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Written by Andrew Coppens | 26 April 2012

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It took twenty-seven picks, but the Badgers got another offensive lineman drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night as Kevin Zeitler was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals.  He was the 2nd of the Bengals first round picks after they went for Dre Kirkpatrick with the No. 17 overall pick.  

Proving the draft can be a funny business Kevin Zeitler had his big Draft party planned for tomorrow night according to this article by Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal.  He was thinking he would be drafted in the 2nd round.  Instead he ended up with just 16 people around when he did get selected by the Bengals.

Zeitler's pick made it two straight years with a Badger offensive lineman in the first round and just the fifth lineman selected in the first round since Barry Alvarez took over this program.  He also became the 3rd such pick since Bret Bielema took over at coach, joining Joe Thomas and Gabe Carimi as first round offensive line selections under Bielema.

That's all well and good for the Badger program, but what was being said over in Cincinnati about Zeitler's selection?

Some wondered if Cincinnati's signing of two guards in the free agent market would affect Zeitler's ability to contribute right away, but that appears not to be the case.

"We drafted them to play and that's what we expect them to do," said Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis in reference to Zeitler and Kirkpatrick.

Bengals Offensive Line coach Paul Alexander went even a step further when asked if Zeitler would start: "That's the definition of a first-round pick... Every one I've had has."

"He's fun to watch on tape, he's one of the guys when you put the tape on he stands out." said Lewis when asked what he liked about Zeitler.

He continued saying: "He's a versitale guy, can backup at center - play guard. He's done a great job in gap blocking, pulling."

In the first day press conference position coach Jay Alexander got down to the nuts and bolts of picking Zeitler and had some interesting praise for him.

"I've liked him since the first time I saw him, so did our scouts," said O-Line coach Jay Alexander.  "I don't think we've had a guy quite like this, he's unique in a lot of ways."

In a funny moment Alexander played a little with Zeitler saying: "The only player he can't block apparently is [Bengals assistant] Jay Haye's son."  That would be Badgers redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jessie Hayes.  

Overall it's clear that the Bengals expect him to come in and compete at the very least for the starting job at right guard, but they won't push him if he's not ready as there is depth at the position as well.

Zeitler will join former Badgers Chris Pressley (FB) and Nick Hayden (DT) on the Bengals, so he won't be a lonely Badger on the roster in his rookie campaign in the NFL.

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 26 April 2012

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Former Badger Kevin Zeitler is 1st Badger off the board as he went 27th overall to the Cincinnati Bengals.  We'll have more on his selection and other Badgers in the NFL coverage in the coming days, so keep it tuned right here all weekend long!!

Kevin

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 26 April 2012

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It's been an interesting start so far to the MTB College Sports Bucket List as the first two games are probably ones folks outside of those involved in the programs may not know too much about and we hope you've explored them a bit more.  Well, today we may just be breaking out of that particular mold.  In fact we're breaking out of just about any mold you can think of with this one.  

But first, don't forget to take a gander at No. 99 on our list - Adrian vs. MSOE in DIII Hockey.  

So, who slides in at the No. 98 spot on our spring/summer long journey across the best games/events in college sports?  Hint #2 this one is in the South!

Citadel vs. VMI

 

No. 98 - "Military Classic of the South"  (FCS Football) 

We've already highlighted one of the service academies, but this has a whole different twist on it and we're talking about The Citadel vs. VMI - a.k.a. "The Military Classic of the South." Since 1920 these two teams have only missed games in 1956, 2004, and 2008-2010.  As a result it is the 13th oldest rivalry in FCS football.

These two schools both represent great Southern Military traditions as well as great educational institutions.  Besides pride in their traditions and hard lives led by the cadets at these schools they both were founded as public institutions and have a great level of support from the surrounding communities and alumni.  

On the field this has been a pretty fierce rivalry and only twice has their been any sort of separation in the series, a series that The Citadel leads 35-30-2.  The Bulldogs only lead the series by that margin thanks to winning 5 straight over the Keydets of VMI. However, VMI holds the longest winning streak in the series, winning 7 straight from 1950 to 1957 and held an 18-8-1 advantage over the Bulldogs of The Citadel in 1967.  Also, this series has been tied across the board 4 times in it's history.

As with Army vs. Navy, these two schools aren't very fond of each other and they play ever year for the "Silver Shako" trophy which was introduced in 1976.  What more could you want out of a rivalry than for it to be competitive and between institutions that are rooted in the communities they represent.  

Just like Army vs. Navy these schools like to have a bit of fun with the rivalry, just like this video shows you:


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Written by Andrew Coppens | 26 April 2012

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Today we're debuting a brand new feature here at MTB and it's called "The Jump Around" which will be our attempt to give you the best of news and notes from around the Internet and videos along with our commentary on those pieces.  Normally this will be done by our newest writer Nate Woelfel, but for the debut we wanted to get out in front of the NFL draft and some of the other bigger stories today.  So we hope you enjoy our newest feature here and ON WISCONSIN!! 

