They've won two straight Big Ten titles, seem to have found a spark in newly appointed starting quarterback Joel Stave, have the makings of a turnaround on the once-beleaguered offensive line, and will have the services of Heisman Trophy finalist running back Montee Ball.

But let's just say that among the University of Wisconsin football fan base, optimism in a victory over Nebraska in Saturday's prime-time showdown in Lincoln is a precious commodity.

That's not exactly shocking, given that the Cornhuskers are 13-point favorites and have looked better in the first four weeks of the season than the Badgers, despite identical 3-1 records in non-conference play.

More than 81 percent of the 2,200-some respondents this week in our fan poll picked the Cornhuskers to win, either because of superior personnel (1,120, 53 percent) or as a result of the home-field advantage or quest to deliver payback (625, 28 percent) for the 48-17 thrashing the Badgers delivered last October in Madison in Nebraska's Big Ten debut.

Those who believe the Badgers will pull off the upset were asked to base that opinion on either Wisconsin rounding into form (267, 12 percent) or Nebraska being more vulnerable than commonly thought (151, 7 percent).

There's still time to vote, right up to the 7 p.m. kickoff. We'll revisit the results in the Sunday Morning Quarterback.

Bucky!

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