BCS Rankings 2011: Breaking Down the Wisconsin Badgers
With a 6-0 record and a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback who has garnered the Badgers plenty of national attention, all eyes in Madison were on ESPN tonight when the first 2011 BCS rankings were released.
At No. 6 in the BCS, the Badgers are going to need some help to get to New Orleans.
Here is a quick look at how they got here, along with a peek into the future.
How They Got Here
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The arm of Russell Wilson and the legs of Montee Ball have allowed the Badgers to steamroll their competition.
Through six games, Wisconsin is outscoring its opponents, 301-58, and not one of its games has been even remotely close.
When Big Ten newcomer Nebraska came to town, the Badgers played their best football of the season, throttling the Huskers, 48-17.
Best Win: Nebraska
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When Nebraska left the Big 12 for the Big Ten, college football fans across America circled Oct. 1, 2011, on their calendars.
The hype for the Huskers visit to Mad-Town couldn't have been greater.
The game was played in front of a nationally televised audience under the lights, ESPN's College Gameday was in town, as was what seemed like the entire state of Nebraska.
With all eyes on Madison, the Badgers rolled.
Nebraska jumped out to a quick 14-7 lead, but they never stood a chance.
When all was said and done, the Badgers left the field with a 31-point victory and a reputation as one of college football's elite teams.
BCS Ranking: No. 6
The Badgers check in at No. 6 in the first 2011 BCS standings.
Wisconsin was hurt most by their average computer rank, which was 11th.
Without the computers on their side, Wisconsin is going to need help to significantly move up for a shot at the Coaches Trophy.
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The Badgers already played their toughest game on paper earlier this season when they defeated Nebraska, but their biggest test might come next weekend under the lights in East Lansing.
Sparty is coming off of an impressive win over rival Michigan, and Mark Dantonio's squad boasts the Big Ten's best defense.
Wisconsin certainly controls its destiny in the Big Ten title chase, and if it can get past Michigan State, it should be in good shape.
Here is a look at the Badgers' remaining schedule:
Oct. 22: at No. 15 Michigan State
Oct. 29: at Ohio State
Nov. 5: vs. Purdue
Nov. 12: at Minnesota
Nov. 19: at No. 23 Illinois
Nov. 26: vs. Penn State
Bowl Projection: Rose Bowl
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Unless the Badgers get help, they are destined for a return trip to Pasadena.
Under normal circumstances, Wisconsin (and any Big Ten school) would accept back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances with open arms.
However, with Russell Wilson leading arguably the most talented Badger team in Wisconsin history, anything short of a shot at the national championship—especially with an undefeated record—is going to be a bitter pill to swallow.
The Badger faithful will surely be rooting for anyone who lines up against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, LSU, Alabama and Boise State from here on out.