Revenge Not on the Badgers Mind?
While all the talk around Badger Nation has been about getting revenge for the last two losses to Michigan State, that isn't the case for the team themselves. Bielema and Co. have made it clear that the focus is on winning the Big Ten Championship and not on using what has happened in the past as motivation.
It's not that they don't remember or don't think about what has happened, but as Bielema said about the last second loss to the Spartans, "It's not as if I think about it 24/7. I went on a walk with [Barry] Alvarez and I asked him if he was over 'it' [the Michigan State loss] and he said 'never'. If you're a professional those things have to stay with you so you can grow from it."
One this is clear, the coaches and players are excited about getting a chance at a rematch. "(it's) another chance at Michigan State, but it's also a chance to play on a big stage, we all want to play on that big stage." said Montee Ball.
He continued, "Obviously a lot of motivation, the media won't let us forget about 'revenge'. We're going to aproach this game like we have every game this season and not take anything for granted."
One of the biggest team leaders, Russell Wilson, put it in perspective the best, saying, "If you love the game of football, all you want to do is be able to compete at a high level. We’ve done that all season and now we have more work to do.’’
While a lot of the talk going into this game amongst us media folks has been about the "r" word, perhaps it's been the wrong "r" word? Could this be a start to a new and competitive rivalry? "(There are) defenitly very competitive games and many similarities between these two teams." said DL Patrick Butrym. "If this becomes an annual matchup this could become a rivalry."
While it's clear that everyone knows about the 2nd chance Wisconsin has on Saturday night, they are looking at it as a fresh opportunity to prove themselves against a very good opponent and not as a chance at revenge. Consider Saturday the ultimate "5th Quarter" as Wisconsin has a chance to erase a bad memory and make one that will last a lifetime.