Badger Bits: Honors, awards and recognitions, oh my!

It had been a few weeks since Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez received a public honor. So the other night, the National Association of College Athletic Directors recognized him for being the first Latino to win a Rose Bowl.

Yeah, OK. No word yet on whether he'll be taking center court at halftime of a men's basketball game for this one, too.

Badger men's hockey tri-captain Blake Geoffrion has been nominated for an ESPY Award! The Tennessee native is in the running for Best Male College Athlete. The awards show takes place next month.

This should increase some of the well-deserved attention Geoffrion has gotten in Madison over the last few months. Hockey will never match football in terms of popularity at UW, but imagine if John Clay won the Heisman Trophy this year and the Badgers played in the BCS National Championship Game. That's essentially what Geoffrion accomplished by becoming Wisconsin's first Hobey Baker Award winner and leading his team to the championship game of the Frozen Four.

The Badger football team's 2010 senior class gathered to pose for the team poster. It involves much more than standing in a group, looking at the camera and saying "cheese." The process is described here.

You can get your hands on this year's poster throughout the month of August. They'll be on hand at the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago on August 2, or at Football Family Fun Day at Camp Randall Stadium on August 22. I'm a last-minute kind of guy, so I usually just stop by the Athletic Department office on Monroe Street a few days before the season starts to pick mine up.

Badgers defensive end J.J. Watt gets some props for the time he spends volunteering off the field.

Rivals.com compiled an interesting ranking of the top "triplets" in college football, or the best combinations of quarterback, running back and wide receiver. They put Wisconsin ninth on that list, with Scott Tolzien, John Clay and Nick Toon all returning as starters. Over at ESPN, Adam Rittenberg thinks the Badgers should have placed even higher, above Ohio State's combo of Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron and DeVier Posey, which ranked seventh.

I'm with Rittenberg on this one. Clay is a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender, and I would even take the perfect fit of Tolzien in Wisconsin's offense than the square peg of Pryor in the round hole that is Ohio State's scheme. In terms of talent, there's no question Pryor has it in abundance, but he's a shaky passer and head coach Jim Tressell is still inexplicably uncomfortable giving Pryor the freedom to exploit defenses with his skills. Before you call me crazy, go compare Tolzien's 2009 statistics with Pryor's and Wisconsin's offensive numbers with Ohio State's. The Badgers were better on offense, largely because of their returning "triplets." The Buckeyes were the better team, but that was because they boasted the fifth-ranked defense in the country, not because of Pryor.

Badger hockey goalie Scott Gudmandson is inviting fans to design his mask for the upcoming season. He'll have to stand on his head for the Badgers to do any damage with the losses they've withstood this offseason.

One of those losses, Geoffrion, will be playing in the Nashville Predators organization next year. He was named Wisconsin's male athlete of the year.

Tonight's NHL draft figures to be a showcase for the WCHA, writes Andy Baggot.

Despite another tough playoff exit, the San Jose Sharks are giving former Badger Joe Pavelski a pretty sweet new deal.

-Jake Harris

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