In talking about last week's bye at his press conference on Monday, Badger football coach Bret Bielema mentioned that taking a break from critics could be just as therapeutic as a week off from bone-crushing hits.
"Sometimes it's good to be away from people that want to talk about the two losses rather than what you've done over a cumulative season," Bielema said.
Coach has a point. While the Badgers have lost to the only two ranked teams on their schedule this season - Ohio State and Iowa - they've beaten five unranked teams whose combined record is 18-19. And only one of those teams plays in a lower division - the mighty Terriers of Wofford (eighth in the nine-team Southern Conference).
But if we're going to talk about the cumulative, we should mention that since the Badgers beat Arkansas to finish the 2006 season - Bielema's first as head coach - at 12-1, Wisconsin has accumulated exactly zero wins in big games. (No, the win over Michigan in 2007, when the Wolverines began with a loss to Appalachian State and ended with a 9-4 record, doesn't count.)
To both attract recruits and retain season ticket holders, Bielema argues that Wisconsin is among the Big Ten's elite programs. To continue making that claim with a straight face, the Badgers must beat their five remaining opponents (combined record: 19-20) to finish 10-2 and qualify for a decent bowl game.
Otherwise, expect to hear more from those who focus on losses to good teams instead of wins over mediocre ones.