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Badger Bits: An Old Rivalry Continues

With all the attention currently focused on the search for a new head football coach, it's important to note that Wisconsin has a huge game on Saturday against old rival Marquette.

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If you would have asked me last Saturday after the decisive victory over No. 12 Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship Game what the story of the week would be, the last thing I would have guessed was that head coach Bret Bielema had left the school and taken a job at Arkansas.

But that was then and this is now, and the Badgers are in the midst of their biggest coaching search possibly in school history. Names like Chris Petersen, Bob Diaco and Paul Chryst have been thrown around as possible replacements, but for the time being, Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez is taking the helm for the Rose Bowl game, as well as leading the charge to find the new coach for the Badgers next season.

But that’s enough about the Badgers' football team, whose next game isn’t until Jan. 1 against the Pac-12 champion Stanford Cardinal. Wisconsin basketball (6-3) has another tough challenge on the road against 5-2 Marquette. For the Golden Eagles, it’s their first game since their 33 point beatdown by No. 7 Florida. For Wisconsin, it’s the first game since beating Nebraska-Omaha by 46 points on Tuesday.

Saturday will mark the 119th meeting between the Golden Eagles and the Badgers. Wisconsin leads the series all-time 64-54, but has lost two of the last three meetings. The two teams have met every year since the 1929-30 seasons, with the exception of 1954-1957 due to a recruiting feud over Doug Gill and Rube Schultz.

With only four more games before the Big Ten conference schedule begins, it’s important for Wisconsin to win games like this, not only to build team confidence, but also to start building its resume with "Key Wins" for the NCAA Tournament Committee come February.

Friday’s Links:

Apparently there is an official job posting for the current opening as Wisconsin Badgers football coach. Only a few specifications needed for the job… feel free to apply if you meet the criteria.

Is it possible that former Vikings head coach and current Browns coordinator Brad Childress could be interested in becoming the new head coach for the Badgers?

Wisconsin’s Montee Ball is the winner of the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back.

It’s all but official: Chris Petersen will not be the next head coach for the Wisconsin Badgers. In fact, he’s not even interviewing for the position.

Wisconsin is not the only school currently looking for a new head coach. USA Today put together a list of all of the current job openings across the country.

Barry Alvarez is showing other people and schools that loyalty and respect for other programs is not an obsolete way to run an athletic program.

Michael Rosenberg writes about why Bielema’s decision to leave Wisconsin shouldn't have surprised him…. But yet it did.