The Wisconsin Badgers won the Big Ten championship last year and that doesn't sit too well with the Ohio State Buckeyes, who beat the Badgers on their way to a perfect season.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, they were serving a postseason ban, and could only watch as Wisconsin went on to win the conference championship game.
The No. 4 Buckeyes, no longer serving that ban, host the No. 23 Badgers in a game that could decide who represents the Leaders Division in this year's Big Ten title game. As of early this week, the Buckeyes were listed as 7.5-point favorites over Wisconsin at most books monitored by OddsShark.com, with a total of 54.
Ohio State opened this season with a 40-20 win over Buffalo, although it couldn't cover the spread at -34. The Buckeyes then beat San Diego State 42-7, covering at -28, even though they lost QB Braxton Miller to a sprained knee in the first quarter.
Then, with backup QB Kenny Guiton stepping in, OSU went out and won at Cal 52-34, covering at -13, then came home and destroyed Florida A&M 76-0, cashing in at -48.
Miller is listed as probable for Saturday's game, but at this point it doesn't really matter whether it's him or Guiton at quarterback. Both are dangerous.
Wisconsin, which was 75-1 to win the conference back in August, opened the Coach Andersen era with a 45-0 victory over UMass, covering as 44-point favorites, then dispatched Tennessee Tech 48-0, covering at -45. The Badgers then, as 6-point underdogs, had a chance to pull off an upset out at Arizona State, but let the clock run out before they could kick the game-winning field goal in a 32-30 defeat.
Last week, UW ground out a 41-10 victory in its Big Ten opener over Purdue, covering at -24.
These teams played a dandy last year at Camp Randall, with the Buckeyes coming away with a 21-14 victory in overtime. OSU led 14-0 early, but Wisconsin tied it with a touchdown with eight seconds to go in regulation. The Buckeyes then scored immediately in the first OT, then held the Badgers on downs.
Wisconsin outgained Ohio State that day 360-237 and outrushed them 206-140. Two years ago, in Columbus, the Badgers led 29-26 in the last half-minute until Miller hit Devin Smith for a 40-yard bomb and a 33-29 Buckeyes win.
ABC has the live television coverage of the happenings from the Horseshoe on Saturday night, with kickoff slated for 8 pm ET.
Prediction: 32-20 Ohio State (via Odds Shark picks computer)
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