First up is some hockey news that broke late yesterday and that's that Wisconsin vs. Minnesota will take place at Soldier Field next season, something that was long rumored to be happening, but never confirmed till yesterday.  It replaces one of the home games for Wisconsin, but the $250,000 payday is pretty much in line with what Wisconsin makes from a home date according to the article.

I love me some outdoor hockey, having been to the Lambeau Field game between Wisconsin and Ohio State back in the day (2006), way before these events became all to common place.  What has me excited by this is it's not just a one off event, there will actually be two games played on that day, giving hockey fans a true bang for their buck with Notre Dame vs. Miami (OH) being the other game.

Lot's of football news and notes to go through, so let's check it out after the jump.... 

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Written by Nate Woelfel | 25 April 2012

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The futures of defensemen Justin Schultz and John Ramage have been a source of great speculation in the Wisconsin hockey community and beyond.  Both have been drafted- Schultz by the Anaheim Ducks (43rd overall) in 2008 and Ramage by the Calgary Flames (103rd overall) in 2010.

Though they both have a chance to make an impact at the next level, their paths to get there will likely vary significantly. Not surprising considering they are two different breeds of player.

Schultz has received the bulk of the attention and deservedly so. His impressive resume partnered with a unique situation brought about by a loophole in the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement have made him a valued commodity at the professional level despite not having officially voiced his intentions.

In a nutshell, Schultz has three options. He could sign with Anaheim, the team that drafted him in the first place, although that would've most likely happened already according to most reports.

Thanks to language in the CBA, Schultz could also opt to wait until July 1 when he would become a free agent and sign with the franchise of his choice.

The final, albeit, unlikely option is that Schultz returns to the Badgers for his final season of eligibility and hits the NHL free agent market afterward.

At the moment, the consensus appears to be that Schultz will turn pro, however, which avenue he will take remains to be seen.

The two-time Hobey Baker finalist has come to be known as a confident puck handler with great vision. His opportunism on the offensive end compares to that of a center. He knows when to distribute or when it’s his time to make something happen.

His size and play in his own zone have raised some concerns, but there are few professional coaching staffs that will not be able to work with the array talents that Schultz possesses.

Ramage, on the other hand, is a physical force who will go toe-to-toe with just about anyone.

He comes from a NHL pedigree with his father playing in the league for 15 seasons.

While jumping into the pros is certainly an option for Ramage, his situation differs a bit from that of Schultz.  Calgary owns the rights to Ramage beyond the July 1 deadline that has been set for Schultz. This makes the Flames the only option for Ramage.

The 2011 campaign brought mixed reviews for the junior from Ontario. That coupled with a laundry list of skills that could use a bit of polishing make it likely that he will don the white and cardinal sweater for one more season.

On the up side, one of his strongest attributes is his character. By many accounts, Ramage is a natural leader who isn’t afraid to take charge.

That is good news for head coach Mike Eaves who will be dealing with a large amount of inexperience on the blueline.

It will likely be at least a month until more definitive information comes to the surface. In the meantime, it is important to remember that neither player has made a final decision.  A lot can change in the coming days.

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 25 April 2012

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Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are days where fans of NFL teams and us college sports fans all anticipate to see where our favorite players go and what our favorite NFL teams (Packers here and for most of you too I'm guessing) do to improve their fortunes for the years to come.  Of course around this time of year there are literally thousands of sites that get together and produce their own mock drafts and while that's all well and good, we're not going to be one of them.  We'll leave that up to the "experts" out there.  

But, what we will be doing for you today is giving you a look at the mock draft positions of all the Badgers that could be selected in the NFL draft this weekend.  We took only the sites and people that publish their crazy SEVEN round mock drafts, so you won't be seeing Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, or the like, but you will see some of the most trusted names in the game, so here's a look at where your favorite Badgers could be headed this weekend:

Walter Football: (Updated on April 25th) 

- Peter Konz: 1st Round - 31st to New England Patriots

- Kevin Zeitler: 2nd Round - 50th to Chicago Bears

- Nick Toon: 3rd Round - 76 to Houston Texans

- Russell Wilson: 5th Round - 147 to Buffalo Bills

- Aaron Henry: 6th Round - 182 to Kansas City Chiefs

- Bradie Ewing: 6th Round - 195 to Houston Texans

One things for sure, if these picks hold out the Texans are basically becoming the Wisconsin Badgers South as they'll have Toon, Ewing, Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, and JJ Watt on their team.  

