The 2010 season for the Wisconsin Badgers will always be remembered as a success…obviously. The Badgers went 12-2. They won the Big Ten title. Four Badgers had over 1,000 all-purpose yards and at least 14 touchdowns (John Clay, Montee Ball, James White and Scott Tolzien). Three running backs rushed for at least 900 yards and Tolzien still managed over 2,400 yards passing. They had 3 top-25 wins, including a win over No. 1 Ohio State. And, lastly, they scored over 40 points in six games, including totals of 70, 70 and 83. Oh, and, they also had J.J. Watt
But that 2-point conversion just HAD to hit Tank Carder in the face mask. The TCU linebacker guessed correctly on exactly when Tolzien would release the pass and got in the way.
And intended receiver Jacob Pedersen’s nearest opposition on that play? the TCU band beyond the facade of the south end zone.
That was the last play from scrimmage for the Badgers, a two-point-conversion to tie the Rose Bowl at 21 with 2:00 to go. With an unsuccessful onside kick, the timeout-less Badgers were forced to watch the clock expire. Heartbreak.
The drive that preceded, starting around the 7-minute mark of the fourth quarter, the deciding 2-point-conversion was the embodiment of Wisconsin Football. Two long, gashing runs by John Clay took the Badgers from the shadow of their own end zone to the TCU red zone, and then the offense went on to burn an additional four minutes before scoring via a Montee Ball touchdown run from four yards out. That score was the final score of the game. TCU-21 Wisconsin-19.
What may be lost when considering how the season ended you may forget how great the entirety of the season is. Whether you have an issue with remembering the overwhelming good of the 2010 season while also thinking of the Rose Bowl, just think of everything that preceded the Pasadena heartbreak. If the Badgers would have snuck out that game in overtime, they would have been the best Wisconsin team of all time. But, despite the unsuccessful outcome in January, September-December ensured that the 2010 Badgers were one of the best squads in school history.