There's no doubt that the Wisconsin Badgers are one of the elite teams in the Big Ten. In fact, they have a good case for being the best team in the conference. But you have to wonder whether or not Nebraska is going to miss the Big 12 and its chance to be so dominant after its absolute shellacking 48-17 at the hands of Wisconsin.
Every conference has its elite powers, and the Big 12 is no exception to that. Oklahoma and Texas has always given Nebraska fits and others like Missouri and Oklahoma State should be a part of that conversation as well. But the Cornhuskers held a mystique in the Big 12 that few teams can -- like Ohio State in the Big Ten, like Florida or Alabama in the SEC, like USC in the Pac-12. Now in the Big Ten, Nebraska now looks like one of several good teams fighting for a patch of land in the Top 25.
Sure they were ranked in the top ten in the AP poll, right next to Wisconsin, but yesterday's battle wasn't close in any way, shape or form. The heralded Taylor Martinez probably lost most if not all of his draft stock with yesterday's line of 11 for 22 for 176 passing yards and 0 touchdowns to go with 3 interceptions. Even when rushing, he gained 3 yards/carry including a fumble. In other words, a good defense completely shut him down.
The rest of the team didn't fare much better against Wisconsin's stout running game (231 yards and 5 touchdowns) and defense. Wisconsin converted 8 of 12 third downs and basically marched at will all day long. The final score tells enough of the story itself.
In the Big Ten, the Cornhuskers have to contend with more talent across the board than they did in the Big 12. While Minnesota and Northwestern are a part of this year's schedule, the other programs are consistently touching the Top 25 and will give the Cornhuskers fits. There's no doubt that the presence of Nebraska also makes life harder for the rest of the Big Ten as well, but it's interesting that the Badgers gave everyone a game plan to follow until the Cornhuskers show they can overcome it and develop new ways to score.