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December 2010 Archives

Badgers on to Friday of Game Week

The Badgers have now arrived at Friday of Game Week and their matchup with TCU is nearly here. However, there are still a few things to do before kickoff.

It all starts on Friday morning as head coach Bret Bielema conducts a press conference at 8:30 a.m. (PT). Then at noon, Bielema, John Moffitt, Gabe Carimi and Bill Nagy are set to take part in the Kickoff Luncheon in Parking Lot K at Rose Bowl Stadium.

The rest of the team then joins the aforementioned players at Rose Bowl Stadium at 2 p.m. for the team photo. The photo session lasts for an hour and a half before the team leaves for an hour practice at 4 p.m.

A look back at Wisconsin Women's Hockey in 2010

The 2010 calendar year was an exciting one for Wisconsin women's hockey. The team saw its ups and downs while sharing countless memorable moments. Relive some of the Badgers' most significant moments from the past year as UWBadgers.com retraces women's hockey in 2010.

Updates from Evanston: Day 2


EVANSTON, Ill. - The Wisconsin wrestling team enters the second and final day of the 48th annual Midlands Championships in second place with 58.5 points. Lehigh currently holds the top spot with 65.0 points while Iowa sits in third place with 52.5.

Redshirt sophomore Tyler Graff (133 lbs.), redshirt sophomore Cole Schmitt (149 lbs.), junior Andrew Howe (165 lbs.) and junior Travis Rutt (184 lbs.) are still in contention for the titles in their respective weight classes, while redshirt sophomore Ben Jordan (174 lbs.) is still vying for third place.

Media Day and Party at the Pier await Badgers on Thursday

It's a busy Thursday on tap for the Wisconsin football team. Things start early as the entire team and coaching staff takes part in the Rose Bowl's Media Day at 9:30 a.m. (PT). The entire session lasts for 30 minutes.

The team is then off until 1:30 p.m. when it has a 12-period practice at the Home Depot Center. Upon leaving the practice field, the Badgers are traveling to the famous Santa Monica Pier for the pep rally known as the "Party at the Pier" from 3-5 p.m.

Team endures blustery conditions, visits charities on Wednesday

Rain was in the forecast on Wednesday and early on in the day it looked like it was going to be a soggy practice as the rain came down all morning. Luckily for the Badgers, practice saw little to no precipitation at the Home Depot Center. Though the rain stayed away, the winds did not.

Temperatures seemed to hover anywhere between the low 50s and low 60s depending on whether the wind was blowing or whether the sun was behind the clouds. The winds remained pretty steady during the 16-period practice, though gusts were estimated up to 30 miles per hour. The team endured though and then headed off to donate their time to a trio of good causes.

Badgers in New Year's series

This weekend's Jan. 1 meeting with Northeastern marks the first New Year's Day game for the UW women's hockey team in program history. The closest Wisconsin has ever been to playing a game on the first of the year came in 2008 when the Badgers topped Minnesota State, 4-1, on the road Jan. 4. UW also played an exhibition game against the U.S. national team on Jan. 2, 2009.

Wisconsin is 7-3-1 in its first game of a new calendar year in 11 seasons of women's hockey. The 11 games include six WCHA matches (3-3-0) and two games each with Hockey East (1-0-1) and ECAC foes (2-0-0).

Blog: Updates from Evanston

Final Session I Results

EVANSTON, Ill. - The Wisconsin wrestling team is suited up and ready to go for the 2010 Midlands Championships at the Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill., today and tomorrow.

Allison Metcalf from the Wisconsin Athletics Communications office will provide updates throughout the first day on this page.

The Badger wrestlers left the hotel this this morning before the sun had risen at 6:15 a.m because all 32 participating teams had weigh-ins beginning at 7 a.m.

9:08 a.m. - I just received the bracket with Session I matchups. Session I begins at 9:30 a.m. (CT).

NOTE:  Please reference the official bracket at the end of the event for all official scores.

The Voice: Matchup has makings of a classic

The_Voice_Matt_Lepay_200.jpgBowls are great, but the media build-up can get a little old, right? Fans making the trip to Southern California should, and I am sure, will, enjoy everything they can, but no doubt everyone is eager to see the game begin.

After awhile, what else can we say or write? I guess that will not stop some of us from trying.

For weeks, some national observers have labeled this as the bowl season's second most intriguing game, just behind the BCS title matchup. You have the nation's number one defense facing an offense that steamrolled through the last three weeks of the regular season, averaging 67 points in trouncing Indiana, Michigan and Northwestern.

Then again, you have a TCU offense that, like the Badgers in the regular season, averaged 43 points a game, facing a defense that forced 16 turnovers in the final four games.

Both teams have dangerous return men. Wisconsin's David Gilreath turned in the play of the year with his opening kick return for a score against Ohio State, while the Horned Frogs Jeremy Kerley is the two-time Mountain West Conference special teams player of the year.

So many storylines. Some answers to key questions might seem clear. Other questions are more difficult to answer. Some are always in play during bowl games, while others are specific to this game:

Football team hopes to avoid rain on Wednesday

The weather has been nearly perfect so far on the Badgers' trip to Pasadena, but that is expected to come to an end on Wednesday as rain is in the forecast. The team is scheduled for an 18-period practice at 1:45 (PT) at the Home Depot Center.

Before that happens, defensive coordinator Dave Doeren, J.J. Watt, Culmer St. Jean, Blake Sorensen, Jay Valai and Aaron Henry are all taking part in a news conference at 9 a.m. (PT).

After practice, UW is going to spend the rest of the afternoon doing community service at the Boys and Girls Club, Five Acres (an organization that helps vulnerable children and families) and a local children's hospital.

