The 11th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers won the first two Big Ten Conference title games in 2011 over Michigan Sate and 2012 over Nebraska. The Badgers missed out in 2013 and look to bounce back and win the big game again this season.
The Badgers (10-2) face the sixth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1) in the championship game tonight at Lucan Oil Stadium.
Ohio State has won 10 straight games since suffering a 14-point loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 6. That loss came the week after the Buckeyes lost their starting quarterback Braxton Miller and replaced him with Big Ten Freshman of the Year J.T. Barrett.
Barrett figured it out quickly after that defeat and went on to throw for over 28-hundred yards, rushing for nearly 1-thousand yards and accounting for a Big Ten single season record 45 touchdowns before suffering a broken ankle last week.
So the Buckeyes depth is challenged again, this time with 6’5 sophomore Cardelle Jones, who takes over for Barrett.
Urban Meyer is 2-0 against Wisconsin with the Buckeyes beating Wisconsin in overtime, 21-14 in 2012. Then, Ohio State handed Wisconsin a 31-24 defeat last season in Columbus.
The Badgers are hoping starting center Dan Voltz can play tonight. He’s questionable with an ankle injury suffered in the win over Minnesota last week. If Voltz can’t go, then the Badgers will have to play freshman Michael Deiter, who hasn’t played in a game this season and was set to redshirt.
Joel Stave has played much better of late at quarterback for the Badgers, doing a better job of converting on third downs. But there’s no question what Ohio State will be trying to do and that is to stop Melvin Gordon. Gordon is already one of the top two considerations for the Heisman Trophy. A big effort by Gordon and the Badgers today will enhance his chances at the Heisman Trophy.