Nebraska vs. Wisconsin (3.5, 48.5)
Wisconsin played a significant role in ushering No. 12 Nebraska into the Big Ten Conference prior to the start of last season. Now, with a Rose Bowl berth on the line Saturday, the Badgers are the only obstacle that remains in the way of the Cornhuskers winning their first Big Ten conference championship. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez – a Nebraska graduate – was a key figure in brokering talks with the Big Ten for the Cornhuskers, easing their transition from the Big 12 in the process. In only its second season in the Big Ten, Nebraska will play for its 44th conference championship overall against the Badgers. Wisconsin, winner of the inaugural Big Ten championship last season, finished third in the Leaders Division, but is appearing in this game only because Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible for postseason play this season.
TV: 8:17 p.m. ET, Fox.
LINE: Nebraska -3.5, O/U 48.5.
WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low-50s with partly cloudy skies. Winds will blow out of the south at 13 mph.
ABOUT NEBRASKA (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten): The Cornhuskers, playing in their first conference title game since winning the Big 12 in 1999, lead the conference in total offense (460.9 yards per game), rushing (252.2) and rank second in scoring (35.4). They should also get a boost from the fresh legs of Rex Burkhead, the team’s leading rusher from last season who has missed six games this year because of knee injuries. Burkhead returned from a four-game absence last Friday and rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown in Nebraska’s 13-7 victory over Iowa.
ABOUT WISCONSIN (7-5, 4-4): The Badgers have dropped three of their past four games, but all three were in overtime. In fact, all five of Wisconsin’s losses this season were by seven points or less and have come by a combined 19 points. Wisconsin is led by running back Montee Ball, who rushed for 90 yards and three touchdowns the Badgers’ 30-27 loss at Nebraska on Sept. 29. Ball set a FBS record last week with his 79th career touchdown in the team’s 24-21 setback at Penn State.
* Under is 8-0 in Cornhuskers’ last eight neutral site games.
* Over is 4-1 in Badgers’ last five vs. a team with a winning record.
* Cornhuskers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 7-1 in Badgers’ last eight games following a loss.
1. Nebraska is in the midst of a six-game winning streak, its longest such same-season run since 2001.
2. Ball is 162 yards shy of becoming the 17th player in FBS history to rush for 5,000 yards in a career.
3. The Huskers were the only team to score more than 26 points against the Badgers this season.