Sunday, November 14, 2010

Badgers Make Their Case


The most bored person at Camp Randall yesterday was no doubt Brad Nortman. Zero punts yesterday for the man most remembered this season for that God-awful slide/dive on the fake punt in Iowa City three weeks ago.

Yesterday was arguably the most complete game put together by Bucky this season. It would be nitpicking to find anything that went wrong for the Badgers yesterday. Now I know it was Indiana on the other side of the ball and they were clearly still smarting from blowing the game last Saturday against an Iowa team that is circling the bowl (you have no idea how much joy that brings me as we head into the holiday season). However, anytime you score 11 touchdowns in a football game you are hitting on all cylinders and the Badgers are playing their best football when it matters most.

Yesterday we saw the unbeatable Oregon Ducks win a game they should have lost and Stanford sneak by Arizona State. Now both AZ St and Cal are good football teams, but let's face it once you get past Oregon and Stanford (really just Oregon) the rest of the Pac-10 (11/12 whatever the hell they are now) you can just put in a bag, shake up, and it doesn't matter who you pull out, any decent team is going to blow them away. I know, I know, Arizona beat Iowa earlier this year, but how good does that win look now? Also, AZ St. gave Bucky all it could handle back in September, but does anyone think Bucky wouldn't win that game by 30 now?

Couple those two games with Auburn struggling for three quarters with a very-down Georgia team and TCU holding on to edge San Diego St., and my question is, who is playing better football right now than the Badgers? We currently have 11 teams with zero or one loss (sorry Nevada, you don't get considered in this discussion). Now this will certainly change in the next three weeks and realistically there will be 6 - 8 teams in that category after the regular season and conference title games, with the only title game carrying any significance in the National Championship discussion will be the SEC. My point of this rant is that how do you expect to determine who is really the best team come the second week in January? How can you expect, with this much at stake, to let this ill-functioning system they call the BCS determine who the best team is in college football. Every other NCAA sport, and every other division of NCAA football has a playoff. When you throw in the fact that the Big East and ACC automatically get spots in the BCS, how can anyone say this system works? But I digress....down blood pressure, down....

Back to the Badgers yesterday. Anyone who has read my column on Sundays the last few weeks knows I have a man crush on Montee Ball. The guy has great vision for the cutback lane and looks more like he's gliding as opposed to running. 167 yards and 3 touchdowns in essentially one half of football is a pretty good day. Throw in James White's performance and this team didn't miss John Clay at all yesterday. I'm actually starting to feel a little bad for Clay. Big Ten MVP last year to potentially third string when he comes back. I don't see Bielema doing that to the kid, but how do you take Ball off the field with the body of work he has put forth since the second half of the Ohio State game? From hosting the original version of Let's Make a Deal to ripping through Big Ten defenses in a few short weeks (oh, wait that was Monty Hall).

This is a team, that right now, has every right to believe it deserves to be talked about for the National Championship. There is two weeks to go with the only possible hiccup being this Saturday in Ann Arbor (Northwestern without Persa is toast, great job yesterday though). In the past a game like the one coming up against Michigan would be where Wisky would let down and lose a game it had no right losing. Bielema and the defense needs to find a way to slow down Shoeless Denard Robinson, Shoelaces?, whatever, who cares. Anyway,get up early, force a couple of turnovers and this should be a 20 point win and then call Paterno and do whatever you can to help Penn State beat Michigan State. Oh, how I wish we could have a do-over on that game.

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