See no Buckeyes, think no Roses

Badgers do not plan on watching Michigan/Ohio State game prior to taking on Iowa

MADISON—The University of Wisconsin football team is well aware of the implications of Michigan's game at Ohio State Saturday afternoon. After losing at Michigan State last Saturday, the Badgers no longer control their own Rose Bowl destiny. They need to win at Iowa and have the Buckeyes pull out a win over the Wolverines in order to secure a trip to Pasadena.

Wisconsin's game Saturday does not kick off until 3:30 p.m. Central, three-and-a-half hours after the Michigan/Ohio State contest begins. But the Badgers will not be sitting around TVs in their hotel rooms or scoreboard watching from the field at Kinnick Stadium. They would rather pretend that game in Columbus is not taking place.

"We have a job to take care of. We can't really be aware of that too much," cornerback Scott Starks said. "We have to go out there and perform our duties first. Then after we finish we can worry about whether O State pulled it out or not."

"We've got enough to worry about," quarterback John Stocco said. "We've got a huge game left. That's all I'm going to be thinking about really."

Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez learned a lesson in this regard when he was an assistant at Iowa years ago.

"I had probably one of the best lessons I learned one year, we were with Iowa, we needed one of them, either Ohio State or Michigan, to win," Alvarez said. "We sat around all day up in Minneapolis in the hotel and watched the game and the wrong one won… we then went out there and we were very flat, played a lot like we did last week, just were very, very flat, and I thought that had something to do with it. So we'll try to direct our guys' attention away from that game."

Alvarez said he planned to address the issue with his team Monday afternoon.

"All we can concern ourselves [with] is what we can do and, you know, we have a lot of things to play for and let's not sit, you can't sit around and wait for something else to happen, someone else to make something happen," he said.

Stocco said he did not see a risk in watching the Ohio State game but he probably would not do so.

"I've got enough to worry about," Stocco said. "This is still a big game regardless of what happens with other teams so we just need to focus on this game."

Starks was asked if he had any friends on the Ohio State team he could call and ask for assistance. He said he did not and that he would not call anyone even if he did.

"Then I wouldn't be focused on my own game," he said. "We could be so focused on their game and their win. They could win and we could still lose. We'd be in an even worse situation.

"Whether they win or not really doesn't have any bearing on us right now."


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