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Written by Andrew Coppens | 09 May 2012

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UNIIn an effort to bring you the best in Badger football coverage during the football season we have a tradition of getting journalists and bloggers that follow and cover our opposition on our site and radio program to talk about what to expect from them.  Well, in that spirit we're extending that look to the Spring football camps with our post-spring interviews.  

Up first is our first opponent of the season the Northern Iowa Panthers.  Joining us to talk about the team that's up first on the Badgers schedule is Doug Newhoff of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, the hometown newspaper for the Panthers.  He was kind enough to answer a few questions and will be back to help us break things down this fall as well.  

With that, here is our interview focusing on the Northern Iowa Panthers:

MTB: Wisconsin fans may not be the most familiar with the Northern Iowa program, could you describe how they fit in at the FCS level?  Are they an upper echelon team, middle of the pack, or how would you describe them?  

Doug: UNI would have to be described as an upper echelon FCS program. The Panthers are consistently ranked among the FCS Top 25, frequently among the top 10 and make the FCS playoffs more often than not. Historically, they've also represented themselves well against FBS competition. 

MTB: One thing I know is that this is a team that's very familiar with playing BCS level competition and has pulled an upset or two over BCS teams.  Coming out of spring football do you see them being intimidated by a likely top 15 BCS program?

Doug: I don’t see this UNI team being intimidated by any opponent or stadium atmosphere. They went into Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City a couple of years ago and gave a good Hawkeyes team a good battle. They've also been to BYU, Iowa State, Boise State, etc., etc.

MTB: Offensively this has been a powerful team in the past, what was the bright spot and what was the area of concern coming out of spring?

Doug: Bright spots would be the promising play of the team’s two young quarterbacks, Sawyer Kollmorgen out of Oklahoma and Jared Lanpher out of Missouri. Kollmorgen is a redshirt freshman and Lanpher a redshirt sophomore. Neither has much experience, so their development was an important emphasis of spring practices. The run game looks solid with a versatile mix if size and speed and players who can also contribute in the passing game. The receiving corps is young but capable, and head coach Mark Farley likes the size, strength and mobility he has up front. Most of the questions surrounding this team are on the defensive side of the ball where the front seven must be rebuilt.

MTB: Looking at the matchup on paper it's going to come down to the defensive line vs. Wisconsin's offensive line, is that the biggest area of concern on the Panthers defense coming out of spring? 

Doug: That may not be the biggest area of concern to UNI, but it’s got to be a big concern for anyone who plays the Badgers. UNI can’t match Wisconsin’s o-line physically.

MTB: What was the main theme coming out of spring camp for UNI?

Doug: The focus through spring drills was sorting out some depth, finding some players to fill some of the holes on the depth chart,  putting some new players into the fire to see what they can do when the lights come on and experimenting with some position changes to find ways to get the best athletes on the field. That was especially important this spring because of all the defensive players who are gone from last season.

MTB: I see that Head Coach Mark Farley doesn't want his players focusing on the games against Wisconsin or Iowa, what's behind that choice of words and do you believe that's really the case?


Doug: I think that’s exactly the case. Given the schedule UNI faces with Wisconsin and Iowa among the first three games followed by two FCS opponents that will be Top 10 teams in Youngstown State and North Dakota State, Farley has challenged his team to prepare itself for the physical demands it will face next season during its offseason workouts. When you play at the FCS level, it’s always true that winning your league and earning that automatic playoff qualifier is more important than your results against FBS competition. That’s not to say that every player and coach on that team won’t do everything in their power to defeat Wisconsin or Iowa, those simply aren't the most important games on UNI’s schedule.

Thanks to Doug for all of his help and make sure you check out the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier for all the news on the Panthers leading up to our matchup. 

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 08 May 2012

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We've come down to the end of our first ten in the MTB College Sports Bucket List. I know, where does the time go, huh?  You are all probably waiting with bated breath to see what game is going to round out the first ten in the countdown, but let us first remind you of the vast array of games that have graced our spring/summer long countdown so far!!

No. Game/Event Sport
No. 100 Army vs. Canadian Royal Military College DI Hockey
No. 99 Adrian vs. MSOE DIII Hockey
No. 98 VMI vs. The Citadel FCS Football
No. 97 Iowa vs. Iowa State FBS Football
No. 96 Hope vs. Calvin DIII Basketball
No. 95 UCLA vs. Arizona DI Basketball
No. 94 Texas vs. TCU FBS Football
No. 93 Alaska-Anchorage vs. Alaska-Fairbanks DI Hockey
No. 92 Plattsburgh vs. Oswego State DIII Hockey

As you can see DIII has been a staple of the first ten on the countdown and we're heading there to finish off the group.  It's a game that holds a special place for thousands of others around the globe and myself and for that I have one thing to say... TO THE OLD LADY!!

