Wisconsin Enters Ranks of Elite

Wisconsin Enters Ranks of Elite

Wisconsin did not win the national championship Saturday night.

Russell Wilson didn't win the Heisman Trophy, either.

But there were certain times against Nebraska when you caught yourself wondering:

What's going to stop either from happening?

Like when Wilson, the Badgers' wondrous quarterback, faked a toss sweep and threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to a silly open Jared Abbrederis in the second quarter.

Or when UW took the ball away again with less than 80 seconds left in half and Wilson calmly hit Nick Toon on a 46-yard scoring play.

Or when the no-worries Badgers, setting aside whatever else had gone temporarily wrong on special teams in one of the most hyped and anticipated games in the too-soon-to-call portion of the 2011 college football season, merely reclaimed possession whenever necessary.

It wasn't overly difficult to be skeptical about the ridiculous numbers put up by Wisconsin, Wilson and a miserly defense against four who-cares pre-conference opponents.

But when Nebraska came calling at a lunatic-fringed Camp Randall Stadium on a Saturday night in the Cornhuskers' Big Ten debut, all suspicions were temporarily suspended. It is now possible to imagine Wisconsin and Wilson taking on anyone the sport has to offer in a wide-open field and dispatching them with similar haste.

In an arbitrary poll, the Badgers were No. 7 before they put the absolute 48-17 whipping upside eighth-ranked Nebraska's many-crowned head. And this is still subjective, but the thought here is that any numbers before any school names are now irrelevant.

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