The Big Ten West is officially up for grabs.
Wisconsin handed Nebraska its first loss of the season on Saturday night, beating the Cornhuskers 23-17 in overtime, though it was not easy. With the game tied at 17-17 late in the fourth quarter, the Badgers put together a drive to get within field goal range and set themselves up to take a lead. Things did not go to plan, however, as Wisconsin kicker Andrew Endicott missed the 45-yard field goal. Nebraska was not able to take advantage afterward, and the game headed to overtime.
That's when Wisconsin scored first in overtime thanks to Dare Ogunbowale on an 11-yard run, and once again Andrew Endicott came out to kick an extra point. An extra point he missed, which could sometimes be a disaster, but it turns out extra points aren't that important when you have a defense like Wisconsin's.
The Badgers defense would hold Nebraska out of the end zone on its ensuing possession to end the game and pick up the victory.
Which now adds a bit of uncertainty to the Big Ten West Division race. Had Nebraska won, it would be sitting at 5-0 in conference play, while Wisconsin would have dropped to 2-3. Instead, the Huskers are 4-1 with the Badgers, Minnesota, Iowa and Northwestern all right behind them at 3-2.
Now, as close as that all looks, it could get even closer next week. After having to travel to Madison this week, Nebraska will be on the road once again next week, taking on Ohio State in Columbus. Now, Ohio State has looked vulnerable the last few weeks -- it narrowly escaped against Northwestern on Saturday -- but it's hard to consider Nebraska a favorite to beat the Buckeyes in Columbus. So by this time next week, we could have up to four teams tied for first place in the west -- Wisconsin and Northwestern play, so one of them will have a third loss.
There won't be many division races more exciting than the one in the Big Ten West this November.