Monday, November 26, 2012
Big Ten Week 14 preview
By Brian Bennett
Just one game left before bowl season. It's a little thing we like to call the Big Ten championship game.
No. 12 Nebraska (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) vs. Wisconsin (7-5, 4-4), 8:15 p.m. ET, Fox: You can say that the Badgers, who finished third in the Leaders Division behind probation-saddled Ohio State and Penn State, doesn't deserve to be here. But those were the rules laid out, and Bret Bielema's team is not about to step aside from a chance to make the Rose Bowl with an 8-5 record. This, of course, is a rematch of the Sept. 27 Big Ten opener for both teams in Lincoln. Wisconsin led 27-10 in the third quarter, but the Huskers came roaring back for 20 straight points to win 30-27 and establish their 2012 comeback tone.
The Huskers seem to have a big edge here with their explosive offense, as the Badgers have had trouble scoring points against the better teams in the league. But Wisconsin's underrated defense has had success slowing down high-scoring teams like Ohio State and Penn State, and the Badgers did have Nebraska on the ropes on the road in September with a team that was still figuring out its offensive line. Still, getting Rex Burkhead back is a big lift for the Huskers, and this appears to be a team of destiny. It would register as an upset if Wisconsin can keep Big Red from winning its first conference title since 1999 and getting to Pasadena.