You know it's a big game if Brent Musburger is coming to town. The legendary broadcaster calls all of ABC's Saturday night primetime games will be in Madison this weekend calling the Wisconsin-Nebraska game.
Musburger has been prepping for the game all week and was generous enough to break down the game with B5Q in an exclusive interview. You can either listen to the interview or read the transcript below:
LISTEN: Brent Musburger with B5Q's Adam Hoge
B5Q: Brent, I got to say, you've been spoiled with great matchups so far this season and some great games. What excites you so much about this weekend's game in Madison?
Brent Musburger: You know, Adam, I'm excited. It's the Big Ten opener for Nebraska. I think the obvious build up. There's personalities involved. Barry Alvarez, the AD at Wisconsin, of course, played back in the 60s down there. The two schools have been very close and it's going to be very interesting -- a great fan base coming up from Lincoln. And of course there's no better town in my opinion in the country for a college football game than Madison, so I'm really looking forward to this one.
B5Q: Nebraska joining the Big Ten was pretty much the first domino in all this conference realignment that's been talked about so much. What are your thoughts on Nebraska joining the Big Ten and how do you feel about all the conference movement in general?
Musburger: Well I think Nebraska to the Big Ten is such a natural fit. They've got geographical rivals in Iowa and Minnesota and certainly Wisconsin even though they're in different divisions. So I think it was a perfect fit for the conference. It gave the conference another blue-chip power as far as scheduling games is concerned so there will be a lot of network television around Nebraska.
As far as the rest of it is concerned, I guess I'm somewhat puzzled that so much has occurred during the season and not after the season. I guess that's the most surprising thing to me. As for Texas A&M jumping to the SEC specifically, I guess their ego was probably out of wack. Texas got their own television network and the Aggies didn't have theirs so they're joining a great conference in the SEC and we'll see how that works out. The ACC, it seems to me, is destined to become the first of the super-conferences. I think they are headed to a 16-team format before long as far as I can tell and then we'll see happens out west down the road.
B5Q: Well getting back to this game on Saturday, through four games the Badgers really appear to be one of the better teams in the country, but they haven't really had a tough game yet. How does this team compare to the one you saw in Pasadena last winter and do you think they can win the national championship this year?
Musburger: Well I don't think we can compare them yet until they step in against some tougher opponents. I frankly am surprised that the Badgers are a double-digit favorite because Nebraska has played a better non-conference schedule. Now, that has no meaning at all since the Huskers are coming up to Madison where the Badgers should certainly be the hometown favorite. For the Badgers to compete and make the championship game they're going to have to run the table and that will include a Big Ten Championship Game at the end of the year and that could be a rematch against Nebraska. Who knows? There's a long, long way to go before we start moving teams into that championship space, but as of right now, Oklahoma vs the LSU-Alabama game still has the inside track for the National Championship Game.
B5Q: How much did you know about Russell Wilson before this season? Had you ever seen him play at North Carolina State and what has impressed you just watching him on film so far this season? And do you think Russell Wilson is a legitimate Heisman candidate?
Musburger: You know, I have never seen him in person, I've seen a lot of highlights during his days at North Carolina State. I knew, a) that he was a good quarterback and b) that he was a good baseball player. So I knew that there was that conflict between sports. Frankly, I'm quite surprised that Tom O'Brien ran him away from the Wolfpack team. He is very definitely a legitimate Heisman candidate, but his biggest stage comes Saturday night. That's when the whole country will be watching to see how he performs. His receivers will not be as wide open as they have been earlier this season. Nebraska with the Pelini brothers, they stress defense. They've got some good defensive backs. This is going to be a great test for Russell Wilson.
B5Q: On the other side of the ball you're going to have Taylor Martinez with Nebraska. Some people kind of consider him to be a one dimensional quarterback with his legs, not so much with the arm, but those kinds of offenses -- the option type of offenses -- have caused Wisconsin problems in the past so how do you think Taylor Martinez will fare Saturday against the Wisconsin defense?
Musburger: Well, the Nebraska coaches look at that option play out to the edges as basically a short swing pass. They're trying to get space out there for either Martinez, (Rex) Burkhead, or one of their other tailbacks on the pitch spot. So they've changed up a little bit and they've gone much more to option football. But of course if you go back to the days of Tom Osbourne and Bob Devaney, that was the bread and butter play for the Cornhuskers. So Wisconsin better get ready because Nebraksa will attempt to attack them on both edges.
B5Q: All right Brent, you got to call the Ohio State game at Camp Randall last season and obviously that was a great atmosphere. You have to be pretty happy to go back to Madison. Where does this town rank as far as your favorite places to call a game?
Musburger: Well there's no one favorite, Adam, but Madison is tied for first, let me tell you that right now. It's a great, great environment.
B5Q: Well Brent, everyone is extremely excited for this weekend's game. We know there are going to be thousands of Nebraska fans even coming to Madison as well. It's going to be one hell of an atmosphere. Appreciate your time. We look forward to seeing you Saturday.
Musburger: Yeah, I can wait. Thanks, Adam.