July 26, 2010
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin fans are well aware of their Badgers' success on the gridiron and the hardwood.
CBSSports.com has taken notice, too, and placed Wisconsin at No. 4 in its "Flourishing Five" series that highlights the programs most consistently fielding winners in football and men's basketball.
In fact, when it comes to dual-sport success, only one team can match the Badgers' record over the past decade. Wisconsin and Texas are the only two programs in the nation to send their men's basketball teams to the NCAA tournament and their football squads to a bowl game in each of the last eight seasons.
Senior writers Dennis Dodd and Gary Parrish feature the Badgers in a pair of stories plastered on the front page of CBSSports.com Monday.
Dodd tackles the Badgers' success in football, offering up insights from senior quarterback Scott Tolzien and Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez. His piece focuses on how the Badgers have found sustained success by not shying away from the brand of football that Alvarez brought to Madison in the 1990s.
This section of Dodd's piece, "Badgers' powerful football program built with power" begins with a quote from Tolzien:
"When [you] hear Wisconsin football, I would say first of all toughness, discipline and winning the turnover battle."
Throw in five nine-win seasons since 2004, six January bowls since 1998 and 15 1,000-yard rushers in the last 17 years and you get a better idea of that stereotype.
On the hoops side, Parrish offers his take on Badgers basketball after spending some time with head coach Bo Ryan for his piece, "Ryan molding parts into winning Wisconsin machine."
He's the exception to the rule, the one percent, the main reason why Wisconsin landed on the CBSSports.com list of the nation's best combined football/basketball schools. "Coach Ryan has a lot to do with that," said Wisconsin senior Jon Leuer, a 6-foot-10 forward who averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 rebounds last season. "He recruits the right kind of players who buy into his system, guys who are willing to put in the time and who understand that he'll make you better if you're willing to work hard in his system.
"It's amazing how much better you can get in four years with him," Leuer added. "He's just a phenomenal coach. That's where it starts."
The Badgers join Pittsburgh, which came in at No. 5, on the Flourishing Five list. Dodd and Parrish will name the No. 3 school on Thursday.