Say, for example, that a highly-ranked Wisconsin team opened its season playing LSU in New Orleans. In front of an ear-splitting Superdome crowd, the Badgers can't get out of their own way, never get in sync, and suffer a late two-point loss.
It's no big stretch to imagine the post-game narrative -- Wisconsin was overrated, can't move the ball against LSU's traditionally physical defense, can't compete with the SEC, blah diddy blah diddy blah.
Wisconsin falls out of the Top Ten. A road loss to a third-tier conference opponent a few weeks later quashes for good the Badgers' high pre-season expectations.
What's curious about this scenario is that, despite all evidence to the contrary, many football pundits believe it actually happened. They call Wisconsin "a farce" and "fraudulent," and dismiss the team's promising start as "a product of the system," as if having a winning system is a bad thing.
Even at 4-0, Wisconsin's season could still go sideways in a hurry. At Michigan, vs Ohio State, at Iowa, and vs Nebraska can do that to a team.
There's no denying the Badgers nearly soiled themselves against Georgia State. But prying the lid off on Sparty, in East Lansing, isn't easy, and 4-0 is not a fluke.
Wisconsin traditionally does well when two important factors are in place: Being overlooked and underappreciated, and having a good offensive line. Check, and check.
This anti-Badger bias is getting old, and needs to stop.