The WNUR Sports staffers offer their predictions of the 2012 Big Ten Championship Game between the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers and the University of Wisconsin Badgers.
Jim Sannes (@JimSannes): Wisconsin 23, Nebraska 20. As a former offensive lineman, this is a dream come true. The top-ranked rushing offense in the Big Ten in Nebraska against one of the most successful running backs in college football history, Montee Ball. The biggest difference between these two teams is that Wisconsin ranks second in the conference in rushing defense, where Nebraska only ranks eighth. The Badgers came up just close in the first meeting, but I think they take the rematch in another nail-biter. Player to Watch: Montee Ball.
Josh Walfish (@JoshWalfish): Nebraska 24-20. T-Magic works his stuff as the Cornhuskers win their first B1G title. Watch out for Bo Pelini, if he gets upset he could cost his team 15 yards by obstructing the referee.
John Castellanos (@JJCast15): Nebraska 37, Wisconsin 32. It’s going to be a close one once again as both teams put everything on the line for a shot at the Rose Bowl. Expect Wisconsin and Montee Ball to run the ball early and often, allowing them to take lead into the fourth quarter. In the final minutes, a late Taylor Martinez touchdown allows Nebraska to pack their bags for Pasadena. Player to Watch: Taylor Martinez.
Tralon Williams (@TralonWilliams): Score: Wisconsin 31-21. Wisconsin got off to a great start against Nebraska earlier in the season before Nebraska mounted a 17 point comeback. Wisconsin has the potential to get on top of Nebraska again, but can they close? My guess is yes. Wisconsin wants to prove they are not as bad as their 7-5 record suggests and expect to see the Badgers in the Rose bowl. Player to Watch: who else but the NCAA all time touchdown king, RB Montee Ball.
Ben Goren: Nebraska 31, Wisconsin 17. Too much offense from Nebraska, not enough anything from Wisconsin. Player to Watch: The entire Nebraska rushing attack of Abdullah, Martinez and Burkhead.
Nick Scoliard: Nebraska 34-31 These teams faced each other in Week 5, when Taylor Martinez drove the Cornhuskers to a victory by overcoming a 17 point deficit. Wisconsin has lost to 4 teams in the Big Ten, and the three other losses happened when they allowed OT comebacks, including their last two games. If the Badgers have the same trouble holding the lead, and Martinez attacks with his arms and legs, then the Cornhuskers will be going to the Rose Bowl. Don’t forget about the crowd; Nebraksa is going to travel in full force, and basically give the Cornhuskers home field advantage. Player to Watch: Taylor Martinez.