I don’t have much in the way of creativity to welcome you to predictions this week. It’s Ohio State versus wisconsin in Indianapolis. Win, and the badgers are 13-0 and head to the College Football Playoff.
I’m sorry, I’ll need a moment to clean the vomit off my keyboard.
Others are confident that’s not happening, arguing that Ohio State has the athletes to keep the badgers at bay. But this is the best defense the Buckeyes will face all year, and the efficiency of the ground-based badger offense will test the Ohio State defense to put together a complete game.
We argued about that for your convenience. It turned into a roundtable of sorts. Enjoy:
wisconsin badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (-6.5)
7:17pm GTZ | FOX | O/U 52
SU: wisconsin, 6-5
Dead Read: I believe that there might be enough holes in the Buckeye psyche for Wisconsin to win. That is my pick, and I am sticking with it.
Funny how Speth shows up at the end of the year: WHY IS A TEAM THAT GOT ITS SHIT PUSHED IN BY IOWA (and Oklahoma but I guess that's acceptable) FAVORED AGAINST A TEAM THAT HAS PUSHED EVERYONE'S SHIT IN (besides Northwestern kind of but definitely Iowa)?!?!?!? If I didn't have a "never bet on the Badgers rule... Here's the deal. I don't think OSU can beat Wisconsin through the air like they've done to some teams and Wisconsin has the best run defense in the country. This game comes down to Hornibrook. If Hornibrook plays like he did against BYU and Minnesota and makes smart throws Ohio State is not winning this game. If he's a turnover machine Wisconsin isn't winning this game. Taylor will get his, and so will Dobbins probably. Chryst (notable for not being Gary Andersen) is a smart guy and I have faith he doesn't put Hornibrook in a position to fail. Also for all you conspiracy people, Wisconsin winning is what Delany wants because win and we're in. OSU needs help. This isn't 2014. Wisconsin wins, see you all in the playoffs peasants
WhiteSpeedReceiver: This is a fucking joke, right? Ohio State played a tougher schedule, yet scored nearly 2 TD more per game while only allowing 7 points more per game in conference play. And that's with abortion of the Iowa game! And then they also played Penn State, which is the only other offense in the conference worth a damn this season.
I don't believe there's really a single area that wisconsin is better than Ohio State, and that's before you put the game on turf to give Ohio State's speed advantage an extra little kick. It won't be 49-0, but the spread should be around 3 TD. The second that Ohio State goes up by 2 TD in the 2nd half and wisconsin has to pass is the second this one is over.
Creighton M: Iowa is always a terrible mutual opponent to compare two teams
The coaches actually coached against OSU. They watched Oklahoma film and went after their weaknesses, knowing they were outmatched.
Against Wisconsin they went back to stubborn "manball" where they tried to just "execute better" and were predictably outclassed as they kept pushing the boulder up the same hill.
Speth: I'm not saying Iowa didn't have their game of the season/life against Ohio State. I just have serious doubts about Ohio State's ability to actually show up since they haven't shown up a bunch this season. They didn't show up for the first half against Indiana, they didn't show up for the first quarter against Michigan, they didn't show up for the first 3 quarters against Penn State, and then you've got the Iowa and Oklahoma games.
Now they're playing a team that's top 5 defensively in every statistical category that exists and the sabermetrics back it up (#1 defense in S&P+) with a maybe not healthy JT Barrett. Am I guaranteeing a Wisconsin win? No, but I'm guaranteeing OSU doesn't score more than 24 points.
How's OSU gonna score? The one weakness of traditional Wisconsin defenses is mobile QBs that can throw but this is the most athletic front 7 in Wisconsin history.
Andrew Kraszewski couldn’t be bothered to fill out the spreadsheet, but I’ll give you his picks anywho: OSU covers. I didn't even check the spread.
Stewmonkey13: Fuck wisconsin
WhiteSpeedReceiver: wisconsin will probably score around 13-17. They'll get points off the first drive, following a turnover, and broken coverage. That won't be anywhere near enough. Ohio State will score around 31.
Speth using 2017 BYU and 2017 Minnesota as a blueprint for how they can win against Ohio State is all you need to know. They're a giant step down talent-wise from where they need to be. This may be the 2nd-best wisconsin team ever, and it's nowhere near good enough.
BigRedTwice: Wisconsin, and because it apparently bears repeating, it's 2017 and everything is terrible.
But if they make the playoffs, it'll be 2018. And maybe 2018 won't be so terrible. :)
Aaron Yorke: I have Wisconsin winning a rock fight because I worry about Ohio State against good defenses. The numbers trend in Ohio State's favor because Wisconsin didn't beat up the bad teams on its schedule as well as the Buckeyes did, but the last four results for the Badgers have been pretty darn impressive. Wisconsin 20, Ohio State 17.
James Snyder: Going into the game, I expected Wisconsin to run all over Ohio State's defense. However, Tennessee Twitter killed Greg Schiano. I now believe the Buckeyes will play inspired football for their dearly departed coordinator. Buckeyes 30, Wisconsin 20.
MNW: I want to second Bert that 2017 has been a fucking terrible year. Please prevent it from being a complete dumpster fire, Buckeyes.
But yeah, this will be the first team the badgers have seen where a team that actually sells out to stop the run will be able to use its athletes to keep the wisconsin receiving “threats” under wraps. That puts the game on the shoulders of my running back of the year, Jonathan Taylor.
Against the only real defense the badgers faced this year, Taylor averaged just over 4 yards per carry but couldn’t crack 100 yards, and Alex Hornibrook tossed two picks on an 11/20 day passing. That doesn’t bode well if the Buckeyes bring it, and I think they can.
On the other side of the ball, it doesn’t matter if it’s J.T. Barrett or Dwayne Haskins—this is a quarterback and an offense wisconsin can’t just stop with its scheme. Ohio State busts one early in the passing game, and then a steady diet of J.K. Dobbins keeps the badgers at arm’s length. Ohio State, 24-17.
Let us know your picks and predictions for the Big Ten Championship Game in the comments!
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