In days of yore, those of us who rooted for Cubs and Badgers considered it an achievement when one of those teams finished over .500. Because all things considered, it was an achievement.

How times have changed. The Cubs are world champions—and the Badgers’ near-misses stick in the craw, even though six Rose Bowls in less than 25 years says these are halcyon days.

Blowing the 28-7 lead against Penn State and losing 38-31 in the Big Ten title game last December was painful, especially because I was texting sweet nothings to my Nittany Lions friends.

But at least that was only for the Big Ten marbles. The meltdown that remains an open sore is the 2015 national championship basketball game, in which Wisconsin blew a nine-point second-half lead and lost 68-63 to Duke, which, like the Yankees and the Patriots, has won enough titles already. Give somebody else a chance, will ‘ya?

Which brings me to the 2017 Badger football team.

I like them to win the Big Ten West for the second straight season and reach the Big Ten championship game for the fifth time in its seven seasons. That nifty stat makes them sound like a juggernaut, except when you consider that since winning the first two league title games in Indianapolis, they have a 59-0 drubbing against Ohio State and last year’s collapse to show for their trips to Indy.

I hope they at least got a steak and a nuclear shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo’s out of the deal. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.