Remember those Where's Waldo books you played with when you were a kid? There was always a lot of things to look at and you know what you're looking for but you just can't find it. You're sure that it's there somewhere but it takes a really long time to find what you're looking for and then eventually you just give up. That's the same feeling I just felt when I went through Wisconsin's 2017 football schedule and tried looking for where their Loss on the season could come from this year.
I don't think they'll go undefeated in the regular season, so I know that Loss is somewhere in that crowded schedule, but I just can't see it yet. 11-1 on the year and trip to the Big 10 Championship game seems pretty likely to me. I'm sure there is a Loss somewhere on the schedule this year but I just can't find it right now, so eventually I just gave up looking for it.
I remember trying to find the real Waldo in those books years ago and there were always a couple times when I thought I had found him, only to realize it was an imposter and I had to start all over. That's the same thing that happened to me trying to find a Loss on Wisconsin's schedule.
So then I saw the first conference road game on the schedule, Game 5 at Nebraska, and thought that could be the Loss. But then I remember the last time Bucky went to Lincoln and had a miraculous comeback that was part Joel Stave magic and part Husker collapse. I just don't think Nebraska has the stones to put away a great team like Wisconsin, so I can't see that being the loss.
Then I saw the big matchup on the schedule. The marquee showdown. Michigan at Wisconsin, November 18th, Game 11. That's a huge game and has the potential to be the Loss on Bucky's schedule. But everything should be in Wisconsin's favor in that matchup. That should definitely be the host of College GameDay that week, which would make it a night game, at home, under the lights of Camp Randall. Michigan will have the Ohio State showdown looming over them the following week. And Wisconsin will be riding high after their beatdown of the Hawkeyes at home the previous week. Sure a Loss could come from the hands of Harbaugh and the Wolverines but it doesn't seem likely.
So maybe it's the final game of the year at border rival Minnesota? Could the Badgers' Loss on the season come during the Battle for The Ax? That game would be on the road and with a Wisconsin perfect regular season on the line, the stakes would be pretty big. And anything can happen in a rivalry game. But Wisconsin has won Paul Bunyan's ax the past 13 years. It's really hard to see Minnesota as a threat to Wisconsin until that day actually happen. I don't see that as a Loss, sorry Goldy.
So I'm just giving up looking for the Loss on Wisconsin's schedule for next year. I'm sure it's there somewhere but I just can't reasonably find it anywhere. In the meantime while we are waiting for it to make it's appearance to us, make sure you have that Rose garden planted and ready for December.