Badger Bits: Making Peace With Wisconsin Football

Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

The Badgers are 7-5 after their third overtime loss in four games, and could ultimately finish the season 7-7 after entering the 2012 season with Rose Bowl expectations. Yet I'm strangely at peace with this squad.

It feels like it should be the end, but it turns out Wisconsin has another game to play before heading off to a bowl game somewhere -- the Gator Bowl looking likely. A lot of fans view the Big Ten Championship game as a setup for Wisconsin to achieve a rarely (never?) seen 7-7 record. There is no reason to like the team's chances against Nebraska, but the odds are at least as good as they were against Ohio State and Penn State. For all of the belly-aching, let's not forget that both games were tied at the end of regulation. That's a 50-50 shot, presumably.

That isn't consolation, I know. Our happiness in sports doesn't tie neatly with how our teams actually played. A close loss leaves a disproportionately large bruise. But while three straight overtime losses looks like a trend, it is still well within the variance of small sample sizes. Yes, this is very relevant.

I'm at peace with this squad. I was frustrated plenty, with play-calling and improperly vetted coaching hires in particular. Mike Markuson should have never happened, in hindsight, and Matt Canada is apparently only capable of calling screens and play action before a defense has over-committed to the running game. But five losses (or seven) isn't earth-shattering for a team that went through a massive coaching transition, suffered injuries at critical moments and is currently down to its third starting quarterback at season's end.

Dare I say, I believe the 2012 season will be regard fondly, for Montee Ball and his superlative career, for the awakening of Joel Stave and for what hindsight may ultimately view as the calm before an outstanding 2013 season. Every piece on offense returns outside of Ball and Ricky Wagner. A front seven that had been stout until Happy Valley will be senior-laden. Underlying that team will be a never-die attitude that has permeated recent iterations of Badger football under Bret Bielema.

I should be upset, and fans are absolutely right to be. In fact, they are right to choose whatever narrative they wish.

Monday's Links:

Post-game notes and video breakdown from Dave Heller and Jeff Potrykus.

Bielema confident that Abbrederis will be able to play. We'll see whether that's just fluff on Tuesday.

Badgers Roundtable doesn't have a lot of nice things to say.

Three teams were going to take Russell Wilson with their next pick. He was taken by the only team that would have given a shot to start from the beginning of the season.

Bret Bielema is the fifth highest paid head coach in the Big Ten, and more importantly KIRK FERENTZ IS THE FIFTH HIGHEST PAID COACH IN THE COUNTRY.

College football's Bloody Sunday takes Danny Hope away from us (and he will be missed).

The Week in Twitter reminds us that the Big Ten is oh so very bad.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bucky's 5th Quarter

You must be a member of Bucky's 5th Quarter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucky's 5th Quarter. You should read them.

Join Bucky's 5th Quarter

You must be a member of Bucky's 5th Quarter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucky's 5th Quarter. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker