS. With his son, Taron, now at Ohio State, Wisconsin legend Troy Vincent had a chance to follow in the footsteps of Michigan legend Mike Boren and trade in his alma mater for his son's better one.
Unfortunately for Troy, he's making a noble – yet incorrect – decision.
Big gameday in Columbus this weekend means that @VincentCountry is a house divided. My heart is with @BadgerFootball, but our son @t_lova23 is with @OhioStateFB.— Troy Vincent (@TroyVincentSr) October 25, 2019
That said #OnWisconsin! pic.twitter.com/I0J7QQFUbQ
Poor Troy doesn't even know what's coming. Ask Lauren Quinn (now Lauren Hawk) how those split jerseys work out for the non-Buckeye team.
THISISFINE.GIF. After an abysmal start, I'd been crawling my way towards .500 every week, but I undid all of that last week with a 2-8 record. There were some just horrific beats mixed in there (Washington blowing a 10-point lead, Arizona State muffing a punt late in the game, Penn State going up 21-0 early in the first half and not covering at home, and Baylor and Oklahoma State combining for six touchdowns in the final 20 minutes to lose the under by 2 points), but we're doing our best to move on!
The record now stands at 24-37-1, so I sincerely hope you've been fading every one of my plays because you'd have a small fortune!
But the night is darkest just before dawn – and dawn is here. It's a new day.
(Fair warning, y'all are going to HATE almost all of these plays. So you're more than free to play the opposite and win!)
- Ohio State -14 against Wisconsin. Ohio State is more than 14 points better than Wisconsin and might have the advantage at literally every position on the field (yes, even running back). I probably don't need to convince anybody here of that, so we'll just leave it there.
- Miami +5 against Pitt. I honestly think Miami is going to win this game, but if you're going to give me five points on the better team, I'll take it for the comfort and safety. Pitt's been good this season, particularly on defense, but Miami's a much more talented team that desperately needs a win. I also think there's a general overreaction to N'Kosi Perry's injury.
- Kansas State +24. I love Kansas State to keep this game within three scores at home. The Wildcats play a drastically different style of offense than anything Oklahoma has faced this season and like to control the ball, slow things down and lean on its fairly stout defense. I think the Cats can score enough and run enough clock that this won't be a blowout.
- Liberty -7.5 against Rutgers. Give it to me. There's nothing I want more than to pick against Rutgers as a home underdog by more than a touchdown versus a team that joined the FBS two seasons ago. The Flames are covering today.
- Wyoming Under 43.5. Windy Wyoming is an auto under play regardless of the number. We're looking at temperatures in the 30s with consistent 21 mph winds and gusts in the 35-65(!!!) MPH range in the early afternoon. Yes please.
- LSU -10 against Auburn. Auburn has a good defense, but I don't think it's a good enough defense to keep this from turning into a shootout at some point, and I just don't trust Auburn to keep it close when that happens. Auburn might keep it close in the beginning – they could even be winning at the half – but LSU is going to win by two touchdowns at least.
- Michigan State +6. Look, I told you that y'all would hate these picks. Penn State got on Michigan early, but was really outplayed most of the game, statistically, and was lucky to be able to hang on. I know half of Michigan State's roster is in the transfer portal, but give me Sparty to keep this game close.
- TCU +1 against Texas. I think this TCU team is better than its record, and I think Texas – especially after all these injuries – is worse than its record. I honestly think at this point in time, TCU is the better team offensively and defensively. I think they get it done at home.
- Michigan +1 against Notre Dame. It's not that I think Michigan is great, I just don't really think Notre Dame is all that good at all. The Wolverines actually seemed alive in the second half of last week's loss against Penn State and honestly could have won. Meanwhile, Notre Dame has looked pretty beatable a number of times and that quality loss isn't looking too awesome of late.
- Arizona State -3 against UCLA. I think this is an overreaction on two fronts. UCLA beat a terrible Stanford team, and Arizona State lost to a good Utah team. UCLA is not very good, but I think Arizona State is still talented and should be able to cover three points tonight.
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