SEC: LSU vs. Wisconsin most high profile game of week one


At long last college football is upon us, and this time it features a new four team play off at the end.

Week one of college football is typically filled with a few nail bitters but also a lot of one-sided games, but the good people at came up with a list of the top 10 high-profile games of the week that have the potential to impact the football play-off race.

At the top of that list is the matchup between no. 13 ranked LSU and no.14 ranked Wisconsin, Saturday night in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Aug 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Fans arrive at NRG Stadium before a game between the Wisconsin Badgers and the LSU Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

So why is this such a high profile game?

Well, LSU has won an FBS-record 45 consecutive regular season non-conference games, a streak that dates a back to 2002. Wisconsin has the second-longest active streak at 29 and has won 16 straight season openers.

Both teams want to win in the same fashion — run the ball and play tough, physical defense. LSU is as physical as Wisconsin, but has more team speed.

This should also be an unveiling of mega-touted LSU true freshman RB Leonard Fournette — and also Wisconsin’s mega-talented TB Melvin Gordon.

Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Anthony Jennings (10) scrambles against Iowa Hawkeyes during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

However neither team looks to have a great situation at quarterback, and neither team has a proven wide receiver, either.

For the past two seasons, LSU has had certainty under center. Zach Mettenberger, now an NFL rookie with Tennessee, was the unquestioned starter and leader of the offense.

Like LSU, Wisconsin will also have to figure out how to replace a vast majority of its receiving production from a season ago. The Badgers lost their top four pass catchers from last season, and no returner caught more than 10 balls.

Wisconsin Coach Gary Anderson does however feel confident with what approach of his defense will take, explaining that the team has been preparing for LSU’s top picks for QB; sophomore Anthony Jennings and freshman Brandon Harris, both of whom run well but remain unproven passers. The coach wants his defense focused primarily on executing its base scheme as well as possible.

“The base defense on paper should be able to react to any scheme and be able to handle any scheme, assuming the players get what they’re supposed to get and can tackle,” Andersen said.

Aug 31, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Tyler Marz (61) during the game against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 45-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps Andersen isn’t that concerned with who starts at quarterback for LSU because he expects the Tigers’ running backs to drive the offense. Terrence Magee, who was LSU’s second-leading rusher last season, is back along with fellow senior Kenny Hilliard. Miles said Fournette, widely regarded as one of the top high school running backs in the nation last year, is expected to make his college debut against the Badgers as well.

There will definitely be some big-time offensive linemen on display, including LSU OT La’el Collins, LSU G Vadal Alexander and Wisconsin OTs and Tyler Marz.

LSU’s defensive front seven does looks better than Wisconsin’s, but that still is a big concern for the Tigers.

Wisconsin and LSU have played twice previously, with the Tigers prevailing both times. LSU won, 38-28, on Sept. 25, 1971 at Camp Randall Stadium and was victorious again the following season, 27-7, in Baton Rouge. The 1972 game marks the last time UW played an SEC team during the regular season.

This match up is sure to be one for the books, and as predicted by the outcome could indeed impact the out look for the playoff race this season.