Playing in a conference championship game has a lot of benefits, of course. But losing also ca be costly.
In the case of the Wisconsin Badgers, besides the addition in the L column in their record, UW went down a slot in the bowl lineup and slipped in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll.
The good news, or silver lining, I guess, is that Wisconsin still gets to play in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2 and moved down just two spots in the AP poll to No. 8.
While the Badgers are at No. 8 overall, Wisconsin actually received more votes on ballots in the 9-11 range than 7-8.
There's nothing really egregious on the ballot this week — worst was Wisconsin dropping five or six spots, but no lower than 11.
Interestingly, one voter — Patrick Brown — moved the Badgers up one spot, from 9 to 8, and two voters kept Wisconsin at No. 7.
We don't track the coaches poll during the year, but in their final vote the ballots are released. The Badgers were also No. 8 in that poll. No one had UW higher than No. 8 on their ballot, but Notre Dame's Brian Kelly ranked the Badgers No. 12, Washington State's Mike Leach had UW at 13 and Mississippi State's Dan Mullen amazingly ranked Wisconsin 15th (he also had Auburn 9th and LSU 11th, for what it's worth).
Former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, now at Arkansas, ranked the Badgers 10th. Paul Chryst had the Badgers at No. 8. Chryst had Michigan 5, Penn State 6 and Oklahoma 7. He also had Western Michigan at No. 12 (Broncos head coach P.J. Fleck is not one of the voters in the poll, by the way.)
Here's a look at this week's AP poll ballots with a comparison to last week: