Badger fans have a rare opportunity to show their class Saturday.
As a proud UW student section season ticket holder, seeing articles that question the section's behavior (like this one) is a bit embarrassing. The athletic department tried earlier this season to end the "FUES" chant to no avail. Now, an embattled Penn State team is coming to town fresh off one of the most shockingly disgusting scandals in NCAA history. It doesn't seem too far-fetched to imagine some students might have some unpleasant things to say to the Penn State players and coaches, and this likely has the athletic department a bit worried.
Hopefully, its concerns are unnecessary. Penn State's players had nothing to do with the scandal and are probably more or less mortified by the situation they're in. Their whole season was turned upside down in a matter of days, and everyone knows it. The only thing fans who choose to make fun of the situation will accomplish is make themselves look classless in the eyes of everyone who has followed the story (so, everyone). Ohio State and its fans got plenty of good press when they hosted the Lions last week, so it's not difficult to imagine UW getting the same treatment if things go smoothly Saturday.
On the other hand, it's not difficult to imagine what the reaction will be if, say, the student section starts chanting something derogatory about the scandal. Twitter will light up with protests from media types, who will already undoubtedly be siding with Penn State out of pity (not that there's anything wrong with that; the players deserve support). The story could shift pretty easily from the game to the behavior of the fans, and I'm sure the last thing Bret Bielema wants to answer questions about after the game is the student section.
I'm not sure how widespread the feeling is, but it seems like there are some who believe Badger fans aren't as respectful as supporters from other Big Ten teams. Saturday's game is an opportunity to not only counter this sentiment, but show a national audience Badger fans are as classy as they are loyal to their team.
Another reason to be respectful if you'll be in attendance Saturday: it's Senior Day.
You have to respect interim head coach Tom Bradley for willing his team to a road victory last week only a few weeks removed from the scandal.
Wisconsin's strange third-quarter drive that put the Badgers back in the game at Illinois last week got offensive line coach Bob Bostad fired up.
For the second week in a row, the Badgers' offensive line line up across from some elite defensive linemen.
The Big Ten typically gets an at-large NCAA bowl bid, but it looks like that may not be the case this season.
How the Badgers ran and passed against Illinois.
If Ohio State does eventually name Urban Meyer its head coach, they're doing a terrible job of keeping it secret.
The Badgers moved to 4-0 last night and played perhaps their best game of the season to date, even if it was against lowly UMKC.
Jared Berggren was excellent in the win. The Badgers need him to play like that if they hope to stay with No. 1 North Carolina next week.
Here's a recap from Badger Nation, complete with game grades.