Week 1 vs. Illinois
Last year, this was the definition of a trap game. Illinois was one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, and Wisconsin was considered the favorite to win the Big Ten West again. Wisconsin was 6-0 coming off consecutive shutout wins over Kent St. (48-0) and Michigan St. (38-0).
The Badgers were sluggish and Illinois stayed in the game and a late turnover led to a game-winning kick for the Illini. Wisconsin tumbled down the rankings and then had to go to Columbus the next week where they took a 38-7 beating by the Buckeyes.
I’m sure Wisconsin will be looking to get some revenge this year and get the 2020 season started on the right foot. Illinois is a popular pick to finish last in the West division this year, and I think Wisconsin won’t have a problem with them this year. The Badgers won’t look past them and will take care of business and start the season 1-0.
The Pick: Wisconsin
Week 2 at Nebraska
Wisconsin football has a 7-1 record against Nebraska since the Huskers joined the conference, including winning the last seven. Scott Frost is trying to turn the program around. He is in his third as the Husker’s head coach and has compiled a 9-16 record in his time at Nebraska.
Last year, quarterback Adrian Martinez was coming off a spectacular freshman season and was a possible Heisman candidate. With him and Scott Frost, the expectations were high. They were preseason favorites to win the Big Ten West before finishing the season with a 5-7 record and missing a bowl game appearance.
This year, the expectations for the Huskers aren’t quite as high. In a poll conducted by Cleveland.com, the Huskers are picked to 4th in the Big Ten West, behind Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.
Last year, the Badgers spanked the Huskers in Lincoln, 37-21. The Badgers have to go back to Nebraska again, but I don’t think they will have a whole lot of trouble with Nebraska and will extend their current streak to eight straight wins.
The Pick: Wisconsin