Continued from page 1

“Sure, it comes up a lot in the players’ minds. That was a game felt we could have won and we didn’t,” Wisconsin’s Montee Ball said. “We just tell everybody that same thing can happen if we don’t go out and execute the way we want to. And the way we plan to.”

Ball needs just two more touchdowns to become major college football’s all-time leader, and he and the Badgers would like nothing more than for him to get the record at home. But the first priority is winning the game, which is why Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema has said he will play his starters despite already being in the Big Ten title game.

“We don’t want people to say we made it there by default,” Ball said. “But our main goal is to win out. We fell short three times, and we don’t want it to happen again.”

Yes, the standings matter. Even when they don’t.

___

AP Sports Writer Rusty Miller contributed to this report from Columbus, Ohio.