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No. 4 Wisconsin shrugs off BCS standings

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October 18, 2011
— Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema says the BCS rankings won't mean a thing if the Badgers don't keep winning.

Wisconsin is ranked fourth in the AP and coaches' polls, but debuted at No. 6 in the first BCS standings of the season Sunday night. Bielema said Monday that everything will work out if the Badgers simply keep winning games.


"Unless you keep winning, it's immaterial anyway," Bielema said. "I know someone pointed out that they didn't really love (the BCS system), but my guess is if we keep winning and things begin to happen around us - everything takes care of itself."


The Badgers (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) play their first league road game of the season Saturday night at 15th-ranked Michigan State (5-1, 2-0). The Spartans handed Wisconsin its only regular-season loss last season, 34-24.


Quarterback Russell Wilson watched the BCS rankings unveiled on television and said he has no concerns.


"Being sixth, we're still in a great place," Wilson said. "All that matters is that we win. Play one week at a time, and we play a great team in Michigan State. Go there, and it should be a great scene."


Wisconsin has struggled on the road at East Lansing, losing three of its last five games. Bielema expects a physical battle between the teams Saturday, and watched the Spartans manhandle rival Michigan in a 28-14 win last week. The Spartans won despite committing 13 penalties for 124 yards against the Wolverines.


The game will pit Wisconsin's Big Ten-leading offense (50.2 points per game) against Michigan State's second-ranked defense, which is allowing just 10.8 points per game. Bielema said he plans to have his scout team rile up the offensive starters in practice so they get ready for the Spartans.


"I want guys to have the reaction that they need to have on Saturday, and unfortunately, the only way to do that is practice it and rep it," he said. "Even in that short little reactionary second of time when something happens, our guys have to be aware - it's not what happens - it's how you react to what happens.


"Michigan wasn't overly reactive. You can kind of channel that, and we'll do our talking with our pads and we'll do it between the whistles."



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