Sunday, December 31, 2006

Capital One Bowl

Tomorrow's matchup between Wisconsin and Arkansas could prove to be an interesting one. Wisconsin managed to hold two good run teams to minimum yardage (Michigan and Penn State)
Despite being a theif, Jack Ikegwuonu has proved himself at DB. Joe Thomas should give the Arkansas Dline fits and allow P.J. Hill room to run. We shall have to wait and see whick McFadden shows up to play. UW also needs to remember that the Hogs have used McFadden as an effective QB (3 passing TDs) as well as a receiver. Stopping the run game isn't the only thing we need to watch out for.

Part of me feels like we should be nervous for this game, but I'm just not there yet. I was much more nervous about the Auburn team we meet last year. At the time, I feel Wisconsin was a weaker team than the one that will hit the field tomorrow and Auburn and Kenny Irons were a better team then the Hogs we're supposed to see tomorrow.

That being said, I'm not looking past this game. As with the rest of the season, special teams will play a big part in the game. If we can't get our guys to hold on to the ball or provide some decent coverage, Arkansas could be starting with crazy good field position all day long. I know we can win this game if we keep them on a long field, but putting our defense on the field over and over and giving McFadden short yardage to go could prove to make things very difficult for the Badgers.

Finally, I'm super excited to see Arkansas punter Jacob Skinner as much as humanly possible during tomorrow's game. Not only will it mean that we're holding their offense, but I can't get enough of that kid's yoga/martial arts/whatever you want to call it lining up. Makes me happy!

Some of the salient points of the bowls picks: - Arkansas 24, Wisconsin 20

"Interesting matchup of the nation's best sophomore running back (Razorbacks' Darren McFadden) against the nation's best freshman running back (Badgers' P.J. Hill). Hogs are in trouble if they have to throw, but Wisconsin remains an unconvincing 11-1."
- Wisconsin 24, Arkansas 21 This is a huge write-up and well worth the full read.

"While Arkansas is a known commodity -- a big-game-tested, run-happy power from the nation's toughest conference -- the jury is still out on Wisconsin. The Badgers finished 11-1 but played only one ranked team, Michigan (losing 27-17), and coasted through a non-conference cakewalk of Bowling Green, Western Illinois, San Diego State and Buffalo. Will Wisconsin not be ready for prime time, or will it deliver an inspired performance to prove its doubters wrong? I favor the latter. The Capital One is more of a consolation prize for the Razorbacks, who had the Sugar Bowl in their clutches, whereas for the Badgers, it's their one and only chance to validate their status among the national elite."

Stewart Mandel - Wisconsin 30, Arkansas 28

"Bret Bielema was an accomplished defensive coordinator at Kansas State and Wisconsin. The 36-year-old had the smarts to lead his team to an 11-1 record in his first season as a head coach. He's probably figured this out by now, but just in case, a helpful hint: MAKE ARKANSAS PASS."

SI On Campus - Arkansas -
multiple people pick, the number next to the pick is their confidence level. The higher the number, the more confidence they have

UW (21)

AR (3)

UW (22)

AR (6)

UW (7)
has a chart, with 3 of 5, including the computer, picking Wisconsin

JaMarcus Russell - legitimate QB

This is a pretty nice writeup from about JaMarcus Russell and his rising stock. Basically, a good performance in the Sugar Bowl could mean he'll be the #2 QB taken (Before Heisman Winner Troy Smith) - IF he decides to come out early

From infant to toddler

Or Happy First Birthday Cute Sports!

I'm actually two days late on this. I was all on the ball with this a week or so ago, right when I got the computer and I was ready and waiting to make my one year post.

Now I totally fell behind. How bad is it when you forget your own birthday?!

But seriously, it's been a year since I started this thing and I'm not sure exactly what it is I have to show for it. I guess, technically, it turned into a paying gig, since I'm now doing the exact same thing for a local newspaper's website.

Frankly, I never really imagined anyone would read any of my ramblings and despite the fact that my content is predominately about Wisconsin sports, most of my readers reside in Alabama....

But there you go, Cute Sports is a whole year old. Here's hoping we pick up some readers and some notice in '07.

If not that, let's hope the Packers try to suck less, the Badger basketball team continues their stellar run this season, the football team is able to hold on to P.J. Hill, attempt to replace John Stocco and Joe Thomas, and basically prove to everyone that this season was no fluke of scheduling. May Marquette quietly climb their way back up the standings and cement their place among Big East elite.

And may I find a job that relates to writing or sports in some way, shape, or form....

Happy New Year everyone. Have fun, watch lots of football and be safe.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sportsmoron of the year

The sports world never fails to bring us a nice share of idiots, dolts, morons, boneheads and dumb asses and this year was no different ....

There were the repeat offenders (calling T.O. and Mike Tyson) and new tidbits to keep us shaking our heads...

So who was the Sportsmoron of the Year?

Was it T.O. and his absolutely inept PR team for the was-it-or-wasn't-it- suicide/pill overdose?

Was it the media for the absolute overkill of Barbaro injury updates?

Was it Zinedine Zidane's headbutt of Marco Materazzi that was as unbelievable and inexplicable as it was over-the-top? Remember that this was Zidane's last ever International match. (click here for video)

What about Mike Tyson? The reasons are too numerous to mention, but we can always go with the latest arrest for DUI and felony cocaine possession in which he openly admitted he's an addict.

What about the disgruntled backup punter at Northern Colorado who stabbed the starter? (and how desperate must you be to need to stab someone to be the starter and NORTHERN COLORADO?)

What about OHCO CINCO himself, Chad Johnson and his many, many hijinks?

What about Ben Roethlisberger, with the motorcycle accident, the appendicitis and the concussions?

Could it be the Houston Texans for passing on Reggie Bush and taking Mario Williams instead?.

Now I know next to nothing about the NBA, but even I know naming Isiah Thomas as head coach is a bad idea.

Finally, a homer pick, but I'd be remiss not to put the BCS on this list, for their ridiculous rules and once again having a controversy over that NC game, not to mention Wisconsin being shafted and Notre Dame getting the Sugar Bowl. It's never good when everyone's anticipating the Rose Bowl more than the NC.

So what do we think, who wins the title of Sportsmoron of the Year?
(and did I leave any deserving folks off the list?)

Badger Hockey back in action..

This weekend the Badgers host the Badger Hockey showdown. The four team tournament features #15 Clarkson, #18 Lake Superior State and Providence. At first glance of those teams, you'd think it's a puff tournament, but with both Clarkson and LSS being ranked, this is no easy skate.

Add to that Badgers Jake Skille, Blake Geoffrion and Jaime McBain will be off representing Team USA at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden, and we're talking no easy feat for the Badgers to take the crown at the our tournament, as they usually do.

The thing with these holiday tournaments these days is that any team worth their mettle hosts their own tournament, thus vastly narrowing the competitive pool. The Badger Hockey Showdown used to be fairly big and it used to take place in Milwaukee. I actually went to the Showdown once or twice in high school, when I knew nothing about hockey, just because it was a big deal and it was when we were out of school.

The tournament's back in Madison now and rarely features any recognizable hockey powerhouses. In fact, I'd call it a cakewalk most years, but clearly this year could be (embarrassingly) different.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Packer Playoff Picture

First things first, if you haven't heard, your New Year's Eve plans have gone down the tubes since the Packers kickoff time has been pushed from noon to 7:15 pm CST.

Secondly, the playoff scenario is actually clearer than it was a few days ago, but still pretty complicated. The official word from the NFL says:

1. Packers victory PLUS Giants victory PLUS GB clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over NYG

2. Packers victory PLUS Giants loss or tie PLUS Rams loss or tie

3. Packers victory PLUS Giants loss or tie PLUS Panthers victory

4. Packers victory PLUS Giants loss or tie PLUS Falcons victory

5. Packers tie PLUS Giants loss PLUS Rams loss PLUS Falcons loss or tie PLUS Panthers loss or tie

Now, the trickiest part is the tie breaker that comes into play with the Giants. According to the NFL, ALL of the following have to occur in order to clinch the tiebreaker:

Arizona wins at San Diego
Detroit wins at Dallas
Miami wins at Indianapolis
Minnesota beats St. Louis
San Francisco wins at Denver
Carolina loses at New Orleans
Houston loses to Cleveland
Tampa Bay loses to Seattle

Christmas goodies

Let's see, other than the fabulousness of the new computer, Christmas was pretty chill and only moderately sports related ....

A couple of DVD's, the best being:

Also, The Devil Wears Prada and the Disney animated version of Robin Hood, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Capote and March of the Penguins

A Marquette sweatshirt, University of Wisconsin flip flops and UW crocs.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Mini Mexico may see time against the Jets Monday night

It appears Nick Saban and the Dolphins have officially hit rock bottom, as it's being reported that Marcus Vick is scheduled to see some time at WR Monday night.

Felicitaciones Mini Mexico!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Brewers reach agreement with Jeff Suppan

Merry Christmas Brewers fans...


Brewers reach agreement with Suppan

Christmas came a day early for the Milwaukee Brewers and Jeff Suppan.

The Brewers reached agreement Sunday with Suppan, a free-agent right-hander, on a four-year deal plus a club option. Terms of the deal were not announced but a source told the Journal Sentinel it guaranteed Suppan $42 million.

Suppan, who will be 32 on Jan. 2, has to pass a physical later in the week for the deal to be official but that is not expected to be a problem for the workhorse pitcher.

