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B5Q Mailbag: Get the salt and pepper ready

When I picked Michigan to beat the UW men's basketball team Saturday, I didn't know I was going out on such a limb. The game was a "pick'em" in Vegas, Michigan has played pretty well at home as of late and Wisconsin's Big Ten road record was only 2-3.

I was very happily wrong as the Badgers cruised to a 62-44 victory in Ann Arbor. But based on the e-mails I have received since the game, you would have thought I picked North Dakota State to beat Wisconsin.

Bring it on:

Subject: Re-tract
From: Max Z.

You gonna post a retraction article to your one from last Friday about the Badgers v. Michigan being a trap game? Maybe J-Bo read it and decided to play the best basketball of his career to spite you?

I would be happy to write a retraction, Max. This is actually the first time I've ever been wrong in my entire life. I feel like John Locke in Lost right before the hatch is about to explode. He looks at Mr. Eko and says "I was wrong" probably assuming they would be the last words of his life.

Dear Bo Ryan and the Badgers,

I would like to extend an apology for picking Michigan to beat you 61-56 Saturday in Ann Arbor. It was completely irresponsible of me to think a Big Ten team would ever lose a game like that on the road. I mean, it rarely happens. It's not like Michigan State lost at Illinois on Saturday or anything.

The truth is, I wish I could take it back. I wish I could rip the story up and pretend it never happened. Unfortunately there is this new thing called the internet and once you post something on it, you can NEVER EVER take it back. The good thing about that, however, is that now Max can go back and read the same story over again and realize that I never called this a "trap game" for you guys. I just gave Michigan a little too much credit for beating UConn and home and nearly upsetting Michigan State there as well.

There is a rumor going around that Jason Bohannon read my pre-game story and decided to play the best basketball of his career just to spite me. If that is the case then I would like to retract my retraction and take credit for the Badger victory.

Sincerely, Adam Hoge

Subject: Get the salt and pepper Adam
From: Steve B., Badger parent

After listening to the Badgers blow out Michigan, it may be time for you to eat your words, I am sure that as a Badger grad, nothing would make you happier. At least I hope so. Anyway thanks for the interesting pregame article.

Your sarcasm is not lost on me Steve. And yes, it does make me very happy to eat crow in this instance (the salt and pepper seasoning is a good idea). The nice thing about picking against the Badgers is that I can't really lose. Either Wisconsin wins or I get my pick right.

By the way, I have a confession. This isn't the first time I have ever been wrong in my life. I also picked Northwestern to beat Wisconsin last month in Evanston. Whoops. Of course, with these e-mails I have been getting you would think I've been picking against the Badgers all season. I mean, it's not like I have successfully picked them to beat then-No. 5/6 Duke, then- No. 4 Purdue and then-No.5 Michigan State this season, right? Oh, wait. I did.

Subject: Rankings
From: Keith T.

Where do you think Wisconsin will be ranked this week after blowing out both Michigan State and Michigan? I feel like they should jump into the Top 10, but that probably won't happen, right?

Obviously this e-mail was sent to me before the rankings came out this morning, but before they did, I felt the exact same way as you Keith. Few teams in the country had as good of a week as Wisconsin did. Not only did the Badgers get two great wins, but they did so in blowout fashion. Still, you have to have the right amount of teams lose ahead of you to make a jump like that in the Top 10 and it just wasn't meant to be.

With that said, I still have two problems with this week's rankings, which have UW at No. 11 in the AP Poll and No. 13 in the Coaches' Poll. The first one is simple. How did Wisconsin only move up three spots in the Coaches' Poll? I've actually thought both polls have been quite generous to the Badgers this season. They were the highest ranked four loss team and then remained the highest ranked fifth loss team after losing to Purdue. As I wrote last week, the respect has been there all season. That's why I thought for sure UW would make a bigger jump in the polls this week.

My other problem is that Michigan State is still ranked ahead of Wisconsin at No. 10 in both polls. In almost every circumstance imaginable I would have told you last week that there was probably no way the Badgers could jump MSU in the polls considering the Spartans were at No. 5 and UW was at No. 16. But if you asked me to invent a possible scenario in which that could happen, it would have been the exact scenario that actually played out. Not only did Michigan State lose both games last week, but UW blew out the Spartans and Wolverines. Then throw in the Kalin Lucas injury and I can't believe there are that many voters who put MSU ahead of the Badgers.

Subject: Badger hockey
From: Clint R.

I am an avid reader of your blog Bucky's 5th Quarter. I was just wondering, how come Badger hockey is not really covered on your site. Do you leave that for the WCHA site? Do you guys just figure that the fans of your site will not care too much about hockey?

Honestly, it's just an issue of man-power. This is pretty much a one and a half man operation here at B5Q and as you can probably tell, this isn't our day job. We used to have a really good hockey guy, but he went on to bigger and better things in the real world and that left us short.

The WCHA blog helps a lot and they have some really good content over there, but obviously the Badgers are a Top 3 team and as we get closer to the post-season and the WCHA title goes down to the wire, we will have more coverage. I promise.

Finally, a random thought that has nothing to do with e-mails:

One of my favorite commercials last night was the Google commercial, but it doesn't compare to this Tiger Woods re-make of the commercial by Slate:


Feel free to send your questions and comments to the B5Q mailbag at