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Time for Bielema to win the 'big one'

Like they say, any publicity is good publicity, right?

It certainly seems like the only time the national media talks about Bret Bielema, it's because he has upstaged another coach.

Remember the intentional offside kickoffs against Joe Paterno in 2006? Who can forget the "Who does this guy think he is?" reaction?

Now critics across the nation are debating whether or not Bielema should have gone for two with a 25-point lead against Tim Brewster's Gophers.

Whether it is positive or negative publicity, the spotlight is on Bret Bielema as his team gets ready to take on No. 1 Ohio State in primetime in front of the whole country.

And with ESPN's College GameDay in town, the timing has never been better for Bielema to finally win the "big one".

We've talked about the numbers. Bielema only has one win over Big Ten teams ranked in the AP Top 25. That was a 37-21 win over No. 13 Michigan at home in 2007. A win is a win, but let's not forget that same Michigan team lost to Appalachian State to open the season.

No one can take away his bowl wins against No. 12 Arkansas and No. 14 Miami, but the bottomline is that Bret Bielema has yet to beat a good Big Ten team as an underdog and his teams often lose road games against tough teams they should beat.

That of course brings us to this weekend's game against Ohio State. The Buckeyes are four-point road-favorites but every player in that Wisconsin locker room knows they have the ability to beat OSU.

Just moments before Wisconsin's game at Michigan State Oct. 2, Ohio State barely held on to beat Illinois. I remember thinking to myself that I was even more convinced Wisconsin would beat the Buckeyes.

Of course, as the next three hours played out in East Lansing, the Badgers showed absolutely no evidence that they could do so. But two weeks will have passed by Saturday and there is enough evidence to suggest that if Wisconsin can put a full 60-minutes together, they can beat Ohio State.

Unfortunately, UW has yet to do that this season. In fact, failing to play well in all four quarters has become a common theme for Bielema's teams despite his 43-15 overall record at Wisconsin.

A number of those 15 losses were against good Big Ten teams they had a chance to beat late in the fourth quarter, including Ohio State in 2008.

It's time to put one of those games in the win column.