With dreams of greatness after 2 consecutive Rose Bowls, the Badgers looked like a team with a season full of big games ahead of them 6 weeks ago. After a 4-2 start, there is really only one big game on the schedule, and it is this weeks matchup at Purdue. With Illinois and Indiana off to horrid 0-2 starts in conference play, and OSU and PSU barred from the post season, there is only one team that can challenge UW for a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game, Purdue.
After UW, Purdue plays at OSU finishing a brutal stretch that started with a whooping by Michigan last week. After that, the remaining 5 games are winnable. Not that they will win all 5, but they can probably pull off 3 wins. A win vs UW could get them to 4 wins in conference, plus a head to head tie breaker. That would leave UW needing a 5-3 conference record to make the championship, with 2 losses already and 5 games to go including MSU and OSU. Conversely a UW win leaves Purdue at 0-2, and a likely loss at OSU would make them 0-3. Assuming UW can get to 4 wins, Purdue would have to win out to get to the title game, not likely.
Some may say who cares if UW gets to the title game if they're 4-4. I certainly care. Here are my reasons why.
This is a young team that should keep getting better. They have only 2 seniors on offense.
The Big Ten is balanced, which is a nice way of saying weak. The Badger's opponent in the championship could be Nebraska, Michigan, MSU, Northwestern, or Iowa. A UW win against any of those teams on a neutral site is not unreasonable. A 3rd consecutive Rose Bowl is a 3rd consecutive Rose Bowl no matter how they get there.
More football is always better. There are only 12 Saturdays of Badger football each year (plus a bowl game of course). One more week of football is a gift that should be enjoyed.