Consider this the last time that the Wisconsin Badgers should EVER be considered for the CFP Playoff.
Why the title? Because just like individuals that had the same kind of hype heaped upon them, they always seem to drop out of contention in the end.
In the case of Big Ten Football, with the exception of THE Ohio State Buckeyes (that’s for you DawgFather), no other team has stepped up to take that second spot that should rightfully belong to them and not a second team from the SEC.
The Wisconsin Badgers were SUPPOSED to be that team. The Badgers were supposed to steamroll through the Big Ten West on their way to another division title and a spot in Indy for the Big Ten Football Championship Game.
And then…..THIS happened.
With one sweep of his leg, James McCourt lifted the downtrodden Fighting Illini (remember them?) to their biggest win in the Lovie Smith era (Remember him?). And in doing so, he knocked the Badgers not only out of the Top 10, but out of the CFP Race.
Take that Wisky.
It just seems like every year, the Badgers have been mentioned as a challenger for the College Football Playoff. Their stout running game, pulverizing defense, and their old pedigree would just allow them to cruise to the Final Four.
But for all that pedigree, all that success, and all of those great runners and athletes that have come through Camp Randall Stadium, they have yet to grace the CFP Playoff.
This is yet another case of Always a Bridesmaid.
It happens to teams all across the country, but it seems to happen to Wisconsin more times than not. It ALWAYS happens to Michigan State and Michigan, and they are rightly criticized for it.
But why hasn’t anyone called Wisconsin to task for being such a good team, and yet not cracking the New Year’s Party.
Remember the Northwestern Wildcats? They are having an absolute rough year this season, but even THEY have cost Wisconsin shots at the CFP.
Let’s rewind the clock to 2015. An opening night loss to eventual champion Alabama kinda got the Badgers focused. O to the big ten season and then whoops, a loss to Iowa 10-6. But then then righted the ship, ripped off five straight wins, and had to face a Northwestern team that was struggling to find its identity. The ‘Cats found theirs, and stripped the Badgers of theirs in a 13-7 win.
Or how about 2014. Lose to LSU to start the season 28-24, right the ship, win three straight, and then those pesky Wildcats from Northwestern did it to them again. But, they got it right and got all the way to Lucas Oil Stadium for a shot at the Big Ten Championship, and that elusive spot in the CFP (in its first season).
And then they got shellacked by the eventual National Champion Buckeyes.
So you see, Wisconsin’s “hang around, hang around, hang around” thing that they do, waiting to backdoor their way into the Big Ten Championship, or eventually the College Football Playoff just does not work. They have had chance after chance after chance to get their on their own merit, and each time they have failed as evidenced by them not making the playoff. Or their losses to Northwestern to derail them. Or Iowa, or Illinois like on Saturday.
As the saying goes, Always a Bridesmaid, never a bride. Or in the Badgers case, always a conference contender, never a playoff contender. Ever!
That’s Snowman’s Take. What’s yours?