The deal is the largest in club history, surpassing the four-year, $38.5 million contract extension the Brewers gave right-hander Ben Sheets in the spring of 2005.

Have a very Houndie Christmas!

Since I'm a hound slave, I thought I'd pass on some houndie Christmas love

Merry Christmas, ya'll.

the Cute Sports clan celebrates Christmas today, so I'll be off family-ing it up. Hope everyone has a great holiday, no matter what you celebrate!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Really late post about Packers vs. Vikings 12/21/06

Since I just got the computer yesterday, I have been remiss in my posting about the Packer game that most of you didn't see on Thursday night because it was on the NFL Network.

First off, let me just say that you didn't miss much, since the final score was Packers 9, Vikings 7.

That's not to say that the Packers didn't far out-gain the Vikings, but more that we failed to capitalize in the Red Zone - at all!

Sloppy, wet conditions led to kicker Dave Rayner (a rookie) slid and fell on one attempt and knocked one off the goalpost on another attempt.

There was that one TD, but Bubba Franks, who had a nightmare of a game, was called for holding and the Ahman Green run was called back. Earlier in the game, Franks fumbled the ball at the 1/2 yard line.

Basically, Bubba Franks should be buying Dave Rayner a new house, a new car and steak dinners for life for making sure the Franks didn't hand away Thursday's game.

Why pigs suck

Even doesn't have faith in Arkansas' chance against Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl.

(courtesy of MZONE)

We have liftoff.

I'm finally out of the dark ages and have a nice shiny new computer sitting here. So I will welcome myself back and I promise to actually post things now!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Brewers confirm they've made an offer for Suppan

from reports:

Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin confirmed this morning that he made a four-year offer to free-agent pitcher Jeff Suppan during a meeting earlier in the week in Los Angeles with Suppan and his agent, Scott Leventhal.

That meeting was held at the home of Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, who took part in the discussions.

Melvin wouldn't reveal details of the Brewers' offer but based on the market for free-agent pitchers this winter, it probably included yearly salaries in the $10 million neighborhood.

"I feel good about our offer," said Melvin. "I'm not saying we'll get him but I feel we made a competitive offer. We'll wait to hear back from them."

Melvin, manager Ned Yost and Attanasio met for five hours Tuesday with Suppan and Leventhal at Attanasio's house in Los Angeles. Melvin then had lunch with Leventhal on Wednesday to finalize the club's offer.

"We had a good meeting," said Melvin. "Mark, Ned and I got to know Jeff a little bit. We had dinner and everything went well."

Melvin tried to convince Leventhal and Suppan that the Brewers are focused exclusively on signing the 31-year-old right-hander who pitched for St. Louis the past three seasons. Leventhal and Suppan also met with a contingent from the New York Mets, who are trying to sign left-hander Barry Zito, considered the top pitcher on the free agent market.Suppan is believed to be Plan B for the Mets if they do not sign Zito.

Melvin said he hopes to hear back from Leventhal on Friday with a response to the club's offer. But Melvin conceded that Leventhal might wait until Zito signs, which would leave Suppan as the top pitcher on the market.

"That's probably what will happen," said Melvin. "We can't do anything about that. All we can do is make what we feel is a legitimate offer and take care of things from our end."

Suppan went 12-7 with a 4.12 ERA in 32 starts for St. Louis last season. He was named most valuable player of the NLCS after holding the Mets to one run in 15 innings in his two starts.


A source familiar with the negotiations confirmed Wednesday night that Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and club officials met Tuesday in Los Angeles with Scott Leventhal, the representative for free agent pitcher Jeff Suppan.

Neither Attanasio, who lives and works in Los Angeles, nor general manager Doug Melvin was available for comment Wednesday night. Tyler Barnes, the club's vice president for communications, said he could not comment on whether the meeting took place.

Melvin, who originally stated his interest in Suppan last week, said on Monday he was contemplating putting an offer together for Suppan, a veteran right-hander who pitched the past three seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The fact that Attanasio took part in the meeting with Leventhal indicates the Brewers are serious about signing Suppan. In all likelihood, the club made its initial offer at that meeting. reported that Suppan has two four-year offers on the table - one from the Brewers and another from an undisclosed club. That club could be Pittsburgh, which has stated strong interest in Suppan, but the San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals and New York Mets also are in the picture. also reported that Levanthal met in Southern California with a front-office contingent from the Mets. That group included team president Jeff Wilpon and general manager Omar Minaya.

The Mets' contingent originally traveled to California to meet with Scott Boras, the representative for left-hander Barry Zito, considered the top free agent pitcher on the market. The Mets are making a strong push to sign Zito but apparently have interest in Suppan as Plan B.
Levanthal told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last week he didn't think Suppan would sign until Zito strikes a deal, leaving Suppan as the top pitcher on the free agent market.

Suppan, who will be 32 on Jan. 2, was 12-7 with a 4.12 ERA in 32 starts for the Cardinals last season. He allowed one run in 15 innings in two starts against the Mets in the NLCS, including the decisive Game 7, and was named most valuable player in that series.
Leventhal did not return telephone messages but is believed to be seeking a deal for at least four years for Suppan. Taking into account contracts signed by free agent pitchers Gil Meche (five years, $55 million with Kansas City) and Ted Lilly (four years, $40 million with the Chicago Cubs), Suppan probably will command a yearly salary in the neighborhood of $10 million.
The Brewers have an open spot in their starting rotation behind Ben Sheets, Chris Capuano, Dave Bush and Claudio Vargas. Suppan compiled a 44-26 record over the past three years and has averaged 203 innings per season since 1999.
Melvin said in his early discussions with Leventhal that Suppan was receptive to coming to Milwaukee.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Packers Offensive Coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski to become Boston College coach


Green Bay - Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski has been offered the head coaching job at the Boston College, and is expected to be announced as the team's head coach on Wednesday.The Boston Globe and Boston Herald both reported today that school sources indicated Jagodzinski was offered the job in the last 24 hours and the school was prepared to introduce him as successor to former Eagles coach Tom O'Brien.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy refused to confirm Jagodzinski was offered or had accepted the job. He said Jagodzinski was in the Packers' offices "all day" and would be there through the team's game Thursday night against Minnesota at Lambeau Field.

Jagodzinski, who worked on O'Brien's staff before becoming an NFL assistant with the Packers in 1999, interviewed for the position at BC last week. The other top candidate was Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple, who also interviewed last week.

Jagodzinski has yet to make his committment to the school official, according to the two newspapers, but it appears it is just a formality. Neither Jagodzinski nor Packers coach Mike McCarthy were available for comment, but McCarthy has a news conference scheduled for 3:45 p.m.

If Jagodzinski leaves as expected, the Packers will be in the market for a new offensive coordinator who can continue to direct the zone blocking system Jagodzinski brought with him from the Atlanta Falcons. Jagodzinski is expected to finish out the season with the Packers, but if the team does make the playoffs he might have to take part in some recruiting calls.

Jagodzinski will also have to start assembling his staff. It's unlikely he'll take any full-time assistants from the Packers.It's unclear if McCarthy will promote from within for the offensive coordinator's position - possibly offensive line coach Joe Philbin -- or if he'll hire from outside. Philbin has experience in the zone-blocking system and has worked closely with Jagodzinski on its implementation in Green Bay.

Brewers trade Cirillo

I'm a bit late on this, but it was reported on the 11th that the Brewers traded Jeff Cirillo to the Minnesota Twins to open up some more room in the infield.

This article said that GM Doug Melvin told Cirillo that he couldn't guarantee how much actual playing time Rillo would receive.

Interesting because if he wasn't getting time on a mediocre team like the Brewers, I wonder what he'll do with the Twinkies.

In other Brewers news I missed, we did absolutely nothing at MLB meetings held at the Disney resorts earlier this month. This article reports: "We didn't necessarily get accomplished what we wanted to," said Melvin, who hoped to trade one or both of two outfielders, Kevin Mench and Geoff Jenkins, for starting pitching, before the meetings ended Thursday.
"But we got enough information to know what can and can't be done. I thought there would have been more activity but I think the problem is the free agency thing still dragged on."

Badger Basketball garnering lots of attention

Check here to see Alando Tucker named Player of the Week and Brian Butch named Five You Should Know.

Wisconsin is named team of the week.

This is a College Basketball front page story and the intro blurb said "Despite a light schedule, last week offered a lot. But even with a 47-point game, Greg Oden's homecoming and Butler doing it again, nothing could keep Wisconsin from more top billing"

Way to go, guys!

Capital Bowl "one to watch"

So I heard this on the radio this morning, but I couldn't find the link, so technically it's heresay.

But apparently MSNBC (clearly the foremost thought on College Football) broke down the whole bowl schedule into what to watch and what to merely have on as background noise, among others.

But, according to them, the top 5 bowls to watch this season are

1. The Rose Bowl - Michigan v. USC
2. The National Championship
3. The Hawaii Bowl - Hawaii v. Arizona State - likely to be a big shootout
4. The Fiesta Bowl - Oklahoma v. Boise State
5. The Capital One Bowl - Wisconsin v. Arkansas

At least we're getting some respect now.....

Monday, December 18, 2006

#7 Wisconsin 89, #2 Pitt 75

In a span of a week, the Badgers rolled over Marquette, easily downed UWM and then schooled the number 2 team in the country in Pittsburgh.

Not a bad week's work.

Thanks to their efforts, the Badgers have reached their highest ever ranking, coming in at #4 in today's just released polls.

Alando Tucker and Brian Butch had career games and put up amazing numbers.

