In any other season, Wisconsin vs. Indiana would not be a big game. Wisconsin is a traditional football power that typically finishes in the Top 25 rankings each season and Indiana is...well, they're typically preparing for basketball season right around now.
This year's edition is very different.
The Hoosiers, thanks to ineligible Ohio State and Penn State, have a chance to play in the Big Ten Championship game this season, despite a current 4-5 record.
This is contingent upon the Hoosiers beating a tough Wisconsin team at home. Wisconsin is coming off of a heartbreaker against Michigan State last week and faces an undefeated Ohio State squad at home the following week.
This puts the Hoosiers in a perfect position for an upset.
In only his second season, Kevin Wilson has invigorated the Indiana offense with a high-flying passing attack that currently ranks among the Top 25 in the country. The Hoosiers have been throwing for nearly 300 yards per game on average and scoring 33.1 points per game.
Led by quarterback Cameron Coffman, running back Stephen Houston and receiver Cody Latimer, the Hoosiers have been frustrating opposing defenses with misdirection plays and their never-say-die playing style.
The Hoosiers have been in close games all season and nearly beat an undefeated Ohio State squad at home on October 13. Four of their last five games, including the Ohio State one, have been decided by four points or less.
Coming off big wins over Big Ten opponents Illinois and Iowa in back-to-back weeks, the Hoosiers are rolling on offense and looking to continue that momentum heading into the final weeks of the season.
Indiana is also in a position to go to its first bowl game since 2007 with two wins in its final three (possibly four) games. This adds further incentive to win this game at home against the Badgers.
On the other side of the field, Wisconsin is employing the two-quarterbacks-if-necessary system that has been hit-or-miss lately. Last week's game against Michigan State saw it fail miserably in a come-from-behind loss to the Spartans.
It is anyone's guess who will play for the Badgers against the Hoosiers this week. About the only thing that will definitely happen is that Montee Ball and James White will get a ton of carries against a defense that is vulnerable to the run.
With that said, however, Wisconsin does run a more traditional style of offense and Indiana had great success beating a similar style of offense last week against Iowa.
Look for the Hoosiers to employ a similar defense to the one they ran last week in an effort to stop Wisconsin's rushing attack.
If Indiana can put points on the board early and force Wisconsin to throw the ball and abandon the run, the Hoosiers will be in a great position to pull off the upset.