Wisconsin 33/1 to win 2015 Title
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - Thanks to yet another fantastic 1-2 punch at running back and a winnable schedule, is Wisconsin a serious title contender in 2014?
Like most top programs in college football, Wisconsin lost plenty of talent to the NFL back in May. Receiver Jared Abbrederis was selected by the Packers while linebacker and defensive leader Chris Borland was drafted by the 49ers. Safety Dez Southward also wound up in Atlanta and running back James White was taken by New England.
Despite losing White, the Badgers will once again boast one of the top 1-2 backfield punches in college football in Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement. A year ago Gordon and White rushed for 3.053 yards to set a single-season FBS record for teammates. Don't be shocked if the tandem of Gordon and Clement put up similar numbers.
The problem is that Gordon and Clement may need to rush for over 3,000 yards if Wisconsin is going to have success. That's because the wide receiver corps of Jordan Fredrick, Alex Erickson, Kenzel Doe and Rob Wheelwright combined for a total of 28 passes for 299 yards without a touchdown reception a year ago. Simply put, the Badgers lack playmaking talent at the receiver position.
The other problem is at quarterback, where Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy are competing to be the starter. Stave is the favorite to win the job but he could be on a short leash if the passing game suffers. As always, the Badgers will rely on defense and a strong running game to grind out victories in 2014.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, Wisconsin is a 33/1 long shot to win the 2015 FBS Championship. The Badgers are also 9/2 to win the Big Ten Championship and 6/5 to win the West Division within the conference. Gordon is 20/1 to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy.