The Wisconsin Badgers are the winners of the 2011 Big Ten Championship following a thrilling contest against the Michigan St. Spartans. The Badgers won, 42-39, but they had a bit of luck on their side in the final minutes of the game. The Badgers had to punt with around two minutes left in the game, and the Spartans had returned the ball to within five yards of the Badgers' end zone. That is, until a penalty flag was thrown for running into kicker. The Badgers got a first down and ran out the clock.
Go here for more Big Ten Championship Game updates and conversation.
The Badgers had opened up a 21-7 lead (on the strength of two Montee Ball touchdown runs) in the first quarter before entering halftime in a 29-21 deficit to the Spartans. In the third quarter, Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins had dueling 40-plus yard touchdown passes for the Badgers and the Spartans, respectively.
Still, the Badgers were down, 36-28, entering the fourth quarter. But that didn't deter Russell Wilson. He found Montee Ball for a touchdown pass before failing on the two-point conversion. Michigan State added a field goal for a five-point lead. And yet Wilson and the Badgers still didn't give up. Wilson found Jeff Duckworth for a 36-yard pass that set up Montee Ball for his third touchdown run (with four total TDs in the game, Ball now has 38 total TDs in the season.
The Badgers will now head to the Rose Bowl to face the Oregon Ducks.