For John Clay, it was as simple as a three carry, 52 yard performance against the Michigan Wolverines in 2008. For Zach Brown, it came in the form of a two touchdown, 250 yard massacre of Minnesota in 2007 filling in for an injured P.J. Hill. For both highly touted recruits, it was that breakthrough game where they became less like an abstract scouting report and more like a true contributor to the Badgers' backfield. For Montee Ball, it came last week with 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns in Bloomington that helped his team escape with a narrow 31-28 victory.
As disappointing as the Badger's last two games have been, their season is far from unsalvageable.
With college football entering its seventh week of play, Alabama, Florida and Texas continue to rank in the top three of the weekly polls. Inevitably, either Florida or Alabama will end the year with at least one loss, as they will likely meet in the SEC championship game. With that in mind, the question now being asked is which one-loss team boasts the most impressive résumé.
In the waning moments of Wisconsin's clash with Fresno State last Saturday, many Badger fans had a troublesome question on their mind: Where has John Clay been? Then, as if he were answering the prayers of the Camp Randall faithful, Clay burst through the line and ran 72 yards to the end zone to give the Badgers their first lead of the game.
Until the Big Ten season begins on the fourth Saturday in September, I will swallow my pride and root for Wisconsin's despised in-conference opponents. Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State... you name them, and I will be rooting for them. After all, the more impressive the Big Ten conference looks on a national scale, the better Wisconsin looks in the rankings and to potential recruits.