BCS Rankings: Can Wisconsin Climb Back into Top 10 After Fall in USA Today Poll?

William PenfieldCorrespondent IIOctober 23, 2011

EAST LANSING, MI - OCTOBER 22:  Russell Wilson #16 of the Wisconsin Badgers looks to pass while under pressure from Denicos Allen #28 of the Michigan State Spartans during the second quarter of the game at Spartan Stadium on October 22, 2011 in East Lansing, Michigan.  (Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images)
Mark Cunningham/Getty Images

With shock still running through the veins of the Wisconsin Badgers after the last second loss on a Hail Mary to Michigan State, they have officially dropped out of the Top 10 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. 

The Badgers had just completed a comeback that seemingly was going to force overtime until Kirk Cousins launched a pass into the night in East Lansing that came down Keith Nichol's hands to give the Spartans the 37-31 victory.

Russell Wilson and company appeared to be on their way to a Big Ten title and possible BCS National Championship berth, but those dreams have been put on hold after last night's loss.

Sitting at No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, the Badgers should be able to climb back into the Top 10 over the next couple of weeks. 

The remaining schedule is fairly weak for the Badgers with games against Ohio State, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois and Penn State. 

Going to Ohio State is never easy, but the 2011 Buckeyes are not the Buckeyes you are familiar with, and the Badgers should be able to handle them with relative ease. 

Purdue and Minnesota should be cakewalks for the Badgers, and Illinois shouldn't be tough either as it has come back down to earth after a hot 6-0 start.

Penn State could give them a game in the regular season finale, but home-field advantage should allow the Badgers to walk away victorious.

The real test for the Badgers will come in the Big Ten Championship game.

Played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the Badgers could have an epic rematch with Sparty for the Big Ten title in December. After the great football and drama in last night's game we can only hope that this rematch happens.

But to answer the question, the Badgers absolutely can return to the Top 10 as early as next week if they win. Badger Nation need not worry either because they may be out of the hunt for the BCS National Championship but they are still very much alive for a birth in the Rose Bowl.