MADISON, Wis. -- Deep in the recesses of Ohio Stadium, Gary Andersen somberly addressed the possibility that Wisconsin's Big Ten championship hopes had been crushed for good. It was only late September, yet he acknowledged Ohio State's 31-24 victory against Wisconsin meant the Badgers no longer controlled their path to a fourth straight conference title.
Despite his misery, the Badgers' first-year coach also maintained his optimism that the 2013 season wasn't entirely lost.
"If we take care of business one game at a time, I like our chances," he said then. "In some way out there, there will be another big game for us to play to put ourselves in a position to do some special things with this season. What those are, I dont know, but these kids will come back. They'll be ready to roll."
More than two weeks later, it appears the Badgers once again are firmly planted on a path toward a special season. It still isn't likely to result in a Big Ten championship or a Rose Bowl berth, but ...