No. 91: RPI vs. Union (DIII Football):

Some of you may be shocked we didn't go for the hockey series between these schools since they both compete at the Division I level and regularly play each other, but as you'll see this is a rivalry that started with and ends with football.

RPI vs. UnionThese teams have met 106 times in their football series dating back to 1903 which makes it the oldest and most played rivalry in the state of New York.  Add in the close proximity of just 14.5 miles between Troy, NY (RPI Engineers home) and Schenectady, NY (Union Dutchmen home) and you understand the fact that these two schools could easily hate each other.  Each year they play for the Dutchman's Shoes, which has it's roots in some ugly history that the schools turned into a positive.

The 1949 game featured looting on both campuses and as a show of good faith the student committees from each school presented the Dutchman Shoes as a show of respect and it's been around ever since.  This is a game that would've been higher on my personal list, but I couldn't do it once you examine the records of the two schools since the introduction of the trophy back in 1950.  The record since it's introduction is about as one sided as you can get as Union leads 46-16 over the fine folks from RPI.  Overall the series is also pretty one sided as Union leads 78-25-3

Both schools have been successful to an extent on the national level with RPI winning the Liberty League twice and making it to the DIII national semi-finals in the 2003 season before losing to powerhouse St. John's(MN).  Union on the other hand has won 5 Liberty League titles since it's inception in the 2003 season and has appeared in the Stagg Bowl (DIII National Title Game) twice in it's history.  Both teams regularly fill up the DIII All-American rosters and All-Conference rosters as well.

While the series hasn't been evenly matched throughout the history make no mistake that both schools get up for this game and usually the winner has a very good shot at the Liberty League title.

You may call me biased on this one, but I wouldn't be where I am today without the guidance set forth by 6 men back in 1847 at Union College, so I say go Dutchmen and TO THE OLD LADY!

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 07 May 2012

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We're nearing the end of the first 10 games/events to be revealed in our journey through the best this country has to offer in the college sports arena through our MTB College Sports Bucket List and things have been interesting so far.  I hope you've enjoyed some of the forgotten "big school" games and being introduced to some games you've probably never heard of before, but should of! 

Today we introduce you to another game that you may not have heard of but you should know:

No.92: Plattsburgh vs. Oswego State (DIII Hockey): 

Whoever says that only "big schools" can have rivalries that matter has never been introduced to this game that's for sure.  If they had been then they are flat out lying because this game has everything you can think of to make it a must see at least once in your life.  

Plattsburgh and Oswego State are both state schools in the SUNY (State University of New York)Plattsburgh vs. Oswego system and are by bodies of water, but are separated by nearly four hours of travel time.  That in and of itself makes it a bit interesting in terms of DIII "rivalries" which usually have a lot to do with geography.  Plattsburgh is located just off of Lake Champlain on the border with Vermont and a scant 20 miles south of the border between New York and Canada (just 60 miles from Montreal), while Oswego State is located northwest of Syracuse directly on Lake Ontario.  

What makes this rivalry great is that both teams are very competitive in the SUNYAC (SUNY Athletic Conference) as well as on the national level.  The Cardinals of Plattsburgh and the Lakers of Oswego State have met 98 times since their first meeting in 1975.  The series is led by Plattsburgh 68-32-4.  Plattsburgh has won 21 conference titles to Oswego's 8 and both have one DIII National Championships.  Plattsburgh in 1987 (*vacated by NCAA), 1992, and 2001.  Oswego has won just one, but it's the most recent, happening in 2007. no comments

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Written by Caissa Casarez | 06 May 2012

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Sports Covered: Softball, Track & Field

Softball

The Badgers ended two different parts of the 2012 season with a 3-2 record last week.

Wisconsin (33-17, 12-8 Big Ten) finished its nonconference schedule with mid-week wins over Bradley and Green Bay (doubleheader), but ended its home stand with two losses to No. 23 Michigan. 

The Badgers and Wolverines were supposed to play the last game of the series on Sunday, but it was cancelled due to inclement weather in the Madison area. Wisconsin is currently tied for fourth place in the Big Ten with Nebraska, which will host the Badgers next weekend. 

