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Badger Bits: Minnesota week kicks off on the 2009 Schedule Tour

Some would argue it's the best game on Wisconsin's 2009 schedule and it might end up being the most important. On Oct. 3 the Badgers will travel to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota in the new TCF Bank Stadium and the only people more excited about it than me are our friends at The Daily Gopher who will join me tomorrow on a special ONE HOUR edition of The 5th Quarter Radio Show.

It all starts at 1 PM CT and since we're going an hour, we'll have some basketball and hockey talk as well.

On to some links:

Jewel Hampton injured? - Des Moines Register
Rumors have been flying around all weekend that Iowa running back Jewel Hampton tore his ACL in non-contact drills on Friday and will miss the entire 2009 season. No one has been able to confirm the story, but if it is true, this would be a major blow to a Hawkeye team poised to be in the preseason Top 25. I saw Hampton a few times last season and he looked like he could fill in for Shonn Greene and not skip a beat. Beyond Hampton, Iowa's depth at tailback is very limited.

Economy has Alvarez searching for answers -
Wherever Barry Alvarez goes these days, the University of Wisconsin athletic director hears the same question with the same urgent tone.

Scalping student tickets draws the ire of some -
Here's a good story on the scalping of student tickets at Wisconsin.

UW basketball a Top 25 team - Lansing State Journal
We're talking basketball already? The Lansing State Journal has an incredibly early look at their Top 25 teams for next season. Big Ten teams on the list: No. 4 Michigan State, No. 7 Purdue, No. 12 Minnesota, No. 15 Michigan, No. 18 Ohio State, No. 23 Illinois and yes, No. 25 Wisconsin. Can you tell the story was written by a Big Ten writer?

Team USA advances, lighting up South Korea, 113-76 -
Led by head coach Bo Ryan, Team USA topped Finland and South Korea this weekend to advance to the Round of 16 at the Men's World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia. It will take on Greece at 2 PM CT today.

USA Football wins tournament while outscoring opponents 174-3
This is not a joke. There is really an American Football Junior World Championship and it was not surprisingly won by AMERICA on Sunday after Team USA beat Canada 41-3. Unfortunately the Americans were pissed after the game because they let Canada score. They had previously beat France 78-0 and Mexico 55-0, proving that there should not be an international tournament for a sport that has to clarify it is AMERICAN football in its tournament title. Want more ridiculousness? Team USA's quarterback and wide receivers didn't even make first-team All-Tournament. And the All-Tournament team head coach was Japan's Takao Yamazaki who didn't even make the gold medal game, but was simply honored for not having to play Team USA. Oh and if you're wondering why all this matters, it's because incoming freshman Tyler Dippel was named second-team All-Tournament despite not even playing in the gold medal game for Team USA.

36 Hours in Madison, Wis. -
Madison was featured in the NYTimes Travel section on Sunday.