In yet another conference championship game game altered by probation and ineligibility, thetake on the in the second Big Ten championship game Saturday night in Indianapolis (8:15 pm ET, Fox).
As of Friday morning, most betting shops tracked by OddsShark.com were listing Nebraska as a three-point favorite for this game, with a total of 49.
The winner of this game will play in the Rose Bowl. [ Big Ten odds preview ]
Wisconsin, winners by default of the Leaders Division largely due to the ineligibility of Ohio State and Penn State, went off this season as an even-money choice to win the Big Ten championship for the third straight year.
But the Badgers started slowly this season, struggling to beat Northern Iowa, losing at Oregon State and struggling again in wins over Utah State and UTEP. But after beating Minnesota Oct. 20, Wisconsin sat at 6-2.
The Badgers then lost in OT to Michigan State, beat Indiana, lost in OT to Ohio State and, last week, lost in OT at Penn State.
Wisconsin finished 4-4 and in third place in the Leaders Division, but the two teams ahead of them, the Buckeyes and Lions, were both ineligible to play for the conference title. Thus, the Badgers find themselves with a chance at a third-straight trip to Pasadena.
Wisconsin's five losses this season have come by a total of 19 points.
Offensively the Badgers have struggled a bit, having to use three different quarterbacks. But their defense held them in games all year long.
Nebraska, winners of the Legends Division, started this season as a 4/1 shot to win the Big Ten. But thanks to several close victories, including one over Wisconsin, the Huskers won the Legends Division and will now play for the conference title in its second season as a member of the Big Ten.
Nebraska began this season 4-1, with that 30-27 come-from-behind victory over the Badgers, but then lost at Ohio State 63-38. Since then, though, Nebraska has won its last six games, rallying to beat Northwestern, topping Michigan, coming from behind to win at Michigan State and toughing one out vs. Penn State.
Last week the Huskers clinched their spot in this conference championship game with a 13-7 win at Iowa.
On the season Nebraska outrushed opponents by a 252-166 YPG margin, while Wisconsin outrushed foes 213-111.
In that Huskers victory over the Badgers earlier this year Nebraska won the ground battle 259-56, as QB Taylor Martinez ran for 107 yards.
Free Big Ten Championship Pick: The Huskers are the better team here, but we are nervous of the Badgers, due to win a close game sooner or later. Still, we play on Nebraska. (courtesy of PickShark.com)