Like it or not the Wisconsin Badgers are in the midst of another bye week this season, their second in one month’s time. Although head coach Gary Andersen was skeptical about having two bye weeks in a season (honestly I think we all are against it), this extra bye comes at a great time for the Badgers.
Coming off the heels of a 56-32 rout of the Illinois Fighting Illini, the Badgers will use this bye to rest players, especially the heart and soul of the defense Chris Borland. Late in the first quarter, the linebacker injured his right hamstring and did not return to the game. With Borland out, the defense took a major hit, although Marcus Trotter did step up big when the Badgers needed him, but the differences are glaring. This bye week is just what the doctor ordered and at the right time, as Borland looks to rest up and should not miss any more games the final stretch of the season.
Speaking of the final stretch of the season, this bye week comes at a critical time as the Badgers have five games remaining-four conference games and a tough non-conference opponent in BYU-and a short window to prove to the BCS committee that they deserve to be at least ranked in the top 25. On paper the remaining five games (@ Iowa, vs BYU, vs Indiana, @ Minnesota, vs Penn St.) should all be victories for the Badgers, however we all know the struggles Bucky has on the road especially in Iowa City, IA and BYU is by far a push over. If the Badgers want to move up into the top 14 of the BCS rankings, a spot they need to be in order to qualify for an at-large bid into a BCS bowl game, they must win these remaining five games in impressive fashion.
Even though we were only able to watch the Badgers twice in the month of October thanks to multiple bye weeks, November shapes up to one crazy final month of football. Here’s to hoping the Badgers take advantage and play themselves into another BCS bowl game.