The Badgers skidded last week and found their pants around their ankles. The bully? Michigan. Wisconsin fell from the ranks of the undefeated and now needed assistance to be Rose Bowl bound. Everyone knew what had to happen: Ohio State had to defeat Michigan and the Badgers had to take care of business at home against Penn State.
If the first three games of the 1996 campaign were “blah,” then the game against Penn State would offer the contrast. Both the Nittany Lions and the Badgers came in undefeated. Yet, Penn State was heavily favored to win. This would be my first introduction to PSU head coach, Joe Paterno. I almost watched him more than the game itself – everything from his fame filled hiked-up khakis and running shoes to his age defying exuberance captivated my interest. We all were in the presence of a legend. And yet, one would think that the series between Penn State and Wisconsin would favor PSU. However, Wisconsin held a 3-0 all time advantage over the blue and white.