Well, the results are in, and in general Badger fans aren't really that thrilled about how things shook out for Wisconsin when it comes to these brand-spanking new Big Ten divisions. The Badgers have played the Iowa Hawkeyes in 71 of the past 73 seasons, but the two teams won't be facing off in 2011 and 2012. It can easily be argued that it will be harder for the Badgers to make it to the Big Ten Championship when they have to go through Penn State and Ohio State, as opposed to Iowa's main competition in Nebraska and Michigan. You can bet some Badger fans were looking forward to a Wisconsin/Nebraska game every year, but that's off the table as well. How did Barry Alvarez let this happen? Here's a few snippets from his interview with Mike Lucas:
"I would have loved to have protected Iowa. It does disappoint me to a certain extent."
"I asked for (Nebraska's first Big Ten game to take place in Madison). That's very satisfying."
"Minnesota (vs. Wisconsin) is part of college football history, and we wouldn't want to lose that."
"I think we have to keep working on adding that ninth league game and we will."
"Heck, you still have to go out and win football games. That's the bottom line."
After the jump, we've got the recap of Wisconsin at Indiana, 2009 trap game edition. Also, more Badger Bits. College football season starts tonight folks!
Going to Indiana to play a football game is a lose-lose proposition. If you win, it doesn't matter, you only beat Indiana. If you lose, then that's just plain embarrassing. Could the Badgers take care of business to snag win number seven?
Wisconsin Badgers (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) at Indiana Hoosiers (4-5, 1-4), November 7, 2009 - In 2009, a team with a solid passing attack could score points against the Badgers. And passing is what Indiana does best. The Hoosiers struck first with a Tandon Doss touchdown reception. Wisconsin then reeled off 17 straight points, but Indiana would not go away. It didn't help that John Clay missed the entire second half because of a concussion, but fortunately Montee Ball had a breakout performance in Clay's absence. Ball finished with 115 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, the last of which put the Badgers up 31-21 with 8 minutes left in the contest. Indiana answered with a 4th-and-goal touchdown run to make it 31-28 with 4 minutes to go. Scott Tolzien sealed the deal with a key 17-yard pass to Nick Toon on third-and-8 with about 2:30 left. The play allowed Wisconsin to hold on to the ball until time expired. Wisconsin left Bloomington with the win everyone expected, but no expected it to be as difficult as it was. Part of it was poor pass defense by Wisconsin despite knowing Indiana's offense was one-dimensional. The other part of it was that Indiana wasn't as bad a team as everyone thought.
Tom Oates calls Wisconsin the big loser in the Big Ten divisional alignment. He thinks Badger fans will miss playing Michigan regularly, but I'm not so sure of that myself.
John Clay racks up yards and touchdowns because he wants to prove doubters wrong.
Barry Alvarez thinks a new Wisconsin football facility is a pressing need.
Mike Taylor plans on a week 2 return, aka the home opener versus San Jose State.
These reactions to the new Big Ten alignment include quotes from Bret Bielema and Alvarez.
The University of Wisconsin Marching Band is not going to Las Vegas. It's a lack of money issue.
Some Badgers in the pros news: Jim Leonhard has a blog this season, Troy Vincent is the best NFL player to ever wear number 23, and Jim Sorgi was placed on season-ending injury reserve by the New York Giants.
Wisconsin secures an in-state wide receiver on the recruiting trail, Brookfield Academy's Fred Willis.
College football begins tonight, and we've got Big Ten action. Marshall visits Ohio State, Indiana hosts Towson, and Minnesota goes to Middle Tennessee State. Personally, I'll be watching the latter to see how badly the Gophers lose. Also, go out and pick up Badger Kickoff 2010. You'll be glad you did, it's the type of magazine you'll be able to refer back to years from now. Newsstands across Wisconsin and MapleStreetPress.com are where you can find it. Football season is finally here!