Nebraska vs. Wisconsin: Overrated Cornhuskers Will Be Exposed in Big Ten Debut

Michael DixonAnalyst IIISeptember 30, 2011

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 24: Nick Toon #1 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs for a touchdown after a catch in front of Aaron Swift #26 of the South Dakota Coyotes at Camp Randall Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Madison Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It's not that Nebraska is a bad team. You can be overrated and good.

But since opening the season with a 40-7 win over Chattanooga, Nebraska has come back and beaten Fresno State 42-29, Washington 51-38 and Wyoming 38-14.

Looking at those three games in a bubble, the win is all that matters. But none of those teams are anywhere near as good as Wisconsin. The Cornhuskers won't be able to just run down the field and outscore Wisconsin.

The Badgers' level of competition hasn't been much better. The quartet of UNLV, Oregon State, Northern Illinois and South Dakota isn't exactly a gauntlet to start the season.

Like Nebraska, Wisconsin is undefeated. Unlike Nebraska, Wisconsin has been completely dominant in their four games. In order, their four games were won by scores of 51-7, 35-0, 49-7 and 59-10.

Now, I am not exactly expecting them to hold the Cornhuskers to 10 points or fewer, but I am really liking Wisconsin's chances in this one. 

Removing the opponent from the equation, Wisconsin hasn't lost in Madison in nearly two full years. The last time a road team emerged victorious against Wisconsin was October 17, 2009. Then, the Iowa Hawkeyes, who would go on to win that year's Orange Bowl, beat Wisconsin 20-10.

This is the environment that awaits the Cornhuskers:

That's just one of the reasons that Bodog lists Wisconsin as 10-point favorites. Both polls list Wisconsin as No. 7 and Nebraska at No. 8. On paper, that's not much of a mismatch.

Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead will be good for the Cornhuskers. They will score some points.

But how will they keep Russell Wilson, Montee Ball, James White, Nick Toon and Jared Abbrederis in check? That's a better group of skill position players than anyone who has put up big point totals on the Cornhuskers this far.

If this game was in Lincoln, I would be much more inclined to go with Nebraska.

But an incredible home-field advantage and better overall roster lie with Wisconsin. I'll go with them in a relatively one-sided affair.

Prediction: Wisconsin 41, Nebraska 21

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