Badger Bits: Christmas Eve Edition

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Just like that, the Rose Bowl is one week from tomorrow.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Not a whole lot is going on today, as tomorrow's obviously Christmas Day, and that's when the Badgers are heading out to Pasadena. Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a nice look at how the wide receivers have fueled the running game, and his colleague, Dave Heller, has a quick little recap of recruits reacting on Twitter to phone calls from new head coach Gary Andersen. That pretty much confirms Andersen, while he keeps himself on the periphery of the Rose Bowl preparations, is busy hitting the recruiting trail.

Elsewhere, the Wisconsin State Journal explains how and why the athletic department won't be trucking any booze to Pasadena. In the wake of last January's John Chadima scandal, that's probably a solid idea.

Tom Mulhern of the State Journal also explains how Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez is asking the assistant coaches that are leaving for other jobs after the Rose Bowl not to poach current Wisconsin recruits. The article is very informative and worth your time. Here a few highlights:

  • We'll kick back up the Rose Bowl coverage after Christmas, but here is a Stanford's media guide for the game, if you'd like.
  • The only UW recruit to change his mind since Bret Bielema left for Arkansas was George Military College safety Tiquention Coleman, who followed Bielema to the Hogs.
  • Bielema previously told the State Journal that he will only recruit Wisconsin commits if they reach out to him first. "I'm not going to touch anybody, but if they reach out to me, I will respond back," Bielema said. Apparently Coleman did reach out first.
  • One interesting note that could surface into something greater: wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni, who is leaving for Tennessee after the Rose Bowl, said the Vols were recruiting one Badgers commit. "Zach came to me the other day and told me Tennessee was calling one of the kids that committed to us," Alvarez said. "He told me it wasn't him, he wasn't involved in that, didn't like that action." Clearly it's not a significant issue now, but I wonder -- if Tennessee ends up nabbing one of those commits, or if Azzanni is one of the coaches elects to choose competition over loyalty to Alvarez, what will Alvarez say?
  • Andersen has indeed received clearance from the NCAA to start recruiting. That was all but a formality, but it allows his incoming assistants and the current staff members that are staying on to begin contacting commits this week.
  • Though Andersen himself as also said he won't take any Utah State commits or players with him, his twin sons could enroll at Wisconsin.
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