Draft Tek: (Updated on April 24th - FINAL UPDATE) 

- Peter Konz: 1st Round - 29 to Baltimore Ravens

- Kevin Zeitler: 2nd Round - 56 to Pittsburgh Steelers

- Nick Toon: 3rd Round - 88 to Philadelphia Eagles

 - Russell Wilson: 6th Round - 188 to Denver Broncos

- Aaron Henry: 6th Round - 199 to San Francisco 49ers

Personally I think they missed the boat by not even having Bradie Ewing drafted, but it's a possibility I guess.

NFL.com's Chad Reuters: (Published April 23rd) 

- Peter Konz: 1st Round - 29 to Baltimore Ravens

- Kevin Zeitler: 2nd Round - 34 to Indianapolis Colts

- Nick Toon: 4th Round - 111 to Chicago Bears

- Russell Wilson: 4th Round - 114 to Philadelphia Eagles

- Aaron Henry: 6th Round - 172 to Philadelphia Eagles

- Bradie Ewing: 7th Round - 238 to Kansas City Chiefs

A rookie pairing of Wilson and Henry in Philly would certainly be interesting.  I mean these guys are about a diametrically opposed to the style of the Philly fan as possible, which might actually be a good thing for the duo if that were to happen.

Fox Sports' Peter Schrager: (Updates April 25th) 

- Kevin Zeitler: 1st Round - 30th to San Francisco 49ers

- Peter Konz: 1st Round - 32 to New York Giants

- Nick Toon: 3rd Round - 77 to New York Jets

- Aaron Henry: 4th Round - 161 to Houston Texans

- Bradie Ewing: 6th Round - 180 to Carolina Panthers

- Russell Wilson: 7th Round - 217 to Buffalo Bills

Um ya, are you kidding me... Nick Toon to the place that his dad made his name in in the NFL.  Ya, sure, no pressure there.  Also, really... Russell Wilson the last Badger picked?  I don't see that happening at all.

DraftSite.com Official Mock Draft 

- Peter Konz: 2nd Round - 48 to New England Patriots

- Kevin Zeitler: 2nd Round - 54 to Detroit Lions

- Nick Toon: 3rd Round - 67 to Cleveland Browns

- Russell Wilson: 4th Round - 122 to New Orleans Saints

- Aaron Henry: 6th Round - 171 to St. Louis Rams

I have to say I think this one is way off on Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler.  I just don't see them lasting past the end of 1st/beginning of 2nd round.  What I do love is the Saints picking Wilson.  He reminds me so much of Brees, not in his style of play, which I think is very different, but in the way he handles himself and for an organization that's going through some things to be able to get him would be a smart move.  It also could be the QB in waiting in NOLA.  

All this excersice points out is that predicting the draft is a total crap shoot, but a fun one at that.  Enjoy the festivities over the next few days and ON WISCONSIN!

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 25 April 2012

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Yesterday we started our summer long journey to count down the MTB College Sports Bucket List.  It's our attempt to give you the Top 100 games, rivalries, and events that every college sports fan should witness at least once in their lives.  

In case you missed it yesterday, here's No. 100 on the list.  But let's move things forward a bit, even if we're staying in the world of Hockey.  We've found another unpolished gem of a rivalry for you, so without further delay.... Here's the next on the list!! 

Adrian vs. MSOE

No. 99: Adrian vs. MSOE (Division III Hockey):

Yep, we've gone under the radar with our pick for No. 99 on the MTB College Sports Bucket List once again.  Adrian College is a small private university that has about 1,500 students located in Adrian, Michigan.  MSOE stands for Milwaukee School of Engineering and has about 2,600 students located in the middle of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Really the make up of the schools and locations couldn't be much different and that helps kick start this as a must see game.

They both reside in the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association (MCHA) that is made up of schools in Wisconsin and Michigan and is an up and coming league at the DIII level.

What makes these two teams worth watching?  Well, until Adrian came into the conference MSOE had one heck of a run going in the MCHA and was one of the better programs in the Midwest.  Problem was once Adrian came on board there was a new top dog (pun unintended).  Adrian had won the first 18 meetings going into this past season, but finally the Raiders of MSOE broke through in the win column.  They actually took the season series with a 2-1-1 record and even took home the MCHA Harris Cup for the first time since Adrian joined the league to earn the automatic birth in the NCAA DIII tournament for 2012.

Don't let the unbeaten streak of 18 games fool you though, these two teams always are competitive and it's usually a battle between 1st and 2nd place, something that always helps a rivalry develop for sure.  The Raiders and Bulldogs just plain don't like each other much either, so that helps. 

These two meet at least four times a year and more than most likely it's 5 or 6 if you include the playoffs.  While it may not have the deep rooted history of some classic rivals at the DIII level what more can you ask for than hatred, respect, competitive games, and playing at the top of your conference year in and year out to make it a game you must see?

Add in the fact that they both play in great intimate hockey venues and you've got yourself one of the games you must see if you want to call yourself a true fan of college sports.

