Saturday’s 21-7 win over the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston put the Wisconsin Badgers in the driver’s seat to reach the Big Ten Conference Championship game on Dec. 3 in Indianapolis.
The Badgers (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) are tied with both Nebraska and Minnesota with three games remaining. They’ve already beaten Nebraska and will face Minnesota in the regular season finale at Camp Randall Stadium.
Paul Chryst’s Badgers can now control their own destiny by winning out. They no longer need help from anybody.
Wisconsin plays host to Illinois (3-6, 2-4) at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. They’ll follow that up with a road game at Purdue (3-6, 1-5) and then the Gophers come to Madison on Nov. 26.
The Badgers have primarily won on the strength of their defense. The offense has done just enough to keep the Badgers in the win column.
The Badgers have increased their rush totals in each of the last four games, after a slow start this season. But the passing offense has been very inconsistent.
But at this point, Wisconsin will be heavy favorites in all three games, starting with Illinois on Saturday. Three straight wins will get the Badgers a rematch against either Michigan or Ohio State, whoever wins the East.
The Badgers moved up one spot to number-seven in both the coaches and writers top 25 polls.