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Badger Bits: Is Wisconsin a top-tier Big Ten team?

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Good morning everyone! I have a final in about 45 minutes, so I apologize for the abbreviated post today.

I was running through my normal sites to find some Badger links, and I found this ESPN video- it's a roundtable with Kirk Herbstreit, Jesse Palmer, Craig James, and Robert Smith. They talk preview the 2011 Badgers in their session, and an interesting question comes up around the 5:24 mark: Should the Badgers be put in the "top-tier" of the Big Ten, along with teams like Ohio State, Penn State, and Nebraska?

Every ESPN panel member said the Badgers belong in the Big Ten's top-tier, and Craig James said for now Wisconsin has replaced Michigan at the top of the conference. But is the Badgers' 2010 championship enough to put them in the conversation for the league's upper crust year in and year out? Or do you need more evidence that the Badgers can reload and still compete for a championship? Vote in the poll below!

Dave Heller of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a few notes on Jordan Taylor, and a few links to pre-season polls for the 2011 Badger basketball team.

Rob Schultz of Madison.com writes about Zach Bohannon, and why he decided to leave Air Force for Wisconsin.

Blake Geoffrion's Nashville Predators may be out of the running for the Stanley Cup, but the 2010 Hobey Baker Award winner is back in Milwaukee with Nashville's AHL affiliate.

Tom Mulhern of Madison.com writes that the UW School of Nursing got an unexpected $1 million donation because of the Badgers' spring game.

Finally, the UW Athletic Department is breaking ground on LaBahn Arena this morning- the new men's hockey practice facility and women's hockey arena is expected to open in 2012.

Nick Sunderland-Saied has an article on Barry Alvarez's support for the UW women's tennis coach.