Week 3 vs. Purdue
Purdue finished last season 5th in the West division with a 4-8 overall record. The Badgers trounced on them late in the season, beating them 45-24 at Camp Randall. Jonathan Taylor ran wild, gaining 222 rushing yards with a touchdown. Coan added on with 203 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Purdue did not have star receiver Rondale Moore while facing the Badgers last season. Moore was injured most of the season. The way it looks this year, Moore won’t be back to play against Wisconsin after he opted out earlier this season. Moore opted out when there wasn’t a Big Ten season, so now that there might be, Moore could look to come back. He hasn’t signed with an agent, making the possibility of his return easier.
Even with Rondale Moore, I don’t think the Boilermakers will be able to overtake Wisconsin, especially in Madison. I think the Badgers take this game, but closer than most will think.
The Pick: Wisconsin
Week 4 at Michigan
Much like Nebraska last year, the Wolverines had high expectations. Many thought 2019 was the year the Wolverines would break through and take the Big Ten. They fell flat. Again.
One of their biggest losses of the year came at the hands of Wisconsin in a 35-14 drubbing at Camp Randall in late September. I think that game showed how good Wisconsin was, rather than how bad Michigan was.
I think people are figuring out that Michigan isn’t going to be an elite program under Jim Harbaugh. Michigan has been picked to finish 3rd in the Big Ten East division in the Cleveland.com preseason poll, behind Ohio St. and Penn St.
The Wolverines are also losing their presumed starting quarterback in Dylan McCaffrey, who is opting out. That leaves them with redshirt sophomore, Joe Milton, who finished the 2019 season 3-of-7 for 59 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Behind him are redshirt freshman Cade McNamara and true freshman Dan Villari.
Even though the game will be at Ann Arbor, I think Michigan is as weak as they’ve been since Jim Harbaugh has been the head coach. I think Wisconsin will go into the Big House and leave with a victory.
The Pick: Wisconsin