Tucker was 10-17 on FGs with 32 points and 10 rebounds. That performance is becoming normal for Tucker, but Brian Butch put up numbers we may never see from him again in his lifetime, scoring 27 points and nabbing 11 boards.

Kammron Taylor got hot in the second half, helping UW to pull comfortably away from a Pitt team that allowed a few streaks, but mostly kept the game close in the first half.

"It was an across-the-board victory for Wisconsin, which led by as many as 18 points. The Badgers shot a higher percentage, especially from three-point range, where the Badgers were 8 for 16 (50%) and Pitt was 6 for 18 (33.3%). They out-rebounded Pittsburgh, 41-31. They got to the free-throw line a season-high 44 times, and with their 31 free throws made one more than the Panthers attempted. Wisconsin also posted more assists (14-12) and fewer turnovers (8-10)."

A Packers comeback?

Ok, I'm the first to admit that this is a mediocre team at best. But I'm also the first to defend them around the office because, well, they suck a lot less than they did last year. A LOT LESS!

Plus, it's a young, young team. If they media hype is to be believed, we're already on our way back up and in a year or two, these young guys are taking this team somewhere. One or two years of down time is nothing. Do you all remember the 80s? Do you remember "The Magic Man" Don Majikowski?

So clearly I'm a Packer optimist.

But all during yesterday's game and the subsequent local newscasts, the Packer hype was unbearable.

Doncha know that all we have to do it win out to make it to the playoffs? (This is the part where they fail to mention that to win out we have to beat Minnesota and Chicago.)

Basically, I'm sayin' don't hold your breath. And also, I'm wondering why everyone is so keen on making the playoffs. Our first round loss would be embarassing and it's really just one more week in which key players could become seriously injured. I refuse to believe that anyone is enough of a crazy, homer, optmistic Packer fan that they think we could actually get somewhere in the playoffs. In which case, what's the point?

I feel like we should be happy with the season we pulled out. It's a big step up from lest season, which everyone is so quick to forget.

Last season at this time, Favre had thrown 10 more interceptions than he has this year.

People, this has been a successful season, relatively. Let's be happy with what we have, instead of risking Charles Woodson's shoulder, among other things, against some team that will walk all over us.


Todd just said he heard Bret Bielema's name was being listed among the candidates for the Alabama job.

I know 784,687 people have been talked about for this job, but has anyone heard anything more about this rumor?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Joe Thomas is the man

Last week he won the Outland Trophy as the nation's best interior lineman.

This week, he's named an AP All-American.

Congrats, Joe!

UW vs. UWM

Last night's game wasn't as much of a blood bath as I would have predicted, but a 19 point defeat is never a good thing.

It looks like young teams with a "just you wait" attitude are de rigeur around Wisconsin this year, as that's all the announcers could say about UWM last night. First the Packers, now the Panthers.

It will be interesting to see how the "new" UWM pans out. The team last year was still left over from Bruce Pearl. This new group are the guys that Rob Jeter recruited himself. It seems the next two years will really be setting the tone for his tenure and likely decide whether or not he has a tenure for very long.

I stopped paying complete attention to the game pretty early, so I'm not sure if the third and fourth stringers were in, but turnovers continued to be a big problem for UW. If they can't hold on to the ball against a 2-10 team, how are they going to fare this Saturday against #2 ranked Pitt?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Drrrrty South Cute Sports

I've officially harkened back to my days living in the Deep South, as I now drive a pick-up truck similar to this one.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Marquette vs. Wisconsin

There's a lot I want to say about this and I don't have much time, so don't be surprised if there are more posts on this game.

In fact, today, let's just go with quick thoughts:

* Marquette's focus on stealing the ball and playing "playground" ball really gave UW fits. UW averages a high 9 turnovers a game - in Saturday's game, they had 9 turnovers at half.

*UW can pass the ball like no other team I've ever seen live. They were squeezing passes through tight spaces and created a bunch of points based purely on being able to get the ball to the guy on the post. I was extremely impressed.

*Neither team looked particularly good and they're both lucky that the other team played sub-par as well.

*In both the Marquette games I've been to, it has seemed like Marquette is getting good looks and the ball just refuses to fall. If this continues, I'll begin to wonder about the shots their taking, but for now, it just seems absolutely unlucky.

*The refs controlled entirely too much of the game. Fortunately for the teams, the players figured it out quickly and they took advantage and I don't think you can fault them for that. I applaud the refs for wanting to keep the players in check, but they took too much control. There were dives galore and bad calls all around.

Resurgent UW Men's Hockey team

This past weekend the Badgers swept the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux 4-3, 4-2. The sweep marks the first time in program that the Badgers swept the Sioux in Grand Forks in consecutive years.

Jake Dowell and Ross Carlson really stepped up on Saturday, scoring two goals apiece. Carlson also assissted each of Dowell's goals, giving him a four point night.

The games give the Badgers a three game winning streak heading into the semester/holiday break. The boys usually perform well in the oft-padded schedule that comes with the Badger Hockey Showdown, so we could looking at a team with a legitimate winning streak heading into the new year.

CuteSports MIA

Ok, so my computer finally gave up the ghost. I'm going to try to do some posting from work, but I'm not sure how long I'll be able to that.

The most fabulous boyfriend(tm) has already let the cat out of the bag that he's getting me a computer for Christmas, so with all hope, this is a short term problem.

So never fear, you four readers, I haven't abandoned you. My computer abandoned me. But we'll get through this, I promise!

Monday, December 04, 2006

UW Men's Bball

Career Night From Flowers Lifts UW Past Winthrop

Wisconsin guard Michael Flowers scored a career-high 21 points, including the field goal that forced overtime, as the 11th-ranked Badgers beat Winthrop 82-79 Monday at the Kohl Center.

Alando Tucker also scored 21 points for Wisconsin, who survived a Kohl Center-record 15 3-pointers from the Eagles and a 31-point performance by Torrell Martin.

The Badgers (8-1) have won four in a row and improved to 4-2 in overtime games under head coach Bo Ryan. They also became the first team to score more than 73 points against Winthrop this season. The Eagles (6-3) were only allowing 56 points per game heading into tonight’s contest.

Flowers hit two free throws with 6:52 remaining in the second half to give Wisconsin a 57-46 lead. But Winthrop hit five 3-pointers down the stretch to close the gap. Michael Jenkins hit three of his five 3-pointers in the final six minutes of regulation. His third gave Winthrop a 65-63 lead with 54 seconds remaining.

Wisconsin guard Kammron Taylor missed a 3 with 33 seconds left, but the ball bounced off a Winthrop player and rolled out-of-bounds. Tucker had two open looks to tie the game, but missed. Flowers rebounded Tucker’s second attempt in the lane and scored high off the glass with his left hand to tie the game at 65-65.

Martin had a wide-open look from outside the three-point line as time expired, but his attempt bounced off the front of the rim.

Flowers hit a 3 on UW’s opening possession of overtime to give Wisconsin a two-point lead. Brian Butch hit a jumper and Tucker hit a 3 from the corner that extended the lead to 73-67 with two minutes left to play.

The Badgers led by nine with 45 seconds left and held on in the closing seconds to secure the win.

Winthrop finished 15-of-25 from 3-point range, but were outrebounded 40-18 in the contest. Wisconsin was 24-of-34 from the free-throw line to counter the Eagles’ long-range attack. Winthrop was only 6-of-10.

Martin scored the first 11 points scored by Winthrop and finished one point shy of his career high of 32 set against Liberty last season. He was 11-of-18 from the field, including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc.

Butch finished one rebound shy of his fifth career double-double. He had 17 points. Wisconsin made five of its six field goals in overtime and shot 64 percent from inside the arc. The Badgers were 6-of-25 from three-point range.

Post-Game Notes
•This was the first meeting between the two schools.
•Tonight’s attendance was 17,190 – the 59th consecutive sellout crowd at the Kohl Center.
•Winthrop is the first team to ever hit 15 3-pointers against Wisconsin. The Eagles set a new Kohl Center record and Torrell Martin tied the Kohl Center individual mark by hitting seven 3-pointers.
•Wisconsin is the first team to score more than 73 points against Winthrop this season.
•Wisconsin played overtime for the first time since Nov. 19, 2005, when UW beat Eastern Kentucky 95-89 in double overtime of the championship game of the Paradise Jam.
•Wisconsin is 4-2 in overtime under Bo Ryan
•Torrell Martin scored Winthrop’s first 11 points and had 18 in the first half. He finished with a season-high 31 points, one shy of his career high set against Liberty Feb. 20, 2006.
•UW led 34-31 at halftime, the eighth time Wisconsin has led at the half this season (nine games).
•Wisconsin scored on its first six possessions of the second half, outscoring Winthrop 12-2.
•Alando Tucker scored 10 or more points for the 31st time in his last 32 games. He’s scored 20 or more points 33 times in his career.
•Tucker recorded his 600th career field goal. He has 604 total, good for fifth all-time at Wisconsin.
•Brian Butch picked up his 300th career rebound. He has 307 for his career.
•Michael Flowers scored his 300th career point. He has 310 for his career.
•UW has won 10 consecutive games at home dating back to last season and is 79-5 at the Kohl Center since 2001.
•Wisconsin made more free throws (24) than its opponent attempted (10) for the fifth time this season.
•Wisconsin is 4-0 against teams currently in the Big South Conference.
•Winthrop has made six NCAA tournament appearances in eight seasons under head coach Gregg Marshall.

Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan Post-Game Quotes

On Michael Flowers’ shot with 10.6 seconds left in regulation: “It wasn’t just that one, in order for him to get that opportunity we had to fight for the other ones. They were scrapping, we were scrapping, we get a couple offensive rebounds, one ball goes off of them last, he gets the opportunity. He’s an opportunistic young man. Plays hard, plays smart, he’s improved every year and we think he’s got a lot more improvement coming.”

On overcoming a poor shooting percentage: “I tried to say this last year at the North Dakota State game for example. We shoot 20-some percent but we get hustle opportunities. What won that game tonight, was not field goal percentage but hustle opportunities. We touched the post, off of those offensive rebounds, how many foul shots did we get? And if you can get to the line that many times by hustle … What are you going to do if the shots aren’t going down? We had some pretty good looks against that zone, then we started missing, then it compounds itself but we continued to make them have to play defense so that they didn’t get away with playing the zone, not working and then having a lot of legs down at the other end. If we’d have been taking quick, bad shots, they would have beaten us by 20. But by us being patient, changing sides of the floor, they were packing it in, taking some passing lanes away and they were doing exactly what they needed to do. And we needed to hit some outside shots if they were going to stay that tight but we still touched the post. We still attacked and that’s the only way you get to the free-throw line. I coached at other places where people are always complaining about how many free throws we shot, and the other teams are taking more jump shots than us. We touch the paint, we try to. If you touch the paint, that’s how you can get to the free throw line. But they have such good three-point shooters, they can sting. They had a couple runs where we tried to give ourselves some space, but they come right back and get them. That’s 45 points on 25 shots. That’s pretty good points per possession.”

On his expectations of Winthrop: “You can tell by the way both teams were playing, there wasn’t any lack of respect for one another. That was a hard-fought, toe-to-toe, December game that hopefully for both of us, will help us in conference play.”

Winthrop Head Coach Gregg Marshall Post-Game Quotes

On whether the loss stings more knowing Torrell Martin and Michael Jenkins combined to score 58 points: “Oh it stings. It stings. Torrell Martin, I thought, was the best player on the floor tonight. He just was terrific. Michael Jenkins really shot it beautifully. Craig Bradshaw did not play well and he knows that. He can play much better, so I mean 10 points for him in 39 minutes in not that good. He can play better. But those three guys scoring the points is insignificant. It’s just the fact that I thought we played very well, and had every right to win the game.”

On the rebound disparity: “That’s the part that we’ve got to work on. That’s the part that disappoints me the most. I’m certainly not upset with my team, but if there was anything that I could go back to change and win the game going away, we’d rebound better. We didn’t rebound well for most of the night. And our bigs have to do better. Our guards in the zone have to find guys and rebound better. But still, we will pick that apart and will coach the crap out of them when we get back. The bottom line is I’m not going to in any way, right now, diminish the effort and the poise and just the overall game that we played. And that would be something that would lend itself to some criticism, and I will certainly get into that at the appropriate time.”

On the end of the game when Wisconsin got three shots off: “We just couldn’t get a rebound. We couldn’t get a rebound and the ball hit the floor a couple times and they kept coming up with it, so a credit to them. That was a big-time effort by them and they got the shot that they needed and finally put it in the basket.”

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Florida and LSU in BCS, so we get the Hogs...

Razorbacks, Badgers to meet for first time since 1912
Associated Press
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas received a bid to the Capital One Bowl on Sunday, a day after losing the Southeastern Conference championship game 38-28 to Florida.
The No. 12 Razorbacks will face No. 6 Wisconsin on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Fla.
The Capital One Bowl has first pick among SEC teams not in a BCS bowl. Arkansas (10-3) won the SEC West this year, but there was speculation the Razorbacks could fall to the Cotton Bowl.
Instead, they were picked to play in the Capital One Bowl. Arkansas last appeared in that game in 1999, when it was still called the Citrus Bowl. The Razorbacks lost to Tom Brady and Michigan 45-31.
Arkansas has played Wisconsin (11-1) once before. The Razorbacks lost 64-7 at Wisconsin in 1912.
Arkansas hasn't played in a bowl since beating Missouri in the Independence Bowl in December 2003. The Razorbacks haven't played in a New Year's Day bowl since losing to Oklahoma in the 2002 Cotton Bowl.

Wisconsin shafted, as we all knew we would be

Ok, I've refrained from discussing Wisconsin's place in the polls and a lack of BCS bid, because, for the most part, I understand. And I'm actually not too bitter. We weren't expecting anything out of this season, so really, anything after 3 wins was a bonus.

But I do think that we got held back by a really punitive rule. I'm not sure what purpose the rule preventing more than 2 teams per conference is meant to accomplish in terms of making the BCS seem valid.

Yes, some years the SEC or the Big Ten or the Big 12 might be holding half the spots in the BCS, but if the BCS is touted as having the best teams in the land, I'm not sure how you can validate holding teams out.

How does it make sense to punish a team who's conference is exceptionally talented that year? I'm actually quite surprised that this rule hasn't become an issue before.

For that matter, if the BCS is as exhalted as they'd like us to believe, I'm unsure how there can ever be a question. Shouldn't we have 1 v. 2, 3 v. 4, 5 v. 6 and 7 v. 8? Done and done?

I'm sure this sounds like sour grapes, but really, I guess I just don't understand the point of all the voting, calculating, etc... if in the end, the final rankings do not matter.

Is Wisconsin a better team then Notre Dame? I honestly don't know. I know that they're a two loss team, including a big loss (20+ point) at home to Michigan and that near implosion at Michigan State (Michigan State!?!?)

I guess in the end I'm just disappointed because a final ranking of #7 isn't run-of-the-mill for Wisconsin. A final ranking that high should be reason to celebrate. Instead, we're heading to the ho-hum Capital One Bowl (again).

And I'm not the only one who thinks we got a little screwed on details. This Fox Sports columnist thinks so too, though he's not so articulate about it.

My new favorite team

Eat it, USC.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Go bama?

So I'm driving home from work earlier this week and it's pouring rain. I'm heading right into downtown and get cut off by this monstrosity of a big white conversion van. An ugly, ugly vehicle. I'm about to beep at this guy when I realize there are big, sparkly gothic style letters in his back back window that say "ROLL TIDE"

Stay classy, Alabama

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I hate winter!

By tomorrow night forecast's say that we'll have 15 inches of snow.

First snow of the season and we're getting over a foot!

More UW football player stupidity

It appears that Jack Ikegwuonu decided to celebrate being named First Team All-Big Ten Conference by breaking into a house in DeKalb, Illinois to steal and XBox.

You know, as you do.

Details here.

Some Brewers free agency shenanigans

Apparently GM Doug Melvin made an offer to Tony Graffanino to keep him in Milwaukee - but Graffanino's agent sat on the offer for a few weeks. In the meantime, Melvin was made nervous by the lack of response, so he started seeing what the other options were. It turns out one of those options was former Brewer and local boy Craig Counsell. So Melvin took some steps in that direction. Then Graffanino decided he would accept the offer to which Melvin said "too late."

In the end, it looks like Counsell's coming home and Graffy's going to San Diego. Full story here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

UW, Marquette flip flop in Basketball polls


MU jumps to No. 8 in poll; UW drops to 12

Marquette (6-0) jumped to No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25 men's college basketball rankings today, while Wisconsin (5-1) dropped from No. 7 to No. 12.

The Golden Eagles' rise from No. 13 last week follows their 73-62 victory over Duke last Tuesday. The Badgers lost Friday to unranked Missouri State, 66-64. UCLA took over the No. 1 spot in the AP poll, followed by Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Florida and Kansas. Alabama and North Carolina were just ahead of Marquette at No. 6 and 7.

In the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, Marquette was ranked No. 9 and Wisconsin No. 13.

Marquette and Wisconsin play each other Dec. 9 at the Bradley Center.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Capital One Bowl

I'm absolutely complacent about the Badgers receiving the Capital One Bowl, which is ridiculous because 6 years ago, we were lucky to make it to the Music City Bowl!

But we've been in the Capital One or Outback Bowl each of the last 3 years. Middle Florida isn't really appealing to anyone anymore.

I think it's a mistake for the Big Ten's #2 and #3 tie-ins to be an hour apart in Tampa and Orlando. Assuming that your team is fairly dominant for a number of years, this ensures that you're sending them to the same place over and over and ensures that your fans stop making the trip.

Since both bowls are a Big Ten-SEC matchup, the SEC fans are all within a reasonable drive to these games. Two years ago when I drove from New Orleans to Tampa, we were surrounded by Georgia plates in every direction.

It seems to me that since the bowls are all about revenue, this set up is counter productive. It seems like the bowls are working on the the one edict that Big Ten-ers are so cold in the winter, they'll jump at a chance to go to Florida, which I think is ridiculous.

Besides, there's only so many times a Wisconsinite can handle being in Mickeyland with all the holiday vacationers before they get a little mental, you know?

I hate USC

And I will be very, very upset if they make it to the National Championship game.

I know everyone is saying that yesterday's shakeups are pushing Michigan into the game, but USC has managed to stay in the top 5 all season based purely on last year's performance, so I'm not buying it.

And how about those Mountaineers? Amazing how every year we're force-fed information about how the Big East is underrated, etc, etc and yet every year they manage to self-destruct just when everyone is starting to give them some attention.

I saw a couple of South Florida games this season (hey, it's the only football on on Tuesday night!)

