At the start of each week, Land of 10 will break down the postseason implications, and projections, to come out of the Wisconsin Badgers’ latest contest …
What happened: The Badgers (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) cranked the screws early with linebacker T.J. Edwards’ pick-6 of Maryland quarterback Max Bortenschlager in the first quarter setting the pace for a 21-3 halftime lead and a 38-13 victory. Jonathan Taylor (22 carries, 126 yards) became just the sixth freshman in major college football history to reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark by the season’s seventh game. Jim Leonhard’s defense held the Terps to just 268 total yards and only 125 through the air.
What it means: More separation between Wisconsin and the rest of the Big Ten West, especially after Purdue and Iowa stubbed their respective toes at Rutgers and at Northwestern. The Badgers were solid in all phases offensively (225 passing yards, 215 rushing), but Maryland doesn’t offer nearly what the Hawkeyes (Nov. 11) or Michigan (Nov. 18) will defensively. There’s still a little clean-up work to do, too: You can get away with 2 turnovers — including a Taylor fumble at the Wisconsin 3-yard line — and 4 penalties against the Terps. Against the Wolverines, Ohio State and Penn State? Not so much.
Projected record: Massey Ratings — 11-1; TeamRankings.com — 11-1
Projected postseason destination: Fiesta Bowl, Dec. 30 in Glendale, Ariz., versus an at-large opponent
Cheapest seat on TicketCity.com as of Sunday: $92
Up next: At Illinois (2-5, 0-4) on Saturday. Lovie Smith’s Illini start 14 true freshmen and looked like it at times last weekend at Minnesota, giving up 292 rushing yards in a 24-17 loss to the Gophers. The Illini will sell out to present a homecoming gift to a weary fan base, but these Badgers don’t look like they’re in much of a charitable mood.