Badger Bits: Future looks bright for Wisconsin football

Bret Bielema believes that the future of Wisconsin football is looking up. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Can I just say how awesome Fridays are? Good. Anyway, here's a special Friday edition of Badger Bits. (I'm just kidding. They're normal. Gotcha!)

Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes that the Wisconsin football team's future is filled with promise. This may seem a little presumptuous seeing as the Badgers are just under a month away from their bowl game, but head coach Bret Bielema sounds very excited about the players that he has in his system.

Bielema told Potrykus that for a few years he has kept a core group of players behind after team meetings, stressing fundamental football and player development. What's really interesting is to see which players he has had extra time with. For example, two years ago Bielema's list consisted of Scott Tolzien, Lance Kendricks, Blake Sorenson, Niles Brinkley, Culmer St. Jean, and Ricky Wagner. Any of those sound familiar? It certainly looks like Bielema has an eye for which players will develop into key contributors down the road.

More Badger Bits after the jump!

Football

Andy Baggot has finally given in: he's decided to jump on the Bret Bielema bandwagon following the Badgers' 11-1 season. Baggot was definitely one of the hold-outs among the local media when it came to believing that Bielema was the right man for the job. However, since that initial 12-1 season in 2006, Baggot says that the Wisconsin head coach has shown a lot of progress.

Adam Holt of the Badger Herald writes that Bielema is right: 10 years is too long to wait for another Big Ten championship.

Heisman trophy winner and UW legend Ron Dayne is giving advice to current running back John Clay, and he's telling him to seriously consider returning for his senior year.

Bielema was recently on ESPN2's First Take, and you can see the video of his appearance here.

Hockey

Andy Baggot of Madison.com writes that Justin Schultz has put the "power" in "power play" for the Badgers this year. Schultz is currently on pace to break the school record for goals by a defenseman this season.

Chuck Schwartz of Sixty Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets. writes that, despite their 7-6-3 overall record, the Badgers could still be a dangerous team this year.

Basketball

Tom Oates of Madison.com writes about the differences between the Badgers basketball team when they're on the road versus when they're playing at home at the Kohl Center.

A Final Note

The University of Wisconsin got some good news recently: 60 UW athletes were named Academic All-Big Ten for the Fall 2010 season! Congrats to such hard working athletes!

29 days until a potential Rose Bowl game for the Badgers!

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