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Badger Bits: Plowing through awards, rankings and respect

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There's been a lot of debate the last couple days about matchup vs. location when it comes to bowl games. Which one is more important?

It's a good question, but I think the answer is obvious: the matchup is more important. Tuesday, December 29 two up-and-coming teams will square off in a bad stadium that is located in a bad city, but the winner will hardly care. It's likely the victor will be ranked in the top 15 next season and either Miami or Wisconsin will be thrilled about getting a win over a good program.

The atmosphere won't exactly be electric and the upper deck might even be closed, but the game should be a good one. Both teams have a ton of young, exciting players that are on the brink of stardom. You want two Heisman candidates for next season? Look no further than Miami's Jacory Harris or Wisconsin's John Clay.

Quite frankly I think bowl games have more of an impact on the following season than the current one and both of these programs could use a win like this to spark an important 2010 campaign.

Looking at the bowl slate, it appears the Champs Sports Bowl is one of the better matchups, but ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach disagrees, ranking the bowl No. 17 out of 34. Confused? I sure am. He's got the Hawaii Bowl ranked No. 16. Do you know who is playing in the Hawaii Bowl? Nevada and Southern Methodist. Ouch.

As we move on to some links, Matt Lepay agrees with me about the matchup and looks back on his first road trip he ever took with the Badgers -- to Miami to face the Hurricanes.

Last week was certainly an exciting week to be a Badger fan and I don't think my inbox has ever been more flooded with news releases about Badger players winning awards. Yesterday I was getting a tweet or an e-mal every five minutes about awards that had been won. Trevon Hughes won Big Ten Player of the Week, while John Clay, J.J. Watt and David Gilreath were also awarded weekly honors by the conference. Meanwhile, Barry Alvarez will be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

Finally, the UW men's basketball team is headed up to Green Bay today around 2:30 p.m. to get ready for the Phoenix. Snow is a big issue, but according to SID Patrick Herb's tweet today, I don't think Bo Ryan cares much about the weather:

BadgerMBBall: Bball team will snowplow its way to Green Bay around 2:30 p.m. today. Snow or no snow... we've got practice tonight at the Resch Center.

And in case you didn't realize it, this rare trip to Green Bay is Wisconsin's only true non-conference road game this season. The team will play five straight home games after Wednesday's contest and won't return to the road until Jan. 3 when the Badgers play at Penn State.