This story may have been one of the later events in terms of its position in the calendar year, but it was undoubtedly one of the biggest, not only of the year, but in the history of Wisconsin Athletics.
The beauty of this story lies not in what happened, but how it happened. It’s safe to say that the 2012 football season didn’t go as many in Badger nation had planned. Things seemed to be getting worse in the latter portion of the season. A growing group of pessimistic fans thought that the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game was going to be the final nail in the coffin of what could have been a historic season.
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What happened: Offensive coordinator Matt Canada flexed his creative muscles to their fullest potential as the Badgers pulled out all of the stops in a 70-31 beat down of, then, No. 12 Nebraska in Indianapolis. It was an offensive spectacle for the ages. UW hung up 21 points in each of the first three quarters. The Badgers racked up 640 yards of total offense, 539 of which came on the ground as Montee Ball, Melvin Gordon, and James White each rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown. Ball and Gordon both broke the 200-yard plateau.
Chris Borland was superb on defense with 13 tackles, one for a loss, and a forced fumble. The Badgers defense collected two turnovers in the game.
To put it simply, one, well-timed win, has changed the way that people will view the 2012 campaign forever. Despite all of the unexpected twists and turns, and a few sub-par performances, the Badgers ended their year right where they wanted to be: in Pasadena…again.
Why it’s here: This moment is near the top of our list for two reasons. One, is the unexpected nature of the game’s outcome. Few were expecting the Badgers to win, none were expecting a victory to come in this decisive of fashion. The second is the historical implications of winning a third-consecutive Big Ten title. With the win, the Badgers became the first Big Ten team to make three consecutive trips to Pasadena since Michigan accomplished the feat during the 1976-78 seasons.