Badgers-Illinois Off-Beat Preview: The path is now clear
If you are looking for hard-hitting analysis, yeah, this ain't it. But if you want a fun, entertaining read, you've found the right place. For more of Brandon Rifkin, please head to his blog or follow him on Twitter.
It was boring win over Northwestern, but it was a win. And that’s all that really matters. Coupled with Nebraska’s loss in Columbus and UW now OFFICIALLY controls their own destiny. I’m confident enough at this point in saying that if we win out and beat either Michigan or OSU in Indy, we are going to the playoff. It has to happen. To survive the schedule we had with only two losses against top-10 teams demands a reward. If the committee decides to take a one-loss Michigan team that doesn’t make it to Indy over us, then we will burn Indy to the GROUND.
Seriously. I can’t state enough how messed up this all gets if we don’t make the final four after an 11-2 B1G Championship season. You’re basically saying to go back to the old ways of scheduling cupcakes and letting your conference slate carry your SOS. That’s the opposite direction everything has been moving, and I think we are going to be in for a stressful night should it come to this.
But that’s weeks away. There are still three very winnable games between us and a B1G Championship Game. Illinois comes to Madison for Homecoming in a game where if we lose we may still have to burn Indy to the GROUND. I have no idea what the good people of Indy did to make me feel that taking out frustration on their city makes sense, but it keeps coming back to me as the most logical solution to any of life’s problems. And man, a lot of people have some problems in life right now, don’t they?
PS – that subtle last line is about as close as I’ll get to political talk. Politics are the worst and bring out the worst in everyone and will ruin friendships, relationships, and everything in between. NO MORE. USA ABOVE ALL ELSE.
BIG TEN FEAR RANKINGS
1) Michigan, 9-0 (6-0). FINE, I am officially ready to acknowledge that they are really freaking good. I still want ‘em again, though.
2) Ohio State, 8-1 (5-1). I’m glad Armstrong was alright after that scary injury. I’m also glad OSU bundled Nebraska and cleared our path of destiny. Gracias!
3) Wisconsin, 7-2 (4-2). Holy crap it’s hoops season already? YES YES YES. Lotta hype in Madison this year, but no program is better at ignoring and/or embracing it than UW. Bo established that mindset, and you know Gardo is ready to keep it coming. This team is experienced, deep, talented, well-coached, and HUNGRY. Title or BUST.
4) Penn State, 7-2 (5-1). Is it possible for them to make the title game? Do they need a Michigan loss? What a letdown it would be to face them in Indy.
5) Nebraska, 7-2 (4-2). If you’re upset about the election, here’s a pic of my pup:
6) Minnesota, 7-2 (4-2). Can’t wait for this game. CAN’T WAIT.
7) Northwestern, 4-5 (3-3). CURSEBUSTERS, YOUUUU GET CAUGHT UP IN LOVE, CURSEBUSTERSSSS
8) Indiana, 5-4 (3-3). Hello, boys. I’mmm BAAAACCKKKKKKKKK:
9) Iowa, 5-4 (3-3). Just happy that we needed OSU to beat Nebraska at home instead of needing Iowa to beat Michigan. Rough week for Penn State fans looking for a little help.
10) Maryland, 5-4 (2-4). I’m seeing “Arrival” today and can’t wait. I’ve never heard less about a movie that has been this well reviewed. They legitimately had a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes with like 70+ reviews a few days ago! Just feels like the type of movie that deserves the big screen treatment.
11) Purdue, 3-6 (1-5). LOL purdue
12) Illinois, 3-6 (2-4). Good for you making sure you took your swing at MSU in their colossal meltdown of a season. Keep this in mind when you look back in 10 years and see “MSU is 9-1 in their last 10 against the Illini” and you wonder how the hell they ever got them.
13) Michigan State, 2-7 (0-6). IT IS HAPPENING:
Is there ANY way MSU covers -14? Look how evenly matched they are!
14) Rutgers, 2-7 (0-6). No but seriously I can’t get over MSU and Rutgers having the same record in mid-November. Remarkable stuff.
THIS WEEK'S GAME IN HAIKU
The path is now clear
Fate, destiny, whatever…
Now we control it
27-point favorites at home with the world at our fingertips. Actually I’m just gonna go ahead and shut my mouth now before I say something I’m gonna regret. THE PICK:
WISCONSIN 40, Illinois 0