Big Ten Championship Skull Session: Get Dumped Again, Wisconsin

By Kevin Harrish on December 7, 2019 at 4:59 am
We're coming for the crown again.

I'll say it: I'm tired of Wisconsin.

Seven-straight wins, three Big Ten Championship meetings in five years, and a meeting less than two months ago – can we just give somebody else a try? We know what's going to happen. We've seen this movie before. Why do we have to do this again?

There's no clearer indication about how this game is going to go than the fact that Vivid Seats is actually, seriously projecting a 93% to 7% disparity in fan representation.

Badger fans want absolutely no part of this game, and who could blame them? The last time these teams played, they watched their team lose 38-7 in a game where the damn wind was their best defender and they only managed to score on accident.

This one is going to get out of hand quickly. I can't wait to see Chris Chugunov in the third quarter of a conference championship game.

Word of the Day: Ingeminate.


 THIRD TIME'S A CHARM? Could this be the year that the Big Ten Running Back of the Year finally rushes for 100 yards against the Buckeyes?

No, no – I'm not talking about in a game. I'm talking total. Can he rush for seven yards tonight to bring his career rushing total against Ohio State to 100 yards? And how many quarters is it going to take him?

Cause the past two times, he's been about as effective as me back there, then he goes to the sideline and watches J.K. Dobbins gut his team's offense like a freshly caught fish.

I guarantee it's going to happen again tonight, but don't worry, Taylor is "very motivated."

“I’m very motivated. My team is going to try and lean on me to make plays, and I gotta make sure I am ready this week and have a great week of preparation so when my number is called, I am able to go out and execute,” Wisconsin junior running back Jonathan Taylor said in a teleconference interview Sunday.

Ohio State junior running back J.K. Dobbins has a legitimate argument against heralding Taylor with such a title, given their lopsided head-to-head matchups.

The Buckeyes are the only team in college football to hold Taylor under 80 yards on two separate occasions in his three-year career, running for just 93 total yards on 35 carries in his two prior meetings with Ohio State.

Meanwhile, Dobbins chewed up 174 and 163 yards in the same games, running for nine yards per carry while Taylor couldn’t manage three.

Jonathan Taylor is fine. He's Wisconsin's best player and it's not totally his fault that his offensive line gets tossed around like ragdolls against the Buckeyes, but I'm also not going to feign fear here.

The only thing Taylor's shown me in two games is extreme resiliency the way he rams his body into a mass of humans over and over and over, knowing damn well the furthest he's going to be running is if he goes backward.

And yet, he still runs. Incredible.

 MAYBE IT'LL BE DIFFERENT THIS TIME! The Buckeyes won by more than four touchdowns last time, but here are a bunch of anonymous coaches trying to convince you it's going to be closer this time, actually.

But some coaches expect Wisconsin to provide a challenge. A Big Ten coach pointed to the teams' first meeting, which Ohio State led 10-7 early in the third quarter before pulling away, saying, "Wisconsin played well, minus a few mistakes offensively. It got away from them."


"They're going to show different looks they haven't shown all year," a Big Ten assistant said of Wisconsin's defense. "They did that in the first half [in Columbus], and then it got away from them. If you just show the same looks, he'll kill you."


Big Ten championship games tend to be high-scoring, as teams go from playing in cold weather to ideal conditions inside Lucas Oil Stadium. "It always favors the faster team," a Big Ten coach said. The Buckeyes clearly have an edge there, but coaches think the Badgers will compete.

"They've got to Wisconsin them," a coach said. "Ball control, shorten the game, make a big play or two in the kick game, win the turnover battle, and limit the explosive plays. It's going to take a very clean game."

"It got away from them" is not exactly how I'd describe a game where one team outgained the other by 250 yards in a 31-point win, but sure!

I also love the "they're going to show different looks they haven't shown all year" answer, as if the Badgers are going to scrap and completely reinvent their entire scheme in a week.

Even if they could, let's not pretend there are any schematic changes they could make to actually win this game, or even keep it close.

 PLAYING THE FAVORITES. I kept it simple and went 2-0 last week, because Michigan sucks, bringing my total to 48-55-1. With just a few games this weekend, we're keeping it small again and riding heavy on the favorites.

  • Ohio State -9 against Wisconsin in the first half. I think the weather was Wisconsin's best defense last week and there won't be wind in a dome. I think this game is quite a bit more of a blowout than last week, and it's going to start in the first half.
  • Ohio State -16 against Wisconsin. Again, I think it's going to be worse than last time. And last time it was 38-7.
  • Oklahoma -9 against Baylor. Baylor hopped out to an early lead last time because Jaylen Hurts was a walking turnover. But as long as they held onto the ball, the Sooners rolled and pulled off the insane comeback. I think we see less chaos this time around and Oklahoma coasts.
  • Florida Atlantic -8 against UAB. This might well be Lane Kiffin's swan song at FAU, and I'm going to ride him to victory. This UAB team is fine, but its record is just a tad suspect given how easy its schedule has been. I think FAU rolls here.
  • LSU -7 against Georgia. I've been quite vocal about the fact that I don't think Georgia is an elite football team and I'm not changing my tune now. Georgia's going to have to score more than three touchdowns to cover in this game and I really don't think that's happening.

 PERSONAL NEWS: SHE SAID YES. The Buckeyes are a couple of hours away from clinching a Big Ten Championship ring, but I had a little ring ceremony of my own last night.

No better way to celebrate than a flaying of Wisconsin.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. Russia arrests a conman who built a fake border with Finland... A Banana duct-taped to a wall sold for $120,000 at a Miami art show... He was America's most deadly serial killer – but it was all a lie... Turns out, 'professional bridesmaid' is an actual job that a woman has... Plastic surgeons are using eye-tracking technology to make better breasts.

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