Unofficial Ron Dayne Day continued an always-welcome stretch of nostalgia for Wisconsin fans on Monday afternoon, as the former Wisconsin great met with reporters for a press conference alongside his former head coach and current UW Director of Athletics, Barry Alvarez.
Earlier in the day, Dayne was announced as one of 14 former players and coaches as members of the 2013 Hall of Fame class, joining the likes of Tommie Frazier, Vinny Testaverde and Orlando Pace. In a statement, he and Alvarez offered a few fairly standard sentiments of gratitude and praise. Later that afternoon, the duo returned to Camp Randall Stadium for one more press conference.
Some highlights from the presser (the video and transcript can be found here):
Dayne on if he expected to get in on his first try:
"Well, I didn't really think about it too much. I was excited about making the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame [in 2011]. That was the biggest thing for me."
Alvarez on what it means to see one of his former players reach the Hall of Fame:
"No one is more deserving than Ron. I said that in that meeting. To have rushed more than anyone in the history of college football -- he's minus 800 yards they didn't count for bowl games. He's very deserving. It's an honor for me to have coached him. I'm thrilled for him."
Alvarez on what the HOF committee discussions are like:
"No, it's not heated. There's no one really politicking for anyone. We have a manual about that thick with information, stats, on every person. We go through one at a time. [Former Notre Dame AD and ACC commissioner] Gene Corrigan is the chair. Whenever that person comes up, he'll read some of the stats. If anyone is familiar with them -- whether they coached him or were in the same league, played against him; the panel consists of some players, former players, administrators, some coaches -- people would just talk about that particular person. Everyone takes notes. Then we go back through and take a ballot.
"Ron, by the way, was a unanimous choice."
Alvarez on the magnitude of Dayne getting inducted:
"I heard today ... over five million people have played college football. There's like less than 1 percent that have gone into the Hall of Fame. .02 percent of all the people that have played college football are in the Hall of Fame. That gives you the magnitude of this honor."
Dayne on what he hopes his legacy in college football is:
"Like I said, like coach said, I just wanted to be a great running back. Everybody had me down as a fullback. Now I can say I'm one of the great running backs. Coach took the 'fullback' out of my repertoire. He helped me out of that. Like I say, I'm one of the top running backs, and that was because of coach."
The rest of the interview is absolutely worth watching, if not to get all teary-eyed thinking back to the glory days. Plus, for as high-profile as a college football hall of famer, Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL running back is bound to be, Dayne still looks relatively sheepish behind the mic, which is kind of endearing.
On Wisconsin, Ron. We're looking forward to seeing you poke around the sidelines, as always, come fall.
Early So-freakin-early odds for all of college football's major divisions are out. Naturally, Ohio State is favored way, way above anyone else in the Big Ten. Wisconsin is the second favorite in the Leaders division, but only fifth in the conference.
SI.com's Andy Staples has his post-spring Top 25. Northwestern gets in there but Wisconsin doesn't, and Michigan State is a somewhat surprisingly-high 14th.
Basketball news (!): The 2013 Cancun Challenge field is nearly set. The Badgers will host a pair of games before heading south in late November. Again, this tournament is just fantastic. The division names are "Mayan" and "Riviera," forchrissakes.
Run Home Jack and Dan Rubenstein go to the tarot cards on EDSBS to gaze into the fall seasons awaiting Jim Delany, Johnny Manziel and Lane Kiffin, among others.
Once more: Ron Dayne, y'all.