Wow. What. A. Game.
First of all, despite the fact that I'm a Badger fan, I acknowledge the fact that Michigan State outplayed Wisconsin tonight. In my opinion, the Badgers are still a better overall team than Michigan State is. Tonight, however, was a different story; the offense turned the ball over, and UW's suspect secondary displayed horrible tackling and were outmatched by Cunningham, Martin and the MSU receiving corps.
MSU won and UW lost, I get it. There are just a couple things that bother me about how that game played out. My Facebook and Twitter feed(s) are blowing up with ridiculous claims and/or blame regarding the ending of that game. I just want to get a few things off my chest...
#1 - Yes, I think that was a TD on the game-ending Hail Mary. However, when it's called short of the goal-line on the field, and the replay shows that the play is as close as it was, then I think you need to let the players settle the outcome in OT. If you're an official, don't use a judgment call to determine a game of that magnitude. Let the players decide the game.
#2 - On that game-winning drive, the officials missed a blatant false start on MSU's Left Tackle - on the shovel pass. It was clear as day. If you watched the game, you probably know what play I'm talking about. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch the replay, you'll know.
#3 - Now that UW lost the way they did, it's really easy to second guess Brett Bielema's use of his Timeouts on the last MSU drive. It appeared as if the Spartans were content with taking the 31-31 game into Overtime, but Bielema got greedy and wanted the ball back in regulation. Unfortunately, It came back to bite him, as it allowed MSU to get more aggressive in their play-calling, and ultimately, Sparty had enough time to win the game in regulation.
#4 - (This is what bothers me the most.) Michigan State DE William Gholston missed the game due to being suspended for dirty play against Michigan. The Spartans committed 13 penalties last week against the Wolverines, and weren't penalized ONCE against the Badgers this week. You're telling me that the dirtiest team in the Big Ten, arguably one of the dirtiest in the entire country, cleaned up their game that much in one week? Highly doubtful. Judging by the extra-curricular trash-talking and post-whistle shoving from MSU, I find it hard to believe that the Spartans played penalty-free football in this game.
I don't want to sound bitter. Frankly, it's almost Sunday so my mind is already on the Packers and the NFL; however, to lose this way hurts. Wisconsin just made too many mistakes to beat a good team. Generally, you can't expect to win a game in which you allow a FG to get blocked, as well as allowing a blocked punt for a TD.
Michigan State was the better team tonight, but I firmly believe UW will run the table from here, beat MSU in the B1G Championship, and advance to yet another Rose Bowl. On Wisconsin.