The Wisconsin Badgers had five teams ahead of them in the BCS standings loss this week, giving them an opportunity to really gain some ground in the rankings with a dominant win in their home game against the BYU Cougars. The Badgers walked off the field with a win yesterday but the 10-point margin of victory was the reason why the Badgers did not receive a huge boost in the standings, going from No. 24 to just No. 22.
The Badgers turned the ball over twice and went just 7-17 on third down as their scoring output was the lowest of the season at just 27 points. The Wisconsin defense was more of the story of this game than its offense, holding the 12th best offense in all of FBS to just 370 total yards and 17 points. In a college football landscape that loves offense and values blowout wins over defensive performances, however, that didn’t have much value.
The problem for Wisconsin is that it has two losses and there are nine undefeated or one-loss teams in front of them in the standings. If the Badgers continue to win by a small margin, especially with the weak perception of the Big 10, they will have to hope that teams in front of them continue to lose as their only hopes of getting up into the BCS top 10. If Wisconsin can’t make it up into that top 10 by the end of the regular season, their dreams of playing in a BCS bowl will evaporate.
None of the Badgers’ remaining opponents are currently ranked teams. In order for Wisconsin to get any respect for beating these teams, it will have to be by a convincing margin, at least three scores. Eclipsing the 40 point mark and getting over 500 yards of total offense will also go a long way to improving the perception of the Badgers.
Wisconsin did move up those two spots in the standings because they did win yesterday’s game and teams in front of them lost. With the myriad of undefeated and one-loss teams in front of them, their chances to impress and move up into the BCS at-large bid conversation are running out.