Last year’s Ohio State game was one of the greatest atmospheres and moments in Wisconsin football history. To this day I still get chills thinking about it. I’m here to argue, however, that this upcoming game is bigger. Much bigger.
The Badgers came into last year’s game against No. 1 ranked Ohio State limping off a loss to Michigan State and holding the 18th position in the polls. Sure, we thought we were good, but we had yet to prove it. We hoped we would win, sure, but that’s all it was–a hope. Going into the game we hoped it would it be a great atmosphere, but we didn’t know if it would be. We hoped we’d play the Buckeyes tough, but we didn’t know for sure. We hoped the Badgers would smash the Buckeyes in the mouth and come away with a magical win, but…we had no way of knowing.
Bottom line: those things did happen, and now we know how great it is to play in a Camp Randall night-game shrouded in national hype. Last year we hoped to play for a BCS birth. Now we know we’re fighting for one. We’ve seen what can be and we know what to expect–now we’re fighting for the chance to repeat it. We’re not the underdog anymore, Wisconsin. No more are we the darkhorse–we’re the front runner.
Or at least we think we are.
That’s where the third installment of Four Big Things vs Nebraska comes in:
Playing With Expectations
Here come the bright lights, Badgers. Last year you demonstrated you could win the big game–but that was last year’s team. The players from last year’s team understand what it takes to pull off the big win–and how it feels to lose the big one. They should be prepared for Nebraska. There will be no surprises. There will be no wide eyes. The Badgers no longer have the luxury of coming into College Game Day’s showdown as a relative underdog. They’ve got the target on their big cardinal-clad back. It’s here we see if they are truly continuing the momentum they started last year. It’s here we see if the Rose Bowl loss has kept them hungry. It’s time to see what they’re made of.
Gut-check time, Badgers; time to prove you’re worthy of another magical Camp Randall celebration.