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Fifth Quarter Consensus: Badgers do their thing, rout Hoosiers

The Predictions

Adam Tupitza (8-1, +146): Wisconsin 38, Indiana 20

Jake Harris (7-2, +130): Wisconsin 48, Indiana 17

John Veldhuis (7-2, +145): Wisconsin 42, Indiana 21

Adam Hoge (6-3, +150): Wisconsin 38, Indiana 20

Phil Mitten (3-3, +97): Wisconsin 41, Indiana 20

The Reasoning

Can you smell the roses yet, Badger fans? The players probably can, but the team also knows it needs to stay focused and hungry if it plans on winning its last three conference games, which come against the three best passing offenses in the Big Ten. Just to remind everyone, the Badgers are Big Ten champions as long as they go undefeated in November. In order to earn the Big Ten's automatic BCS berth, probably to the Rose Bowl, Wisconsin needs to win its three remaining games and have one of the following happen:

1) Michigan State loses either of its last two games.


2) The Spartans go undefeated the rest of the way, but so do the Ohio State Buckeyes to set up a three-way tie, and Wisconsin stays above both teams in the BCS rankings.

Now that we've cleared that up, let's turn our attention to Wisconsin's next opponent, Indiana. The Hoosiers are winless in Big Ten play, thanks largely to a one-dimensional offense and a defense that ranks ninth in the conference in most major statistical categories. Quarterback Ben Chappell has 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions so far on the season, but just two touchdowns in Indiana's last five games to go with seven picks.

The Hoosiers are the worst Big Ten team running the ball, averaging just 97.1 rushing yards per game, while the Badgers rank 16th in the nation in that category. With a 40% chance of rain and high winds expected at game time, consider Wisconsin the heavy favorite to move the ball most effectively.Even without center Peter Konz and (potentially) starting running back John Clay, the Badgers' ground game will be too much for the Hoosiers to handle.

The Badgers are back home in a stadium where they have lost a total of four games in nearly seven seasons dating back to 2004. Wisconsin is also rolling, having won four straight and having scored at least 31 points in each of those victories. Meanwhile, Indiana has lost every type of game imaginable to start 0-5 in conference play, most recently an 18-13 heartbreaker to Iowa last week when star wide receiver Demarlo Belcher dropped what would have been the game-winning touchdown pass on fourth down. The team is making Belcher a captain for Saturday's game at Camp Randall Stadium, a nice gesture but not enough to take away the sting of falling just short of an upset that could have rejuvenated the program.

Wisconsin inches one step closer to BCS glory.

Who has the edge?

Offense: Wisconsin

Defense: Wisconsin

Special Teams: Wisconsin

Intangibles: Wisconsin