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Lofty expectations no longer in reach, but Big Ten title remains in play for Badgers – The Athletic

Wisconsin’s football team has reached the halfway point of the regular season and remains a favorite to win the Big Ten West. Barring an unforeseen collapse, the Badgers will participate in a bowl game for the 17th consecutive season, likely in a warm-weather destination. An opportunity to get double-digit wins for a program-record fifth consecutive season also is in play.

And yet, there is an understandable feeling of frustration and disappointment among the general fan base. Wisconsin is 4-2, including 2-1 in the Big Ten, with a surprising nonconference loss to BYU and a defeat to Michigan that grew lopsided in the fourth quarter. Considering Wisconsin finished last season 13-1 with an Orange Bowl victory and returned many of the same offensive weapons, this was supposed to be a year to celebrate a potential College Football Playoff berth.

Instead, that dream is over. Wisconsin, which opened the season ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll — tied for…

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