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Ask Farrell: Will Michigan-Wisconsin winner challenge Ohio St.?

Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor (AP)

There is an excellent early-season contest in the Big Ten this weekend when Michigan visits Wisconsin as both fight for conference supremacy.

Michigan is coming off an unimpressive overtime win over Army, but there is still plenty of hope for them this season. Quarterback Shea Patterson is running a new, faster offense and there is a lot of skill on both sides of the ball.

Wisconsin has outscored opponents, 111-0, in two victories, but the Badgers have not been tested against South Florida and Central Michigan.

They do boast arguably the best running back in all of college football in Jonathan Taylor, who has rushed for five touchdowns and has averaged nearly seven yards per carry so far this season. But Taylor has not faced a defense nearly as talented as what he will see this weekend in Madison.

The pressure is on Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh to win a big game and the pressure is also on Wisconsin to win a statement game in the early season at home.


FARRELL'S TAKE

We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell two questions: How does he see this matchup playing out and secondly, does it even matter over the long term because is Ohio State so talented and so far ahead of every other team in the Big Ten that the Buckeyes are the clear favorite to win another conference championship?

“I’ve got Wisconsin winning this game in a close, low scoring battle mainly because the Badgers are at home and they will have success running the football with Taylor. Michigan has been unimpressive so far this season and the offense doesn’t look much improved, so they’ll have to prove a lot to me in this game to win.

"As for the Big Ten, Ohio State appears to be too talented to lose the conference and Wisconsin would get blown out in a title game. I thought Penn State was the biggest threat to Ohio State, but it looked bad against Pitt, so no one aside from the Buckeyes is really impressing me.”

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