There's not a whole lot to be said about the predictions for this game; unless you've been living under a rock for the past two months it's pretty clear which team is favored to win (and by a large margin). But nevertheless our staff members have cranked out their weekly picks and somebody is all-in on Illinois. Be sure to give us your pick in the comments section too! Let's get right to it:
Jim Vainisi --- Wisconsin 52, Illinois 13
Melvin Gordon will personally outscore Illinois. That's all I really have to say. We're loyal to you, Illinois.
Mark Primiano --- Wisconsin 42, Illinois 17
Wisconsin is coming off an embarrassing loss to Northwestern. We're a punching bag. I expect the Badgers to take their foot off the gas some time in the third quarter, but it won't matter by then.
Aaron Rench --- Wisconsin ∞, Illinois 17
Things to watch that aren't the score: The O-line, Tim Beckman's demeanor, the Jump Around in between the third and fourth quarter, the ticker on the bottom of the screen, and Melvin Gordon. Especially Gordon. Sometimes you don't realize greatness until after it's gone -- Gordon is great and you need to pay attention to him now. He's liable to score points until Wisconsin starts to take pity. My actual score prediction: Wisconsin wins 45-17.
Colin Whitchurch --- Wisconsin 63, Illinois 17
OH GOD. THERE'S SO MUCH BLOOD. THERE'S BLOOD EVERYWHERE.
Bryce Smith --- Wisconsin 56, Illinois 24
It's going to be a real tough weekend for the Illini in Madison. The only way I see this game being close is if the defense tackles somebody and Aaron Bailey provides a spark-plug for the offense. This game might be close at some point, but it will most likely get out of hand shortly after that.
Brandon Cain --- Wisconsin 35, Illinois 17
The Illini are the 122nd-ranked run defense and Melvin Gordon (900 yards and nine touchdowns already this year) will run over them with Zane Petty and Taylor Barton racking up the tackles. The Badgers linebackers have not missed a beat after replacing all three starters going into 2014, and they'll be a stiff test for the Illinois offense. Reilly O'Toole will complete passes, but the LB corp will contain Josh Ferguson.
Brad Repplinger --- Illinois 45, Wisconsin 42
This prediction brought to you by Orange Kool-Aid, because nothing else is going to help me get through this season like cold, refreshing Orange Kool-Aid! Joel Stave starts the game for the Badgers throwing 3 picks, all to Austin Teitsma who runs them back for touchdowns. The offense rolls in the first half with a combination of Josh Ferguson and Reilly-ball, and the Illini build up a 42-0 lead at halftime. Barry Alvarez suits up at halftime and replaces Stave in the second half of the game. He takes every snap and gives the ball to Melvin Gordon who scores 6 times and Wisco ties it up. But a David Reisner field goal that hits both uprights AND the crossbar falls through, and the Illini win the game. Beckman throws a Nixon-esque peace sign as he trots off the field.
Trevor Vallese --- Wisconsin 48, Illinois 17
This game is going to be a combination of the Nebraska and Washington games, but amplified. I'm sure Reilly O'Toole is a great guy but he's just simply not a Big Ten-caliber starting quarterback. And going on the road with the 8th worst rushing defense in the country against quite possibly one of the best running backs in the country? Oh my. The Badgers' passing situation may be in question but the outcome of this game most certainly won't be.
BONUS PREDICTION: During the classic "Jump Around" segment before the beginning of the fourth quarter, with the Badgers up by 24, the entire stadium collapses due to an excessive amount of jumping from the student section, causing the game to be cancelled and putting Illini fans out of their misery fifteen minutes sooner.
Matt Silich's prediction can always be found in his excellent weekly game preview (seriously, check it out). Again, drop by below to tell us what you think is going to happen against Wisconsin!