Look, I'm sure it's hard getting cred when you're not in a major conference. But I'm quite sick of how the Big East watch starts earlier and earlier every season. Let's talk about good teams, but let's not go overboard. Talking about how great a team is, any team, really, in week 6 is just asking for trouble.

Just to play devil's advocate, however, if this season has shown us anything, it's that the Big East deserves the cred a hell of a lot more than the Pac-10 does.

I cannot understand how we continually act as though the Pac-10 is a legitimately competitive conference. Is there any team "big name" in the country that wouldn't have done what USC has done with the kind of conference opponents they meet? How hard is it to run the table in the Pac-10? The competition there is just sub-par.

All season, the SEC-ers have been complaining about how tough their conference is and that they have beat themselves in terms of a National Championship bid because everybody has losses.

Couldn't the exact same argument be made in favor of the Big East? The top teams all beat each other, taking them out of NC consideration.

Wisconsin Hockey Heaven

Yesterday I traveled to Madison yet again, this time for a hockey doubleheader.

Since the men's team has sunk far below last year's status, the women's hockey team, which is still unbeaten, has taken a bit more attention. We decided we wanted to see what women's hockey was all about (but still end the night with a men's game, so that we wouldn't be completely lame.)

The women's game was definitely slower paced, but still fun to watch. Definitely not as bad as going to a women's basketball game.

The women's team passes well and utilizes every player. You don't really see any one girl standing out, though last year's national MVP Sara Bauer and Jinelle Zaugg, yesterday's goal scorer, do lead the country at #1 and #2 with most points and most goals.

The game was 1-0 and there wasn't much to report. It's clearly a family event and I was impressed that they even had girl mighty mites to play at the period break.

The men, however, snapped a six-game losing streak beating #6 Michigan State 2-0. Andrew Joudrey and Ben Street scored for the Badgers.

The Badgers have suffered mightily from the injury bug, especially when top goal-scoring prospect Jack Skille was out for 11 games. Friday night marked his return to the ice, where he scored against Michigan, but he was pretty quiet at last night's game.

This is the second game I've attended this year and there was a world of difference in the play on the ice. The Badgers looked much cleaner, with sharp passes and an actually visible attack.

The game actually featured a lot of fast-paced attack on both ends, with quick break-aways and lots of shots. UW outshot Sparty 27-19.

The first game we went to featured little, if any, attack of any kind. The team looked disorganized and as though they weren't quite sure how to handle the puck. Last night the Badgers looked much more cohesive.

By far the most entertaining parts of the evening were surrounding the student section's taunting of Michigan State's goalie Jeff Lerg, who is only 5'6". Standing in the net alone you didn't really grasp his minute stature, but any time the team surrounded him, he looked like one of the girls we saw playing earlier in the day.

Cheers of "Midget Goalie, clap clap clapclapclap" were spattered throughout the game, but by far the best was near the end of the third period, when cheers of "pull your sieve" normally break out. Instead, for 2 full minutes, we cheered "Pull your midget". It doesn't look as funny when I type it, but I promise it was more the entertaining while you're standing there, trying to figure out what they're saying.

Friday, November 24, 2006

LSU upsets Arkansas

But I can't say that this game made me feel any better about the possible matchups for Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl.

Until today, LSU hadn't allowed any 100 yard rushers. Today they allowed two. Is that good or bad for P.J. Hill.

On that same vein, LSU is the top rated run offense and they couldn't particularly stop Arkansas, so how the hell would we?

Finally, unless Ken DeBauche is able to put every kickoff in the endzone for a touchback, our special teams will have a hard time covering Arkansas' return team.

A belated Happy Turkey Day

I never made it to the computer yesterday and I've been up since 4 this morning doing the shopping thing, but I did just want to drop a line to say thanks to all (5) of my readers.

So let's be thankful for bowl season and college basketball craziness so early in the year. For the Packers sucking less then I though they would and the Badger football team far surpassing anyone's expectations for this season.

I'm thankful for football on every day of the week and basketball to break it up. I'm thankful for college hockey and dancing at any Wisconsin game.

I'm thankful yesterday's Lions/Dolphins game was way more exciting to watch then I expected.

In addition, I'm thankful for good friends and good sports. I'm thankful for a fabulous boyfriend/copy editor who keeps me sane.!

I hope everyone's nice and relaxed from yesterday and is prepared for the football smorgasbord that is this weekend. I'll be napping to recover from this morning's shopping extravaganza so that I'll be wide awake to check out LSU/Arkansas.

But during the nap, I'll be dreaming of Notre Dame taking USC down!

Happy Thanksgiving ya'll!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

#17 Marquette upsets #8 Duke

(though I'm not sure from which poll those rankings come)

Marquette beat Duke last night in the finals of the CBE Classic Basketball tournament.

The Golden Eagles looked pretty good, causing a lot of steals and loose balls. They were aggressive and changed up the defense, from zone to man-to-man quickly and when necessary.

Jerel McNeal was all over the court and Dominque James, who's 5'11" made the guy who was guarding him, who was 6'6", look silly a few times.

Good job by the Golden Eagles by not getting intimidated and not letting their game get loss. Lots of points to Coach Tom Crean, who clearly had a game plan and didn't let his team deviate from it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Good news, bad news

Favre is totally fine, it was basically just a stinger to his funny bone.

Of course, the injury no one knew about is Aaron Rodgers, who broke his foot and is out for the season.

Here's where having the QB with over 200 starts is crucial.

Badgers likely heading to Capital One Bowl

Went to the game on Saturday, and let me jus tsay that it wasn't very impressive on our part.
Buffalo, the team who gave Temple their only win in like 5 years, managed to show exactly how weak the Badgers special teams really are.

Without a punter like Ken DeBauche, who's put all but 30 punts in the endzone for touchbacks, the Badgers would be hard pressed to be in the top half of the polls, if even the top half of the conference. His pinning opponents back has managed to create a huge cover for the gaping hole that exists in our punt coverage unit.

I always love going to games at Camp Randall, and invariably of late we've gone to see not so great teams, but that really just allows you to enjoy the atmosphere more. Sure, I wouldn't have minded being at last year's Michigan game, but there's something to be said for being able to watch the band travel the stadium.

And while we're on it, I'm going to go out and say that there's no place that does the wave better than UW.

And I'm not usually a fan of the wave. Usually it's some knucklehead who's had too much to drink and won't take the hint when he's tried to get it started 8 times and no one is interested.
But the slo-mo, super-fast, reverse and split wave are fun to watch, fun to be a part of and I think the student section does a good job of choosing the moment, so that the wave isn't interfering with watching the game.

Since only 2 teams per conference are allowed in BCS games and Michigan and Ohio State have that wrapped, it looks like Wisconsin is all but assured a trip to the Capital One Bowl. Word is that the reps were at yesterday's game and are just waiting for us to be officially released from BCS consideration.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bad Omen or Rallying Point?

This is either the best or worst thing that could happen for Michigan.

Bo Schembechler dies after collapsing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm going to the game!

Ok, so we're only playing Buffalo. But I'm going to a second Wisconsin football game this weekend.

Buffalo is like 2-8 (edited) this year and has the dubious distinction of being the school that Temple beat, ending their 8,784 game losing streak.

But still, I'll be at Camp Randall and will check in on Monday with a full report. I can't imagine it will be a fabulously exciting game, but the tickets were cheap, so there you go...

Besides, it means that I'll just have to go to a sports bar to watch the Ohio-Michigan game, which is absolutely upsetting. If I werent' going to the Badger game, I'd be sitting at home watching the BIG GAME. Now I get to go watch it with a bunch of crazies.

Good times.

College Basketball mayhem? In November?

Maybe it's because I'm not yet in the basketball frame of mind at this point in the season and thus am not paying much attention.

But it sure seems like these first few weeks have featured some upsets and questionable outcomes already.

Just last night #3 Kansas lost to Oral Roberts! And Florida (who's ranked, but I don't have time to look up where) needed overtime to beat Rollins - a school most of you have never heard of (it's a small business school in Orlando)

Is this foreshadowing to a long, crazy season or are these teams just not yet in the groove?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Wisconsin 24, Iowa 21

Ok, there was never really any point yesterday where I was confident in the outcome of the game. I felt like the entire last quarter was just waiting for something big to happen. It seemed as though we were just holding on, hoping the clock ran out before we could let anything bad happen.

Luckily, that did happen. But I had an uneasy feeling for much of the second half.

That being said, I was fairly impressed with the Badgers yesterday. Tyler Donovan showed that he hasn't been wasting his time as Stocco's backup.

One thing I hadn't thought about going into this game is that Donovan spent the entire pre-season working with the first team, since John Stocco had minor knee surgery just a few weeks before the first game. Clearly that time taking snaps with the 1st stringers made a difference. Both Donovan and the offense looked comfortable with Donovan being at the helm and I can't imagine that being the case had they not spent that time working during pre-season.

P.J. Hill definitely raised some eyebrows with his lack of ability to hold on to the ball. I'm reserving judgment on this particular situation, since he's had wonderful control of the ball for the rest of the season. But he's not off the hook yet...

It was wonderful to be on ESPN and have a decent announcing core whom we could understand and who imparted actually informative knowledge throughout the broadcast.

A few of the tidbits:

Coming into this game, UW had given up just 3 passing TDs all year, the best in the country

On the season, UW was allowing an average of 5.7 points per game in the second half. That average dropped to 2.4 points per game over the five games before Saturday.

The average size of Wisconsin's offensive line is larger than the average of the O-Line on any team in the NFL.

With yesterday's win, Bret Bielema became the first coach in Big Ten history to win 10 games in his first year.

