Badger Bits: JJ Watt wins Lott Impact Trophy

Awards season just keeps rolling along, doesn't it? I'm not going to comment on the Heisman Trophy this year. Let's just say I thought it was very ironic that ESPN aired their 30 for 30 documentary "Pony Excess" right after the ceremony. Moving on:

Once again, congratulations to Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt! Watt won the 2010 Lott Impact Trophy on Sunday night, beating Texas defensive lineman Sam Acho, Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews, and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson for the award.

The award is in it's seventh season, and is named after Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott. It is awarded annually to the nations top defensive player, specifically a player that also exemplifies "Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity."

 

Aside from the football side of the award, Watt is definitely deserving of the award for his charitable work. He is in the process of establishing the Justin J. Watt Foundation in tandem with the University of Wisconsin Law School, and the foundation is close to being fully recognized by the IRS. I certainly can't think of a more deserving player. Congrats JJ!

Football

Pat Forde of ESPN.com has a video preview up of the Rose Bowl! You can check it out here. No predictions yet, but it is a little early.

According to Tom Mulhern, many of Wisconsin's seniors believe that suffering through a disappointing 2008 season was necessary to the team's success in 2009 and now in 2010.

The University of Wisconsin's budget for the Rose Bowl is $2.2 million, according to Madison.com. The University is committed to staying within budget, and the money will cover travel expenses as well as meals and lodging. The money will also cover the expenses of the spirit squad, UW Marching Band, and Chacellor Biddy Martin's official party.

Speaking of the band, Laurel Walker of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has an interesting feature about one marching band member that will be participating in his third Rose Bowl parade. As a former band nerd, and having been in the 2007 Rose Bowl parade myself, I can testify that I am insanely jealous.

Wisconsin is No. 10 in the nation in athletic department earnings, according to Madison.com. The Wisconsin athletic department made around $94 million last year, and is fourth in the Big Ten behind Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State.

Hockey

The men's hockey team shut out new WCHA member Bemidji State 2-0 on Saturday night, capping off a series sweep of the Beavers. With the sweep, the Badgers will move to 10-7-3 overall, including a 6-6-2 mark in WCHA play.

Basketball

The Badgers rebounded their way past the rival Marquette on Saturday, beating the Golden Eagles 69-64 on the road.

The win should serve as a confidence booster as the Badgers move into Big Ten play, according to Rob Schultz of Madison.com. Wisconsin will play UW-Green Bay and Choppin State before opening up the Big Ten season at home against Minnesota.

A Final Note

18 days until the Rose Bowl!

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