Badgers practice on grass, take part in Lawry's Beef Bowl

IMG_7134_WEB.jpgThe Wisconsin football team took part in its third practice here in Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon, but it was the first on natural grass. Due to rain in the area prior to the team's arrival, the Badgers had to spend Sunday and Monday on field turf.

Wisconsin practiced for about 16 periods on Tuesday in front of several notables. Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit, the announcers for Saturday's Rose Bowl, were both in attendance, as were former USC head coach John Robinson, former Miami head coach Randy Shannon and current Fresno State coach Pat Hill.

Former Badgers Paul Standring, Taylor Mehlhaff, Darrin Charles and Jonathan Clinkscale also took in the practice session.

Lawry's Beef Bowl highlights Badgers' Tuesday

The Wisconsin football team heads back to the practice field on Tuesday for a 22-period session at the Home Depot Center at 1 p.m. (PT). The team has been on field turf the first two days of practice due to wet field conditions on the grass fields, but the team is hoping the grass fields will have dried out by tomorrow to allow them to get out there and better simulate the grass field of Rose Bowl Stadium.

After the Badgers' practice is over, the team heads directly to the Lawry's Beef Bowl where the team will take part in the 55th installment of the event.

Stay tuned to UWBadgers.com for complete coverage.

Badgers get motivational speech from Tommy Lasorda

I just returned from the Home Depot Center where the Badgers wrapped up their second practice here in California.

The team went for 22 periods in full pads under beautiful conditions. The sun was shining brightly all day and temperatures hovered between the mid-60s and low 70s. Linebacker Culmer St. Jean (from Naples, Fla.) said it wasn't hot at all, while running back John Clay (from Racine, Wis.) remarked that he could use a breeze or something.

Head coach Bret Bielema said the practice was similar to that of a normal Tuesday. It was a longer practice where the players were expected to up their effort. The team went through normal scout work, while also practicing on special teams and other phases of the game.

The highlight came at the end of practice though, as the Badgers were greeted by special guest speaker, Tommy Lasorda. The former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers spoke to the team for about five minutes sharing anecdotes and offering advice. His biggest piece of advice to the guys was to execute. If they executed, Lasorda said, they should have success.

And Lasorda should know, he's spoken to the Badgers' previous three Rose Bowl teams, sporting a 3-0 record.

The players are on an organized team outing tonight but are back at it tomorrow.

Back to practice on Monday

After a busy first full day in Los Angeles, things quiet down for the Wisconsin football team on Monday.

The team had a practice and a trip to Disneyland on Sunday, but Monday is highlighted by a 22-period practice beginning at 12:45 p.m. (PT). After practice, the players will then shoot their individual headshots that will appear on the video board during the Rose Bowl.

At night, the players have an organized team outing to wrap up the day.

Check back to UWBadgers.com tomorrow for updates as well as interviews from members of the Wisconsin offense.

First day of practice capped with trip to Disneyland

DSCI0139_WEB.jpgGameweek is finally here and the Badgers got down to business with their first on-site practice. The team went for 15 periods at the Home Depot Center on Sunday afternoon. The practice consisted largely of scout team and special teams work.

After the team's practice, the Badgers were shuttled due to Disneyland to spend the afternoon at the park. Upon arrival, head coach Bret Bielema, Scott Tolzien, Gabe Carimi, Culmer St. Jean and Jay Valai took part in a welcoming ceremony along with members from TCU.

The players then had four hours to explore the park before a team dinner was held at the ESPN Zone. The top floor was reserved for the team to eat and play all sorts of video games for an hour.

Be sure to check out the photo galleries from the day as well as the practice video to see an interview with Lance Kendricks.

Badgers set for first practice, Disneyland on Sunday

Saturday's day of travel has come and gone with relative ease.

Now the team looks toward Sunday and its first practice in California. The Badgers have an hour practice at 11:15 a.m. (PT) while the rest of the day sees the team head to Disneyland.

The players will be at the park from about 2-7 p.m., with head coach Bret Bielema, Scott Tolzien, Gabe Carimi, Culmer St. Jean and Jay Valai taking part in a press conference from 2-2:30 p.m.

Be sure to check back to UWBadgers.com throughout the day for more updates.

Team arrives in L.A.

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The Wisconsin football team has arrived safely in Los Angeles, touching down at about 2:45 local time.

It was a pretty easy three and a half hour flight. The large plane came equipped with video-on-demand in the headrests and it looked as though most of the guys chose either Inception or Robin Hood. I'm pretty sure I did see at least one guy watching Toy Story 3, though.

Team arrives in L.A.

The Wisconsin football team has arrived safely in Los Angeles, touching down at about 2:45 local time.

It was a pretty easy three and a half hour flight. The large plane came equipped with video-on-demand in the headrests and it looked as though most of the guys chose either Inception or Robin Hood. I'm pretty sure I did see at least one guy watching Toy Story 3, though.

Departure day is finally here

DSCI0133.jpgWell it's Christmas morning and while most families are busy opening presents, the Wisconsin football team is gearing up final preparations for the 2011 Rose Bowl. The team is leaving here from Camp Randall Stadium in about 45 minutes and the flight is scheduled to leave Madison around 1 p.m. As you can see above, the buses are ready to go.

As staff dropped off their bags in the McClain Center, the team had just taken the field for some conditioning prior to departure. The guys all seemed to be in good spirits.

The team is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles around 4 p.m. (PT). Head coach Bret Bielema is to address the media once the team gets to the hotel so you may want to watch your local news to see what he has to say.

There is a Christmas dinner tonight at 6:30 (PT) for the entire team and staff, but the rest of the night is wide open for people.