Junior Meghan McIntosh recorded her first shutout on the mound this season in UW's 2-0 win over the Bradley Braves (19-28). She allowed five hits in a complete game of work, while walking two and striking out four. Classmate Whitney Massey was a perfect 3-for-3 at bat in the win, adding a run and two doubles. Sophomore Stephanie Peace added an RBI double of her own to give UW the 2-0 lead.

The Badgers followed the shutout win with another one as part of a sweep of in-state rival Green Bay on Wednesday. Sophomore Cassandra Darrah got the shutout win against the Phoenix, allowing five hits while walking three and striking out seven. After four scoreless innings from both teams, the Badgers scored three runs in the fifth inning and one in the sixth to get the 4-0 win. Peace recorded 3 RBI in game one, while sophomore Mary Massei went 2-for-4 with a triple that kicked off the Badger offense. 

Wisconsin came from behind to get the win in the nightcap. After falling 2-0 early in the game, the Badgers scored five unanswered runs to get what was their 13th-straight home win (5-2). McIntosh got the win to improve to 7-5 this season, allowing five hits and two earned runs in six innings of work. Junior Amanda Najdek got her first save of the season, striking out two in the seventh inning. Junior Shannel Blackshear went a perfect 2-for-2 at bat, while adding a run and an RBI. 

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 06 May 2012

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We've reached the week mark on the MTB College Sports Bucket List journey that will come to an end on July 31st.  So far there have been massive games that have involved service academies, our neighbors to the north, a bitter in-state feud, and some very under the radar games.  Today we bring you an event that may just rival the likes of Auburn vs. Alabama - only on a bit of a smaller scale and a few thousand miles away.  

Before we get there, here's the list so far: 

Ranking Game/Event Sport
No. 100 Army vs. Canadian Royal Military College DI Hockey
No. 99 Adrian vs. MSOE DIII Hockey
No. 98 VMI vs. The Citadel FCS Football
No. 97 Iowa vs. Iowa State FBS Football
No. 96 Hope vs. Calvin DIII Basketball
No. 95 UCLA vs. USC DI Basketball
No. 94 Texas vs. TCU FBS Football

For the next game on our list we're taking you to the Great White North and with that we present to you....

No. 93: Alaska-Fairbanks vs. Alaska-Anchorage: (DI Hockey) 

Frankly you could pick any one of the sports that these two teams play in but it's hockey that's king in the 49th state.  

It's a classic case of small-town school vs. the state's largest city.  It's also a case of these schools being polar opposites.  UAF is the states oldest public state school starting in 1922 while UAA began life as a university relatively recently (1976).   However, UAA is the bigger of the two institutions today with around 17,000 students while UAF boasts about 10,000 students or so. 

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 05 May 2012

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Every year it's becoming more and more ridiculous at the annual Mifflin Street Block Party and just when you think you've heard it all something new and totally ludicrous happens to spice up the lore.  Early Saturday afternoon reports from friends and via twitter began to surface that star Badger running back Montee Ball was arrested at the annual drunk fest.  

According to the Madison police department Montee Ball was arrested, was cooperative, and was cited for trespassing.  Huh?  Ya, that was my initial reaction to the details of his arrest.  

Those around say he was NOT intoxicated at all and was cited for a simple $426 ticket.  The details beg a few questions to be answered.  

First off, how the heck do you get arrested for trespassing for standing on a porch?  I mean seriously... especially at Mifflin Street of all places.  Honestly, I have no idea how one would get arrested for that at a freaking block party.  

Secondly, you mean to tell me some moron actually picked up the phone and called the cops because they didn't want Montee Ball at "their party"?  What University of Wisconsin student wouldn't want to tell the story some 10 years later at a reunion with college friends... "Hey, remember this one time in college when Montee Ball was at our house?  Ya that was pretty cool, huh?"  

Whoever that was, you sir/ma'am aren't a true Badger.  

Lastly, I've got to ask this - The cops don't have anything bigger or better to worry about during the Mifflin Street block party than arresting a non-intoxicated person because they are standing on a porch?  Chances are someone right behind the house is urinating in public or there's probably about 20 people who are about to get into an actual fight somewhere within a block radius.  

Look, we don't know all the details and Ball may have been refused entry to this "private party" or whatever and he was probably very much wrong for not leaving when asked, but there are probably a lot worse things happening on Mifflin Street as we speak.  

