As much fun as I was having in the first half of Saturday's game -- and I still postulate that it was the most fun half of Wisconsin football I have ever seen -- I didn't feel like it was going to last. Even 35-10, with Good Feelings tiding over everyone following Montee Ball's super-heroic dive for the record, didn't feel safe. Badger Football in 2012 taught me that good things won't last, that ecstacy is fleeting, that overtime means a loss and 17 points isn't a real lead. I won't say that Wisconsin was bad during the regular season, but they were sad in a lot of ways. Against the best teams they faced, they ultimately crumbled after an inspired start, crushed by the inevitable.
James White attempted two passes this season, both against Nebraska. The first missed Jacob Pedersen on 3rd and 11, setting up a Jack Russell missed 41-yard field goal that would ultimately prove critical in a 3-point loss to the Huskers in the Big Ten opener. The second hit Sam Arneson in the numbers. He slipped into the end zone, unaccounted for as one of nine men lined along the 3-yard line. At 42-10, all pressure was released from the room. God it was fun, and not because no one thought that Wisconsin could win, but because no one could have seen them winning like this. Fate really is kind of a BS concept.
I spent the second half in a titter, culminating in a fit of outrageous laughter as Bret Bielema gave an impromptu wet-windbreaker show after a Gatorade bath. After learning all season that all that's great will turn to dust in a moment, Wisconsin fans were let loose to regale in pure atavistic pleasure, in the simple idea of smash=fun. I was drunk off everything, and touchdowns more than anything else.
A third straight Rose Bowl is a beautiful thing. Yeah Bret I agree, the team still needs to win the damn thing. Until then, WOOOOOOOOOOO.
Jeff Potrykus looks at the Stanford Cardinal.
ESPN previews the Rose Bowl. Warning: Lou Holtz.
The ESPN blogger write-up will kill far fewer brain cells, if you're worried about that kind of thing. Adam Rittenberg also had an excellent post-game take.
Post-game minutiae from Dave Heller at the Journal Sentinel.
Wisconsin makes a return to the Coaches Poll Top 25.
OTE on the wreckage in Indianapolis.
Georgia Tech and Virginia? Sure. Heck, who even cares any more.