College Football Preview: Badgers, Spartans, and Buckeyes Battle in Big Ten

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

Wisconsin holds a slender advantage in the race for the Big Ten’s Rose Bowl bid but Michigan State and Ohio State still have their eyes on the prize.

Badgers need to focus on winning The tie-breaker scenarios in the Big Ten currently favor the Badgers. As it stands they are level with Ohio State and Michigan State at 6-1 in the Big Ten and 10-1 for the season. Wisconsin lead the race for the Rose Bowl because they are the highest ranked of the three in the BCS standings. The Spartans however hold a tie-breaker over Wisconsin but remain behind as they haven’t played the Buckeyes.

The Badgers don’t have complete control over their destiny but will most like it to some form of BCS game, either with an automatic or at-large bid, if they take care of business against Northwestern on Saturday. Of the three decisive games in the conference, this is the one College Football betting fans are looking on as a lock. The Wildcats offense was wholly reliant on Dan Persa and the quarterback is out for the season, making Wisconsin big favorites for this game.

Ohio State’s uphill challenge In order to have any hope of smelling roses, the Buckeyes must first beat Michigan in The Game. The Wolverines secondary has proven their undoing in 2010 but Ohio State’s offense is hardly the greatest show on turf. Even a minor improvement from the Michigan defense could give them a shot in this game. The decisive factor however will likely be Ohio State’s own dominantt defense. Aside from one poor outing at Wisconsin, this unit has dominated all comers and should have too much for even the dynamic Denard Robinson. I like Ohio State to win big. Victory should be enough for Ohio State to make it to a BCS bowl but they need Wisconsin to lose to make it to Pasadena.

Rose Bowl or bust for Spartans If Michigan somehow pulls an upset in the Horseshow then the Spartans take pole position. A loss for the Buckeyes would leave Michigan State in command due to their victory over Wisconsin. The Spartans however likely won’t attract an at-large bid if they fail win the Big Ten’s place in Pasadena. Rather than worrying about what might be, Michigan State’s players need to focus on tackling Penn State. The Nittany Lions have looked far from threatening this season but won’t be pushovers in Happy Valley. I like the Spartans to take a narrow victory. Whether that’s enough for a trip to the BCS remains to be seen.