Cavalcade of Whimsy: The Big Ten's Very Bad Day ... And Why It Doesn't Matter

Cavalcade of Whimsy: The Big Ten's Very Bad Day ... And Why It Doesn't Matter

College Football Cavalcade

Cavalcade of Whimsy: The Big Ten's Very Bad Day ... And Why It Doesn't Matter


If a tree falls in the forest – or if they play a USF vs. Illinois game in Solider Field, and Illini fans don’t show up – did it really happen?

It’s not like Wisconsin lost to LSU, like Auburn did.

And it’s not like it lost to Ohio State, like TCU did.

It’s not even like the Badgers couldn’t handle some quirky offense with a hot dual-threat quarterback and a few speedy playmakers.

No, Wisconsin lost to a team that was far, far less talented, but was more physical, had a more effective running game, played smarter, and played like it didn’t spend its Friday night at Monday’s.

BYU out-Wisconsined, Wisconsin, and that’s really not okay.

We have a deal, Badgers.

You have your formula. It might not be scintillating, but it’s brutally brilliant, it always works against mediocre teams, and then you lose to someone totally awesome and miss out on the College Football Playoff.

You don’t lose at home to a BYU team that copies your formula.

The NFL offensive line couldn’t generate a consistent push; the veteran quarterback was outplayed by the 53-year-old Tanner Mangum; Squally Canada was the best running back on the field; and the fifth-year senior kicker – Rafael Gaglianone – shanked a 42-yard field goal attempt that he could probably make with his left foot.

But even with the horrendous loss for the Badgers, all is not lost.

Win out, go 12-1, and get into the College Football Playoff.

Yeah, Illinois lost to South Florida because it couldn’t come up with one late defensive stop – it doesn’t matter.

Yeah, Northwestern suffered a massive collapse against Akron – whatever.

Yeah, Rutgers just turned the ball over again in a 55-14 loss to Kansas – yippee.

Yeah, Nebraska paid Troy to come to Lincoln and be better at college football – so?

Yeah, Maryland was a total disaster in a 35-14 loss to a bad Temple squad – yawn.

Yeah, Purdue lost to Missouri, even though David Blough threw for 572 yards – throw it on the pile.

You see, Purdue isn’t good. Nebraska, Rutgers, Northwestern and Illinois aren’t good, either. Maryland looked like it had promise after beating Texas – and it still might – but whatever. It’s not like the other big boys lost other than the Badgers.

Penn State won by 53.

Michigan beat SMU by 25, and despite all of the drama, Ohio State still put up 40 points and beat TCU by double-digits.

Everyone tried to make out the Big Ten’s miserable day to be something that it wasn’t. It doesn’t matter if the conference street cred just took a hit – and that includes the Wisconsin gaffe.

It’s this simple. If the Big Ten champion is unbeaten or has one loss, it’s in the College Football Playoff – guaranteed.

That includes the Badgers. That includes Illinois or Maryland – it obviously doesn’t but you get the idea.

That includes Michigan State and Michigan – who each have a loss – and that certainly includes unbeaten Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa and Minnesota.

Things could always be worse.

Hey … Pac-12 South? How’s it hangin’? …

NEXT: Cheer, cheer … or don’t

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