We all know about the letdown game. South Carolina certainly exemplified this on Saturday when they went to Kentucky and lost, only one week after taking down Alabama, the number one team in the country at the time. Now that Wisconsin has done the same, can they avoid a similar fate in Iowa City on Saturday? Furthermore, is it a letdown for Bret Bielema's Wisconsin team to lose to 15th-ranked Iowa at Kinnick Stadium when Bielema has never won a road game against a ranked Big Ten opponent? To be fair, Bielema is 2-2 in his career against the Hawkeyes, and did win at Kinnick in 2006.
Bielema's main concern isn't that the Badgers will have an over-inflated self-worth as a result of Saturday's victory. He's more focused on making sure that they don't get themselves wrapped up in the pressure of having to avoid the letdown game. Bielema just wants his players to prepare as they have all season. This even-keeled approach should work fine for the team, but us fans know that the game at Iowa is likely the most important regular season game left on the schedule.
If the Badgers can secure the victory in Iowa City, they will be rewarded with a bye week to prepare for a game at Purdue the following week. Last year, the Badgers played well following bye weeks and I expect the extra week of preparation to boost Wisconsin's chances in West Lafayette. Wisconsin's final four games aren't daunting- trips to Purdue and Michigan and visits from Northwestern and Indiana are games the Badgers can all win. To put it simply, the Badgers cannot afford to lose in Iowa City if they want to win the Big Ten title. But, they will have an excellent shot of at least sharing it if they beat the Hawkeyes.
The Tuesday Top Five: Top things to do while rushing the field at Camp Randall
1. Ask John Clay if he's lost weight, because you noticed something different about him.
2. Inappropriately touch every player and coach you see as much as possible. Trust me, they love that.
3. Attempt to take a chunk of grass as a memento, then quickly realize the Badgers play with field turf and take a rubber pellet or two instead.
4. Try and eventually fail to take down the goalposts. Those things could easily handle hurricane-force winds.
5. Don't get stuck in between other fans and the fence surrounding the field. Seriously, it looks painful.
Iowa is constantly bringing up Bielema's Hawkeye tattoo when recruiting players also recruited by Wisconsin. Maybe UW fans should create a charity to fund laser tattoo removal for Bret.
ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt gushed over his latest visit to Madison. You picked a good day to stop by, SVP.
The Badgers basketball team is getting it done in the weight room.
This is the last time the Badgers will face Iowa until at least 2013. That is, unless we meet them in the Big Ten Championship game either next year or 2012.
James White makes his first appearance in CBSSports.com's Freshman Watch. P.J. Hill took home this award in 2006.
Wisconsin women's hockey is back in a familiar spot: #1 in the country.
For the Badgers, the 3-hour bus ride to Iowa City can turn wild if they aren't careful.