Playing with confidence and perhaps a collective chip on its shoulder, UW produced the solid, competitive showing it needed. Now it's up to the selection committee to decide if the Badgers' 34-21 loss was good enough to send them to Pasadena.
Tom Oates has been part of the Wisconsin State Journal sports department since 1980 and became its editorial voice in 1996, traversing the state and country to bring readers a Madison perspective on the biggest sports stories of the day.
State Journal columnist Tom Oates grades the Wisconsin Badgers' performance in their 34-21 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
UW (10-2) has won four straight since its 38-7 loss to the Buckeyes (12-0) in October.
The Packers must keep finding ways to win despite an offense that sometimes runs well, sometimes throws well but seldom does both at the same time and a defense that forces turnovers but can't consistently stop the run or prevent big plays.
Ohio State has a looser, more player-first feel under Day, who was former coach Urban Meyer's offensive coordinator in 2017 and '18.
State Journal columnist Tom Oates grades the Green Bay Packers' performance in their 31-13 win over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
In dispatching the ninth-ranked Gophers with relative ease, the Badgers did more than reclaim Paul Bunyan's Axe after its one-year sabbatical and set up a rematch with second-ranked Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.
State Journal columnist Tom Oates grades the 13th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers' performance in their 38-17 win over the 9th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Badgers beat the Gophers 11-7 on Nov. 21, 1959, in Minneapolis to win a spot in the Rose Bowl vs. Washington.
The Green Bay Packers are 13th in points scored and 14th in points allowed, but most of their key offensive and defensive statistics rank in the bottom third of the NFL.