An instant classic captures Buckeyes' attention


COLUMBUS (AP) -- What's brewing with the 2011 Ohio State Buckeyes ...

BUCKEYES BUZZ: What a night to watch football on television.

With Ohio State having the night (and day) off on Saturday, most of the Buckeyes had the opportunity to watch an instant classic when No. No. 4 Wisconsin played at No. 15 Michigan State.

Ohio State (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) hosts the Badgers this coming Saturday at 8 p.m.

But the game of the season took place in East Lansing, Mich. It'll be a game discussed for years to come.

The Badgers fell from the ranks of the unbeaten in stunning fashion when Keith Nichol caught a 44-yard desperation heave from Kirk Cousins on the game's final play for a touchdown, giving Michigan State a 37-31 win. With 4 seconds left, Cousins rolled out to his right and threw the ball about as far as he could. It went into the end zone but caromed off Michigan State receiver B.J. Cunningham's facemask back to Nichol, who caught it just outside the end zone and struggled for the goal line, fighting two Wisconsin defenders and just barely breaking the plane.

The former backup quarterback was initially ruled short of the end zone, but officials overturned the call after a review, giving the Spartans (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) the win. It was a deflating loss for Wisconsin (6-1, 2-1).

"It's kind of one of those things where all of the stars have to be aligned for it to happen," Bielema said.

Now it's a question of whether the Badgers are down from the momentous defeat or inspired now that their backs are to the wall.

POLL DANCING: The table is set for another classic in two weeks. LSU remained No. 1 and Alabama right behind at No. 2 heading into their huge showdown in two weeks -- both are off this Saturday.

As for the Big Ten, the loss to Wisconsin likely excluded the conference from the national championship picture even as it made the divisional races much more exciting.

The Big Ten has five teams ranked in the latest Associated Press Top 25.

No. 9 Michigan State makes its first appearance among the top 10 since the ending the 2010 regular season ranked No. 7. Wisconsin is No. 12, Nebraska at No. 13, Michigan No. 17 and Penn State No. 21..

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.