Wisconsin's Top 5 Most Heartbreaking Losses of the Past Decade
While the Badgers have certainly been largely successful since 2004, that doesn’t mean they’ve completely avoided being on the wrong end of their fair share of nail-biting games. In fact, Wisconsin fans have been forced to endure several extremely heartbreaking and demoralizing losses in recent years (when a string of three straight overtime defeats don’t make the list, you know it’s been rough at times).
Reading this list may conjure up some painful memories for Badgers fans, but here they are anyway, my top five most heartbreaking losses for Wisconsin football over the past decade.
2005, Week 6: Northwestern-51, No. 14 Wisconsin-48
At 5-0 and ranked No. 14 in the country, Wisconsin wasn’t expected to have much trouble on the road against 2-2 Northwestern. But behind outstanding performances by quarterback Brett Basanez and freshman running back Tyrell Sutton, the Wildcats made the Badgers’ defense look utterly helpless, scoring on seven consecutive possessions and setting a school record with 674 yards of total offense. Wisconsin scored a couple of touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to get within three, but were unable to avoid the upset in Evanston.
2008, Week 5: Michigan-27, No. 5 Wisconsin-25
When Wisconsin jumped out to a 19-0 lead at halftime of the 500th game in Michigan Stadium history, the crowd at the Big House booed the Wolverines as they headed to the locker room. However, the Michigan faithful would end up getting something to cheer about after all, as the Wolverines rattled off 27 unanswered points in the second half. And when the Badgers’ attempt at a two-point conversion came up short with 13 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, Michigan officially secured its largest come-from-behind victory at home in school history.
2008, Week 6: No. 14 Ohio State-20, No. 18 Wisconsin-17
Just a week removed from their painful defeat at the hands of Michigan, the Badgers suffered another heartbreaking loss, but this time within the friendly confines of Camp Randall Stadium. With his team trailing 17-13 late in the game, freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor led the Ohio State Buckeyes on a game-winning drive, capped off by his 11-yard touchdown run with 1:08 remaining. The loss snapped Wisconsin’s 16-game home winning streak, which at the time was the second longest in the country.
2012, Week 5: No. 22 Nebraska-30, Wisconsin-27
After Montee Ball punched it in from two yards out to give Wisconsin a 27-10 lead, the Badgers looked like they had pretty much sealed the deal on a road win over a ranked opponent. Unfortunately for Wisconsin, Taylor Martinez and the Nebraska Cornhuskers had other ideas. Martinez provided the spark that the Cornhusker offense so desperately needed, helping his team erase the 17-point deficit to pick up the victory, which is tied for the second-largest comeback win in program history.