The BCS No. 12 Nebraska Cornhuskers are looking to punch their ticket to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, and they have a huge advantage in the win-loss column over the Wisconsin Badgers entering Saturday night's Big 10 Championship game.
But it is important to note just how close Bret Bielema's bunch has been to being a great team rather than the mediocre vibes their 7-5 record gives off.
If the apocalypse isn't coming in 2012, it sure must seem like it for Badger football fans in terms of the team's on-field performance. Three overtime losses and two three-point heartbreakers on the road—including one in Lincoln—have defined Wisconsin's season.
Other than falling victim to UCLA redshirt freshman QB Brett Hundley's coming out party and enduring a blowout loss at undefeated Ohio State, the Huskers have managed to pull out close games.
The last time these two teams met, junior QB Taylor Martinez devastated the Badgers by reeling off 20 unanswered second-half points to beat Wisconsin 30-27.
You can bet the Badgers will be seeking the sweet honey taste of revenge, which will make this an extremely physical confrontation that should hark back to the old Big 10 days of "three yards and a cloud of dust."
Here are the keys for Nebraska to avoid a slip-up ahead of the marquee showdown in with the upset-minded Badgers in Lucas Oil Stadium.