Wisconsin at Penn State
This is the big one. As mentioned earlier, this was probably the biggest game circled by every Badger fan heading into the season. Michigan looks like it might be a better team than Penn State right now, but that wasn’t the perception until recently.
This is as winnable for Wisconsin as any of the other games I talked about. The Nittany Lions present probably the best player Wisconsin will play against this year in quarterback Trace McSorley, but that’s about it. The Penn State defense shouldn’t be too much for Wisconsin to overcome and the Badgers should have a decided advantage in the head coaching battle too.
James Franklin hasn’t done his best work in marquee Big Ten games in his career. This year his team has already dropped two games at home, to Ohio State and Michigan State. The week before the Badgers come to town, the Nittany Lions will be in the Big House too. The downside for Wisconsin here is Penn State could be desperate.
Winning this game would go a long way in quieting the “Wisconsin can’t win the big game” narrative that has followed this program for years. Though I have a feeling if Wisconsin hands Penn State its fourth loss of the year this won’t be seen as a “big game” anyway. But whatever.
Wisconsin can still win double-digit games this year, and getting this one in Happy Valley almost locks it in. Wisconsin will be coming off the easiest stretch of its schedule while Penn State will be capping off the most difficult stretch of theirs. The writing is on the wall.