Originally written on Madtown Badgers  |  Last updated 11/12/14

I don't know about you, but it really feels like football is here now that the Big Ten season is upon us. Wisconsin will find it's biggest test so far in 2012 as they take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Things got a bit more interesting than normal during the week as David Gilbert added a few bulletin board quotes for Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez. Add in the fact that the walking wounded includes two other defensive ends and things really will be interesting to start the game on Saturday.

Perhaps the biggest piece of good news is that star running back Montee Ball was cleared, as we expected, to play in the game and that means an extra weapon for the Huskers defense to worry about and take some more pressure off of Joel Stave in his first career road start.

For that exact reason many aren't giving the Badgers a chance, but should we be that worried?

Well, our "Brain Trust" explored that question and more behind the scene and unfortunately, this is the first time I think ever, that we've nearly all picked against our beloved Badgers. So, why don't most of us see Wisconsin winning this game and just how bad will it be? Who picked the Badgers and why? Here are our thoughts on Wisconsin vs. Nebraska:

Andy: To me it comes down to experience. Wisconsin has just as much talent as Nebraska, but it's the experience gap that will hurt the Badgers on this trip to Lincoln, a place we haven't played at since 1973. I think Stave will be a fine option at QB for the Badgers but this is a completely different animal actually. Also, health has to be a concern more so for the Badgers defensive line and that scares me against Rex Burkhead and Taylor Martinez and the rest of the running game.

Prediction: Nebraska 31, Wisconsin 24

Cole: I think the Badgers' D-line will come out strong early against the Nebraska running game. If that happens, I'm not so sure Taylor Martinez can carry the Huskers with his arm. Last year in Madison Martinez struggled a ton against a mediocre Wisconsin secondary. But if the Badger defense has trouble stopping Rex Burkhead and Martinez, it could be a long day for the Badgers. While I agree that the experience gap could be the deciding factor, I also believe that the Badgers have an advantage against an offense like Nebraska's. If the Badgers can get the offense in somewhat of a rhythm, and the defense shuts down Nebraska's ground game, I really believe they'll win this game. Then again, Wisconsin's execution the last few weeks has been terrible, and I'm not sure they'll be any different this week.

Prediction: Wisconsin 24, Nebraska 20

Nate: Perhaps I am being overly negative, but it is not easy to see the Badgers having their way in this one. The Nebraska defense has struggled against the run at times this season, but there are still so many questions up front for Wisconsin. If the holes weren't there in non-conference play, there is nothing that tells me they will be there against the Cornhuskers. The bulk of the Badgers success rushing the ball against UTEP came on the edges, that will be difficult to establish on Saturday. 

When it comes to the defense, I agree with Cole. It comes down to stopping the Huskers' rushing attack. If Taylor Martinez, Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah can establish some success against the Badgers' defense, it is going to get out of hand. Wisconsin must make Martinez beat them with his arm. Given the health issues on the defensive line, that may be a tall order.

Prediction: Nebraska 42, Wisconsin 21

Arman: Well, you'll just have to tune in to Badgers Power Hour for the reasoning and besides, who doesn't love them some Badgers Power Hour, right?

Prediction: Nebraska 41, Wisconsin 17


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