All in all, that game could have been a lot uglier. It definitely made me a little uneasy at points, but that has a lot to do with my high expectations. Since this team has been so successful, it's easy to forget that they are young and that they have far exceeded anyone's expectations. It's a bit early to be able to decide whether or not this season was serendipitous, or if it's the status quo.

In the meantime, I'll be reveling in our top ten ranking.

(Which, by the way, is absolutely unreal. Absolutely no one would have believed you if you'd told them before the season that this would happen. This is a team that was without a RB and who's receiver core, total, had caught 3 passes in actual games.)

Holy Crap!

Wisconsin is #9 in the BCS poll!

There's a lot to discuss about this week's BCS rankings, but frankly, at this moment, I don't care.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Yount not returning as Brewers coach


When Robin Yount accepted a position as bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers just over a year ago, he said he would take it on a year-to-year basis. As it turns out, it was just one year.

Yount informed Brewers general manager Doug Melvin today that he will not return in 2007 as the team's bench coach. Yount had been invited back to the coaching staff at the end of the season but said he needed time to see if it was right for him personally.

Yount, 51, apparently decided it was more important for him to stay home in Arizona and spend more time with his wife Michele. All four of the Yount's children have left the home, either to attend college or take jobs.

Yount spent all 20 of his major-league seasons with the Brewers and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1999, the first electee to represent the club in Cooperstown. He previously coached with the Arizona Diamondbacks before accepting the position on Brewers manager Ned Yost's staff.

The Brewers now have two coaching vacancies to fill. They are also looking for a first base coach to replace Dave Nelson, who was dismissed at the end of the season.

Jim Skaalen was hired a couple of weeks ago to replace fired hitting coach Butch Wynegar.

National Disaster Averted, no Big East team to play for National Championship

The Louisville Cardinals football team were nice enough to prevent a national meltdown about a Big East team playing for the National Championship by losing to Rutgers last night.

I have no details on the game (I was at a concert) but I have tivoed the replay. All I know is that there was a missed extra point run back - all that work for 2 whole points!

So now we're back to wondering which one loss team will meet the winner of Michigan/Ohio State in the NC.

And at this point, if you look at BCS averages, I'm not sure you can make a case for any other team than the loser of that matchup.

So is that what we're looking at? Michigan vs. Ohio State in the title game?
Does Florida deserve it more? Is there a sleeper team we see going into the NC instead?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Better late than never...

Bielema's genius made Deadspin today

J-S College Basketball Big Ten Conference Preview

Quick capsule reviews of all the Big Ten teams here.

University of Wisconsin Men's Basketball

The Journal-Sentinel today published what they said was their preview of the #9 ranked Wisconsin Badgers.

Full reading here.

However, it appears to be just a profile of Kammron Taylor. Though it's an interesting article, I sure as hell hope this isn't the only thing they're printing ...

Wisconsin QB John Stocco likely out against Iowa

Ok, so this story's a little shady in that it says "a source" is reporting that John Stocco's arm is in a sling ... as though that's a difficult thing to confirm or deny. It's not THAT big of a campus that someone couldn't search John out and see if the arm's in a sling or not ...


Madison - If the University of Wisconsin football team ends its four-game losing streak against rival Iowa, it likely will be forced to do so without fifth-year senior quarterback John Stocco.

According to a source, Stocco's throwing arm has been in a sling since at least Sunday and he isn't expected to practice this week or play Saturday when UW (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten Conference) closes league play at Iowa (6-4, 2-4).

Stocco, who has started 35 consecutive games, has a 28-7 record and is two victories shy of the school mark for victories by a quarterback. He suffered an unspecified injury to his right shoulder in UW's 13-3 victory over Penn State last week. Junior Tyler Donovan, a prep All-American at Arrowhead High School, took over for Stocco on the final two series against Penn State and is poised to make his first collegiate start this week.

UW coach Bret Bielema on Monday shared only a few details regarding Stocco's status but did note that one of the hits jarred the shoulder "loose." That choice of words suggests that Stocco suffered more than just a bruise.

"He will be evaluated every day," Bielema said. "The signs coming out of the doctor's voice yesterday were very encouraging for us.

"We don't practice on Mondays and didn't have any practice time on the field Sunday. Whether he will be available Tuesday will be determined Tuesday."

Regardless of Stocco's health status, questions remain about why Stocco was on the field when he suffered the hit that sent him to the bench for good with 10 minutes 7 seconds left in the game.

Stocco first injured the shoulder late in the third quarter when he was hit by linebacker Paul Posluszny.

Stocco completed one pass after the first hit, an 11-yard gain to tight end Andy Crooks, but the play was wiped out by a holding call.

UW ran the ball on the next play and then punted.

After the punt, TV cameras showed Stocco grimacing in obvious pain on the sideline when he tested the shoulder by making a few light throws. The staff opted to send him onto the field on the next series with UW leading, 13-3, though. He completed one pass on the drive, a 14-yard gain to Luke Swan, but was sacked by linebacker Sean Lee two plays later and left the game.

"(We) basically made an evaluation on the sideline at the time of his ability to function as a quarterback," Bielema said. "John felt comfortable and everybody did. Otherwise we wouldn't have put him on the field.

"Unfortunately he kind of jarred it loose again. . . or hurt it, re-aggravated it. That is when he was taken out of the game."

Donovan completed his only pass attempt against Penn State, for 2 yards, and had a 20-yard run on a naked bootleg to pick up a crucial first down when UW was taking time off the clock.
His performance Saturday was much cleaner than his effort in Week 2 against Western Illinois, when he went 0 for 3 with an interception and was sacked twice for 17 yards in losses.

"It ended a little bit ugly," Bielema said. "But there were a lot of new faces in there experiencing college football for the first time."

Saturday against Penn State, Donovan was surrounded by starters.

"Everybody thinks we go through a different game plan or a different approach just because Tyler is in there," Bielema said. "Tyler has been in every one of those (quarterback) meetings. . . .
"I think guys in our program want to be the guy that carries the torch, the next man in."

College football shorts

A University of Miami DE was shot and killed shortly after leaving practice today. Brief story here. Not much info yet.

An interesting story from about the losing culture at Temple. The team is openly mocked on campus (and nationwide, really). The story looks at what keeps them going.

Opposing viewpoints on whether Bielema was a genius or a boob for exploiting the time clock rule at the end of last week's game. Alvarez said he did the right thing. And Insider article says the move was questionable and unsportsmanlike.

A Florida player was stabbed in the leg by a female student.

Joe Pa has surgery to fix the two torn ligaments in his knee and is being kept hospitalized for now.

Likeliest Badger Bowl scenarios

Sure, Louisville beat WVU, and likely will be #3 in the BCS, leading to all kinds of talk whether a Big East team deserves to be in the NC ... but asks whether they should be after giving up 540 yards.

I wanna be, I wanna be like Todd...

Ok, so I have no insane ideas to try and watch anywhere near as many movies as Todd has, but every once in a while I get the whim that I want to watch all the movies on the American Film Insitute's "100" lists.

A few years ago the AFI began producing these lists in conjunction with the centennial anniversary of the birth of Cinema.

There's the 100 year, 100 movies list

100 years, 100 passions

100 years, 100 laughs

100 years, 100 thrills

100 years, 100 chills

There are some other lists as well - and all they can all be found here.

So I've been saying I'm going to do this, then I print out the list, see how few of the truly great movies that I've seen, become dismayed and embarrassed ... and usually forget about the whole thing.

So here's the complete "top 100" list and the ones I've seen (meager though my list is) are bolded:

6.WIZARD OF OZ, THE (1939)
7.GRADUATE, THE (1967)

14.SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
15.STAR WARS (1977)
16.ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
18.PSYCHO (1960)
19.CHINATOWN (1974)
22.2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
24.RAGING BULL (1980)
27.BONNIE & CLYDE (1967)
31.ANNIE HALL (1977)
33.HIGH NOON (1952)
42.REAR WINDOW (1954)
43.KING KONG (1933)
47.TAXI DRIVER (1976)
48.JAWS (1975)
53.AMADEUS (1984)
57.THIRD MAN, THE (1949)
58.FANTASIA (1940)
61.VERTIGO (1958)
62.TOOTSIE (1982)
63.STAGECOACH (1939)
66.NETWORK (1976)
69.SHANE (1953)
71.FORREST GUMP (1994)
72.BEN-HUR (1959)
74.GOLD RUSH, THE (1925)
76.CITY LIGHTS (1931)
78.ROCKY (1976)
79.DEER HUNTER, THE (1978)
80.WILD BUNCH, THE (1969)
81.MODERN TIMES (1936)
82.GIANT (1956)
83.PLATOON (1986)
84.FARGO (1996)
85.DUCK SOUP (1933)
88.EASY RIDER (1969)
89.PATTON (1970)
90.JAZZ SINGER, THE (1927)
91.MY FAIR LADY (1964)
92.PLACE IN THE SUN, A(1951)
93.APARTMENT, THE (1960)
94.GOODFELLAS (1990)
95.PULP FICTION (1994)
96.SEARCHERS, THE (1956)
98.UNFORGIVEN (1992)

Ok, so admittedly, it's pathetic the number of movies I haven't seen. But I could have told you that without the aid of this list.

I've never seen a Bond movie. I've never seen a full Indiana Jones movie. I've not seen the Godfathers. I've never seen a Hitchcock movie.

