Even the most die-hard traditionalist Big Ten fans cannot deny the overwhelming fact that the SEC has reigned supreme over the BCS since its foundation. Most recently, it has been Nick Saban‘s Alabama Crimson Tide that has reigned supreme.
Big Ten fans have quietly spent the 2013 football season hoping and praying their Ohio State Buckeyes would be able to oust an SEC team and return a national championship to the Big Ten. In the 2014 National Title game, the responsibility to dethrone the SEC falls on the shoulders of Jimbo Fischer and his Florida State Seminoles. If the Seminoles are able to defeat the SEC representative, the Auburn Tigers, the trophy will be in the hands of the ACC.
While the Seminoles are not members of the Big Ten, an ACC victory would be better than another SEC championship in the eyes of many Big Ten fans.
The Big Ten’s best chance to try to begin to make a dent in the SEC’s armor is to overwhelm them in head-to-head victories in bowl games this season. This year, the Nebraska Cornhuskers will travel to Florida to have a rematch against the Georgia Bulldogs. Coach Kirk Ferentz and his Iowa Hawkeyes will be facing off against Les Miles and his LSU Tigers.
Finally the most pivotal of the SEC vs. Big Ten matchups will be the Capital One Bowl featuring the Wisconsin Badgers with first-year head coach Gary Anderson and the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Old Ball Coach Steve Spurrier. This is the biggest bowl game of the season for the Big Ten by far. It trumps the Rose Bowl, which hosts the Big Ten champions Michigan State Spartans against the Pac-12 champions Stanford Cardinals.
The only reason the Capital One Bowl trumps the Rose Bowl this year is because of the SEC opponent in the Capital One Bowl.
So how can the Wisconsin Badgers exploit the Gamecocks and effectively win not only a bowl game, but also a moral victory for their football conference? They need to win in decisive fashion, and they need to do so by playing Badgers football. It sounds simple, and that should be the Badgers’ point. Badgers football is straightforward, ram-the-ball-down-the-throat-of-their-opponent football.
The Badgers need to impose this style of play on an SEC opponent with a good defense to prove that Big Ten football is deserving of recognition.
The key to victory for the Badgers will be in their ability to use their massive offensive line against the opposition and one man in particular. That man is of course Jadaveon Clowney. He has not had the dominant season that many had expected this year, but that is not at all an indication of weakness on his part.
In fact, this bowl game provides an ideal stage for him to showcase his talents one last time. The Badgers would be well-advised to be prepared for a man whose intentions will be to dominate this game in the trenches. The Badgers should respond by showing their strong points as well in James White and Melvin Gordon, two outstanding running backs.
This will be one great game to watch with many implications. The Badgers have sneakily talented individuals on offense, and this should lead to a victory for coach Anderson’s squad.