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Santa Claus has come to town

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There is no chimney at the McClain Center, but that didn't stop Santa Claus from paying a surprise visit to the Wisconsin football team after the Badgers' practice session Monday morning. Santa brought candy canes, hats and, perhaps most importantly, a little levity as the team continued through the early stages of Finals Week.

Check out the full gallery of photos from Santa's visit on the Wisconsin Football Facebook page.

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Infographic: Badgers cage 'Cats in 35-6 win

A graphical look at Wisconsin's 35-6 Homecoming win over No. 19 Northwestern at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday:

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Badgers 'Shave to Save' with help of children's hospital patients

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- Photo Gallery: Shave to Save

Several Badgers lost their hair on Thursday in the hope of helping gain awareness for the patients battling childhood cancer at the American Family Children's Hospital.

Eight members of the UW football team put their hair in the hands of patients from the children's hospital, losing their locks in the name of advancing a cure for cancer.

In just over an hour's time, LB Ethan Armstrong, WR Lance Baretz, OL Kyle Costigan, WR Connor Cummins, OL Ryan Groy, WR Chase Hammond, LB Conor O'Neill and TE Jacob Pedersen all walked out of the locker room with new close-cropped cuts.

Here's a look at how the event -- and the hair -- went down:

Infographic: Badgers plow past Purdue

A graphical look at the Badgers' 41-10 win over Purdue as UW opened the Big Ten season with a victory and ran its win streak in the series to eight straight games:

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Infographic: Badgers blast Tennessee Tech

A graphical look at the Badgers' 48-0 win over Tennessee Tech to improve to 2-0 on the season and become the first Big Ten team to record consecutive shutouts to open a season since 1963.

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Which teams are Badgers' NFL favorites?

Varsity_130905_Cover_Image.jpgWith the NFL season kicking off Thursday, this week's edition of Varsity magazine posed the question to a number of UW student-athletes: Which NFL team is your favorite?

You can read the responses in Varsity, but here are a couple from members of the UW football team that didn't make the magazine. Also be sure to check out our Badgers in the NFL page for updates on all 30 former UW players that made NFL rosters.

Bart Houston - Redshirt Freshman QB (Dublin, Calif.)
"Even though I'm from California, I'm a Green Bay Packers fan. My dad is a lifelong Packers fan and actually named me after Bryan Bartlett 'Bart' Starr. My full name is Bartlett, but I've always chosen to go by Bart."

Rob Havenstein - Junior RT (Mount Airy, Md.)
"The NFL was never really my thing. My brother really liked the Baltimore Ravens, so I cheered for anyone who was playing the Ravens. Then I came to UW and didn't have anyone to root for, so I started cheering for the Ravens again because they were winning. But don't tell anyone that. I've been telling everyone I'm a lifelong, diehard Ravens fan."

Corey Clement - Freshman RB (Glassboro, N.J.)
"It was the Philadelphia Eagles, but once my man Terrell Owens left I went with the Dallas Cowboys. But then they fell off and T.O. left, and after that my NFL fandom fell off. So, I really don't have a favorite NFL team right now."

Archived Gameday Blog: Football vs. UMass

The UWBadgers.com Gameday Blog had all the coverage of Wisconsin's 45-0 season-opening win over UMass on Saturday, Aug. 31.

Recap the action as it happened here: Gameday Blog: Wisconsin Football vs. UMass

Gary Andersen's day in Bristol for #ESPNB1G

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Wisconsin football head coach Gary Andersen spent Wednesday in Bristol, Conn., spreading the word about the Badgers across a number of ESPN platforms. Re-live the sights and sounds of Andersen's day at the Worldwide Leader in Sports:

Ball's big day named 'Most Dominating Performance' in Big Ten

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- Video: Ball earns 'Most Dominating Performance' award

Montee Ball dominated plenty of defenses in his three seasons as a running back for the Wisconsin football team, but his effort in the Badgers' win at Purdue last season has earned special attention.

The career-high 247 yards and three touchdowns Ball racked up against the Boilermakers earned him the "Most Dominating Performance" award as part of the sixth-annual BTN Awards Show on Wednesday.

Ball's 247 yards were a career high on the ground, and his third touchdown of the day marked the 72nd of his career. That made him the Big Ten's all-time leader in TDs, surpassing Badgers great Ron Dayne's career total of 71 scores. According to NCAA statistics (which did not include bowl games until 2002), Ball became just the third player in FBS history to score 70 or more touchdowns in a career.

The individual effort was part of an overall domination by the Badgers' offense, which gained 645 total yards, the second-highest tally in school history.

Ball finished his Badgers career as the NCAA's all-time leader in touchdowns, with 83, and career record-holder for rushing touchdowns, with 77.

Lihrman's UW debut comes on big stage

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Michael Lihrman's journey to the Badgers has not been a traditional one. But Wisconsin is sure happy to have him.

Lihrman, a junior transfer from Division III UW-Stout, will compete in the weight throw at the 2013 USA Indoor Track and Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. (CT).

The competition, held at the Albuquerque Convention Center, features many of the nation's elite track and field athletes as they compete in the world's oldest indoor track championship.

The event also will mark Lihrman's first official competition wearing the Badgers' uniform, meaning UW's school record is likely in jeopardy.

Lihrman got a late start in track and field, joining the sport his junior year at Rice Lake High School. After being named conference field athlete of the year as a senior, Lihrman enrolled at UW-Stout to compete as a collegiate thrower.

Last season at UW-Stout, Lihrman finished 11th in the weight throw at the 2012 NCAA Division III indoor Championships and finished fourth in the hammer throw at the outdoor championships.

After his sophomore year, however, he transferred to Wisconsin and has been throwing like a Division I athlete ever since.

Although Lihrman is redshirting this season and competes unattached, he has won the weight throw in each of the four meets he has competed in.

The junior had displayed remarkable consistency, winning each meet with marks that would have broken the Badgers school record of 64 feet, 4 1/2 inches if he had been competing in a UW uniform.

Lihrman's best throw came at the Red & White Open on Feb. 15, when he threw a personal-best and Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center (The Shell) facility-record toss of 70 feet, 10 3/4 inches.

Despite the victories and record heaves, Lihrman is comfortable redshirting his first season at Wisconsin.

"It actually hasn't been that different because I pretty much competed with the team the entire year," Lihrman said. "I know next year, and the year after that, I will have even bigger opportunities."

Lihrman is thrilled about the chance to compete at a prestigious event like the USA indoor championships during a redshirt year.

"I actually had no idea that I could do that," he said. "I wasn't really sure what the boundaries are for a redshirt so I'm extremely excited."

Not only will Lihrman get to compete against some of the country's premier athletes, he will also get a feel for the facility that will host the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships. But the junior is taking things one step at a time.

"There will be some pretty big competitors there," Lihrman said. "My expectations are to just have fun."
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