Bret Bielema has taken a pretty hard stance when it comes to player arrests and playing time and you have to think he won't be making an exception for Montee Ball, especially since most thought he'd be a prime candidate for a captain's spot this upcoming season.  My guess is that we'll see at the very least Ball being pulled from the starting lineup and as severe as missing at least a half to the full game against Northern Iowa to open up the season, but only time will tell on this one.

All this lesson in stupidity serves to show is this golden rule for all Wisconsin Athletes that want to avoid arrest or worse... DON'T GO!!!  It sucks, but it's a fact of playing a sport at a sports obssessed university... You'll be a target at these events where big groups of drunk idiots are everywhere around you and chances are cooler heads won't prevail even if you aren't drinking and are just around with friends.  I'm sure this won't be the last time we'll hear of an athlete arrested at the Mifflin Street block party, but having it be Montee Ball of all people is a bit shocking.

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 05 May 2012

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After the transfer decision of Jarrod Uthoff the Badger faithful put their attention towards the
recruitment and decision of Beaver Falls, Pa. small forward Sheldon Jeter.  After his choice of Vanderbilt (Penn State was apparently second choice) on Thursday the Badgers are now left with an extra scholarship heading into the 2012-13 season.  Could they offer it to someone else or will they keep it?  More importantly how does this affect the roster and rotation in the front court?

 

JeterIt is highly unlikely at this stage in the game that the Badgers would offer anyone else the extra scholarship.  The only person that may get it would be incoming walk-on Zak Showalter from Germantown.  But even that may be unlikely as the 2013 class is pretty loaded with talent both in and out of the state.  

The one big thing most people haven't been talking about with the loss of Uthoff was just where he would've fit in the rotation next season.  Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz, and Ryan Evans all return for their senior seasons and all three will be counted on as big time players for a team that will be breaking in a new point guard and finding a rotation in the back court.  

So, losing Uthoff might not have the biggest impact on the 2012-13 season as some are want to think.  However, come the 2013-14 season that's another story all together.  Major minutes up front would've been up for grabs as gone will be Evans, Berggren, and Bruesewitz.  

Jeter's choice also doesn't really affect the 2012-13 roster all that much as a result.  He would've been someone that could've possibly fit into the Ryan Evans type of player, but that's a role that could be filled by the likes of Zach Bohannon, who sat out as a transfer from Air Force last season. 

Bottom line is the Badgers are pretty loaded up front next season.  We haven't even talked about the fact that Wisconsin will also be trying to find a role for star recruit Sam Dekker this season as most expect him to be one of the rare freshman that could make an impact at Wisconsin right off the bat.  

As it stands right now the Badgers rotation will most likely look like this to start next season: 

Evans, Bruesewitz, Berggren as the starters and Kaminsky (probably for Berggren), Dekker (Bruesewitz), and Bohannon (Evans) are the likely group first off the bench next season.

The biggest wild cards in the bench group are Duje Dukan, a fan favorite and a man that has seen very limited action, and center Evan Anderson, who came in with a ton of promise and at 6'10" provides the height needed but has yet to see anything in the way of playing time.  

As most Badger fans know it's not how you start your career but how you finish it so Dukan (a Junior next season) and Anderson (just a redshirt Sophomore next season) could end up surprising a few people and become decent contributors off the bench after all next season.

The loss of Uthoff and the fact that Jeter didn't take the scholarship offer from Wisconsin aren't the end of the world as some Badger fans may think.  It actually opens up some opportunities with the next recruiting class which is actually more loaded with talent and that's not a bad thing in this writers mind.  

Targets like Kyle Washington, Devin Williams, and Josh Davenport are all front court options that Wisconsin has offered in the 2013 class and they could be the biggest beneficiaries of Wisconsin holding on to the extra scholarship that Uthoff's transfer opens up.  I just don't see the Badgers giving the scholarship to a walk-on when the 2013 class is so loaded, but if this offseason has taught us anything expect the unexpected at times.  

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Written by Nate Woelfel | 04 May 2012

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SconnieScoop

 

In football recruiting news, Northland Pines senior running back/linebacker, Austin Ramesh has recently been upgraded to a three-star recruit and the No. 2 fullback in the nation according to scout.com courtesy of the Badger Nation.

Ramesh, who rushed for 2.263 yards and 19 touchdowns also has offers from Michigan State, Iowa, and Iowa State. He verbally committed to be a part of Wisconsin’s 2013 class earlier this year.

