“Fight Badgers, fight, fight, fight to beat the spread!”
That’s what we should be singing. As many fans were celebrating a win over Rutgers last Saturday you could find me defeated, upset, and sitting in Buffalo Wild Wings with a bad view of the Tv’s so I was only able to watch the Florida State vs. NC State game.
Last weekend brought a lot of pain and disappointment for the rest of the season. First, Alabama is probably never going to lose. Second, LSU will most likely not make it into the playoffs so we won’t see Coach O win the championship. Third, Clemson looked incredible and looked like they want to put up 80 points in their next game. Fourth, Michigan steamed rolled Penn State in what should have been a close and interesting Big Ten match up. Fifth, Scott Frost had all of our hopes through the roof and then did what Scott Frost did best and lost a lead. Sixth, Notre Dame won, well actually I don’t mind a Notre Dame win, I like to see teams go undefeated and it will be really interesting to see if they will be able to get into the playoffs without a conference championship. Lastly, most important of all, The Badgers could not get the job done and cover.
The Badgers won by 17 points, therefore not entering back into the rankings. Just to reiterate the importance of covering: Wisconsin has a record of 6-3 and is unranked. Penn State has the same record of 6-3 and an even worse record of 3-3 against Big Ten teams (Wisconsin is 4-2). The difference and reason Penn State is ranked at 21 is that they are 5-4 against the spread and Wisconsin is only 2-7. While 21st in the rankings may not seem impressive, it is far better than being unranked.
Who knows, if we beat Rutgers by the 30 points we had to, then we could be in the rankings and Penn State would drop even further than they did after getting completely blown out by Michigan. But we did not cover, so we will never know.
With all of the bad that occurred during week 10, there was a glimmer of hope for the Badgers. That hope comes from the outright poor performance of the Nittany Lions. We just saw that they are ranked at 21st, well guess what, Wisconsin will have that little 21 in front soon enough.
Michigan is a very very very good team. We cannot discredit Jim Harbaugh and all of his work. But there was an all around poor performance by the Nittany Lions. Trace McSorely was not 100% and caused one of the two interceptions. Michigan was able to capitalize on the three turnovers that game and score 42 points in 403 yards.
I would never route for injury or hope that it will favor my team. I have a lot of respect for any football play, especially Trace McSorely as I have always watched him back home, but his injury will play a role in the game. We may see a match up between Coan and Stevens. Which after both of the starters performance in their last games, may not be the worst matchup.
The game is in Beaver Stadium. And we know how Wisconsin does on the road. The loss against Northwestern still sticks in my head, but remember, we did cover against Iowa and Coan looked pretty good on Saturday. What I am liking the most for this game is that the Nittany Lions are favorites at -8.5 points. That is a good number for Wisconsin for a few reasons.
- If we win, we cover. So this time, don’t be confused. We can win by any number of points and cover the spread at the same time.
- This should be a close game, meaning if we lose, it may only be by 7 or 3 points. Of course the issue with a loss is that we won’t improve into the rankings, but Penn State may fall making the next win for Wisconsin a factor to move up.
- Penn State let up 259 rushing yards last week against Michigan. Forget what quarterbacks are playing, we have to anticipate that the combo of Taylor and Deal can put up some numbers against this defense.
So keep the hope. This is very doable. The Badgers can win and cover this game for the state of Wisconsin, and most importantly the children.