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Badger Bits: Time to end the chant and end the distraction

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In case you missed it, Bret Bielema and Barry Alvarez aren't too happy with a certain back-and-forth chant that goes on in the student section during home games. John wrote about Bielema's comments on the vulgar chant yesterday and Deadspin even picked up the story last night.

The tone of Bielema and Alvarez's message is clear: they're embarrassed. Put yourself in Bielema's shoes. You're the head coach of one of the top up-and-coming programs in college football. Your quarterback is a Heisman candidate and anything short of a second consecutive Rose Bowl appearance would be a disappointment. Things have never been better at Wisconsin. But now you have to deal with this?

There are a million other things going on at Wisconsin Bielema could and should be talking about, but instead he has to speak with reporters about a letter he sent to students asking them to stop behaving like children and offending everyone who watches the game from outside sections J through P. It's become a distraction (a minor one, I know) for the Badgers, and that's worrisome.

Think about how you felt when you saw the videos of (or were a part of) the students singing "Buttercup" and "Sweet Caroline" against Nebraska, or when you read about the history of "Jump Around" in the New York Times two weeks ago. Think about how you feel when you join 80,000 other Badgers fans in the singing of "Varsity." These are feelings of pride, and I certainly don't think the "FUES" chant is a prideful Wisconsin tradition. So listen to the coaches: end the chant and end the distraction.

Mike Taylor (and perhaps Chris Borland, too) has a chance to be Wisconsin's first first-team All-Big Ten linebacker since 2003. 

Here's your weekly list of predictions for Saturday's game. No one has the Badgers scoring fewer than 45 points and no one has the Hoosiers with more than 17. One reporter even picked Wisconsin to score 90.

David Gilbert, on the play of his replacement Brandon Kelly at defensive end: "He has been damn good."

A columnist at ESPN thinks Michigan is the "quiet Big Ten favorite." (Insider subscription required).

I'm a little light on football stories this morning, but here are some basketball and hockey links instead:

Despite having accomplished so much, Bo Ryan still wants to do more before he stops coaching basketball.

Jordan Taylor had his right ankle surgically repaired during the offseason, but it won't prevent him from "playing full out" in the upcoming season.

The Badger hockey team is counting on Mark Zengerle, who led the team in assists last season, to look for his own opportunities to score more often this season.