Bret Bielema and the Badgers stepped up. After no “experts” gave them a chance to challenge for the Big Ten title, the Badgers proved the world wrong. The 16th ranked Badgers ran over the Iowa at Kinnick Stadium Saturday and proved themselves that they are “the best of the rest” and deserve to be in the BCS conversation. And if it weren’t for #1 Ohio State and #2 Michigan’s stellar seasons, the Badgers would have been in the race for the Big Ten championship. The win was particularly sweet for coach Bret Bielema, who had large shoes to fill after Barry Alvarez stepped down as the head man in Madison. At 10-1, Bielema has set the best record for a 1st year coach in Big Ten history. The Badgers were lead by junior quarterback Tyler Donovan, who made his 1st career start after John Stocco couldn’t go with a shoulder injury. The Badgers opened up the scoring and eventually took the early 10-0 lead, but the Hawkeyes hung tough and made a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to tack on their 7th win on senior day. The 24-21 win for the Badgers leaves just 1 game left this regular season, as the Badgers host Buffalo next week. Barring a massive upset, the Badgers will up their record to 11-1 and should get the Badgers into the Capital One Bowl, previously called the Florida Citrus Bowl. Although the Badgers wouldn’t be a “BCS” bowl game, they should be proud of their 2006 efforts.