The Badgers will bully their way into the Top 10 and a trip to the Outback Bowl in 2010.
The schedule Wisconsin is hardly famed for its daunting non-conference schedules and 2010 is no different. San Jose State, UNLV, and FCS school Austin Peay are unlikely to test the Badgers but a September 18 game against a rebuilding Arizona State team could prove interesting.
Michigan State will give Wisconsin a decent test on the road but the big games come later in October. Ohio State visit Madison on October 16 and that game is followed a week later by a road trip to Iowa. Those match-ups could make or break the Badgers’ season. The season ends with a chance to avenge last year’s defeat to Northwestern.
The players Wisconsin is stacked on offense entering 2010. Big Ten offensive player of the year John Clay is one of 10 returning starters on offense. The explosive running back has the same offensive line that helped him gain almost 1,400 yards last season, to work with. Clay has no shortage of motivation either as he was overlooked by the media in their selection for the preseason Big Ten offensive player of the year. College Football betting fans should expect the Badgers to put up big numbers on the ground.
The defensive line is Wisconsin’s least experienced unit, with JJ Watt the sole returning starter from 2009. The Badgers still have substantial veteran talent however, with 7 returning defensive starters. Look for All-Big Ten selection Jay Valai to star in his senior season. Kicker Philip Welch and punter Brad Nortman are both returning starters from 2009.
The forecast Wisconsin hasn’t made it to a BCS Bowl since playing the Rose Bowl on New Year’s day in 2000. Despite the abundance of talent on the field, I don’t see the Badgers returning to Pasadena this year.
I like Wisconsin to be undefeated going into its home game with the Buckeyes but Ohio State should have enough to edge out the Badgers. Facing Iowa’s defense just a week later will prove a difficult challenge for Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes won in Madison last season and I expect a similar result in 2010. Despite these two hammer blows in October, the Badgers should have the mental resolve to see out the rest of the season unbeaten. That would mean a 10-2 finish and a likely trip to the Outback Bowl. The BCS is far from unattainable but I don’t see the Badgers getting there this year.