I like it when people put themselves on the line. Damn weird and mean Twitter accounts like Old Takes Exposed. Shoot your shot. It’s a respectable thing.
And that’s why I’m here. Hi. I’m going to give you the only three predictions that you need for tonight’s game between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, There are only three paths for this game to go. Choose your own adventure, I won’t judge.
Just know that these are all completely accurate. And they will all happen. I don’t joke. Read my Twitter, I’m clearly not funny.
Likely Case: Last season, Western Kentucky was the worst in rushing yards. I’m not saying this for hyperbolic reasons. The Hilltoppers were 130 out of 130. With an inexperienced offensive line (18 combined starts), they will likely struggle to get the running game going. That means the Badgers can sit on the passing game, and while I would wager the Drew Eckels-to-Lucky Jackson connection pulls out a chunk play or two on an inexperienced secondary, the Badgers get themselves a nice opponent for the youth on the defensive side of the ball.
Add to that the Badgers’ obvious winning match-up in terms of a Heisman Trophy candidate running back in Jonathan Taylor with five NFL-worthy returning starters on the offensive line vs. a front seven that lost its two top stars in Derik Overstreet and Joel Iyiegbuniwe. You have a game that the Badgers will win comfortably, if maybe not dominantly. 41–14 feels right. The delightful battle between Bucky Badger and Big Red makes SportsCenter while we remain disappointed Western Kentucky didn’t engage in a more creative mascot name.
Best Case: True freshman wide receivers showing out before the first Saturday becomes a trend in the Big Ten as Aron Cruickshank joins Purdue’s Rondale Moore in making defenses wish they had game-planned for them. Cruickshank takes it to the barn on a rush and a return as well as when Alex Hornibrook drops a couple of beauties into his hands. Taylor doesn’t have the game to start a Heisman campaign, but Taiwan Deal gets rewarded for sticking with it and fighting through injuries no one would have blamed him for walking into a full academic career instead. He scores twice. The Badgers’ offense threatens to be truly nice, but falls short, winning 65–10. Bucky and Big Red pull off a spectacular wrestling move that goes viral. How does Big Red take a German Suplex onto astro turf? Watch the dang game.
Worst Case: Western Kentucky’s experienced secondary enjoys a nice game with cornerback DeAndre Farris being able to make things interesting long after they had any right to do it. So if you’re asking me does bad Hornibrook show up? I’ll just say that Iowa fans on Twitter will pull out the jokes they have from the game Wisconsin won 38–14 at some point. As mentioned before, the Badgers do have one singular match-up that will be enough for them to pull out of the tailspin before they have a full upset and meltdown. But a 31–21 win on a late touchdown is going to knock them down a few pegs in both esteem and on the polls.
And you want to know the worst part? BIG RED DOESN’T EVEN SHOW UP.