Bret Bielema and the Wisconsin Badgers overcame an early loss and returned to the Rose Bowl.[/media-credit]After back-to-back Rose Bowl championships in 1999 and 2000, the Wisconsin football program had its fair share of talented teams. But in the years following, the Badgers regularly crumbled under the weight of high expectations.That changed in 2010 as the Badgers won a Big Ten title and earned a trip back to Pasadena under the steady leadership of head coach Bret Bielema, who gets the nod for Wisconsin coach of the year.For the first time in his tenure at Wisconsin, Bielema led a squad comprised solely of players he recruited. His star-studded senior class represented his first signees and everyone around the program knew there was a chance for UW to have a special season.But after an inconsistent start to the year, onlookers began to doubt Wisconsin’s conference title chances.A sloppy win over San Jose State created concern among Badger fans, and after a blocked extra point paved the way for a one-point victory over Arizona State the following week, the sense of doubt heightened.Still, Wisconsin was 4-0 heading into the conference portion of their schedule. A trip to Michigan State in the Big Ten opener, though, quickly ended the undefeated run.UW piled up the miscues and missed opportunities in East Lansing and it seemed as though the term “underachievers” would once again become attached to the Badgers.But Bielema was convinced this team was different. He never wavered in his belief his team was capable of competing for the Big Ten crown.He was proven right.Bielema and the Badgers absorbed that loss at MSU and rolled through Minnesota to claim Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the seventh year in a row.Then Bielema led the 18th ranked Badgers to a historic win over No. 1 Ohio State. Bielema’s message finally got through as UW began limiting the penalties and mental miscues. The Badgers protected the ball and executed their game plan brilliantly against the nation’s top ranked team.The win over OSU was Bielema’s first signature conference victory, and he wasn’t about to stop there.The very next week, UW went on the road to No. 15 Iowa and pulled off a heart-stopping come-from-behind victory over the rival Hawkeyes.Bielema rolled the dice with a fourth-down goal line attempt and a fake punt, and during the game-winning drive, the coaching staff put the run-oriented Badgers in an empty backfield formation.Each one of those decisions worked in UW’s favor, as the Badgers came away with a 31-30 victory to reclaim the Heartland Trophy – making Bielema 2-0 in the Badgers’ trophy games.From there, the skeptics waited for a late-season collapse. But it never came.The Badgers dominated the rest of their opponents as Bielema kept his foot on the gas and never let up. UW piled up 83 points against Indiana and totaled a measly 70 against Northwestern in the regular season finale to clinch a share of the conference title.Wisconsin lost a heartbreaker to undefeated Texas Christian in the Rose Bowl, but despite that disappointment, Bielema and the Badgers produced one of the most memorable seasons in Badger football history.Bielema knew he had talent, but to meet the high expectations UW needed to play clean, disciplined football. Turnovers and penalties could not be tolerated, and there would be an unyielding commitment to running the football.That early season loss to Michigan State could have crippled the Badgers and sparked panic within the locker room as the pressure mounted.Instead, Bielema kept his team composed and the Badgers played to their potential, finishing 7/8 in the polls with an 11-2 record.