This is just the first of many blog entries on the trip, so stay tuned to UWBadgers.com for more coverage of the Badgers' time in Pasadena.

Lucas at Large: What Christmas means to the Badgers

It was Christmas and Aaron Henry had his heart set on some Jordans - Air Jordans - Michael Jordan basketball shoes. The price was around $150.

"But my mother couldn't afford them,'' Henry said.

Was he mad?

"Not at all,'' he emphasized. "I have some younger sisters and I was more worried about my mom buying them something. I was at an age where I really wasn't into receiving.

"My mom wasn't able to get the Jordans for me that Christmas. But she eventually got them for me. Giving rather than receiving was kind of the theme or the model in our household.''

Henry, a starting safety on the UW football team, reflected on Christmas Past.

"A lot of times my mom and grandmother didn't have a whole lot of money to buy us presents,'' he said. "There were a couple of Christmases where I received one or two things. And there were a couple of Christmases where I didn't get anything at all. I understood the situation financially.

"As I got older, I really didn't expect things for Christmas. It was more about the spirit and the love - for me and my family it was a time to come together. Christmas wasn't about the presents. We'd always go to church and make food and give it out to the homeless. It was more about the giving.

"At the end of the day, some people make Christmas into a competition with each other where they're trying to impress people with what they buy and they're more concerned about who has the best presents. Christmas should be about love, especially when you really don't know if all of your family members will be there for the next Christmas. Christmas is for enjoying your family.''

Henry will be with his Badger family this Christmas.  "Yes, sir, I will enjoy it - yes sir, it's very neat,'' he said, looking forward to Saturday's departure for Pasadena and the Rose Bowl.

UW middle linebacker Culmer St. Jean, like Henry, is not big on gifts.

"I always appreciated and cherished whatever I got at Christmas--I'm a person who always tries to give back,'' said St. Jean, a senior." My mom and dad didn't have all the money in the world. They worked hard and whatever they gave me was whatever they could give me. And that was enough.''

St. Jean has a 1-year-old daughter in Naples, Fla. "I do wish I could be home right now for her and my nephews and nieces,'' he said. "But my daughter was here for my graduation last Sunday. It's a little sad not being with her. She doesn't understand now, but she'll understand when she's older.''

She'll understand that her daddy started and played in a Rose Bowl.

Henry and St. Jean are among those players who will not have a chance to go home for Christmas Eve. Many others will have that option depending on their proximity to Madison.

Everybody will be expected to report to UW strength coach Ben Herbert for "conditioning" at 10:30 a.m. on Christmas Day. The team charter is scheduled to leave Madison at 1 p.m.

"In our last team meeting,'' said UW coach Bret Bielema, "we asked if anybody didn't have a place to go for Christmas Eve. And nobody raised their hand. Many of our local kids will grab some of our players who live out-of-state and treat them to a little bit of the holiday season.

"When we get to Pasadena on Christmas Day, we'll have a team meal. And being the giving guy that I am, I'm giving them the whole night to themselves. There will be no curfew. But the Grinch inside me tells me that there won't be many places open on Christmas night.''

So what was on Bielema's wish list for Christmas when he was a youngster?

"I wanted a new shovel and a pair of gloves or boots and I usually got them,'' said Bielema, who grew up on a pig farm in Illinois. "You accepted what you had and I didn't know what I didn't know.  When we were trying to stay warm on those cold days, a pair of gloves and boots worked.''

It speaks to Bielema's blue-collar approach to coaching. Given the amount of preparation that has gone into finalizing a game plan for a Rose Bowl appearance, Bielema had a simple game plan for his Christmas Eve."I'm going to sit at home,'' he said, "turn my phone off and never leave the house.''

Women's hockey wish list

UWBadgers.com talked to the women's hockey team to find out what items are on the Badgers' wish lists this year.

UW men's soccer wish list

UWBadgers.com talked to members of the men's soccer team to find out what the Badgers want for Christmas this year.

Moffitt named 2010 Walter Camp "Connecticut Player of the Year"

Read the full release

- Wisconsin senior offensive lineman John Moffitt has been chosen as the 2010 Walter Camp "Connecticut Player of the Year," the Walter Camp Football Foundation announced on Thursday. The award is given annually to the top college football player who is a resident of the state of Connecticut.

Moffitt, who was a first-team All-American by the Associated Press and a first-team All-Big Ten selection, becomes the fourth Badger to take home the award. He joins Antajj Hawthorne, Bobby Myers and fellow West Haven Notre Dame-alum Tarek Saleh.

Josephs, Zgraja selected for Canada's IIHF U-18 championship team

Future Badgers Katy Josephs (Calgary, Alberta) and Katarina Zgraja (Waterloo, Ontario) have been chosen to represent Canada at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Women's Under-18 Championship as part of Canada's National Women's Under-18 Team, Hockey Canada announced this week. Josephs and Zgraja have already signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Wisconsin and play hockey for the Badgers beginning in the 2011-12 season.

Lucas at Large: Tolzien gets Rose Bowl advice from Tide's McElroy

UW quarterback Scott Tolzien received an early scouting report on what to expect when he steps on the field in the Rose Bowl from Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy who experienced the environment last season while leading the Tide to a 37-21 win over Texas in the 2010 BCS National Championship game.

After cracking two ribs in the SEC title game, McElroy was limited against the Longhorns and completed only 6-of-11 passes for 58 yards while being sacked five times. Still, he managed to put the ball in the hands of his tailbacks, Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, who combined to rush for 225 yards.

McElroy has always been associated with the phrase, "game manager." That has also applied to Tolzien during his two seasons as a starter at Wisconsin.

Statistically, they are very comparable in 2010.

