Another year of college football, save for bowl season, is in the books for the Wisconsin Badgers, and for the first time in four years, it didn't result in a trip to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl.
Wisconsin knew it was going to face an uphill battle after undergoing several coaching changes over the offseason, and with Ohio State eligible for postseason play once again, the path to a Big Ten title became complicated.
That was especially true following a loss in Columbus, Ohio, and that came two weeks after the debacle in the desert that left many Wisconsinites dazed and confused. But after climbing back into contention for a fourth consecutive BCS bowl, a befuddling loss to a mediocre Penn State team on Senior Day left the Badgers reeling.
On Sunday evening, the Badgers learned they would still be playing in a Jan. 1 bowl—just not the one they had hoped. Wisconsin will play South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl, as the Badgers look to win at least 10 games for the fourth time in five seasons.
Many would say Wisconsin's season being a success hinges on the result of its bowl game, although all things considered, the Badgers have had the type of season many expected coming in and now face a staunch challenge on New Year's Day.
Until then, let's peer into the future while examining the state of Wisconsin football.