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My take: NIU-Wisconsin

Live chat with Nick Gerts at 6 p.m. tonight.

College football is here. Finally, after months of talking and pontificating, teams can settle it on the field. I'm pumped. I'm excited. I'm stoked.

I have no idea what's going to happen tonight.

And, you know what? I'm excited about that.

Predictable games can be just that – predictable. Northern Illinois is unpredictable with all of its youth. Wisconsin going with two unproven quarterbacks? Unpredictable. Nate Palmer? Unpredictable. Number of cups of coffee I'll drink? Also unpredictable, although Vegas has the over/under set at five.

The only predictable thing for today is the blanket coverage you'll get right here at HuskieWire.com. Don't forget to come by the online chat during the game with Daily Chronicle sports reporter Nick Gerts. Click here to join the chat.

This game can shake out so many different ways, but since this is a prediction post, I'll leave it at this.

NIU is going to hang around with the Badgers and stay within a score well past halftime and probably into the fourth quarter. But the two stats I can't get away from is (1) how Wisconsin has done in season-openers and (2) how the Badgers perform at home.

Wisconsin has won 11 straight season-openers and, since 2004, is 29-3 at home. That's why the Badgers will win.

Pick: Wisconsin 27, Northern Illinois 23


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