Yes, Michigan State came out with an improbable victory over the seemingly unbeatable Wisconsin Badgers, cementing themselves as legitimate contenders for the Big Ten title and favorites to win the Legends Division, but the late game heroics most likely destroyed any chances of a Big Ten team, specifically Wisconsin, earning a bid in the National Championship game.
It's how college football works. One loss can kill a season, making each game, especially ones in the conference, a do-or-die type game.
Right now, there are seven undefeated teams in the top 25. Two of those teams reside in the SEC and will be playing each other this weekend. Simply put, the winner of the LSU-Alabama game is one step closer to playing for the National Championship. The SEC has gone 7-0 in BCS National Championships, which leaves many to believe that a one-loss team from the conference will all but lock up a spot in the January contest.
Because of this, there are a handful of teams fighting for just one spot in the game. With Stanford undefeated in the Pac-12, Oklahoma State 7-0 down in the Big 12, and Boise State, Clemson, and Kansas State all without a loss, there is going to be a slim chance of a Big Ten team making the title game.
Wisconsin still has Ohio State, Illinois and Penn State all on their schedule, and possibly the Big Ten title game against either Michigan State or Nebraska. On the other hand, Michigan State has one more challenging regular season game left against Nebraska this week, and if they keep their win streak alive, a date with Wisconsin possibly in the conference championship.
As it stands now, Wisconsin and Michigan State have no room for error left this season. One loss will definitely keep them out of the national championship game and any poor performances the rest of the way will eliminate their hopes.
Nichol's last second catch was amazing – a miracle, in fact. But the result of that catch destroyed the one legitimate BCS contender, Wisconsin, chance of competing in the BCS title game. From here on out, it will have to be nothing but impressive victories and a lot of help (including losses to the remaining undefeated teams) in order for Wisconsin or Michigan State to even crack the discussion for who will play for the ultimate prize in college football.
- Josh Harvey -