Back in The Top 25

Wisconsin entered this season with high expectations, but a midseason slump cost it any chance of a BCS berth or Big Ten title.

The 24th-ranked Badgers are back in the Top 25 for the first time in more than a month, though, and look to close out the regular season with a victory over a longtime rival when they visit Minnesota on Saturday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Wisconsin -14 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday's game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on Wisconsin -14 (View College Football bet percentages).

Following last week's 37-21 upset victory over then-No. 13 Michigan, Wisconsin (8-3, 4-3) cracked the Top 25 for the first time since being ranked No. 19 in the Oct. 7 AP poll.

The Badgers were ranked seventh in preseason, but losses in three of their previous five games before beating the Wolverines knocked them into fourth place in the Big Ten.

Wisconsin, though, enjoyed one of its most complete games of the season last week as it gained 477 yards of offense, and held the Wolverines to just 47 rushing yards.

"This is what we're capable of,'' Badgers cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu said. "We really beat them pretty good. That's the way we should have been playing all year.''

Fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler Donovan passed for 245 yards and a touchdown and ran for 49 yards and another score last week, as he shouldered the offensive load with running back P.J. Hill nursing a leg injury.

Hill had just five carries for 14 yards against Michigan after sitting out Wisconsin's 38-17 loss to then-No. 1 Ohio State on Nov. 3, but is expected to play on Saturday. Hill, who is tied with Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall for second in the Big Ten with 14 rushing touchdowns, ran for 164 yards and two TDs in the Badgers' 48-12 victory over the Golden Gophers last Oct. 14.

This will be the 117th meeting between Wisconsin and Minnesota, making the rivalry the most-played among Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The schools have met every year except one dating back to 1890, with the Badgers winning the last three meetings and 10 of the last 12.

The schools have been playing for Paul Bunyan's Axe every year since 1948.

"Because of the proximity and because of the border battle that we have, there's probably an added stake when you're dealing with kids that are recruited by both schools," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said.

In the last meeting in the Metrodome on Oct. 15, 2005, the Badgers won 38-34 behind 21 fourth-quarter points.

The Gophers (1-10, 0-7) conclude their schedule Saturday, as they try to avoid their first winless season of league play since 1988.

Minnesota lost to Iowa 21-16 last Saturday, to drop 10 games in a single season for just the second time in school history - the other time was 1983.

The Gophers pulled within 21-16 with 1:38 left in the fourth quarter, but failed to recover an onside kick. Freshman quarterback Adam Weber passed for 190 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for a team-high 70 yards on 11 carries.

"I asked them in the locker room after the game, 'Who feels like they've been stuck in the gut with a searing knife?'" Minnesota first-year coach Tim Brewster said. "Everybody did, and I said that's good. That means we've got a chance."

The Gophers are last in the Big 10 in both total defense (525.5 yards per game) and scoring defense (36.3 points per game), although they allowed season lows in yards (296) and points last Saturday.

Minnesota has lost both of its games against ranked opponents this season, and nine straight games to Top 25 teams since a 42-35 double-overtime victory over Purdue on Sept. 24, 2005.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

More NCAA College Football Coverage from

 - NCAA College Football public betting chart
 - NCAA College Football teams
 - NCAA College Football standings
 - NCAA College Football schedule
 - NCAA College Football scoreboard
 - NCAA College Football injuries
 - NCAA College Football matchups
 - NCAA College Football stats
 - NCAA College Football odds
 - NCAA College Football news wire
 - NCAA College Football top stories
 - AccuScore NCAA College Football predictions
 - Expert NCAA College Football picks
 - NCAA College Football trends
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for daily newsletter
 - NCAA College Football Home

Recent NCAAF Discussions

2017 NFL Draft Grades on Sun, Apr 2017 by Blade
Betting the 2017 NFL Draft on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
NFL Draft Preview on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail 2017 Heisman Trophy Odds There are plenty of candidates for the 2017 Heisman Trophy. Here is a look at the favorites entering the summer.
Thumbnail UCLA vs. Texas A&M Odds Texas A&M and UCLA will have one of the featured meetings during the opening weekend of college football....

NCAAF Headlines

  • (STATS) - Ah hail the … Pioneer Football League?
    Yup, one of the two non-scholarship leagues in the FCS doubled its number of all-time NFL Draft picks on Saturday in the fifth round when the D...
  • ROME (AP) Jim Harbaugh stood with a megaphone, his team at his back, in front of more than a thousand spectators, some sporting maize and blue.
    He thanked the Italians in attendance for their...
  • (STATS) - FCS players are supposed to be undersized compared to their FBS counterparts, but they're not all that way.
    The Houston Texans drafted one of the exceptions on Saturday, selecting Bu...
  • FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Arkansas star running back Rawleigh Williams has been removed from the field after an injury during the team's final spring practice.
    The nature of the injury was not ...
  • (STATS) - Most FCS players usually hope just to make an NFL roster. About 16 hours apart, Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp and Samson Ebukam did better than that - they got to remain teammates.

NCAAF Team Pages