I'm thinking of one Big Ten School in particular:
-They choke every time the step onto the National Championship stage
-Their QB has yet to prove himself as a pocket passer that has any type of efficiency
-They have arguably the toughest road through the Big Ten conference this year
Who am I talking about?
Well, none other than the same-old-same-old Ohio State Buckeyes. You know; the team that never lives up to what we all expect them to? Well, if you're looking for anything different out of them this year, you might have to reconsider who really is poised to win the "Black-and-Blue" conference this year.
Of course i am talking about the Wisconsin Badgers. Wait, what? Wisconsin? Not a chance, right? Well yes, of course there is a chance; a chance for the Badgers who:
1.) Have a perennial Heisman contender in John Clay (1510 yds, 18 TD, 5.3 yd average in 2009).
2.) Posses possibly the best one-two punch in the country in John Clay and Montee Ball.
3.) Contain, yet again, the biggest offensive line in the business.
4.) Retain Scott Tolzien -- the most consistent and proven passer in the Big Ten.
Along with all of these convincing statements, their has to be an explaination regarding all of this -- I am here to do just that.
Why is Wisconsin the class of the Big Ten?
Its easy to see why the advantage is with the Badgers this year.
Getting the Ohio State game at home this year is an obvious confidence boost from last year, when the Badgers' undefeated season dreams came to a striking end at the hands of the Buckeyes, in Columbus.
But this year is different in that a home game vs Ohio State will boost the moral of the Badger fans.
The advantage of having that "12th man" is invaluable.
With Camp Randall blazing with enthusiasm, it will be nearly impossible for Terrell Pryor to not be flustered. And once that happens, blowouts usually precede.
One really has to think that with the Badgers hosting the Buckeyes this year, that it would be extremely hard not to win the game.
Badger fans shouldn't have much to worry about in the non-conference portion of their schedule (opponents combined for an underwhelming 15-32 record a year ago).
Although Ohio State does start the season off with 4 straight non-conference home games, the final outcome of the Big Ten standings should have that Red and White "W" on top.
At the end of two full games, the Badgers defense has found itself in a great position to be able to handle Ohio State's poised offense, ranking the Badgers 23rd in the country in YPG Allowed (262 yd).
Terrel Pryor's ability to run out of the pocket and make plays should become a bit of a problem for the Wisconsin offense. But considering Wisconsin's defense has a slight advantage over the Ohio State defense, it shouldn't really matter.
Unfortunately for both defenses, this game will be decided on the offensive end. I don't expect either defense to hold the high-powered offenses of Ohio State and Wisconsin.
The outcome of this game -- and the entire season -- will come down to turnovers.
Should either Scott Tolzien or Terrel Pryor make a critical mistake, expect the opposing team to take the opportunity by the horns.
The matchup between these two teams (Oct 16th) should make for a classic shootout in Badger country, and preferably one of the must-watch games for all college football fans.
Wisconsin football isn't a cake-walk, people.
As stunning of an NFL prospect the John Clay is, this Wisconsin offense is a whole lot better when you look in depth -- particularly right behind Clay.
Sophomore RB Montee Ball -- the guy who will eventually have to take over and replace Clay -- runs with exceptional speed and power. Through two games this year, as a backup, Ball has 110 yards, and 2 TD. Talk about a burst a the running back position, eh?
Junior QB Scott Tolzien has much too many doubters for his reliability and efficiency at his position.
With no true outstanding WR to support Tolzien (other than Senior David Gilreath who was sent to the hospital last game with concussion-like symptoms), Senior Lance Kendricks and Junior WR Nick Toon will have to fill the void while Gilreath recovers.
One thing to look for: Look for John Clay to drastically improve his recieving yards.
Clay is yet another Badger who is ready to step up yet another part of his game, making him the most versitile RB in the country -- yes, I said it.
John Clay carrying the load for this team is the best possible senario for Wisconsin, and it may just end up with a Heisman Trophy, as well...
Lead by a high-powered offense, expect great things from the Wisconsin Badgers this season.
Looking into the future, we all can see why Wisconsin will truly put an end to Ohio State's supremacy in 2010.
Bret Bielema has set out one clear goal for his team: Beat Ohio State.
Don't expect the road to be easy, at all.
Visiting a highly potent Iowa Hawkeye team (Oct 23rd) who has also given the Badgers trouble over the years will not be and easy task, to say the least. Along with heading to a surprisingly jump-started Michigan (Nov 20th) is another road less traveled.
Anything can happen in college football -- that goes without saying. But predicting outcomes and scores just makes the hype all for the better, when you think about it.
Wisconsin fans just want this team do their absolute best. This team has a very unique and rare shot at getting to the big-time this year.
Don't expect that opportunity to be wasted.