I know it's bad, so I'm using this list as an impetus to see how far I get. No time limit - just a guide to get my butt in gear.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Strange thing afoot in the SEC

I was contemplating all that happened in the SEC yesterday and I was trying to decide which of the things that have happened this season would have been most unbelievable to us a few weeks ago. If I had told you during pre-season that by the first weekend of November:

LSU would win at Knoxville ...

Meaning that Florida clinched the West by November 4th

Georgia will have lost to Vandy AND Kentucky!

Alabama will have lost to Mississippi State

Auburn will have lost to Arkansas

Arkansas will be leading the East

Would you have believed me?

On why we hate Tennessee (And How LSU WON!)

I lived in Louisiana for a number of years, so I have a definite affinity for the LSU Tigers.

Clearly, my affinity nowhere reaches the intensity of my love for the Badgers, but they're my SEC team. I've been to a few games in Death Valley and really, it's never been an issue between the two teams, they don't meet or compete for the same BCS spots .. so it works for me.
If you know anything about the SEC, you know that the one thing all the teams will universally agree upon is a hatred of Tennessee. It's hard to explain. It's not jealousy, because most time the others teams (like Florida, Georgia, and LSU) are better then Tennessee. It's just a general distaste.

Tennessee is known for having run-ins with the law. Over at (Every Day Should Be Saturday - a must-read college football blog) they keep track of college team's arrests in what they've dubbed the Fulmer Cup, for Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer.

So after LSU went into Knoxville last night (ranked 13) and beat Tennessee (ranked 8) for the first time in four years (at Neyland Stadium), a couple of Tennessee players went ahead and made some headlines of their own (notice the last paragraph):


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee starting running back Arian Foster and two other players were arrested early Sunday after police were called to a fight at a nightclub.

Foster, safety Antonio Wardlow and fullback David Holbert were charged with disorderly conduct and underage consumption, police said. Wardlow also was charged with public intoxication. All three players are 20.

The police arrived at an area nightclub at about 3 a.m., several hours after the No. 8 Volunteers fell 28-24 to No. 13 LSU. The loss meant Florida clinched the Southeastern Conference East division title ahead of Tennessee.

Athletic department spokeswoman Tiffany Carpenter said school officials were gathering information about the arrests and would likely have a statement from coach Phillip Fulmer on Sunday afternoon.

Police said they found people shouting at each other and fights about to break out at the scene.

"The officers were able to initially break up most of potential problems, however, they observed Mr. Arian Foster shoving another individual," police said.

"Shortly thereafter they found two other individuals involved in an altercation. Those individuals -- also University of Tennessee football players -- were identified as Antonio Wardlow and David Holbert. As a result of the fight and disturbance there at [the] nightclub all three individuals were arrested."

Some media outlets reported they had been released from jail, but officials would immediately comment on their status.

Foster had 10 carries for 44 yards against LSU to lead the Vols' running game. Holbert and Wardlow played in the game, but did not register any statistics.

Tennessee had a problem with players getting arrested before the 2005 season, which ended with a 5-6 mark. Eight players were arrested or cited between January and July 2005. This summer, the Vols had four players arrested, and one was dismissed from the team.
The score of yesterday's Badger football game against Penn State severely underplays what an important game it was.

So much happened and you'd assume it was a pretty boring game from the 13-3 score.

But the fallout from yesterday's game is rather huge.

The foremost issue on everyone else's mind is the injury to Joe Pa, but we'll come back to that.

The biggest topic on my mind (besides whether or not Stocco will be able to play vs. Iowa, which we'll also get to further down) is the brilliant play-calling to end the half.

Wisconsin scored a TD with under a minute left to go in the half. After the extra point, there was about :30 second left on the clock.

New clock rules in college football this year say that the clock starts when the ball is kicked, not when it is caught, as had previously been the rule.

Bielema had his entire team lineup and take off before the ball was kicked, which incurs an offside penalty. Of course, the play is run to it's conclusion, first, meaning the clock runs. In theory, the receiving team could run it back and decline the penalty. But when you get that much of a head start on the punt, they really have no chance to return it.

We did this twice! The clock ran down to under :10, at which time we punted as normal and the half ended without Penn State being allowed to put together a last minute drive.

Joe Pa was furious! And the guys in the booth were a bit confused. Finally, one of the announcers caught on to what we were doing, explained it to everyone else and they all started laughing and pronounced Bielema as brilliant.

I'm sure this loophole will be addressed in the off-season, but major props to Bielema for his obvious attention to detail and straight up intelligence. I know Joe Pa was angry, and I'm sure if it had happened against us, I would be too. But you have to see the inherent intelligence Bielema showed here. And I say good for him!

Now, back to Joe Pa and Stocco...

Early in the second half a Penn State tight end, Andrew Quarless made a catch on right at the sideline. As the tackle was being made, a Badger player's helmet collided with Paterno's left leg. The slow motion replay is still giving me chills, as it looked like Joe Pa's knee hyperextended backwards.

Word today is that there is a fracture at the top of his shinbone and there is some ligament damage. School officials and doctors are saying surgery isn't out of the question, though apparently Joe Pa is going about his day as though it were any other Sunday.

An ESPN article is also reporting that the statue of Joe Pa near Happy Valley is already sporting a bandage about it's knee and get well wishes.

However, that injury is second in Badger fans' heads to the one that knocked Jon Stocco out of the game. Two separate hits seem to have combined to force Stocco to the benches. Thus far the coaching staff is mum, saying we won't know for a few days whether or not he'll be ready to play this weekend against Iowa.

While the injury doesn't appear to be season ending and while the next two week's games are negligible, since we're already assured of second place in the Big Ten, we're actually still being named in the discussion about who will receive at-large BCS bids. It's a long shot - but a big showing at Iowa would definitely help our case.

I'm torn on this, since I feel like the BCS bid really isn't crucial or an issue and Stocco is in his last year. I don't think it would be so bad for backup Tyler Donovan to get some big game experience. At the same time, we have a transfer QB who becomes eligible for next season, likely leaving Donovan as backup again - in which case I don't care what kind of experience he has!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Goals from Manchester United Goals vs Liverpool October 2006

Absolutely hilarious!

University of Wisconsin and the "motion W"

So that W on the side of the Wisconsin helmets .. and, well, everywhere else, is officially called the Motion W. It's supposedly a 1990's invention meant to update our image.

Ever since, the logo has made it's way into the ranks of high schools, who use similar logos.
Also in the 90's, the University got into some ugly legal battles over the rights to Bucky. Once Bucky made his way on to some lewd shirts (like the "F*** Em Bucky shirts, where Bucky's flippin' the bird) and condoms, the University realized it needed to take control of the image. (Why it took until the 1990's for us to figure this out, I'm not sure)

So now UW is really protective and likely rather uptight about their copyrights.

This article talks about the most current suit, against a high school football team in Iowa.

The article makes some good points - especially that there are only so many ways to write a letter.

Check out the story here:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Brewers team awards

Hall selected as Brewers' MVP (from

Bill Hall, who took over as the everyday shortstop in mid-May when starter J.J. Hardy was lost with an ankle injury, today was named the Milwaukee Brewers' most valuable player for the 2006 season.

Hall, 26, was named first on 10 of the 11 ballots cast by members of the Milwaukee chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He led the club with 35 home runs and 85 RBI, batting .270 in 148 games with 39 doubles, also a club high, and four triples.

Hall also was named the recipient of the club's "Good Guy" Award, given to a player for his cooperation and interaction with the media. Hall edged reliever Matt Wise by one point, on a point system in which three points were given for first-place votes, two points for second-place votes and one for a third-place vote. Thirteen different players received votes for the award.

In an award presented by the club, Hall also was named the recipient of the Michael Harrison Award for Community Service.

Closer Francisco Cordero edged left-hander Chris Capuano for the team's most valuable pitcher. Cordero, acquired from Texas on July 28 in the Carlos Lee trade, went 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 16 saves in 28 appearances. Capuano, who made the National League all-star team, had one more first-place vote than Cordero but Cordero had four second-place votes and three thirds, giving him 23 points to 19 for Capuano, who finished with an 11-12 record after going 1-8 in the second half.

Hall and Capuano left today for Japan to play in with a group of touring major leaguers against stars from the Japanese Leagues.

First baseman Prince Fielder earned the Brewers' top newcomer award with a strong rookie campaign. Fielder batted .271 with 28 home runs - a club rookie record - and 81 RBI in a team-high 157 games. Fielder led all NL rookies in homers and ranked among the leaders in RBI, extra-base hits (64), runs (82), total bases (275), doubles (35) and multi-hit games (41).

Veteran infielder Jeff Cirillo picked up the unsung hero award, capitalizing on his team-high .319 batting average. Cirillo made starts at all four infield positions, showing his versatility when injuries struck the team.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Nerdy Aside

The student paper I was on in college won what is called the Pacemaker Award this past weekend. The award is known as the Pulitzer of College Journalism. Twenty college papers nationwide were honored with Pacemakers this year.

The award is given out by the Associated College Press.

We last won the award in 1998, which is also when we were inducted into the ACP Hall of Fame.

Nerdy, but cool. We're a small liberal arts Jesuit University - about 4,000 undergrads. The newspaper staff was always less than 20, so we did a lot with a little and I'm proud.

Packers suck less than expected

Ok, so I know going into this season we all had low expectations, but I have to say that the Packers are exceeding mine..

We've sustained a lot of injuries on the offensive side of the ball. Our receiver core - well it's not so much a core but some guys we pulled up from the practice squad.

Besides, watching highlights last night, I realized that we are FAR FAR from being the worst team in the league.

While this is heartening, I realized that if this keeps up, we could be a sub .500 team that has to draft 12th.

But seriously, look at this list of teams with worse records than ours:

Tampa Bay
San Francisco
Pittsburgh (!!!!)

I know that's not the who's who of the NFL by any means, but, lest you forget, we're one win away from equalling last year's mark.
Look for the positive people!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

What I did on my halloween vacation...

We went here and went on the Haunted Forest tour. Hopefully we'll get to go back soon and go through the Corn Maze!!

Hockey National Championship rematch (or big BIG embarassment)

Last night Boston College came to town for a rematch of last year's Frozen Four championship game.

And in the first period scored a goal shorthanded 5-3. That' s right. We had five guys on the ice. They had three guys on the ice. They scored.

I know I've harped on this, but it's plays like this that make me wonder how people can still talk about our supposedly stellar defense.

The offense is non-existant this year and the defense was supposedly more than stacked enough to cover.

Friday night proved otherwise.

I don' t know if I can write much without sounding really mean and bitter, so here's the newspaper recap.

Men's College Basketball

As if I'm not having a hard enough time keeping up with college and pro football and college hockey, now we're adding basketball to the mix.

If that weren't enough, both of our teams are in the pre-season Top 25, with Wisconsin coming in at #9 (Wisconsin's highest pre-season rank EVER) and Marquette at #17.

No pressure boys!

I'm officially not sure how I'm going to cheer, but I'll be a schizophrenic fan on December 9, when Wisconsin comes to Milwaukee to meet Marquette.

As of today I'm a partial plan season ticket holder for Marquette. For what I could afford I'll be sitting three feet from the rafters, but I'm so excited to be going to that game!

Happy Halloweiners!

I stole the headline and pic from today's paper, but they're too good not to share!

In a brilliant marketing move, the Milwaukee Brewers are sending the Racing Sausages out into the world for trick or treating tomorrow and on Halloween. They'll be passing out Brewers treats and vouchers for free tickets.

Incidentally, the costumes are (from left to right) a butcher (the polish has a sick sense of humor) a ghost, a cowboy and Zorro.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Miscellaneous links

Robert Ferguson, officially out for the year

The Wisconsin women's hockey team tied a game last weekend, ending their win streak at 19.

In college basketball news, Dominic James of Marquette, and Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor of Wisconsin were named to the Wooden pre-season All-American list.

The Big East coaches poll has Marquette finishing fourth in the conference with Dominic James named to the All Big East team.

The men's hockey team meets BC this weekend for a rematch of the national championship game. Kyle Klubertanz should be back from injury.

The computer problems continue...

In the meantime, here's a bunch of football links I stole from Badger Sports Blog...

An SI On Campus profile of one of our cheerleaders

Some nice praise (that doesn't happen often and here we're twice in one month) that says that Ohio State is lucky we're not on their schedule

An story on P.J. Hill

And a Fox Sports story that says we're the sleeper pick of 2007

And a profile on Joe Thomas from one of UW's student papers

Plus, some "original" and "unstolen" football links

A Journal Sentinel story that tries to figure out "just how good" this football team is

A column from the Detroit Free Press that says we're "worthy of attention" (and for some reason this is a story in Detroit)

Another column from a website called Michigan live that calls Wisconsin the surprise of the season in the Big Ten

Monday, October 23, 2006

CBS is high

These are the newest version's of their bowl predictions, in which the national championship is played between Ohio State and WEST VIRGINIA???!!!!????

I'm grasping for something biting to say here, but I'm honestly speechless. For one, I don't see WV staying undefeated. Secondly, they're just not the 2nd best team in the country. No Big East team is.

For the record, they think we're getting the Capital One Bowl (again) vs. Tennnessee - which could actually be an interesting matchup (mostly because I want in on the UT trash talking) and could mean some serious embarassment for us.

Incidentally, they have Penn State vs. LSU in the Outback Bowl. Basically, these teams could fall anywhere in this schematic. An LSU/Wisconsin game could be fun (though I'd be bitter if this finally came about and I'm not in Louisiana) .

Holy F*ing Shit, Packers win (or other similar Onion title here)

The stars aligned. Mercury is in retrograde. And Joey Harrington was the opposing QB, so Green Bay won it's second game of the season!

Being ranked last in the league in pass defense was no match for Joey Harrington's mediocrity as the Pack intercepted him three times.

Starting three rookies on the offensive line, minus Robert Ferguson (now reportedly for the entire season) and having a recently injured Ahman Green back in the lineup should have been more than enough to sink this already drowning ship. Add the 90 degree weather and absolutely no one expected the Packers to even ever be in this game.

Yet Green managed a 70 yard TD run late in the game.

I mean, I'm a Packer fan and I'm still not sure what the hell happened. It helps that the Dolphins receivers couldn't have caught a pass with their hands covered in superglue.

But come on, Harrington had over 400 yards. Our O-Line (even the vets) got shredded and Favre was hurried and sacked, usually a sure combination for misguided passes and easy interceptions. But that didn't happen.

The defense stepped up, eliminating the run game altogether (as evidenced by Harrington attempting a franchise record 62 passes - completing only 33 -) Miami ran a total of 83 plays and managed only two TDs.

Also, the last time a Packer team won in South Florida, Lombardi was coaching.

But myabe it doesn't take something as hugely cosmic to make things happen. Maybe this is what happens when you add to your roster and name mini-Mexico as your 3rd QB

Football team moves up

We're now 17 in the AP poll.

Of note this week, Wisconsin starts this week with seven teams that are ranked in national polls: Women’s hockey, men’s cross country, men’s hockey, women’s cross country, volleyball, women’s swimming and football.

Rankings here.

Major PC malfunction

Over here at Cute Sports central, the computer situation has been iffy at best. Finally, it was deemed time to wipe the whole thing and start over. While you'd think that would solve everything, this thing's a Compaq. So there's still some issues, but we're getting there (we think) and hopefully I'll be able to find some time to post.

Lo siento!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Nice natinonal attention

This is a really nice article from last week showcasing Wisconsin's athletics. The article was written about last weekend, when it was homecoming and the hockey team opened at home.

It's a really good article and a good homage to Wisconsin athletics. If you want to get an idea of what it's like in Madison, take the 5 minutes to read this.

There was also a sidebar with a link to this article, coverage of the hockey games themselves. Nice to see college hockey, at UW specifically, get some press.

Some highlights (I admitably got carried away with the highlights):

Kickoff between the host Badgers and border rival Minnesota is still nearly three hours away. On the line are bragging rights in the most-played series in Division I-A (116 games and counting) and a not-so-little wooden trophy known as Paul Bunyan's Axe.

But it's more than that: This picturesque campus, the centerpiece of Wisconsin's capital city, will host six sporting events over three days.

It's Homecoming in Madison. And it might be the perfect college sports weekend.


Take a 10-minute walk down Dayton Street and you'll arrive at the Kohl Center, a $76 million state-of-the-art building that is the home of the Wisconsin basketball and hockey teams.

As the hockey team prepared to play North Dakota, the nearly 15,000 who would be in attendance for the home opener were just as anxious for what would happen before the puck was dropped as they were for the latest renewal of one of the WCHA's best rivalries.

Wisconsin, the No. 2-ranked team in the country, celebrated its 2006 national championship one final time when it unveiled the latest championship banner.


At the opposite end of the shiny glass and steel superstructure spectrum is the Wisconsin Field House, home of the Badgers' volleyball and wrestling teams.

Opened in 1930 and adjacent to the south end of Camp Randall, the cream-colored brick building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


"Playing in the Field House is one of the greatest parts of Badger volleyball," head coach Pete Waite said. "The size of our crowds and the history of the building are known nationwide. The Field House and the fans are two of the major reasons that top recruits say they want to play for Wisconsin."


Wisconsin is averaging 4,341 fans per match at the Field House, which ranks second nationally behind Hawaii.

It should be noted that there are hundreds of Division I men's basketball teams that don't average 4,300 fans.


It's barely 7:30 Saturday morning, but most of the Wisconsin men's basketball players are already dressed and ready 15 minutes early for a team meeting that will mark the official start of practice for the 2006-07 season.

One of the first players out of the dressing area is the Badgers' all-everything forward, Alando Tucker. The senior from Lockport, Ill., is a leading candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year and should show up on several All-America teams.


In his five years in Madison, Ryan's teams have won at least 19 games a season, including a school-record 25 wins in back-to-back seasons (2003-04 and 2004-05). But the Badgers are coming off of what some have described as a disappointing 19-win season -- which included the first winless postseason in Ryan's tenure.

When 19 wins and an NCAA Tournament appearance are viewed as negatives, the expectations surrounding this program have clearly changed. ...

Most preseason publications predict the Badgers to finish at or near the top of the Big Ten and also have them well into the upper half of the national top 25.

That helps to explain why Wisconsin's sellout streak will hit 71 games this season.


The highlight of homecoming weekend centered around football, and the centerpiece of the Badgers' football program is venerable Camp Randall Stadium.

Built in 1917, and originally a training ground for Civil War soldiers, it's the fourth oldest college-owned stadium. It recently received a nearly $110 million renovation, giving it a perfect blend of history and modern amenities...

Since 2004, Wisconsin is a Big Ten best 15-1 at home, with the only loss coming last season versus Iowa in Alvarez's final home game. ..

The easy win improved Wisconsin to 6-1 (3-1 Big Ten) and made the Badgers bowl-eligible on the earliest date in school history.