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Victory Monday: BCS bowl picture looking rosy

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Editor's note: Sure, the Badgers didn't play a game Saturday, but considering Michigan State lost and fell way behind the Badgers in the BCS Standings, we feel it warrants a special bye week Victory Monday post.

Welcome to the bandwagon. Better late than never.

I appeared to be on an island last week when I said Wisconsin's BCS bowl prospects looked good. Less than an hour after I posted that story to B5Q, ESPN's Adam Rittenberg posted this story about how Wisconsin "might get totally screwed" by the BCS.

There was also this story from Tom Mulhern about how the Badgers aren't done worrying about Ohio State.

Both of those stories brought up a lot of fair possible scenarios, but I still contend that if Wisconsin can win its final four Big Ten games, the Badgers will head to their first BCS bowl game since 2000.

Now it seems as if others are catching on to that thought based on this story and this story.

Michigan State's loss to Iowa helped the Badgers a great deal, but Sparty's Rose Bowl chances are not dead yet. Let's revisit the two scenarios I brought up in last week's Victory Monday post and add a very plausible third scenario that has emerged:

Scenario 1: Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State all tie with a 7-1 Big Ten record and an 11-1 overall record.

This scenario assumes both Wisconsin and Michigan State win out and Ohio State beats Iowa in Iowa City Nov. 20. In this situation the tiebreaker would be BCS standings because all three teams have the same overall record. Ohio State could potentially pass Wisconsin with a win at Iowa, but UW's head-to-head win over the Buckeyes could prevent that from happening. But even if that happened, it's likely the Badgers would be ranked at least No. 6 in the BCS and it would be nearly impossible for a BCS bowl to pass on Wisconsin for an at-large bid despite Michigan State's head-to-head win over UW.

Scenario 2: Wisconsin, Michigan State and Iowa all tie with a 7-1 Big Ten record. UW and MSU are both 11-1 overall and Iowa is 10-2.

This scenario would put Michigan State in the Rose Bowl because Iowa gets eliminated with their 10-2 overall record and MSU has the head-to-head tiebreaker over Wisconsin. But, similar to Scenario 1, the Badgers will be ranked very high in the BCS and would almost certainly get an at-large BCS berth.

Scenario 3: Wisconsin and Iowa OR Ohio State tie with a 7-1 Big Ten record. UW is 11-1 and Iowa is 10-2 OR Ohio State is 11-1.

This is a new scenario we did not address last week, but one that could very well happen now that Michigan State has a loss. It would also be the best case scenario for the Badgers. This situation presents a second Michigan State loss, which could happen in the Spartans' season-finale at Penn State. By then we will know who won the Iowa-Ohio State game, but it wouldn't matter because this scenario presents a two-way tie and the Badgers have the head-to-head tiebreaker over both Ohio State and Iowa. Wisconsin would be headed to the Rose Bowl.

Of course, here's your very important qualifier: All of these scenarios assume the Badgers will end the season 4-0 and that's no gimmie.