Wisconsin’s 31-24 “Senior Day” loss to Penn State on Saturday cost the Badgers a spot in the BCS Bowl picture. The Badgers started the day Saturday ranked 15th in the BCS Standings, but fell to 21st when the latest BCS Standings were released on Sunday.
The Badgers (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) also fell to 21 in both the USA Today coaches’ poll and the Associated Press top 25 poll, both of which came out on Sunday.
The end result will likely leave the Badgers headed to either the Capital One Bowl in Orlando or the Outback Bowl in Tampa. Both games are played on January 1st and feature matchups against SEC teams.
If Ohio State stays in the National Title game and Michigan State heads to the Rose Bowl, then Wisconsin likely would land a spot in the Capitol One Bowl against the loser of the SEC Championship game between Auburn and Missouri.
The Badgers had played in the Rose Bowl in each of the last three seasons.
Penn State freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg passed for 339 yards and four touchdowns against the Badger defense. Wisconsin started the day ranked second in the Big Ten in pass defense, allowing only 179.4 yards per game. Wisconsin failed to pressure Hackenberg, finishing the day with no sacks or interceptions.
On the flip side, while Joel Stave finished with season-high totals in completions (29), attempts (53) and yards (339). He threw three touchdown passes, but was picked off three times.
It’s the second straight season that the Wisconsin seniors have been sent out with a loss.
As difficult as this loss is for the Badgers, they have to quickly turn their focus on the upcoming bowl game. Wisconsin will have some time to prepare and coach Gary Anderson, still upset after the loss to the Nittany Lions, said it’ll be full speed ahead.
Dez Southward said, “The only thing we can do now is prepare for any team that we’re going to play next and go out with a bang. That is exactly what it will be.”