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2-time defending Big Ten champs in unfamiliar territory going into conference title game

Wisconsin is in some unfamiliar territory.

No, not the Big Ten title game. The Badgers are grizzled veterans after playing in last year's inaugural conference championship. A trip to the Rose Bowl isn't so daunting, either, after spending the last two New Years' in Pasadena.

It's being so mediocre that's new. Winners of the Big Ten title the last two years, the Badgers have a chance at a third by default. The Badgers (7-5, 4-4) tied for fifth in the Big Ten after losing three of their last four games, all in overtime. With Ohio State and Penn State both ineligible for the postseason, though, Wisconsin will represent the Leaders Division in the title game.

Wisconsin plays No. 14 Nebraska on Saturday.