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NCAA Football Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin Football: 5 Reasons Why Badgers Can Win Big 10 Title In 2014

5 Reasons Why Wisconsin Badgers Can Win Big 10 Title In 2014

wisconsin badgers mascot
David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 10's West Division doesn't seem to be as crowded at the top as the East, but don't let that fool you. We're looking at a race between Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern and probably Iowa. It's going to be fun to watch. I'm picking and sticking with the Badgers to win this thing in 2014, and here are five reasons why.

5. Talented Backups To Replace LB Chris Borland

vince biegel wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

5. Talented Backups To Replace LB Chris Borland

vince biegel wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin lost one of their fiercest and talented competitors in Chris Borland, and he simply can't be replaced. It won't be done. However, talented backups like Vince Biegel and Derek Landisch are capable and well-equipped at that level. It's not going to be as large of a hole as many are thinking.

4. Better Production From Joel Stave

joel stave wisconsin
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

4. Better Production From Joel Stave

joel stave wisconsin
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

There are two commonly cited factors when it comes to discussing why Wisconsin could struggle this season -- lack of experience and inconsistent quarterback play. Joel Stave didn't have the greatest 2013 season, but his role in the offense won't be difficult to settle into. If he can avoid mistakes and manage the game, he'll be fine.

3. Getting Two of the Easiest Cross-Over Games

wisconsin vs south carolina
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

3. Getting Two of the Easiest Cross-Over Games

wisconsin vs south carolina
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin really lucked out here. Cross-over games have the potential to be devastating to some teams and their position in the division, but the Badgers get the two newcomers this year -- Maryland and Rutgers, arguably the two weakest teams in the East Division.

2. One of the Best O-lines in the Big 10

dan voltz wisconsin
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

2. One of the Best O-lines in the Big 10

dan voltz wisconsin
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin only has five returning starters on offense from a year ago, but a chunk of that comes from the offensive line, which is where this team needs to thrive. In order for the ground-and-pound approach to be carried out successfully, you need an offensive line like this.

1. Melvin Gordon

melvin gordon wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

1. Melvin Gordon

melvin gordon wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This says it all. It's tough to imagine Wisconsin being in the hunt for the Big 10 again this season without Melvin Gordon. His production in 2013, while splitting the backfield with James White, was unbelievable. The early Heisman candidate will have a lot to say about Wisconsin's chances at a Big 10 title.