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Wisconsin Badgers preseason news and notes

It’s hard not to fall in love with the idea of the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten this year.

Sure, Ohio State looms large, but oddsmakers over at seem pretty optimistic about what should be a strong Badgers team, provided the quarterback competition produces a strong starter.

Here’s the latest bettors should be aware of before decided to go for the impressive payout with Wisconsin.

Olive Sagapolu Continues to Shine

In a conference like the Big Ten, the best thing a team can do is dominate in the trenches.

Olive Sagapolu makes this borderline easy for the Badgers. Sagapolu wasn’t a major factor on the Badgers last year, but he’s grown into a leadership role this season and it’s not hard to see his impact in practices. Even against a run-first team like Wisconsin, Sagapolu continues to stand up backs, halt advances and pressure quarterbacks. It’s an incredible development with so many tough games on the schedule.

T.J. Watt Assuming Leadership Role

A familiar last name in tow, linebacker T.J. Watt has finally earned his shot on the Wisconsin defense.

Watt has had a hard time keeping his body healthy and playing the physical defense he wants to play, but he’s entered this preseason fully healthy. It’s shown, too, as few have flown around the field faster, reading and reacting to whatever the offense ordered up. So long as his body holds up, the Badgers might have a new star linebacker on their hands.

Quarterback Competition Continues

Bart Houston and Alex Hornibrook continue to fight it out.

Houston looks like the favorite to win the job considering he’s a fifth-year senor, but Hornibrook’s upside continues to flaunt itself in practices as he zips the ball around. Until one really breaks away, both will continue to take first-team reps.

While Wisconsin remains a run-first team, the best man will eventually win out by being able to diagnose a situation and make the high-percentage decision.

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