Last Saturday, Wisconsin was a national championship contender. Now, after a second straight loss, the Badgers are behind Ohio State in the Legends Division of the Big Ten race, and all but eliminated from Rose Bowl contention. That's the aftermath of Wisconsin's 33-29 loss to the Buckeyes in Columbus.
At least the Badgers have lost with panache.
Wisconsin allowed a 26-7 Ohio State run before coming back and scoring two touchdowns in the game's final five minutes to take a 29-26 lead. Ohio State then stormed back with a one-minute drive of its own, and Braxton Miller found Devin Smith for the game-winning 40-yard touchdown strike.
Wisconsin wasn't done — the Badgers got a drive of their own late, thanks to a kickoff that went out of bounds and a pass interference penalty. But the Badgers couldn't make a Hail Mary of their own happen, giving Ohio State the biggest scalp of the Luke Fickell era.
Miller's final touchdown throw got him over 50 yards on the day; he finished with 89 yards passing. It was Ohio State's running game that carried the day, with Dan Herron gaining 160 of the Buckeyes' whopping 268 yards on the ground.
Russell Wilson threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns, but his brilliant play came in too short and too late a spurt to win the day. And Wisconsin's defense melting down for the second time in seven days ultimately may have ended the Badgers' Rose Bowl hopes.