Wisconsin vs. Minnesota prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen between the Badgers and Golden Gophers.
How is it that a team with eight wins that plays in a Power Five conference doesn’t have a victory over a team currently with a .500 record? That’s Minnesota. The Badgers, on the other hand, are very good – even if they just bore teams to death – and they’ll win this one easily on their way to the Big Ten title game.
I went to the Wisconsin/Northwestern game earlier this year, and it might have been the most boring display of football I’ve seen in quite some time (11 a.m. kickoff – not for the faint of heart). For Minnesota to win, it needs to shut down the spotty passing game and then guard the cutback lanes when Corey Clement gets the ball. Alas, the Golden Gophers can’t bottle up the Badgers’ running back and Wisconsin builds upon one of the nation’s most impressive resumes – especially considering the massive hits this team has taken on the defensive side of the ball.
The fans at Camp Randall Stadium know that their team is still alive in the College Football Playoff mix, so they will be extra amped up for this Big Ten West tilt against Minnesota. The division could already be won depending on what happens in the Nebraska-Iowa game on Friday, but it still won’t affect the Badgers’ effort in this one. Wisconsin’s defense—still playing at a high level despite a couple of tough personnel losses—will contain Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith and not allow quarterback Mitch Leidner to do much damage through the air in a relatively easy Badgers win to keep their CFP dreams alive.
Minnesota is basically this year’s Iowa but with three losses. The Gophers will find it tough sledding against a Wisconsin defense that has been dominant all season long, and the Badgers will get just enough offense to send them into the Big Ten title game with a shot at making the College Football Playoff. Who saw that coming when they barely beat Georgia State?