Wisconsin's 62-14 win over Indiana on Saturday clinched the Badgers first goal of the year – to make the Big Ten Championship game, but don't expect them to just lay down and rest star players as some speculated should happen after the results this past weekend.
Besides, it's not as if there still aren't goals that are in front of Wisconsin. A win on Saturday would put the Badgers just one win and another Ohio State loss away from the actual Leaders division title, another goal that was stated at the beginning of the season.
"We're in a race to finish at the top of our division, and this opportunity this week is a chance to play the team that's at that number one spot," head coach Bret Bielema said at his weekly press conference. "So I think I might have a mutiny on my hands if I tried to pull anybody out of this game this Saturday."
One of the more interesting things that happens down the stretch is how these teams motivate and pick things up. Apparently Bielema has had an interest in the movies and has drawn strength and team inspiration from one of his recent viewings.
"I watched Moneyball and made references during the course of the year," he said. "Some guys put some things in my box. I thought it was interesting the only time they were ever in first place was the last game of the year and made that comment to our guys several times during the course of the season."
So, clearly there is no thought of taking their foot off the gas. Especially in light of knowing that Ohio State has been and is always going to be a team to take seriously to get to Indianapolis and the Big Ten Championship game.
During the press conference Bielema also made reference to the fact that for recruiting purposes the game against Ohio State will always matter.
"When the divisions came out and Ohio State was in our division, I thought that was a great thing for us just because we knew we were going to get to play them every year," said Bielema. "We traditionally did a lot of recruiting in Ohio and a little more East than we did West, and that's a critical part of where we're at."
It's also going to be senior day for nine graduating seniors (unless Phillips and Kelly get 6th years of eligibility) and that more than anything means this team wants to play well and make sure to send guys like Montee Ball out the right way, victorious.
So, don't expect Bielema or the players to lay off no matter what happens in Camp Randall this Saturday afternoon. Besides, as Herm Edwards has taught us all – "You play to win the GAME."