Badger Bits: Wisconsin's quest for Rose Bowl begins Monday

The journey towards a third consecutive Rose Bowl appearance begins this Monday for head coach Bret Bielema and the Badgers.

It's a busy time in the Big Ten with the transfer of Silas Red to USC and the announcement of Kyle Prater's NCAA ruling that allows him to play this season. And that's only the beginning of the action. On Thursday Indiana will be the first Big Ten team to open fall camp, with the rest of the conference following suit shortly after. For Wisconsin, this coming Monday marks the start of its 2012 campaign.

It'll surely be exciting to see how new quarterback Danny O'Brien progresses through camp, who will (hopefully) emerge at wide receiver and which players will win the final starting positions (right guard and the final linebacker spot). You can only take so much away from practices — as they come nowhere near real-game scenarios — but it's disappointing that just five spring practices will be open to the media. This news comes courtesy of ESPN's Big Ten Blog, which also tweeted that five practices is less than the norm for Wisconsin. Tough to say why this is, but from just speculating, it may have something to do with the national attention and extensive scrutiny O'Brien will receive.

When the Badgers take to the field Monday, they will also be greeted by the latest of Camp Randall's renovations — which look awesome by the way. It's a nice touch adding the retired numbers, Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl appearances to the outside wall of the stadium's luxury boxes. Note that by placing these historical attributes opposite the press box sideline, it will be much easier to highlight the accomplishments during games on TV.

Wednesday's Links:

One local reporter says athletic director Barry Alvarez should focus on filling Camp Randall before reseating season ticket owners.

Tom Mulhern continues his preseason analysis of Wisconsin's position groups, focusing on the tight ends.

With the Badgers coming off consecutive Rose Bowl appearances and looking to make it three straight, many of us forget second place doesn't necessarily have to mean a Capital One Bowl bid. A CBSSports.com expert envisions Wisconsin playing in a different BCS Bowl Game this holiday season.

Bielema is becoming more well-known nationally by the year, making it more difficult for him to tell strangers he's a European History teacher at UW (pretty comical).

Former USC wide receiver Kyle Prater, a five-star recruit entering college, was granted eligibility to play this season at Northwestern. See how the NCAA's ruling will help boost the Wildcats' offense.

More news involving USC, this much better for the Trojans as they added Penn State's star running back, Silas Red, as a transfer.

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