 

Speaking of the gridiron, three more football game times were released Thursday. The October 6 game against Illinois and the October 27 game against Michigan State are both slated for a 2:30 p.m. start.  Both contests will be aired by ABC.

The October 13 game with Purdue will be an 11 a.m. kickoff in West Lafayette.

Soon-to-be freshman forward Sheldon Jeter held his hand close to his vest when considering where he was going to take his basketball talents.

When it came time to finally announce a decision, Jeter chose Vanderbilt, a program that has undoubtedly been on the rise in recent seasons. Wisconsin, Penn State, South Carolina were also on his radar.

Justin Schultz may still be contemplating his playing future, but the standout, junior defenseman picked up some additional hardware last night as the men’s hockey team announced its award winners.

Schultz was named the Spike Carlson MVP as well as Dr. Joseph Coyne Most Consistent. A full list of the award winners can be found here.

As expected, former Badgers’ head women’s basketball coach Lisa Stone has officially agreed to become the next head coach at St. Louis University.

Stone inherits a Billikens program that went 11-20 last year and has not had a winning season since the 2002-03 campaign.

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 04 May 2012

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Today I'm channeling my inner Family Feud... Name three states that are synonymous with College Football.  Chances are the answers would be Texas, Florida, and California and most likely in that exact order right?  

Well in 2012 the landscape of college football in the state of Texas is changing and that's why No. 94 on our College Sports Bucket list is a game you may not have thought of yet.  I suppose I should start off by telling you that you won't be seeing Texas vs. Texas A&M in this spot or anywhere in our list.  Why?  Because currently this game isn't going to be played anytime soon.  Kinda hard to fulfill a bucket list item when the game doesn't exist, huh?

While we're at it we might as well dispel a few other games you may be waiting for that won't be on this list (we reserve the right to put them on a future list if we do it again & they are being played).  Nowhere on the list are games like Missouri vs. Kansas (football/basketball), the BCS Title game (could be dead sooner than later), and West Virginia vs. Pitt (football/basketball).  It's a shame in two of those cases as they would've ranked high on the list, but personally I'm thankful that the BCS Title game won't be on the list.  It means we're one step closer to a true national champion being crowned.

But I digress, let's get back to the reason we are here: Our staff wide Bucket List!!  

No. 94 - Texas vs. TCU (FBS Football): 

Texas vs. TCULet's face it, football is KING in Texas and the whole country knows about it.  But like I stated above the landscape of football in the state is in a state of flux and gone are the days of Texas vs. Texas A&M as A&M bolted for the "richer" pastures of the SEC.  That decision won't negate the hate between the two biggest schools in the state, but it does bring about a renewed rivalry from way back in the day and that's Texas vs. TCU.  

These two schools were former members of the classic Southwest Conference from 1927-1996 and once that broke up the Horned Frogs were left out in the cold of Conference-USA while the "big time" program of Texas began it's stint in the Big XII.  

Overall Texas has a commanding 61-20-1 record over TCU, but don't let that fool you.  These two schools are in vastly different positions from where they were when they last were in a conference together.   no comments

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 03 May 2012

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We're in day number six of our summer long journey to the world of the awesome in College Sports a.k.a. the MTB College Sports Bucket List and chances are you have only heard or thought of attending one of the games so far, but tonight that should all change as we give you a game that involves one of the games that is iconic in their sport - college basketball.  

In case you've missed any of the games so far in the series can can check them out here:

Ranking Game/Event Sport
No. 100 Army vs. Canadian Royal Military College DI Hockey
No. 99 Adrian vs. MSOE DIII Hockey
No. 98 VMI vs. The Citadel FCS Football
No. 97 Iowa vs. Iowa State FBS Football
No. 96 Hope vs. Calvin DIII Basketball

 

No. 95 - UCLA vs. Arizona (DI Basketball): 

Chances are if you were a kid that spent the vast majority of your middle school and high school days in the 90's or if you remember the domination that was the UCLA program in the 70's then you know what were about to say.  Before Gonzaga vs. St. Mary's took over the UCLA vs. Arizona game was easily the best rivalry game on the west coast.  

This was a game, especially in the 90's to early 2000's that was easily must see TV for any college basketball fan.  Pauley Pavilion and the McKale Center always were packed and rocked during these games.  Heck, most of the time these two teams were playing for top 5 rankings, conference championships, and even No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.  

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