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Badger Bits: Barry Alvarez won't miss Michigan State

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Barry Alvarez is becoming more cavalier in his old age. On Wednesday, he was candid with his thoughts on the disappearing Wisconsin-Michigan State series.

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Mike mentioned yesterday that Barry Alvarez has been at the forefront of newsmaking recently, something that journalists have come to appreciate. The man says what he feels whenever he feels it should be said, then lets things fall where they may.

Alvarez is the best source of offseason fodder, pulling back the curtain on the machinations that other athletic directors may be wary to reveal. Will Wisconsin and LSU meet at Lambeau Field? Maybe! Perhaps not! At least we we'll see the negotiation process unfold, rather than be left in the dark forever. And in the mean time, it spurred Rosin to make this handy guide.

Alvarez spoke candidly again on the topic of Michigan State. Spartans athletic director Mark Hollis lamented the loss of the rivalry with the Badgers this upcoming season and beyond with the hub-bub of division realignment and a nine-game conference schedule. Alvarez responded with an 'eh.'

"I was more concerned losing Iowa than Michigan State, and we have had great games with Michigan State,'' Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez said at Tuesday's Big Ten athletic director spring meetings at the Sofitel Hotel.

"The proximity, a three-hour drive to Iowa City for our fans and their fans, was very convenient,'' he said. "Even Northwestern, more so than Michigan State; and I think about our fans first."

The comment wasn't incredibly damning at its face, though it is the second comment made by a rival this week that could be perceived as a backhanded slap. The comment is also correct. The Michigan State series has been great in recent years, but there is longer history with Iowa, and that series may have also been great if the Hawkeyes had remained on the schedule the last two seasons.

Great series come and great series go, but one team can only have so many rivals. Just prod and Alvarez will quickly let you know where things stand.

LINKS:

BadgerBlitz breaks down the Billy Hirschfield commitment. Nice things are said about the rangy defensive end, and about the big picture:

This is a big get for Wisconsin for a few reasons. The Badgers made Hirschfeld a priority early in the 2014 class, and would have had some proverbial egg on their face if he elected to opt for another Big Ten program.

This commitment also helps keep the fence up around Wisconsin, which is vital to the school's success, especially during Gary Andersen's first full year on the recruiting front in Madison. They are building a strong in-state foundation on both sides of the line, which is a great way to start a class.

Men's basketball is set to play Ohio State and Michigan State just once each next season.

Sports Illustrated called into question Penn State's care for its athletes, and holy heck did Penn State fire back. Bill O'Brien went off on reporters for a shade over 20 minutes.

Good point.

ACC coaches want to include the coaches poll as part of the selection criteria for the College Football Playoff because ... they like athletic department interns making major decisions? Barry Alvarez is throwing his full weight behind an informed selection committee.

Jermaine Marshall will forego his senior season at Penn State to go pro.

I suppose I don't know a lot about rap, but methinks Jay Harris should have taken that scholarship.