THE NARRATIVES PREVIEW: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State


This is going to be a game with a tapestry of stories to tell. Rich, like Corinthian leather!

Suppose being a man of science isn't what's in the heart of Badger fans, eh? Logic and numbers that never lie aren't what's going for you? I'd call you spoiled, but I already did that. So consider this my peace offering. Nothing but heart, guts and story. I'm trying to be a writer. So let's hit you with the preview.

Hey, did you know that Gary Andersen is a former Urban Meyer assistant? It's true! The 2004 season where Urban got Utah to the promised land of the unbeatens and being the first non-AQ school would not have happened without the yeoman work of Andersen on the defensive line. It's the teacher. The Dark Mentor. The most evil coach in the history of the world. Versus the student. The Daywalker. A man of high moral fiber.

If that's not your speed? We have the quarterback controversy that shouldn't be versus a quarterback controversy that might become. Joel Stave is on the edge of disaster! Not even the dispassionate among us can quell the tide of rabble against him. Only a game of mistake-free football where he hits Abby on the deep ball will. And lord help him if he goes 8-for-20. I can't even save him then.

But Ohio State might have some controversy if Braxton Miller rolls up and has a bad game. Remember, the defense contained him last year. And this year? We're looking at an Ohio State backup who just kicked into God mode on some admittedly subpar defenses in Kenny Guiton. I'm not saying there's going to be a majority calling for them to change. But I've seen fan forums, and lord help Braxton Miller if the Badgers win this thing.

Then there's the Heisman question. Braxton Miller's slipping in the Heisman sweepstakes because of the injury. If you're want to bet on these things anyway. But if you want a fun fact? Melvin Gordon's not on the Heisman radar. The leading rusher and preeminent home run-hitter in college football is in triple-digit odds territory right now.

I'm not going to come out and say that Melvin Gordon's going to flip the wigs of Ohio State's rush defense. But the fact that they're a top-10 defense is based on a downy soft schedule of running games. Cal's 97th-ranked rush offense is the best one they've faced.

Until this week.


You want a fun narrative though, a narrative to scare your nutfaced brethren from Ohio State University? The games played in primetime in the last decade? They have this tendency, to be very interesting and close. I'm not saying that the Badgers won the last one. (PHILLY BROWN, BY THE HOUNDS OF HELL, I STAB AT THEE)

But we all remember 2010, right? The No. 1 team in the country came to Madison. And it got punched in the mouth straight away. The Badgers never looked back, and the Badgers went to their first Rose Bowl in over a decade.

And Matt Schabert to Lee Evans in 2003. Knocking off the defending national champs. I know where I was on that night. Most of you do too.

As some nerdy Ohio State University dude comes in and says, "So? We got you in 2008. Terrelle Pryor in the final minute of that nightmare plagued season." You can smile, nod and respond with a "that may be true, but the Badgers won one, then Ohio State, then the Badgers won, then Ohio State."

And here's the thing man. Ohio State's the favorite. And no matter the praise Urban Meyer has heaped on the Badgers, we're the banged up team that no one's going to believe in more, man.



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