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 24 April 2012

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Badgers Power Hour is drawing down for Season 1 and tonight it was a look at the annual Wisconsin Spring Football game that goes down this Saturday, so take it in as Arman and Andy bring you the who & what you should be watching on Saturday!! Don't forget next week it's same bat channel, same bat time for our SEASON FINALE!!!  But for tonight's show you can listen on demand right here: 

  

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 23 April 2012

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It's nearly the end of the spring seasons for a lot of sports and that's hard to believe, but it got us to thinking about all of the games and events we here at MTB would love to see in college sports.  So in honor of that myself and the rest of the staff committed to our Top 100 games/events on our personal College Sports Bucket Lists and today we're unvieling MTB'S COLLEGE SPORTS BUCKET LIST!!   

The rules? The lists could consists of any college sporting event from Division III to Division I and both men's and women's sports in those divisions as well as specific events (i.e. bowl games, tournaments, championship events).  It also could only consist of games/events you have not seen in person yet, so there will be some things that will surprise you that aren't on this list!!  But hey, it's a bucket list and if you've done it already, then it's off your list, right?  Finally each list was done individually and points awarded from 1 for No. 100 to 100 for ranking No. 1 and from there we got the point totals and ranked them based on overall points from our staff.

So without further ado we give you the first look at the MTB College Sports Bucket List. So sit back and enjoy the journey over the next 100 days as we count down to the No. 1 thing we here want to see before our days are up!!  

Up first....

NO. 100 - Army vs. Canadian Royal Miltary College (DI Men's Hockey) 

Guessing you've probably never thought of or heard of this one, but this is a must see event on the collegiate ice hockey calender nearly every year.  It's the oldest and most played international rivalry in college sports.  Add in the fact that it's USA vs. Canada in hockey and you've got yourself a heck of a game already.  

But we're not even close to being done.  While Army isn't exactly a power in collegiate hockey this game has all the pomp & circumstance of Army-Navy in football and it makes it a must see event right there.  Players and coaches from the very beginning of this series are still alive and keep the memory of what it means to play in this game alive for the current crop who, until this season, hadn't experienced this game.  Just like the service academy games in the United States this game features the corp of cadets from each school in attendance and it makes for a great atmosphere.

Unfortunately it's a game that's also seen some controversy.  After playing for 75 straight years this series took a 5 year break due to a dispute over RMC using civilian and post-graduate players.  Luckily the series was restarted just this past season for at least a three year contract.  So, if you want to see this one get yourselves out to West Point next year or to Canada the season after that. 

All that is fine and dandy, but what about the actual competition on the ice, right?  Well it's a series that's been very competitive since it's 1923 inception with Army holding a 40-29-7 record after their 9-1 trashing of RMC this past season. 

Call us a bunch of suckers for patriotism or for the service academies, but pomp and circumstance is what draws most of us to college sports in the first place and this game gives us a good indication of just what it means to put service over self and that's a lesson we all can use a reminder of from time to time no matter what we're doing with our lives.  Plus on the sporting side this game has the tradition and history that makes it just good enough to squeak into our list this year.  Let's just hope they can extend the international series out beyond these three games, but only time will tell that.

Look for us to post one per day after today as we countdown to the No. 1 spot on our list.  Going forward we'd love to hear your thoughts, too high/too low?  Why is this on the list?  Whatever you've got bring it our way!!  

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 23 April 2012

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This past weekend a lot of news and notes began to pick up on the football front and most should be expected as we're under a week away from the spring game this Saturday.  With that let's play a little links style game here and go around the web for some catch up. 

First up was a bit of future schedule news as it was announced by UMass that they would be the opening opponent for the Badgers in the 2013 season.  They will be in just their 2nd season of FBS football then as they move to the Mid-American Conference this season from FCS.  It is only the 2nd known non-conference opponent for the Badgers as Arizona State is also on the schedule, but at an unknown date at this point.

We have tried to give you all of the other schools Spring game previews but last weekend was a bit difficult thanks to life getting in the way of that.  But outside of the Minnesota preview we did check out what happened for the Nittany Lions of Penn State.  Heck if you think we have issues at QB the group in Happy Valley will make you think twice or three times actually.  Also worth a read is what happened in Columbus for Ohio State  (both looks courtesy of our friends here on the Bloguin network).  Both have a ton of stuff to look at and we couldn't do the coverage any better, so make sure to check it out.

Back on the Badgers tip, E!SPN's Brian Bennett has a great story about Montee Ball's new approach to his time at Wisconsin up and it's actually worth your time reading.  It gives you a great insight to the mindset of Ball and just how much he loves being a Badger.

Danny O'Brien's former Maryland teammate Max Garcia has decided to transfer to Florida over Wisconsin, USC, and a few other schools.

Look for this to become a bigger type of feature over the summer as we transform and improve our coverage for your reading and viewing pleasure!! 

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