Through the first eight games of the season, I currently have the Wisconsin Badgers at 6-2. This final stretch of the regular season will be important. As a result, I think the West will come down to the last few weeks of the season. Here is how I see the last four games going for the Badgers.
November 5- Maryland
Maryland had a good year last season. They went 7-6 and reached a bowl game. I really like quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa as well. Maryland can score a lot of points, but gave up a lot of points last year too. For example, they won their bowl game against Virginia Tech 54-10 and defeated Howard 62-0. However, they also gave up 59 points to Michigan, 40 to Michigan State, 51 to Iowa and 66 to Ohio State. I am sure Maryland wants to fix that this year and be more consistent on the defensive side of the ball.
I think this has a chance to be a shootout in Madison. Both offenses should have the chance to put up points in a hurry. At the end of the day, I like Wisconsin’s defense a lot more. I think they make the plays when it matters most.
Wisconsin wins 35-27. Season Record: 7-2
November 12- At Iowa
This will be a massive game for both teams. I think whoever wins this game will win the West. Kinnick Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in the country, especially under the lights. It’s unknown what time this game will be, but you better believe both teams will be ready and Iowa City will be rocking. Any Badger fan knows that defenses will thrive in this game and it come down to the offenses.
At the end of the day, who do you trust more? Graham Mertz or Alex Padilla/Spencer Petras? Mertz is the best of the three, but can he lead the Badgers to a road win? If Mertz does that, it will easily be his signature win as a starter to this point. The Badgers got a taste of both Padilla and Petras last season in Madison. The Badgers whooped Iowa 27-7. Iowa will be looking for revenge. I like Iowa’s defense and that they’re the home team, but Wisconsin has proven they can go into Kinnick and win. The Badgers have also won seven of the last nine meetings. I think the Badgers get a massive road win.
Wisconsin wins 24-21. Season Record: 8-2
November 19- At Nebraska
Assuming Wisconsin can win at Iowa, this is probably the trap game of the year. Nebraska would like nothing more than to ruin Wisconsin’s season. National media and sportsbooks like Nebraska as well. In fact, most have the Cornhuskers as the second highest odds to win the West behind Wisconsin. I don’t see it. Until Nebraska and Scott Frost can prove they can get a signature win, I think they’re fourth best in the West behind Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.
If you think Kinnick Stadium is a tough place to play, Memorial Stadium is just as tough. Despite the tough record over the last five plus seasons, Memorial Stadium always has sell outs and the fans are just as loud as any stadium in college football. This will be a tougher test for the Badgers than most might think. I think the Badgers use the momentum from the Iowa game and it leads them to a late score and a win.
Wisconsin wins 27-24. Season Record: 9-2
November 26- Minnesota
This is the rivalry game. This is the game Wisconsin will want to win badly. The Badgers had everything in front of them last season for the Big Ten West. All they had to do was win in Minnesota. However, poor second half play and the Golden Gophers taking advantage of a early second half turnover allowed Minnesota to pull away 23-13. The loss allowed Iowa to win the West. The Badgers have had to sit on this all off-season. You better believe Madison will be loud.
Minnesota returns a ton of players using their COVID eligibility year, especially on offense. Quarterback Tanner Morgan and running back Mohamed Ibrahim each return for their sixth season and senior Chris Autman-Bell is one of the better receivers in the Big Ten. I think Wisconsin rebounds and the defense makes a stop late in the game. As a result, I think the Badgers win the West and go on to the Big Ten Championship.
Wisconsin wins 28-24. Season Record: 10-2
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