Badger Bits: Wisconsin keeps moving on up

These fans could be headed to Pasadena for New Year's.(Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images).

Everyone have a restful weekend? Well it's back to the old grind today, so here's some Badger news to make Monday much more bearable!

Jeff Potrykus of the Journal-Sentinel writes that Wisconsin could be smelling roses come January, if a few factors fall in their favor. Namely, either Michigan State will have to lose one more time, or Wisconsin and MSU & OSU will all have to win out with the Badgers having to avoid being jumped by the Buckeyes in the BCS standings.

Potrykus includes some quotes about the Badgers from college football analysts; including one from Craig James, who infamously called the Badgers the "worst team to ever play in the [Rose Bowl]" before they went on to upset UCLA 38-31. Here's what James has to say about the current Badger team:

"With Wisconsin there and a real winnable schedule," James said Sunday night during ESPN's BCS Countdown show, "a healthy team that is fresh now after a bye, it is going to be impressive to watch them."

Wisconsin's #9 mark in the newest BCS standings leads the Big Ten, writes Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com. Importantly, OSU stayed at #11 in the newest poll.

More Badger Bits after the jump!

Football

Mike Lucas of UWBadgers.com revisits some of Wisconsin's previous trips to Ross-Aide stadium in West Lafayette, IN.

Luke Meredith of Madison.com says that Michigan State's loss to Iowa on Saturday puts Wisconsin squarely in the chase for the Big Ten title.

Tom Mulhern writes that despite having just J.J. Watt as a true "playmaker," the Badger defense is getting the job done on the field so far. Kevin Claxton has also been playing a bigger role this year after Chris Borland's injury.

Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel makes a few predictions for the rest of the Badger football season.

Wisconsin also received some good recruiting news over the weekend: defensive end prospects Jesse Hayes (Ohio) and James Adeyanju (Illinois) both committed to the Badger's 2011 class. The Badgers now have 18 commits for 2011.

Hockey

The Wisconsin men's hockey team swept Michigan Tech over the weekend, besting the Huskies 5-2 and 4-1 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Badgers improved to 5-2-1 on the year, including a 2-1-1 record in the WCHA.

A Final Note

The Wisconsin men's cross country team won their 12th straight Big Ten title on Sunday. Congrats guys!

5 days until a showdown with the Boilermakers.

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