Strange year in college football. No major upsets.
With just one exception, no AP top-10 team has been beaten by an opponent outside the top 10. Auburn won at No. 10 South Carolina two weeks ago, but otherwise, it's been heavyweight beating heavyweight.
LSU over Oregon. Oklahoma over Florida State. Oklahoma State over Texas A&M. Wisconsin over Nebraska.
Without upsets, we're headed for a logjam at the end of the season, a bevy of unbeatens: the Alabama-LSU winner, the Bedlam winner, Wisconsin, Stanford, Boise State, at least.
Which means Wisconsin needs some help. The Badgers figure to rank behind the SEC and Big 12 champion, if all are undefeated. Wisconsin could need some help from the Big Ten if it is to reach the Big Bowl. Starting with Illinois beating Ohio State on Saturday.
Wisconsin plays at Ohio State on Oct. 29, but the reeling Buckeyes aren't likely to give the Badgers much cachet. Wisconsin needs its Nov. 19 game at Illinois to be a showdown.
The Illini is 6-0 and now is ranked 16th. If Illinois could keep winning, it would give Wisconsin an extra marquee game, to go with a Big Ten Championship game that will be notable to some degree.
Ohio State is 3-3 and in disarray, with the summer firing of coach Jim Tressel, a series of player suspensions and losses to Miami, Michigan State and Nebraska.
But Buckeye interim coach Luke Fickell said he hasn't lost his team. “It's amazing,” he said. “I feel good about who they are. They've been through a lot.
“These are the times when you really find out how much faith and belief you have in each other and how much sacrifice you can withstand for each other.”
Wisconsin needs Fickell to be wrong. Needs Illinois to beat Ohio State. Otherwise, the Badgers need some upsets.