Badger link dump...
I've never before been less excited for a football season. That's not to say that I'm not excited, I'm just still in full-on baseball mode and therefore have not at all switched over into "Is it football season, yet?" mode. I have my fantasy draft tonight and it's been so far from my mind I'm a little concerned...
That being said, color me shocked when I realized the Badgers play this weekend. So before I start with any Badger football, I want to catch up with anything that's been put out there since the last time I remembered we also play football in August ....
The biggest story is that Time Warner and Charter picked up the Big Ten Network. Allelujia!!
The second biggest are the new student section seating rules. Tutorial video here.
Basically, there's wristbands and there will be long lines. Good luck!
Lots of talk about returning seniors on O-Line, but don't forget about the soph. Center John Moffitt
(he also has a blog going on UWBadgers.com)
Bleacher Report says Ohio State shouldn't count their chickens, they have to beat us first. Of course, the write up starts:
Wisconsin was the laughing stock of the Big Ten before Barry Alvarez came to town. Since then, Wisconsin has become one of the more premier programs in the nation. Before the Badgers' 1993 title, their last title was in 1962.
Wisconsin made six total bowl appearances from 1889-1990, winning only once. Under Barry Alvarez, the Badgers appeared in 11 from 1991-2005, winning eight times, including three Rose Bowl titles.
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by Derek Zetlin
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema addressed the media Monday to answer questions about Saturday’s season opener against Akron. Here are the highlights:
Injuries: Sophomore CB Aaron Henry will not play. Senior LB Jonathan Casillas, senior TE Travis Beckum, senior FB Chris Pressley, and freshman DB Antonio Fenelus are all questionable.
Junior Matt Fischer will handle the kickoff duties and field goals within 15 yards. Freshman Phillip Welch will kick field goals from beyond that point. Freshman Brad Nortman will be the starting punter.
Junior RB P.J. Hill is the Badgers’ feature back, but expect to see sophomore Zach Brown in third down situations and freshman John Clay in short yardage and goal line situations.
Profile of Allan Evridge from WI State Journal
UW vs. The Spread Offense
The ever-changing story - Pressley out (8/22) and Pressley lobbies to play (8/25)
College Football News named Beckum the #1 TE in the country
Badger team profile from DetroitNews.com
An intriguing game?:
Sept. 13: Wisconsin at Fresno State (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, ESPN360)
Give the Badgers credit for having the guts to play Fresno State at Bulldog Stadium. Hill is calling it the biggest night in his program's history.
Akron coach's presser about Wisconsin
Big Ten Fans' season previe
Depth chart for Akron
Bruce Ciskie's preview at FanHouse
CBSSportsline on Akron game
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE
Considering the Badgers retain All-American TE Travis Beckum, top-flight RB P.J. Hill and four veteran linemen, expect Wisconsin's offense to look strikingly similar to last year's unit. That was one of the nation's most balanced offenses, with 200.8 rushing yards per game and 208.0 per game through the air. There is one issue, at least in the early going: New quarterback Allan Evridge, who started six games at Kansas State in 2005, and new receivers Kyle Jefferson and David Gilreath have limited experience. Watch for the Badgers to play it safe early and gradually unfurl their passing game.
SCOUTING THE DEFENSE
After an unexpected downturn last season, which was partially instigated by injury problems, the Badgers have refocused under new coordinator Dave Doeren. Actually, Doeren was co-coordinator last year, but the Badgers believe Doeren's exuberant youth and direct approach has re-invigorated the defense. There aren't many new links to exploit. MLB Jaevery McFadden didn't play a lot last year, but you know he's good if he ripped the job away from incumbent Elijah Hodge.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"A team that played in the national championship a year ago, Ohio State, had a 3-2 ballgame [with Akron] going into the half. ... So we have the same opponent, we have them in our home stadium, and we have the same aspirations and goals that Ohio State did, I'm sure, going into that opening game a year ago." -- Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema playing up Akron while emphasizing the Badgers' lofty ambitions in 2008.
Ron Dayne: "I'm no bust."
An ESPN.com article on Wisconsin recruiting outside state lines
We have 2 of ESPN.com's Top Ten Big Ten games to watch:
2. Ohio State at Wisconsin, Oct. 4 -- The Buckeyes haven't visited Madison since 2003, a virtual eternity that only adds flavor to a game that could decide the Big Ten. Wisconsin hasn't lost at Camp Randall Stadium under coach Bret Bielema and will test a star-studded Buckeyes defense with arguably the Big Ten's top rushing attack. Ohio State counters with Beanie Wells, setting up a showdown that goes back to the Big Ten's roots of running football and strong line play
7. Wisconsin at Fresno State, Sept. 13 -- A BCS bowl berth is the next step for the Badgers, who get the benefit of hosting the Big Ten's premier teams (Ohio State, Illinois and Penn State) this fall. But first they'll hit the road and face an experienced Fresno State team that rarely gets BCS teams to come to its backyard. If new quarterback Allan Evridge is the man to help Wisconsin make the jump, he'll need a steady performance here.
Not a preview, but still - Weird moments in Big Ten History - Bret Bielema pisses off Old Man Paterno