These top-25 team previews also appear in the college football preview issue of ESPN The Magazine. They will be released five per day this week on ESPN Insider.
Team capsules are written by Travis Haney and Mark Schlabach, kick-starter player sections by KC Joyner and Football Outsiders season win projections by Brian Fremeau.
Last season: 11-3 (6-2 Big Ten Leaders)
Wisconsin is becoming Quarterback-Transfer U. In 2011, NC State's Russell Wilson showed up in Madison and became the Big Ten QB of the year. In 2012, former Maryland QB Danny O'Brien, the 2010 ACC rookie of the year, will be asked to defer often to RB Montee Ball, who is coming off 1,923 yards and an NCAA-record-tying 39 scores in 2011 (Barry Sanders, 1988). What's also new in Wisconsin, however, is a run D that needs work. The Badgers gave up 152.8 ypg, the most since 2005, and coach Bret Bielema is searching for a more consistent pass rush (1.8 sacks per game). Still, with playmakers like Ball and junior WR Jared Abbrederis (933 yards, 8 TDs), O'Brien could become the second straight ACC transplant to win the Big Ten's new championship game.