Wisconsin/Indiana Preview: Where's The Mercy Rule?
This weekend at Camp Randall. Indiana at Wisconsin. It’s a little early for Halloween, but go ahead and insert a blood-curdling scream here. Or, perhaps more fittingly, a yawn.
After participating in one of the most-hyped regular-season college football games in recent memory, the Wisconsin Badgers football team is this weekend set to play in a game that has less excitement swirling around it than a Color Me Badd reunion tour.
Let’s briefly look at the resumes: Wisconsin is ranked No. 4 in the nation and has won its first five games by a combined score of 242-51.
Indiana has dropped five of its first six games, losing to the likes of Ball State, Virginia, and North Texas.
Wisconsin is leading the Big Ten in scoring, averaging more than 48 points a game. Indiana is averaging less than half that, or about 23 points a game.
Wisconsin is leading the Big Ten in scoring defense, allowing just over 10 points a game. Indiana is allowing over 27 points per contest.
Bret Bielema has never lost to the Indiana Hoosiers, beating them by an average of 33 points a game over the last five seasons, including a jaw-dropping 83-20 beatdown in 2010.
While there is no guarantee in sports, there is about as much chance that the Indiana Hoosiers will come into Camp Randall Stadium and beat the Wisconsin Badgers as there is that Kim Kardashian will one day win an Oscar.
So, without any real drama to explore, here are the top 10 questions surrounding Saturday’s Homecoming game:
1. Can the Badgers top 100 points? Hey, that’s only 25 points a quarter.
2. How much can a still-fresh-in-the-minds-of-many 63-point drubbing be used to motivate a bad team? And how overconfident and complacent can the team that dished out that drubbing be? If the Hoosiers lose by fewer than the 40 points the Badgers are favored by, is it a moral victory? (OK, that’s three questions . . .)
3. Who will play quarterback for Indiana? Head coach Kevin Wilson has started three different signal-callers already this season and was seen last week outside of the Covance in Evansville trying to recruit healthy, non-smoking men willing to commit to a six-week “research study.”
4. Considering the Hoosiers have given up 727 rushing yards in the last three weeks alone, should the Badgers bother to throw the ball at all, effectively killing the clock from the opening snap?
5. How quickly will Bret Bielema pull his starters? (I’d put the over/under at midway through the third quarter.)
6. Should the NCAA pass a resolution requiring each Wisconsin player to play the entire game with his legs inside of a gunny sack?
7. Should the NCAA require each Wisconsin player to carry an egg on a spoon in his mouth for the entire game, giving Indiana the benefit of a 10-yard penalty every time an egg hits the turf?
8. Is the week that will likely feature the most tremendously lopsided home game of the season really the best time for the university to urge students to cease the “obsenity-laced cheers” (you know the ones)? Without any probable compelling action on the field, what else are the students going to do?
Prediction: Wisconsin 60, Indiana 17.
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