Team preview: Wisconsin

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(All information as of July 1, 2005)


Michigan and Ohio State have been the Big Two of the Big Ten, but the Badgers have turned it into a Big Three, as Wisconsin joins the Wolverines and Buckeyes as the only teams in the conference to go to 10 bowl games in the last 12 years. Head coach Barry Alvarez continues to build a dynasty in Madison, last year becoming the 10th Big Ten head coach to win 100 games at one school when the Badgers defeated Central Florida in the season-opener.

And that was just an appetizer for a season that saw the Badgers jump out to a 9-0 start and climb as high as No. 4 in the national polls before losing their final three games when their suspect offense finally caught up with them.

The defense carried them all season, especially during their undefeated start, as they didn't allow more than seven points or 230 total yards in any of their first five games.

After drilling Bowling Green, Wisconsin polished off non-conference foes UNLV (18-3) and Arizona (9-7) before opening the season with double-digit home victories over Penn State and Illinois. The rest of the country finally started taking the Badgers seriously when they traveled to Columbus and upset the Buckeyes, 24-13, holding Ohio State to 125 yards passing and just 99 on the ground.