Wisconsin Badgers2007 record
: 6-2 (2-2)2007 Sagarin
: 55 (IU is #57)2006 record
: 12-1 (defeated Arkansas in the Capital One Bowl)2006 Sagarin
: Wisconsin leads 33-18-2Last IU win
: 2002 (32-29 in Bloomington)Last Wisconsin win
: 2006 (52-17 in Bloomington)Last IU win in Madison:
Before the season, a wise man said
Although the Blogpoll isn't as out of line as the AP and coaches' polls (which both rank the Badgers #7), I still think that Wisconsin is overrated and will not be anywhere near the top 10. One of the Blogpoll directives is that schedule-based prognostication is discouraged. I may be breaking that rule, but I don't think so, because schedule (the absence of Ohio State, the absence of any meaningful nonconference competition) was such a significant part of Wisconsin's one-loss 2006 season. The Badgers lost two of their three most important offensive players, including an experienced quarterback and the best offensive lineman in the country, and now play each of the Big Three, including two on the road, and I'm supposed to believe that the Badgers, a school with only three one-loss seasons in the last half-century, are going to waltz into championship contention? I'm not seeing it. Certainly, as an Indiana fan, gearing up to watch the Hoosiers play a non-conference slate of Indiana State, Akron, Western Michigan, and Ball State, not to mention missing Michigan and Ohio State for the next two years, I'm in no position to criticize anyone's schedule, but I do think Wisconsin's 11-1 last season was a bit illusory.
Actually, it wasn't a wise man. It was me. To avenge my lucky prognostication, maybe the Badgers will hang half a hundred on IU this weekend. Of course, to the extent I was right, I was right for the wrong reasons. For the most part, the Badger offense has been fine, and Tyler Donovan has done a passable job as John Stocco's successor (59 pct., 213 ypg, 12TD/8INT). In the Badgers' two losses and a close call to Michigan State, Wisconsin's rushing defense has been completely ineffective. It just so happens that Wisconsin's last three conference games have been against the three teams that have defeated IU (MSU, Penn State, Illinois), so we already know that all of those teams run the ball quite effectively. In team statistics, Wisconsin has a slight edge in total offense (417 yards per game to IU's 408); IU has about 200 more passing yards than Wisconsin and the opposite is true for rushing yards; Wisconsin averages 4.4 yards per carry to IU's 4.2. Defensively, Wisconsin allows 23 points per game to IU's 26.6; Wisconsin allows only 343 yards per game to IU's 385; despite the poor performances against MSU and Illinois, IU has the edge in YPC allowed (3.8 to Wisconsin's 4.2). PJ Hill already has rushed for 1000 yards this season and averages fie yards per carry. The Hoosiers haven't yet stopped a quality runner.
Statistically, this is an evenly matched game, although Wisconsin, the home team and the team with the better track record, is a 7 point favorite. We will see if the Hoosiers can hold on to the ball and upset the Badgers. The last time the Hoosiers won at Camp Randall, Levron Williams scored a school and conference record 6 touchdowns. Let's hope someone can recreate that magic on Saturday (James Hardy, perhaps?).