Tolzien has completed 74 percent of his passes (182-of-245) for 2,300 yards. He has thrown for 16 touchdowns and been intercepted six times.

McElroy has completed 71 percent of his passes (209-of-296) for 2,767 yards. He has thrown for 19 touchdowns and been intercepted five times.

Tolzien ranks No. 4 nationally in passing efficiency (169.80).

McElroy ranks No. 6 nationally in passing efficiency (166.94).

(Note: Tolzien and McElroy sandwich TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Andy Dalton, who ranks No. 5 nationally in passing efficiency.)

Tolzien got to meet McElroy in New York City, where they were among 16 players honored by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame as national scholar-athletes. Each receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.

The Voice: Playing the Big Ten name game

The_Voice_Matt_Lepay_200.jpgSo it appears the early returns on the new Big Ten football division names are not exactly favorable. Leaders and Legends seem about as popular an idea around here as a Brett Favre tribute at Lambeau, or a Brad Childress Appreciation Day in Minneapolis.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said on WGN Radio last week that league is measuring the sustainability and taking feedback. Who knew this would be so involved?

One thing about my business that can be annoying (actually there are many, but it's the holiday season, so I won't go there today) is we are quick to pounce on something we don't like -- but how many serious suggestions do we make to solve the problem?

I have to admit, some of the smart aleck ideas are good for a chuckle. One of my favorites came from a caller to our local radio show last week (Lucas and Lepay on 1070 WTSO in Madison--shameless self-promotion).

The caller suggested we call the divisions "Six of One" and "Half Dozen of the Other." (I'll leave his name out ... but you hear him a lot at football and basketball home games!)

Other "helpful" suggestions include "Great Taste" and "Less Filling," "Dumb" and "Dumber" and other such ideas with varying degrees of humor.

Today, maybe we can put our heads together, and rather than make fun of the problem, we can be part of the solution. I'll throw out some ideas, but we at UWBadgers.com would love to hear yours. It would be great if they were legit thoughts, but if they are truly funny (and clean), go ahead and send 'em our way.

Holidays with the men's soccer team

In the holiday spirit, UWBadgers.com caught up with Max Jentsch (Hartland, Wis.), Nick Janus (Deer Park, Ill.) and Ryan Vint (Plymouth, Minn.) of the Badger men's soccer team to find out how the team celebrates the holiday season.

Holidays with the women's hockey team

In the holiday spirit, UWBadgers.com caught up with freshman Kelly Jaminski (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.), and juniors Brooke Ammerman (River Vale, N.J.) and Nikki Kaasa (St. Cloud, Minn.) of the Badger women's hockey team to find out how the team celebrates the holiday season.

2010 Big Ten Men's Soccer Season in Review

The Big Ten Conference released its 2010 Big Ten Men's Soccer Season in Review. Check out the full release from www.bigten.org.

Michigan's first NCAA College Cup appearance capped off the 2010 Big Ten men's soccer season, which saw five conference teams advance to the NCAA round of 16. The 10th-seeded Wolverines competed in its first national semifinal, dropping a 2-1 decision to eventual national champion Akron. Justin Meram scored his tournament-leading fifth goal in the second minute of the match, but the third-seeded Zips notched two unanswered to earn the win.

Football team honored by Baldwin via House Resolution

The Wisconsin football team has been getting a lot of recognition for its 2010 season, but Friday took things to another level as Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, representing Wisconsin's second district, introduced H.Res. 1767, a House resolution commending the Wisconsin Badger football team for an outstanding season and for their 2011 Rose Bowl bid. The resolution garnered bipartisan support.

Baldwin praised not just team members' success on the field, but their academic successes, as well. She also singled out the leadership of UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin, Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, Coach Bret Bielema, and Offensive Coordinator Paul Chryst.

Follow the link to read and see video Baldwin's full statement.

Bostad honored as Offensive Line Coach of the Year

Offensive Line Coach of the Year

Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad has been recognized by FootballScoop.com as its 2010 FootballScoop Offensive Line Coach of the Year, the site announced on Thursday.

Head coach Bret Bielema praised Bostad for his work with the running game this season.

"What we do on the offensive line doesn't just happen by chance," he told the site. "Coach Bostad recruits offensive linemen that love playing football the way that we do. Our offensive line is one of the hardest working groups on our team.

"At Wisconsin, we put our offensive line in leadership roles and we lean on the offensive line as the foundation of our football family. This is a tremendous honor for Coach Bostad and very well deserved."

Averaging 247.3 rushing yards per game, Wisconsin holds the No. 12 rushing attack in the country. No other team in the country can match the three 800-yard rushers that the Badgers have. In the last three weeks of the regular season, Wisconsin rushed for 1,024 yards and scored 17 rushing touchdowns.

With 64 more rushing yards from John Clay and 136 more from Montee Ball, Wisconsin would become the first team in FBS history to boast three 1,000-yard running backs in the same season. Freshman James White already has rushed for 1,029 yards on the year.

With the Rose Bowl still to be played, the Wisconsin offense has already broken school records for rushing touchdowns in a season (46) and points in a season (520). In addition, the team is on pace to break the mark for average yards per carry, total offense and points per game.

Bostad also oversaw the development of a pair of All-Americans this season. Gabe Carimi, the 2010 Outland Trophy winner, was a consensus All-American, while John Moffitt was first-team All-American by the Associated Press.

For their play, six Badgers were recognized as All-Big Ten, including Carimi and Moffitt, who were each consensus first-team members.

Holhbein selected in MLS Re-Entry Draft

Former Badger Aaron Holhbein (Middleton, Wis.) was chosen by the Columbus Crew in the second selection of Stage 1 of the 2010 MLS-Re-Entry Draft last week.

Blog: Wrestling Practice in Photos

Photos: Dec. 15, 2010 Practice

MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Wrestling team is now 5-0 in dual action after most recently defeating Northern Iowa last Saturday, 23-14.

Meyer interviewed by The Morning Swim Show

Wisconsin senior Maggie Meyer took part in a video interview on Swimming World's The Morning Swim Show last Friday.

Over the five-minute interview, Meyer talks about her performance at the Texas Invitational, her technique, her chances at the NCAA championships and much more.

Watch the full interview below.

The Voice: A time to look back, and ahead

The_Voice_Matt_Lepay_200.jpgAnd now, a slight break in the action, at least in much of the world of Wisconsin athletics. Not a bad time to pause and reflect on some of what has happened so far, and what may lie ahead.

Early in the football season, I thought the Badgers were pretty good, but not an elite team. As they prepare for the Rose Bowl, they certainly have a chance to become part of the elite. Being a Big Ten champion is a REALLY good step, and if they can take the next step and beat third-ranked TCU in Pasadena, the Badgers certainly would be considered among the elite for the 2010 season.

It is at this time when it might be fun to be a bug on the wall in a team or position group meeting. No doubt for the past couple of weeks the players have been getting numerous pats on the back, with fans telling them how great they are. Given the long layoff between games, it can be an easy trap. This is where coaches play the role of humblers. Actually, they probably have been doing that throughout the season, especially since the Ohio State game, but I would guess at least some of the assistants have been ready to turn it up a notch.

At least one concern a coach generally has is that a team will get a little too full of itself, forgetting there is still a job to be done. I seriously doubt that this will become an issue. This team is as likeable and is as grounded a group as I have ever been around, led by coaches who are ready and willing to make sure they stay that way.

It never hurts to know you are the underdog, which is the case in this game.

Lucas at Large: Alvarez focused on bowl prep, not name game

You probably wouldn't have found "Legends" and "Leaders" on UW athletic director Barry Alvarez' list of potential names for the new divisions in the Big Ten. Then, again, you probably wouldn't have found a list, either.

"I really didn't get very involved in the process, and I didn't have a strong feeling on the names," Alvarez said. "I understand how they came up with 'Legends' and 'Leaders' and I'm fine with it."

Alvarez paused and added, "I know it's important, but I'm more of a meat and potatoes guy. I'm more concerned with how we block and tackle.''

Hence, he's looking forward to seeing how the UW matches up with TCU in the Rose Bowl. You would expect that out of someone who coached the Badgers for 16 seasons and was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Leading up to the actual playing of the game on Jan. 1, he's also dealing with the "meat and potatoes" of his job: the bottom line. In this context, he's keeping tabs on the logistics of designating an official travel party and expenses.

"We will not exceed our budget," he stressed.

Alvarez is sensitive to the scrutiny inherent to such bowl ventures. Especially when it involves taking a team to Pasadena and the Rose Bowl. The demand always exceeds the supply, whether for tickets or transparency.

The Badgers will be accommodating in all areas, Alvarez said.

"The people we will be taking from within the athletic department will all be in a working capacity on the trip," Alvarez said. "Every staff member will have an obligation at the bowl site due to the additional demands of a BCS game.

"We have established guidelines we will stick to. So does the Big Ten regarding the designation of an official travel party. In some cases, there are substitutions. People need to know there's a rhyme and reason to how it's done.

"I know there's a lot of scrutiny that goes along with the Rose Bowl. People on the outside want to know why specific people are going on the trip, and why they are in the travel party. We want to be transparent on all fronts."

Alvarez emphasized that the No. 1 priority will be the players and the coaches and their families. "People will have the opportunity to go to Pasadena because of our football program," he said.

To this end, he wants to make sure the players enjoy the experience, first and foremost. "But in the same sense," he said, "we want them to understand they're there to win a football game, and we will never lose sight of that."

Spoken like an Ol' Ball Coach.

"Our fans were another high priority," he said. "Every donor and season ticket-holder who requested tickets received a minimum of four tickets. We wanted to make sure we took care of our patrons. And we were able to do that."

Finals week with the Badgers

UWBadgers.com caught up with members of the women's hockey team to learn just how the Badgers prepare for finals and what their routine is like during finals week.

Doeren named head coach at Northern Illinois

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren has been named the head coach at Northern Illinois, it was announced on Monday.

Doeren spent five seasons at Wisconsin, including the past three as defensive coordinator. He joined the UW staff in 2006 and spent his first two season as the Badgers' co-defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator.

This season, the Rose Bowl-bound Badgers rank in the top 30 nationally in rushing, passing, scoring and total defense. The team ranks 22nd in the nation in total defense, yielding 323.5 yards per game.

Last year Doeren guided one of the top defenses in the country as the Badgers finished 10-3. Wisconsin led the Big Ten and ranked fifth in the country in rushing defense, allowing just 88.2 yards per game on the ground.

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema and Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez offered their thoughts on Doeren.

"Northern Illinois is getting not only a great coach, but a great family with Dave's wife, Sara, and their three boys," Bielema said. "Dave was one of my first hires at Wisconsin and he has been one of the major reasons we have had success.

"He has given us five great years of service and has represented Wisconsin football very well in our community and across the country. It was only a matter of time before Dave became a head coach and I wish him all the best in every game next year, but one."

Wisconsin and Northern Illinois are scheduled to play each other next season at Soldier Field in Chicago on Nov. 17.

"I'm pleased for Dave," said Alvarez. "He's a young, energetic and knowledgeable football coach. He's done a tremendous job with our defense here the past five years and he will do a good job for Northern Illinois."

Northern Illinois issued its official announcement on Monday.

Lucas at Large: Finding the 'Old Rob'

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - UW associate head coach Greg Gard doesn't like to dwell on the past. But he felt it was important to remind Rob Wilson of the positive history that he had with Marquette two years ago in the Bradley Center.

As a true freshman, Wilson came off the bench and accounted for seven points and five rebounds in 20 productive minutes against the Golden Eagles.

"The TV announcers talked about Rob and the words that they used to describe him were 'aggressive' and 'fearless,''' Gard said. "I told Rob if I was broadcasting a game right now, I would not use those two adjectives.''

Wilson_vs_Marquette.jpgThat's because Wilson has been tentative with his play since the beginning of the season when he was slowed by a hamstring injury. That cost him valuable practice time and minutes in the two exhibitions and first two games.

So instead of getting an opportunity to build some confidence against the likes of UW-La Crosse, Minnesota State, Prairie View A&M and North Dakota, he missed all four games and didn't see his first action until Nov. 20 at UNLV.

"It's all about me getting back into the routine now and sticking to the rules (on defense),'' said Wilson, a 6-foot-4 junior guard from Cleveland. "Once I get back on the same page with the guys, I feel like everything will be good.''

Wilson may have taken the first step towards becoming what Gard described as the "old Rob'' during Saturday's 69-64 win at Marquette. Wilson played 16 minutes and had three points, four rebounds and a steal.

"It always feels good to be out there - doing something to help the team win,'' Wilson said afterward. "I didn't want to take a step backward.''

Gard acknowledged that over the last few days of practice the "old Rob'' had begun emerging again. "He's a soft-spoken kid,'' Gard said. "And we're trying to get him to be more aggressive and play without thinking. It's a process.''

To earn more minutes - and earn is the operative word - the Badgers would like to see Wilson apply himself more consistently on the defensive end.

"He needs to be consistently aggressive,'' Gard said. "What put him behind some other guys defensively was that he got real tentative at times. And when he paused on how we guard certain actions or certain players, people were able to get open shots. We have to have guys who can get things done every possession.''

Message received. Wilson understands where he needs to take his game. "Coach Gard is always in my ear because he sees that I'm not playing the way they know I can play,'' Wilson said. "It's always good to have someone pushing.''

UW coach Bo Ryan used 12 players against Marquette and everybody contributed to one degree or another - underlining this team's bench strength.

"That's what we've been hoping for while we've been developing the bench,'' Ryan said. "They might not have seen a whole lot of minutes in some of the games. But Rob (Wilson) has been working his way back in practice.

"Jared (Berggren) has been doing some really good things in practice, too. So the fact we used those two plus Ben (Brust) - and everyone else off the bench - they were able to keep believing in each other. And that was contagious.''

Berggren had eight points in nine minutes against the Golden Eagles.

"I think that can be a strength of our team this year,'' Berggren said of the UW bench. "We have a lot of guys who can play. As long as we stay ready and step up when our name is called, I think we can do some good things.''

Asked about Wilson's contributions, Berggren said, "He was hurt early in the year and missed some time in practice. But he's catching up. We're going to need him down the stretch. It's good to see him playing well.''

After Saturday's win, Wilson sounded and looked confident - another adjective that may restore the Old Rob.

Lawler serves Badgers in coaching role

The Daily Cardinal caught up with former Badger Erika Lawler, who is currently serving as a student assistant coach with the UW women's hockey team. Check out the great article that appeared this week:

"Lawler still contributing to team even after her time on the roster has passed," Dec. 8, 2010

Badger Herald reflects on Johnson's hockey legacy

Check out a great article about head coach Mark Johnson's hockey career that appeared in the Badger Herald this week:

"Johnson adding to his already distinguished legacy," Dec. 8, 2010

Three incoming Badgers invited to Canada's U-18 Selection Camp

Three future Badgers have been invited to Canada's National Women's Under-18 Team selection camp slated for Dec. 17-19 at the MasterCard Center in Toronto, Ontario.

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The lobby of the W Hotel was a Who's Who of college football Monday afternoon. Lou Holtz was holding court for UW athletic director Barry Alvarez, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, and Arizona head coach Mike Stoops. Also joining the group was Jay Norvell, the co-offensive coordinator for the Sooners and a former Alvarez assistant with the Badgers.

Later that night, Alvarez was honored during a reception at Maldney & Porchelli (a steakhouse on East 50th Street between Park and Madison Avenues). The guest list was impressive.

In one corner of the room was South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and his wife, Bob Stoops and his wife, and former Iowa coach Hayden Fry and his wife. In another corner of the room were Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and the conference's director of officiating, Bill Carollo.

You couldn't walk anywhere in the room without bumping into a former Alvarez player, including Troy Vincent, Vitaly Pisetsky, Chris McIntosh, Tarek Saleh, Matt Bernstein, Chad Cascadden, Jim Sorgi, Brooks Bollinger and Travis Beckum.

UW head coach Bret Bielema was there, so was his offensive coordinator, Paul Chryst. Pat Richter was there, so was Al Toon. Henry Mason was there, so was Chuck Heater.

Alvarez had friends there from his hometown of Burgettstown (David Vallina, Phil Mavrich and Pat Gallagher). And he had friends there from one of his first coaching stops, Mason City, Iowa (Scott Raridon and Ed Lenius). Mostly he had friends there. Here, there, everywhere.

He had plenty of family there, too - wife Cindy and the kids and the grandkids.

Holtz spoke. So did UW chancellor Biddy Martin. Richter spoke. So did Commissioner Delany. Bollinger spoke - from the heart - and twice had to stop to collect himself after being overcome with emotion. Might have been one of the most heartfelt tribunes I've ever heard.

Alvarez spoke, of course. And Tuesday night, he spoke again during a black tie banquet at the Waldorf Astoria. Alvarez spoke for all of the members of the 2010 college football Hall of Fame class. And that speaks volumes for Barry Alvarez - Hall of Fame coach.

Saturday's morning session sees Badgers earn five 'B' times

Results  |  Saturday night's finals (video)

AUSTIN, Texas - On the morning of the final day of competition at the Texas Invitational, the Wisconsin men's and women's swimming and diving teams captured five more NCAA 'B' consideration times.

In addition, six Badgers earned a spot in Saturday night's 'A' finals, while 36 total swimmers advanced to the finals in their respective events.

Senior Maggie Meyer, having already set the school record in the 100-yard backstroke this weekend, broke the school's mark in the 200-yard backstroke on Saturday morning. Her time of 1:54.39 goes down as the fastest time of the day and tops the old UW record of 1:54.95, which Meyer set at the NCAA Championships last season.

Meyer was one of two swimmers to pick up an NCAA consideration time and a spot in the 'A' finals in the 100-yard freestyle. Both Meyer and Beckie Thompson each won their heats, doing so in times of 49.08 and 49.39, respectively.

Junior Ashley Wanland earned a spot in the 'A' finals for the second night in a row as she earned a 'B' time of 2:12.42, the fourth-fastest time swam in the 200-yard breaststroke.

On the men's side, Dan Lester and Marcus Guttmann both punched their tickets to the 'A' finals in the 200-yard butterfly. Lester picked up a 'B' time with a 1:44.12 showing, while Guttmann came in at 1:49.64.

Saturday night will feature three Badgers in the 1650-yard freestyle event, though all earned a spot in the finals and did not compete in the preliminaries on Saturday morning. Danielle Beckwith is set to compete for the women's team, while Guttmann and Tyler Hines are up for the men.

One relay race is on the docket for the finals, as the 400-yard freestyle relay will close out the Texas Invitational.

The finals start at 6 p.m. with live stats and video available through TexasSports.com. Check back to UWBadgers.com for complete results.

Meyer earns another auto bid, team adds four consideration times


AUSTIN, Texas - Less than 12 hours after senior Maggie Meyer broke the school record and picked up an automatic qualifying time as the leadoff of the 400-yard medley relay, she earned another auto bid in the 100-yard backstroke during Friday morning's prelims.

Meyer, who swam the equivalent of the 100 back as the lead leg last night in 51.66, posted a time of 52.44 en route to winning her heat and earning the top seed for Friday night's finals.

In addition to Meyer's 'A' time, four Badgers picked up 'B' times as well during the morning session. In all, the Badgers will have 40 participants in the finals, including seven that are set to compete in the 'A' finals.

Joining Meyer in the 'A' finals of the 100 back is junior Amie Osten. She earned a consideration time by taking second in her heat with a showing of 54.20.

Also earning spots in the 'A' finals were Monika Stitski for the 400-yard IM and Ashley Wanland for the 100-yard breaststroke. Stitski posted a time of 4:19.90, while Wanland swam the seventh-fastest time in the country this year with a mark of 1:00.37.

On the men's side, UW will have three competitors in the 'A' finals for the 400-yard IM as Dan Lester, Sam Rowan and Michael Weiss all finished among the top eight. Lester posted a 'B' time of 3:48.09, while Rowan came in at 3:56.15 and Weiss at 3:57.27.

Friday's finals begin at 6 p.m. and live video will be provided by TexasSports.com. Check back to UWBadgers.com Friday night for complete results.

Swimming and diving nets 10 qualifying times in opening session

Session I Results

AUSTIN, Texas - The opening session at the Texas Invitational has been completed and the Badgers' swimming and diving teams posted 10 NCAA 'B' qualifying times while putting seven swimmers through to the 'A' finals later Thursday night.

Sophomore Dan Lester had the highlight of the day as he posted the second-fastest time of the year in the nation in the 100-yard butterfly, coming in with a mark of 46.70. The time was just .16 off of the school record set by Scott Rice in 2008. Lester also qualified individually for the 'A' final of the 200-yard IM.

The Badgers will have two athletes competing in the 'A' final of the 50-yard freestyle as Maggie Meyer and Beckie Thompson tied for second overall with a 22.53 mark, the fastest time posted by a UW swimmer this season.

Karlyn Hougan posted a season-best time of 54.00 in the 100-yard butterfly to make the 'A' final, while Laura Miller swam to a time of 2:01.43 to make the 'A' final of the 200 IM.

Also competing in an 'A' final tonight is Michael Weiss. He swam the seventh-fastest time in the 500-yard freestyle, coming in at 4:27.63.

Check back to UWBadgers.com later Thursday night for a complete recap of the day's events.

Lucas at Large: Badgers top NC State to get to Elite Eight

Alando Tucker called it the "worst half of basketball'' that he had experienced at Wisconsin.

Sharif Chambliss said the Badgers just "went through the motions.''

UW coach Bo Ryan ordered his players to "slow down.''

That was the backdrop to Wisconsin's spirited second half rally against North Carolina State in the Syracuse Regional semifinals of the 2005 NCAA basketball tournament.

For 20 minutes, the No. 6 seeded Badgers looked nothing like the Sweet 16 team that had knocked off Northern Iowa and Bucknell in the first and second rounds.

They had 11 turnovers and zero assists.

They made just seven of 18 field goal attempts.

They gave up 10 points in transition to North Carolina State.

They trailed 30-21 at halftime.

"We were a little too quick,'' Bo Ryan said. "Too quick with our feet. Too quick with our minds. We were racing just a little bit too fast.''

What was said during the intermission break?

"We got into each other,'' said Chambliss, a senior guard. "There were four or five people who were throwing fists and elbows in the locker room.''

He then removed his tongue from his cheek and stressed, "I'm just joking.''

It was no laughing matter for senior Mike Wilkinson, one of the most consistent players on the team, who suffered through a miserable first half: six points, five turnovers and two fouls.

"We totally got away from how we're used to playing in the first half,'' said UW guard Clayton Hanson. "I don't know what it was but we did some things that were uncharacteristic of us.''

The Badgers returned to form in the opening five minutes of the second half.

The first basket was scored by Hanson, who knocked down the UW's first triple of the night. The execution was flawless; a sign of things to come for the Badgers in the Carrier Dome.

The ball was entered to the post and Wilkinson, who drew a double-team on the right block. Wilkinson kept his poise and kicked a pass to the top of the key and Zach Morley, who reversed the ball to the left wing and Hanson. The extra pass made the difference in getting an open look.

"In the second half,'' Ryan said, "we played the way we've tried to play all year.''

On the strength of consecutive 3-pointers from Hanson, along with one from Chambliss, and the inside play of Wilkinson and Tucker, the Badgers staggered the Wolfpack with an offensive flurry.

Tucker was virtually unstoppable, scoring eight straight points during one run.

"When I'm in a stretch like that, you just want to keep going,'' said Tucker, who sparked the UW into a 47-37 lead. "Guys kept feeding me and I was hot. When we're down, I have to pull us up.''

The Badgers shot 58 percent (14 of 24) in the second half.

Tucker finished with a game-high 22, and Wilkinson added 17.

"We had a good time in the second half,'' said Chambliss, who returned to Madison this year to be the video coordinator on Ryan's staff. "We just went out and played ball.''

Nobody had a better game defensively than Hanson, the senior from Reedsburg, who was matched against North Carolina State's marquee player, Julius Hodge, a senior from Harlem.

Hodge clearly looked frustrated at times and managed to convert on just 4-of-16 shots. Hodge's first basket came on a put-back after which he woofed, "This guy can't guard me.''

Hanson didn't back down.

Instead, he helped shut down Hodge.

"It was a team effort,'' Hanson said.

The victory over N.C. State advanced the Badgers into the Regional finals where they were eliminated by the North Carolina Tar Heels, who went on to win the national championship.

Beating the Wolfpack and getting to the Elite Eight was still a meaningful accomplishment.

Especially since the UW's 25th win matched the school record.

"The lack of respect that we have been getting all year,'' Morley said, "has really blown up in a lot of people's faces because nobody thought we'd be this successful.''

(Wednesday night, the Badgers and the Wolfpack will meet for the first time since Syracuse - and only the second time overall - as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at the Kohl Center.)

What they are saying

Wisconsin split a series with Minnesota Duluth at the Kohl Center last weekend. The Badgers won a dramatic 3-2 overtime game Friday but fell to the Bulldogs, 3-1, in Sunday's game. Senior Meghan Duggan and sophomore Brianna Decker led the Badgers with three points each on two goals and one assist in the series. Junior Hilary Knight also had three points on three assists. Read all about what they are saying about last weekend's series.

Lucas at Large: Gasser growing through ups and downs

Following Monday's practice, UW guard Josh Gasser grabbed a basketball and a retriever (Evan Anderson) and shot a series of jumpers from beyond the 3-point arc.

After making two out of his first four attempts from 3-point distance in the season opener, Gasser has made just one of his last 13 shots from beyond the arc.

Typical of his play so far, Gasser is confident that he will find his range soon.

"When you're only taking two or three outside shots a game making that first one is kind of crucial and that's what I've got to do,'' said Gasser, who has attempted only six 3-pointers over the last three games. "I've been struggling a little bit. But it will come back. I'm not worried about it.''

That's the type of attitude that has endeared Gasser to UW coach Bo Ryan, who has shown plenty of confidence in his true freshman. Gasser, a starter, is averaging the most minutes among Big Ten freshmen with 29 minutes of playing time per game.

So what has Gasser learned after his six-game exposure to college basketball?

"You have to think quickly - that's pretty much the main thing,'' said Gasser, who averaged a double-double in points and rebounds each of the past three years at Port Washington High School.

"Once you get the ball, you've got to go. You've got to be aggressive offensively. Even if you're struggling a little, you still have to make yourself a threat to help out Jon and Jordan.''

The reference was to Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor, who are one-two in scoring. In fact, Leuer (18.2 points per game) and Taylor (13.2) are the only UW players averaging in double-digits.

"The scouting reports are focused on Jon and Jordan which obviously they should be,'' said Gasser, who's the third-leading scorer with a 9.2 average. "That leaves the rest of us more open.

"So when we get shots, we have to knock them down. When we get attacking lanes (to the basket), we have to take advantage of that, too.''

Like most first-year players, Gasser is adjusting to how each game is being officiated. "Some games they let you play a little bit and it's physical,'' he said. "Sometimes they call it a little tighter.''

The biggest adjustment for Gasser has come at the defensive end.

"Guys are so much quicker and stronger and athletic, so you can't take a play off and you always have to be alert,'' Gasser said. "Guards are crashing the boards hard so you have to find a body.''

That's one area where Gasser has excelled. He's averaging 5.5 rebounds.

Gasser's resolve will be put to the test Wednesday night against North Carolina State which features two very highly touted freshmen guards, 6-foot-5 Lorenzo Brown and 6-1 Ryan Harrow.

Brown leads the Wolfpack in points, minutes, assists and steals.

Gasser's learning curve will be accelerated. But he has been preparing for it.

That's why he was putting up those extra shots after Monday's practice.