Can Wisconsin Still Shake Up The Big Ten? The Answer Is Simple

Can the Wisconsin Badgers still make a run at the Big Ten West championship?

That's the question the entire state of Wisconsin is asking after the Badgers boat raced Northwestern 42-7 in Jim Leonhard's first game as the interim head coach.

Not only did Wisconsin blow out the Wildcats, the offense and defense both played insanely well. Before the clock hit zero, the Badgers had thrown a total of six touchdowns. Imagine hearing that after we lost to Illinois just a couple weeks ago. Nobody would have believed you.

Now that Wisconsin fans officially believe the Badgers are back, do we still have enough runway left to secure a spot in the Big Ten title game?

Can Wisconsin still make a run?

The answer is that the Badgers can absolutely still win the Big Ten West. As of Wednesday, Illinois, Purdue and Nebraska are tied in first at 2-1. Right behind that trio, Minnesota is alone in second at 1-1 in conference play. From there, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northwestern are all tied for last at 1-2.

So, with six games left, the Badgers are two games out from first place. Sure, Wisconsin might be in last place right now, but the gap between first and worst is very narrow.

Furthermore, Wisconsin has a relatively friendly schedule left. Our final six our against Michigan State, Purdue, Maryland, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. There's a real chance the Badgers win all six of those. I'm not saying it will happen. It's simply possible, and Wisconsin is already a -7.5 favorite against Michigan State.

Can enough carnage happen at the top of the conference to allow Wisconsin to make up some lost ground? The answer is yes.

The best thing about the Big Ten West is there is no dominant team. There's very little chance the three teams at the top don't all suffer at least one more loss. It's realistic to think all three could suffer multiple losses down the stretch.

To put it as simply as possible, not only can Wisconsin still win the Big Ten West, there's a higher than you might expect chance it happens. We just need to go take care of business and watch some other teams at the top slip and fall. That all starts Saturday against Michigan State.

Written by
David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture. He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics. Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.