The last of Wisconsin's two fall scrimmages begins at 3:40 p.m. today at Camp Randall Stadium. As always, admission is free. Enter through Gate 1 beginning at 3 p.m., and you should set be for a great afternoon of Badger football. There are also a few more details here, if you'd like.
As for the scrimmage itself, Gary Andersen has said there will be some clarity to position battles gleaned after it's over. That might not mean the quarterbacks, though, which is the one we're all naturally watching.
"We may get in position to name a starting quarterback in our minds," Andersen said after Saturday's practice. "The first day it'll be made public is when he jogs out here against UMass.
"Anybody that sits down and watches practice -- you guys are smart guys, gals, you understand where it's going and the direction it is. I think right now it's still wide-open. I think, right now, it's still wide-open. We'll definitely close in on a lot of different positions on Monday after that scrimmage, because it needs to. We'll start game preparation for a couple of our upcoming opponents early next week."
I don't believe there are any smart-money bets here, but it does feel somewhat safe saying Joel Stave and Curt Phillips are some variation of starting quarterback 1A and 1B, slightly ahead of Tanner McEvoy. That's simply because of early practice observations that have seen them get more snaps than McEvoy, to varying extents. Plus, they simply had advantages over McEvoy coming into camp considering they're experienced and McEvoy didn't join the program until the summer.
I'm working on a deeper depth chart preview, but for now remember that you can always view our projected 2013 Wisconsin depth chart here. During the season, it'll also be updated each week.
This is a great read from Jeff Potrykus highlighting a health scare Andersen endured in 2010 after he blacked out and crashed to the ground. The result was two cracked vertebrae and a cut to the face, as well as one lesson absolutely learned.
Andersen learned he had to allow his coordinators to do their jobs and he had to focus on his job - head coach/CEO.
"I'm not smart enough to be a coordinator, be a head coach and take care of 120 kids," he said. "I can't do it. I tried it for about a year and it was too much."
Vercher, who was expected to be a significant contributor to Wisconsin's secondary this season before he was surprisingly denied admission to UW, has now left the Fresno State program. There are several telling quotes in this article from head coach Tim DeRuyter, though this one really says it all.
"He's made a decision that for right now football is not going to be part of the equation. We wish him the best, but we have to move on and he has to move on with his life," DeRuyter said.
Sounds like Vercher just didn't have the love of the game necessary to keep on playing. Best of luck to him moving forward.
Good insight into the first AP poll of the season, which you may or may not care about. The highlights:
- Wisconsin earned just 13 fewer votes than No. 22 Northwestern.
- The highest a voter had UW was No. 15... by Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, who did not rank Bret Bielema's Razorbacks. Woo pig, y'all.
- 10 voters had the Badgers in the teens, while 18 left them off altogether.
We won't keep checking in on Gilbert -- unless there's a reason we should -- but there were some interesting quotes about his departure from Wisconsin in here.
Gilbert has injured his foot so many times he hung up his cleats four months ago. What made him think he could put them on again?
"I did say that, but the healing went well," Gilbert said. "People have questions about that, but unless you're the one there, have that pressure, that feeling of not playing again, there's no feeling like that. I wouldn't wish that on anybody."
When he decided to resume playing, he figured it was best to graduate early from Wisconsin, which would allow him to play a final season at another FBS program without penalty. He said some at his former program might "feel like I lied" and ditched the Badgers.
"I went through a tough time after my surgery," he said. "I was kind of uncertain about what I was going to do without football moving forward."
I don't think many of us are holding a grudge against Gilbert, though the circumstances of this whole thing are curious. I can definitely buy, though, an athlete having significant doubts about his playing future after suffering a serious injury so late in his collegiate career. Good luck to Gilbert moving forward.
Questionable headline here, but hey, it's Monday. Some money quotes from Dezmen Southward about all the talk of UW's secondary being the weakest unit on the team will probably get you fired up:
"Like I tell those guys, everyone likes to call our unit the weakest spot on the team," Southward said. "Every single time we go out on the field, we need to prove why we're not. We want to be a strength of the team."
Southward said the comments don't motivate him as much as they annoy him.
"It just (ticks) me off, honestly," Southward said. "Just because I don't see it at all. I don't think it's fair to say this part of the team is a weakness, when you haven't seen them play yet.