It's time for everybody to jump off the Ohio State bandwagon and realize that there is another solid program from the Big Ten. Wisconsin, a team that improved to 6-2 on the season after a 28-9 win against Iowa, deserves some love.
The Badgers have now won three games in a row and have formed an identity that should put them in the BCS conversation. The problem comes down to waking the voters up and getting them to admit that talent actually exists outside of Columbus.
Wisconsin has won every game it was supposed to win this season and has lost twice to respectable opponents. One of those losses came against Arizona State, and it should come with an asterisk. If the referees hadn't been snoozing on the job, the Badgers would have probably won the game with a late field goal.
So that leaves one true loss for this program against Ohio State, a team that many consider to be a national championship contender. While the Badgers may not be on that level just yet, they did play the Buckeyes better than anybody else did this season. A 31-24 loss is respectable and is also enough to give them a chance if there was a shot at a potential rematch later in the season.
Of course, that will never happen, with both teams in the Leaders Division and Ohio State on cruise control, but Wisconsin should be considered for a BCS bowl berth if it can continue winning.
Heading into this week, the Badgers had the second-best defense in the Big Ten, allowing just 285 yards per game. The offense isn't fun to watch, but at least there's an identity. You know the big boys are going to line up and run the football. Teams still can't stop it. The Badgers lead the conference with 297 rushing yards per contest and topped 200 yards on the ground against Iowa.
Melvin Gordon and James White have proven to be one of the best running back duos in the country and are nearly impossible to stop when running behind one of the better offensive lines in college football.
Quarterback Joel Stave and the passing game are no Russell Wilson and the 2011 Badgers, but they don't have to be. Being flashy is for the video games. The Badgers stick to the game plan and don't care if you like it or not. They know how to win games, and that's really all that matters when you enter the homestretch of the college football season.
Wisconsin is currently 24th in the BCS rankings, which is a crime when you consider it has truly only lost one game. The computers don't even have it in the Top 25. The Badgers were a bounce away from upsetting Ohio State and have more than enough talent to run the table the rest of the way.
Gary Andersen's club may not compete for a Big Ten title this season, but it should get more respect in the polls and be given a shot to play in a BCS bowl.
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