Badger Bits: Bielema hits the jackpot; Badgers jump to No. 10

Well, what a weekend that was! There's more post-game links and other analysis than I really know what to do with, so here goes nothing!

Bret Bielema's call for a fake punt on 4th and 4 on Wisconsin's own 26 yard line was, to put it lightly, very risky. Bielema's gamble paid off in the end though, as punter Brad Nortman ran for a first down. The Badgers would go on to score the go-ahead touchdown on Montee Ball's herculean effort, none of which would have happened had Bielema called for a punt.

Tom Mulhern of Madison.com called Bielema's decision "One of the gutsiest calls of Bielema's five-year tenure as head coach," and thinks that Wisconsin's win over Iowa has shown that Bielema is willing to be daring. ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg is also of the opinion that Wisconsin has taken the step from good to great after beating two formidable, ranked teams in consecutive weeks.

The BCS rankings were also released last night, and Wisconsin has moved up to #10. The Badgers jumped three spots, and are now ranked one spot above Ohio State. Maintaining a higher ranking than the Buckeyes will prove to be difficult, but is crucial to the Badgers' chances of playing in a BCS bowl game.

More Badger Bits after the jump!

 

Football

Aside from the BCS rankings, Wisconsin is now ranked #9 in both the AP and USA Today/Coaches poll.

Mike Lucas of UWBadgers.com says that the Badgers' M*A*S*H-unit was crucial to the victory over Iowa.

Tom Mulhern of Madison.com says that, however unlikely, the Badgers topped themselves on Saturday, netting Bret Bielema's first major road win over a ranked Big Ten team.

Media report cards are out, and the post-game reviews are more or less glowing from both Jeff Potrykus and Tom Oates.

According to FOXSports.com, Wisconsin has significantly altered the Big Ten title race.

Off-Tackle Empire has their post-week 8 Bowl Projections online, and the results are very good for the Badgers.

Hockey

The Men's hockey team had a rough weekend against Denver, losing the first game 4-2 and tying with the Pioneers 2-2 on Saturday. Sixty Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets. has game recaps from both Friday and Saturday. The Badgers head home this weekend for a two game set with Michigan Tech.

The Badger Women had a better weekend, sweeping Ohio State after a 5-2 victory on Saturday night in Madison. Senior Meghan Duggan and junior Hilary Knight combined for 4 of the Badgers' 5 goals.

Basketball

Wisconsin senior forward Keaton Nankivil likes what he sees after the team's second scrimmage, according to Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Don't forget: the men's team opens their exhibition season at 7 PM on November 9th.

In Conclusion

5 days until the showdown with that dreaded "BYE" team!

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