Wisconsin news and notes: Are the Badgers College Football Playoff contenders?

Tom Pennington

Is Gary Andersen's 2014 squad a legitimate contender for this year's College Football Playoff? All that and more in Tuesday's Badger Bits.

After Saturday's glorified scrimmage, there wasn't a whole lot you could take away from the Cardinal's 6-0 spring game victory. Sure, fans got their taste of Tanner McEvoy under center, but the majority of the Badgers' key players were either sidelined or never touched.

While this article stemmed from before Saturday, ESPN's Travis Haney believes Wisconsin is one of the dark-horse contenders to hoist the crystal ball next season ($). If Gary Andersen and co., can battle past LSU in the first game of the season down in Houston then, yes, the Badgers can be legitimate contenders. You also have to consider the fact that the schedule is abysmal outside of game No. 1, with home games against Nebraska and Minnesota, the lone threats in the newly-aligned divisions. I just think the Tigers will be too much for Wisconsin from start to finish, making it hard for the team to get into the top four.

Sports Illustrated's NFL Draft positional breakdowns: Jared Abbrederis was listed No. 10 of 10 among the top wide receivers, projecting him to go between the second and third rounds. Whatever team ends up with the Wautoma, Wis., native will be very, very happy in whatever round it may be. I know he has inconsistent catching ability and a small NFL body (let's not forget the concussions, either), but he is a superb route-runner and has excellent breakaway speed. If anyone needs any further evidence, his dominant performance against NFL cornerback-to-be Bradley Roby and Ohio State should suffice. Chris Borland was also at the bottom of the list among the top linebackers, slating him between the fourth and fifth rounds. Like Abbrederis, Borland has the talent to succeed at the next level, despite some have question marks about his size. It's a totally different example for a lot of reasons, but the same was said about Russell Wilson. *Note: Jacob Pedersen and Ryan Groy were not among the top 10 for their respective positions.

2015 quarterback committ Austin Kafentzis will be back in Madison this June for Wisconsin's summer camp and is bringing some other talented family members with him. Gary Andersen and his staff have made quite an impression on the recruiting trail not just with last year's 25-man class, but future classes as well. Of course, the class is headlined by Kafentzis, who is the ideal combination of a pocket passer and run-first quarterback. In the grand scheme of things, the reason I believe Tanner McEvoy will ultimately win this year's starting job is because Andersen and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig want to start to implement their hybrid offense. That's not to say they will throw the running game to wayside; they just want to add another wrinkle with a dynamic, dual-threat gunslinger.

According to a March survey by Drexel University and National College Players Association, the projected fair market value of a college football player is $178,000/year from 2011 to 2015 , while a basketball player's value weighed in significantly higher at $375,000. In other news, the sky is blue and grass is green. Kidding aside and to put it simply, I realize college athletes immense worth on the open market, but they get enough perks as it is. I'm all for a small additional stipend per month, but it should stop there because let's remind: these student athletes are amateurs by the letter of the NCAA law.

Quick Hitters

Video of the Day

With today being April 15, what better way to bring in the newest feature of Badger Bits with highlights from No. 15 Sam Dekker's improbable performance in the 2012 WIAA Division 5 State Championship Game? The Sheboygan Lutheran product scored 12 points in the last 50 seconds, including the game winner.

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