Outback Bowl: Auburn Football vs Wisconsin Preview and Prediction

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Nov 29, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers defensive back Joe Turner (35) intercepts a pass in the second quarter thrown by Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Sims (not pictured) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Who: #19 Auburn Tigers (8-4, 4-4 SEC) vs. #18 Wisconsin Badgers (10-3, 7-2 Big Ten)

When: New Year’s Day, 12:00 p.m. C.T. (ESPN2)

Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida

All-Time Series Record: Tied 1-1-1

Most Recent Meeting: Wisconsin 24, Auburn 10 (2006 Citrus Bowl)

No matter what happens during the course of the season, it’s important to finish a season well to establish momentum heading into the offseason.

That, along with pride and a crystal trophy, is what is at stake when Auburn (losers of 3 of their last 4) faces off against Wisconsin (lost head coach Gary Andersen and lost 59-0 in the Big Ten Championship Game) on New Year’s Day.

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Both teams seemingly come into this game crippled by circumstance. Much has been made about UW athletic director and former football coach Barry Alvarez stepping in to coach the Badgers in this game after Gary Andersen shockingly bolted for Corvallis, Oregon. Melvin Gordon has already announced his plans to go to the NFL next season.

Auburn has already fired defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, and though Will Muschamp is already involved with the program, the Tigers’ defense will be led by Charlie Harbison in this game. The Tigers’ best receiver, Duke Williams, will be back for 2015, but he will not be playing in this game.

The odds strangely seem stacked against both teams. Which team is more poised to come away with a crucial season-ending win?

Next: Wisconsin's Keys to Victory