Wisconsin defeated three top 10 teams this year and lost by a touchdown to two others.
Now comes the hard part of the schedule: Saturday at Northwestern (noon ET, ABC).
Huh? Don't laugh.
The Wildcats (4-4, 3-2), who come into the contest tied with the No. 8 Badgers (6-2, 3-2), Minnesota and Iowa for second place in the Big Ten's West Division -- one game behind Nebraska, have been a genuine thorn in the side to their neighbors to the north. The two campuses are only 142 miles apart.
Wisconsin hasn't won at Ryan Field since 1999, a span of 17 years. The teams have met 10 times since with the Wildcats claiming a 6-4 advantage, including all four games played in Evanston.
So maybe for an outsider looking in the contest doesn't seem as big for Wisconsin as playing LSU in Lambeau Field or handing Nebraska its first loss of the season 23-17 in overtime last week, but Badgers coach Paul Chryst has preached to his squad the importance of remaining focused heading into a November stretch that also includes games with Illinois (2-6, 1-4), Purdue (3-5, 1-4) and a season-ending showdown with Minnesota (6-2, 3-2).
"I think it is easy to buy into what people may be saying on the outside as far as getting through the gauntlet and this being the easy part of the schedule," Wisconsin cornerback Sojourn Shelton told UWBadgers.com. "No part of playing college football games (is) easy. Our whole thing is just not getting complacent. I think we've played pretty good football. Now it's just staying consistent."
"You've got to try and ignore all the outside noise because none of it matters," Chryst said. "We know this is a tough stretch."
Especially with the way Northwestern played in October. The Wildcats went 3-1 with road wins at Iowa 38-31 and Michigan State 54-40 and a home victory over Indiana 24-14. The lone loss came last week at No. 6 Ohio State 24-20.
The 3-1 October helped take some of the sting away from a poor 1-3 September that included back-to-back home losses to Western Michigan 22-21 and Illinois State 9-7.
"It's easy to come and show up for an Ohio State, or a Michigan State or an Iowa -- we've got to show up every game, and it's really biting us in the butt right now," Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson said. "We're a 4-4 football team, a .500 football team, and we know we shouldn't be."
Northwestern would have shared the division lead had it beaten Ohio State last Saturday
"It obviously didn't start the way we wanted it to, spotting them a couple scores, but the guys didn't flinch and kept swinging," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said after the game. "And, you know, we ended up one punch short."
Buckeyes running back Curtis Samuel ran for a 3-yard touchdown with 9:43 left to break a 17-17 tie for a 24-17 lead. The Wildcats drove to the Ohio State 3 but had to settle for a 33-yard Jack Mitchell field goal that cut the deficit to 24-20.
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett converted a pair of third downs on the late drive that ate up the clock and denied Northwestern a final possession.
Thorson was 22 of 42 for 256 yards with a touchdown and a first-quarter interception for Northwestern. Austin Carr, the Big Ten's leading receiver, caught eight passes for a career-high 158 yards while Garrett Dickerson had a career-best eight grabs for 43 yards and a TD.
Thorson has 15 touchdown passes, tied with Dan Persa (2010) for ninth all-time in a season at Northwestern.
Carr, who caught a pass in his 17th consecutive game, moved into seventh in school single-season history with 878 receiving yards.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin used a strong running game, in particular from Corey Clement, to knock off Nebraska.
Senior Dare Ogunbowale rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown, Clement added 82 yards and freshman Bradrick Shaw scored a touchdown.
"I thought the run game was big," Chryst said.
The passing game was a different matter. Redshirt freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook started, but fifth-year senior Bart Houston ended the game. Hornibrook was 10 of 16 for 71 yards and a touchdown, while Houston completed 4 of 7 passes for 43 yards. Both quarterbacks threw an interception.
"There are a lot of things we need to work on in the quarterback room," Houston said.
Chryst said Hornibrook will be the starter at quarterback against Northwestern. Hornibrook completed 75 of 131 passes for 948 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. Houston is 52 of 84 for 629 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
The Badgers will have their hands full in this game. Northwestern has played well of late, coming very close last week to getting a win at Ohio State. If the Wisconsin passing offense does not pick things up, look for the Wildcats to get the upset.
Northwestern 28, Wisconsin 20