MADISON – Not long after Wisconsin remained unbeaten by manhandling rival Iowa on Saturday, senior defensive back Derrick Tindal shared his plans for the evening.
They did not include checking out scores of other games, several of which will affect UW’s place in the College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday.
“Honestly, I don’t even watch football like that,” Tindal said after UW’s 38-14 victory when asked if he would head home to check out the scores.
Informed that No. 1 Georgia had gone down, Tindal wasn’t biting.
“That’s on them, man,” he said, smiling.
But doesn’t he care if results from around the country help UW, which opened at No. 9 in the rankings and last week moved up to No. 8?
“Honestly, I just worry about the next week’s opponent,” Tindal said. “Like I said, if we lose, nobody is going to talk about us then.
“I just want us to stay humble, stick to our grind and ball out.”
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UW (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) should move up again this week. The only question: How far will UW climb?
Top-ranked Georgia traveled to Auburn and was dismantled, 40-17. The Bulldogs (9-1, 6-1 SEC) won’t be No. 1 when the rankings are revealed at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN.
Notre Dame won’t stay at No. 3. The Irish (8-2) were embarrassed, 41-8, at No. 7 Miami.
TCU won’t stay at No. 6. The Horned Frogs (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) suffered a 38-20 loss at No. 5 Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1).
No. 2 Alabama (10-0, 7-0 SEC) scored late to stave off Mississippi State, 31-24.
No. 4 Clemson (9-1, 7-1 ACC) rolled to a 31-14 victory over Florida State.
ESPN analyst Jesse Palmer sees the results of Saturday benefitting UW.
“Last week, no Big Ten teams were going to the playoffs,” Palmer said Saturday on the network’s College Football Final. “Now all of a sudden, Wisconsin is in a really good position to make it to the (playoffs). It’s remarkable.
“I expect them to be ranked around 5 on Tuesday. If Wisconsin wins out and they beat Michigan and they beat Ohio State, I think Wisconsin is going to play their way into the playoffs.”
UW, which hosts Michigan (8-2, 5-2) at 11 a.m. Saturday. dropped one spot to No. 4 in the Amway coaches poll this week. Michigan, by contrast, rose four spots to No. 18.
The Badgers close the regular season Nov. 25 at Minnesota. They could face Ohio State (8-2, 6-1), in the Big Ten title game Dec. 2 in Indianapolis.
Big Ten Network analyst Chuck Long, a standout quarterback at Iowa in the 1980s, expects to see the committee reward UW.
“Remember, Iowa just put 55 points on Ohio State,” Long said Saturday night on BTN’s The Final Drive. “I think they are going give Wisconsin that respect.
“They have to. Wisconsin is playing really well right now and they’re undefeated…It’s hard to go undefeated.”
Fellow analyst James Laurinaitis noted UW’s offense has to cut down on the number of turnovers.
But he added that UW’s victory over Northwestern, No. 25 in the rankings, looks better each week. The Wildcats improved to 5-2 in the Big Ten and 7-3 overall with a 23-13 victory over Purdue on Saturday.
Michigan, which has won three consecutive games, could crack the committee’s top 25 this week.
Last, Laurinaitis agreed with Long that UW is playing well.
“Listen, Iowa looked so impressive the week before,” he said, “and even with all the turnovers Wisconsin had, they still pulled away late.
“I think Wisconsin deserves the respect to be up there and a lot of stuff happened in front of them.”