Big Ten basketball postseason projections 1-6-14

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Note: projections will not include my predictions for the Big Ten basketball tournament, nor any March Madness predictions.

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#14 Wisconsin Badgers: College Football 77 in 77

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With perennial Big Ten powers Ohio State and Penn State suffering through controversy and Michigan taking a step back for a couple of years, the Wisconsin Badgers have cemented their status among the league’s elite.  Bret Bielema has transitioned from the Barry Alvarez Era without missing a beat.  Another transfer quarterback steps under center in Madison, but it will be their always dangerous ground game that could have UW smelling roses for a third straight season.

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2012 Big Ten Power Rankings: post media day edition

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These are highly subject to change. Brady Hoke remarked at Media Day that UM was picked fifth in their division a year ago; and just outside the top 25 in the year they won their last national title- 1997.

So maybe these rankings don’t really mean all that much? Of course, that won’t stop you from reading them and commenting, right?

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Wisconsin Badgers comment on Penn State sanctions

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It’s the topic everyone wants to talk about today, and for good reason- Penn State. The sanctions handed down by the NCAA and the Big Ten will dominate sports media today, and the talk of the league media days later this week. Now only four teams within the Leaders division are eligible for the league title game: Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, and Wisconsin.

Therefore, all four benefited from the ruling that made PSU in eligible. Of course, you won’t hear the Badgers say that of course. Here’s what the athletic department did have to say:

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Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball arrested for trespassing

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Montee Ball returned to the Wisconsin Badgers for his senior season to further build on his already stellar legacy. Last season, Ball was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy as he tied Barry Sanders for the most touchdowns in NCAA single season history.

Early this morning however, Ball did something that won’t exactly help his legacy. This incident will only lead to notoriety, not fame.

Ball attended the Mifflin Street Block Party where he was on the wrong porch, and apparently just wouldn’t leave. He was arrested for trespassing.

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Wisconsin Gets New Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada from Northern Illinois

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You could make a case that Wisconsin had the greatest running back and quarterback tandem in college football history. Quarterback Russell Wilson broke the season passer rating record, and tailback Montee Ball tied the season record for touchdowns. The Badgers were the first team to ever have a player run for 30 TDs, and another player pass for 30 TDs.

Production like that will no doubt attract attention for the offensive coordinator, and Paul Chryst parlayed the astronomical numbers he generated into a new head coaching gig at Pittsburgh.

Today, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema named Matt Canada his replacement.

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Badgers, Illini Again Top Rushing Teams in Big 10: Part 2 Illinois

Since Ron Zook took over at Illinois (2005), the top two rushing teams in the Big Ten have been Illinois and Wisconsin. It will surprise you, but the leagues top rushing team is the Illini, while the Badgers are second. Another surprising fact: the two schools are tied for 5th most players on current NFL rosters among Big Ten teams.

This season is very young, but so far if you look at the Leaders division, two teams stand out from the rest.

Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two squads in that division nationally ranked, meaning their game on 11/19, the second to last of the regular season, will be huge for deciding who goes to the inaugural Big Ten championship game.

Once again, both teams are doing it on the ground.

For part one of this series, on Wisconsin- go here.

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Badgers, Illini Again Top Rushing Teams in Big 10: Part 1 Wisconsin

Since Ron Zook took over at Illinois (2005), the top two rushing teams in the Big Ten have been Illinois and Wisconsin. It will surprise you, but the leagues top rushing team is the Illini, while the Badgers are second. Another surprising fact: the two schools are tied for 5th most players on current NFL rosters among Big Ten teams.

This season is very young, but so far if you look at the Leaders division, two teams stand out from the rest.

Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two squads in that division nationally ranked, meaning their game on 11/19, the second to last of the regular season, will be huge for deciding who goes to the inaugural Big Ten championship game.

Once again, both teams are doing it on the ground.

[Read more…]