OK, so the FanShot about UW forfeiting the Cal Poly victory is a joke. It comes courtesy of the Capital Times, which deserves a ton of credit. I believed the whole thing until the last line: "Also, this article is a regulation-sized April Fool's prank."
Now, did I believe it because I'm gullable or did I believe it because it wouldn't surprise me if Bret Bielema and Barry Alvarez really brought in smaller goal posts to get a win?
I guess it seems kind of silly now. There are probably at least 10 other easier ways to cheat. Plus, if they cheated and still only won by one point then this program really has issues.
The credit really goes to The Capital Times because the story reads like it is totally legit:
A source close to the football program said Badgers coach Bret Bielema, who also serves as the team’s special teams coach, noticed Gardner had struggled in previous games and decided to order the narrow goal posts as a way to gain a competitive advantage.
UW needed the victory to become bowl eligible, thus guaranteeing that Bielema and his staff could collect hefty bonuses.
Notably, the source said that when Bielema had second thoughts about the stunt, he was ordered to carry it out by athletic director Barry Alvarez.
Apparently, Alvarez had already used back-channel connections to line up a berth in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla., and wanted to ensure that he could spend the entire month of December at his condo in Naples under the auspices of site preparation for the game.
OK, the more I read it, the more ridiculous it sounds. But I still wouldn't put it past Bielema and Alvarez.
Still, the real genius of the story was the not-so-subtle jab at Bielema's scheduling habits:
Another aspect of the punishment may include the Badgers being forced to schedule FCS foes for each of the next five seasons; that task is 40 percent complete, with Wofford already slated to visit Camp Randall in 2009 and South Dakota coming in 2011.
40 percent complete. Love it.
But that wasn't the only April Fool's joke regarding the UW football team today. If you're a subscriber of Badger Football Insider, you received an e-mail today that said: "Badgers name starting quarterback."
Yeah, right. No one believed that one.
Brian Lucas, UW's Football SID, didn't even bother to take it any further, probably because it was a totally unbelievable headline whether it's April 1 or Aug. 1.
Here are five other April Fool's jokes:
- The Badgers have scheduled an SEC opponent for a future regular season game. April Fools!
- Bret Bielema will allow the media into practice next season. April Fools!
- The UW coaching staff actually spent an entire day recruiting a quarterback. April Fools!
- The student section will show up on time to all seven home games next season. April Fools!
- The Badgers will play a bowl game in Florida next season. Oh wait... that one's probably true.
OK, now some stories that are true (I promise):
- Fresh off another national title, Mark Johnson was named the nation's top coach.
- Peter Konz took over as right tackle on the No. 1 offense, passing Josh Oglesby. Oglesby was UW's No. 1 recruit in 2007 but continues to struggle. Bielema said: "Peter had been doing some good things, and then also Josh had done some things to take him out of that position."
- Tom Oates writes that many of UW's top programs are suffering from recruiting woes. No, really?
- Dave Heller has some good football recruiting updates. Including news that UW has offered RB Marcus Lattimore (Scout.com's No. 1 RB in the nation) a scholarship.
- And former UW women's basketball player Mariah Dunham has landed at Northern Michigan.