It’s Championship Week across college football and with that comes the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis on Saturday, December 7th. Unfortunately for Hawkeye fans, Iowa will not be playing. Instead, our
hated rivals friends from the north, Wisconsin, will be taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes.
This will be the second time the two teams face off this season. Back in late October, then #13 Wisconsin traveled to then #3 Ohio State. It did not end well for the Badgers as they were trounced 38-7 by the Buckeyes.
In the second meeting, the Badgers come in ranked #8 in the College Football Playoff Rankings while the Buckeyes are up to #1. Ohio State is favored by 16.5 with an over/under set at 56. That’s a massive line for two teams ranked in the top ten on a neutral site.
As indicated in our bowl projections, this game has implications for Iowa’s bowl outlook. Here’s what the staff is predicting for Saturday evening.
JPinIC: I really feel Wisconsin’s very poor outing the last time they faced Ohio State was a product of circumstance. The Badgers had been rolling for most of the early portion of the season, then got caught looking ahead to Ohio State and managed to lose at Illinois. The sheer shock of that loss bled into their matchup with the Buckeyes and they looked almost shell-shocked.
In round two, I expect the Badgers to put up a better fight. At least early on, that is. I’d look for this one to be relatively close heading into halftime with the Badgers focusing on what they do best: power running right at Ohio State. Following the Ferentz model of draining the clock can help Wisconsin stay close for a while, but Ohio State is going to hit on a number of big plays. That’s why the Ferentz style never seems to work against the Buckeyes - the talent is too great. I expect Justin Fields to go nuts in the second half as OSU begins to pull away.
Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 17
Mattcabel: This is an easy one. Ohio State will roll back into the College Football Playoff. Wisconsin won’t even have a chance on either side of the ball.
Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 24
DC: A rematch of a game that wasn’t particularly close the first time? It doesn’t look good for Wisconsin but maybe the Badgers found something with Jack Coan last week against Minnesota to keep this one closer? I personally don’t think so just trying to help the Big Ten hype it’s conference championship game.
Ohio State 52, Wisconsin 20
Jerry: This is why I wanted to see Minnesota make the Big Ten Championship just because I’ve already seen this movie before. I like Jonathan Taylor just as much as anyone else, but pretending JK Dobbins isn’t the best running back in the Big Ten right now is foolish. He does everything you want an elite back to do and then some. He’s ultimately going to be the second biggest problem for Wisconsin. The first one is going to be the Buckeyes defense. That unit flies around the field and just makes plays over and over and over again.
Ohio State 45, Wisconsin 17
Doug: Boring game, boring result. OSU by three touchdowns as they start their journey to a national title.
Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 17
BoilerHawk: I kind of want to pick Wisconsin here but Ohio State is on a freaking warpath to New Orleans. While I have you here, it’s been a little over a year since I’ve been to New Orleans which is frankly too long to go without being in New Orleans. New Orleans is, without a doubt, the greatest American city. New Orleans.
Ohio State 49, Wisconsin 28
Ben: Chase Young could play quarterback and still beat Wisconsin
Ohio State 1,000,000, Wisconsin 12
So there you have it. The staff is on the Buckeyes (shocker) and we’re ALL calling for them to cover. We’ll pass on an average score prediction (Ohio State scoring 1,000,000 skews things a bit), but if looks like we’re also calling for the over. Do with that what you will.
As for what that means for Iowa, such a result would likely lead to a path similar to what we laid out earlier this week. Ohio State makes the College Football Playoff, Wisconsin gets bypassed for the Rose Bowl by Penn State and we wait with baited breath to see if Iowa gets snuffed out of the Holiday and falls all the way to the Redbox Bowl.