Fanshots

Ranking the Big Ten's top 15 players with Athlon Sports

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I had the honor of voting in Athlon Sports' poll ranking the Big Ten's 15 best players. My ballot will remain top-secret, so you'll never know if I voted for 15 Badgers or not. It is kinda weird that Rafael Gaglianone doesn't appear anywhere in there, though...

ESPN's Todd McShay likes Melvin Gordon the most

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ESPN/Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay considers Melvin Gordon the top NFL prospect at running back, ahead of Georgia's Todd Gurley, Alabama's TJ Yeldon, South Carolina's Mike Davis and more. McShay says Gordon "is a home run hitter with very good acceleration and top-end speed, with the ability to make defenders miss both in the hole and in space." Thanks to Rotoworld for breaking paywall on the ESPN Insider link!

Melvin Gordon named to ESPN's preseason All-American team

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Melvin Gordon has made yet another preseason media All-American team. After making CBS Sports' on Wednesday, Wisconsin's star running back made ESPN's on Thursday. Other Big Ten representatives include Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff, Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory, Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett and Michigan State punter Mike Sadler.

Bo Ryan does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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I imagine there are quite a few non-Wisconsin fans who've wanted to chuck ice water at Bo Ryan for a while now, so hopefully they enjoy this. And while we've now reached the point where even the most kindhearted gestures of charity and fundraising are no match for the never-ending slew of Internet Content, this Ice Bucket Challenge is getting posted, if for no other reason than to hear that hilarious OOOAWWWW sound Bo makes when he gets duped by the confetti (right around the 25-second mark).

NJ.com: Goldy Gopher is the Big Ten's best mascot because... 'Caddyshack'?

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Sure, this is a Wisconsin blog, and we're supposed to have this reaction. But Goldy Gopher is the Big Ten's best mascot? Really? Bucky is ranked 10th out of 11 mascots here, which doesn't even really matter much. I'm just trying to figure out how an "adorable" mascot that reminds someone of a 34-year-old movie garners the top spot. And I like "Caddyshack," probably even more than the average fellow. Like all things wonky from Jersey, I blame Julie Hermann.

NRG Stadium putting down turf for Wisconsin-LSU

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Here's our built-in excuse in the event things don't go well in Houston: it was the damn turf! Sarcasm aside, this makes sense considering how much the Texans (the building's main occupants) have invested in the field. It is kinda weird they play two days before the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff and then their next game (the regular-season opener) doesn't come until Sept. 7, but again, this is understandable.

Wisconsin backs out of home-and-home with Washington

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Buried in a release from Washington announcing a pair of home-and-homes with BYU and Michigan is the fact that Wisconsin has backed out of its own series with the "other" UW. The statement reads: "... due to conflicts with its Big Ten Conference schedule, Wisconsin was forced to cancel its two games with the Huskies, previously scheduled for 2018 and 2021." As Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out, the Badgers have four Big Ten home games in 2018 and five in 2021.

Melvin Gordon makes CBS Sports' All-American team

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CBS Sports released its preseason All-American list Wednesday, including Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon as one of two running backs alongside Georgia's Todd Gurley. Only a first team was released, so Gordon is the only Badgers representative. The other Big Ten players are Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff, Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett and Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis.

Oh crap, your son has to block J.J. Watt

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Screenshot2014-08-20at102751am_zps793c8b68
This J.J. Watt clip from HBO's "Hard Knocks" is awesome. The Atlanta Falcons are featured this season, and their scrimmage against the Houston Texans brought them face-to-face with J.J. Watt. The clip begins with Bruce Matthews, a Hall of Famer who's son is Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews, talking to Atlanta offensive line coach Mike Tice (and father of Badger fan favorite Nate Tice). The ensuing voiceover is awesome; by highlighting the football dads first, the transition to Watt is essentially, "Oh, man. Your son's screwed!" And indeed, Watt looks pretty damn unblockable in the clip.

Braxton Miller injury makes UW Big Ten favorite

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So Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller is out for the season, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy. Miller reinjured his throwing shoulder in practice Monday, and the effects on the college football world are felt everywhere from the Big Ten picture to the Heisman Trophy race. Wisconsin stands to benefit from both (Melvin Gordon should get even more attention among the conference's top players), and according to PredictionMachine.com (via the USA TODAY link above) the Badgers are now favored in every game (including the opener vs. LSU and in a Big Ten Championship matchup vs. Michigan State). PredictionMachine runs 50,000 simulations of the college football season, and in this instance, the Badgers replace Ohio State in the College Football Playoff.

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