Wisconsin reaches new heights in rankings; Buckeyes favored in Big Ten title game

Wisconsin football and basketball are always the main topics in Bucky’s Breakfast, Land of 10’s daily Badgers notebook — but we cover news, notes and analysis across Badgers sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Wisconsin football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Moving on up

Wisconsin improved to 12-0 on Saturday with a win against Minnesota, and on Sunday the Badgers were rewarded in the national polls. They came in at No. 3 in both the coaches poll and the AP Top 25. In the latter, it’s their highest ranking since 1963.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin remained atop the Land of 10 Power Poll for a fourth consecutive week.

Odds are against Wisconsin

For the first time this season, the Badgers will be an underdog in a game. The first point spreads for the Big Ten title game came out Sunday, and Ohio State is anywhere from 4.5- to 6-point favorites. Wisconsin had been favored in its past 20 games dating back to the 2016 season.

Alex Hornibrook rounding into form

Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook has caught fire at just the right time for the Badgers, and as Jesse Temple writes, the sophomore’s teammates believe they could be unstoppable if he keeps it up.

An opportunity to make a statement

With a playoff spot likely on the line, and one of the most storied programs in college football on the other sideline, the Badgers have a chance to make a statement to the College Football Playoff selection committee and the rest of the country with a win against Ohio State on Saturday.

Wisconsin bowl projections

It’s rather simple, according to Sean Keeler. If the Badgers beat Ohio State in the Big Ten title game Saturday, they are in the College Football Playoff. The analytics website, FiveThirtyEight, is almost as certain, with it giving Wisconsin a 98 percent chance to make the playoffs with a win against the Buckeyes.

Outside noise doesn’t matter to Wisconsin

The Badgers have been looked down at and criticized all season, largely because of a schedule that has been less than daunting. But as Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains, the players couldn’t care less about that outside noise and won’t start now as they look for the school’s first Big Ten title since 2012.

J.T. Barrett expects to play, Urban Meyer not sure

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett told the media Saturday that he expects to play in the Big Ten title game against the Badgers despite suffering a knee injury that knocked him out of the Michigan game. His head coach, Urban Meyer, wasn’t willing to make that same statement during a teleconference Sunday.

Big test for Wisconsin in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

There might not be another team in the country that has faced as challenging of a schedule as Wisconsin in the first month of the season. The Badgers have played three ranked teams in six games, and things don’t get any easier Monday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge as they travel to Virginia. UWBadgers.com has the preview.

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The post Wisconsin reaches new heights in rankings; Buckeyes favored in Big Ten title game appeared first on Land of 10.

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