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Sunday Morning Coming Down

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Wisconsin Doesn’t Score Again

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Wisconsin vs Penn State Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

It was a self-immolation for the ages if you’re a Badger fan. Wisconsin led by 21 at one point, only to see the defense slowly melt away in the form of soft coverages and roughing penalties. The huck-and-pray offense of PSU gouged the Badger secondary. The rest, as they say, is history.

Penn State is your 2016 B1G Football Champion. They seem unlikely to make the playoff, but the committee is in uncharted waters. The answer should come shortly.

The Writers React:

Thumpasaurus: Fortunately for them, their GREAT FANS were much GREATER FANS than the NOT SO GREAT FANS of other big ten schools and were able to GREAT FAN them to being good again just by shouting WE ARE! at anyone who would listen

If only we'd been GREAT ENOUGH FANS to deserve a conference title. Shame on us all.

Aaron Yorke: It’s almost three o’clock in the morning and Penn State is still good. I think I’ve finally seen enough to convince myself that if the committee makes a mistake and puts Penn State in the Playoff...it wouldn’t be totally irrational to think that that Penn State wouldn’t get obliterated in the semifinal. This was a good Wisconsin defense that ranks similarly to the Michigan one that made Penn State’s offense look like it didn’t belong on the field in late September. Against the Badgers, though, Trace McSorley got the pass protection he needed and made it rain in the second half. Even against the blitz, he calmly stepped back and tossed a rainbow right into Saquon Barkley’s arms. There’s still one more game to play in 2016, but McSorley’s performance in this game raised expectations through the roof for next year, when the Lions will be ranked in the top 10 to start and have two Heisman Trophy contenders on their roster.

Oh geez. I can’t believe I just typed that. If I’m thinking that Penn State is this good, just think of the opinions that will start flying around if this team doesn’t get pummeled in its bowl game.

Townie: This was a great football game. If you love smash mouth football, this was your game. Wisconsin’s running game featured bruising backs and pancake blocking linemen. Linebackers on both teams brought the wood. There were bloody noses on both sides.

If you love big plays, this was your game. Corey Clement ripped off a 67 yard run early in the game that nearly killed some of us older Penn State fans. Saeed Blacknall looked like a magician, turning back and making huge catch after huge catch to keep Penn State in the game.

If you love underdog stories, there was a bigger on this season... Almost nobody gave Penn State a chance in this game. The team is too young. The Wisconsin Defense is too good. Paul Chryst is a better game-day coach. There’s no way Penn State can beat this Wisconsin team.

I knew Penn State would win this game. I had my doubts early. But when I saw how well we threw the ball on Wisconsin...and how bad their offense looked. I knew.

Remember, in the first half, Penn State spotted them a touchdown on a bad snap. Then we gave them two ridiculously short fields by going for it on fourth down. Then we extended their drives with stupid penalties. And our outside linebacker lost contain and looked like an ass on that long Clement run.

We did that and suddenly it was 28-7.

But that last Penn State touchdown before half sealed it for me. Wisconsin’s offense looked like a mule team. They were going places, but slowly. That gave Penn State a chance to make stops, which they did.

Penn State’s offense, against that vaunted front seven, looked like a rocket. Long passes were there and Wisconsin’s secondary struggled to tackle in space.

What a great game.

Stew: My rating system’s top 4 teams:

  1. ‘Bama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Michigan
  4. Clemson

But you know what? PSU deserves to be in the playoffs. Here’s my most deserving teams:

  1. ‘Bama
  2. Clemson
  3. Washington
  4. PSU

Don’t like it? Win your damn division. Sucks to suck. Fuck Wisconsin