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Badger Bits: T-minus 80 days to Wisconsin Badgers football

Hey, that's one nice, round number. Just halfway through the first week of summer conditioning, we'll take it.

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

I saw somewhere on the Internet this morning that there's only 80 days until Badger football. That still seems insanely far away, but I supposed we'll make it.

B1G 2013 // Expansion, B1G Style: Frank The Tank Takes Your Questions | Off Tackle Empire

I placed this in B5Q's layout yesterday afternoon, but it's a great read if you haven't already gotten to it. Frank The Tank is a bit of an expansion guru in the college football corner of the blogosphere/Twittersphere, and OTE blasted a few deep questions his way. A few deep answers in response:

I think that if an elite football brand wants to join, such as Oklahoma, Florida State or Miami, then the Big Ten will at least take a look at them because of the sheer potential financial impact. To be sure, though, the Big Ten takes the academic requirements extremely seriously, so it would have to be a proverbial grand slam in terms of football branding and financial impact for the conference to consider a non-AAU member (outside of Notre Dame, who would still be free to join as a full member whenever they wanted to despite Gordon Gee's recent comments).

The Sooners would also fit perfectly into the western flank for the Big Ten. A larger issue might be whether Oklahoma coming *alone* without Oklahoma State is truly possible since the Big Ten wouldn't be willing to add OSU in a package deal (similar to how the conference would only want Kansas without Kansas State). I've spoken with a lot of OU and KU fans that believe that they could drop their respective in-state brothers if necessary, but I'm not quite sure of that whenever state politicians and high profile boosters like T. Boone Pickens inevitably get involved when there's a viable threat to their special interests out there. Personally, I'd love to see Oklahoma in the Big Ten (as I believe that any further Big Ten expansion absolutely needs an elite football brand name involved), but the academic issue and whether Oklahoma State has to come along are large roadblocks.

I believe that Johns Hopkins will stay in the Big Ten permanently. While it makes sense for both the Big Ten and JHU to have a 5-year evaluation period on paper, the reality is that the intent of this move is for it to be permanent. 5 years from now, both sides will probably be too invested in the setup of having access to an NCAA Lacrosse Tournament auto-bid that JHU going back to independence would likely be untenable. The conditions that drove JHU to seek a conference in the first place will likely be exacerbated even further over the next few years.

Realignment Report Card: Grading moves three years after chaos began | Sports Illustrated

More realignment talk! Just goes to show we're never, ever going to be done talking about this.

In all seriousness, this is a solid read from Andy Staples. He assesses how Texas A&M, TCU, Nebraska, Notre Dame (sort of), Louisville and others have fared since all this madness began. On the Huskers, who got a B+:

If Nebraska and Oklahoma could somehow find a way to play an annual out-of-conference game, I'd bump this move to an A-plus. That was the best game in the Big 8 and pretty much the only thing anyone misses about Nebraska being in the Big 12. With the playoff coming, it might be worth it to both schools. Oklahoma has never been scared to play anyone. Neither has Nebraska. So let's make it happen every year.

Is Purdue The Worst Athletic Program In The Big Ten? | Hammer and Rails

I don't know, but I wouldn't necessarily argue. Hot take!

SB Nation's Purdue blog has a StoryStream going with different looks at the Boilermakers' history against its conference opponents.

It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It: The Engineers At EA Sports Love Some Hawkeyes | Black Heart Gold Pants

In our Iowa brethren's morning linkage, yet another WTF at EA Sports' team ratings for NCAA Football 14. As we told you yesterday, Wisconsin is an 88 overall, on offense and on defense. More entertaining/bewildering: Iowa is also an 88 overall. Right.

Also, Jason Kirk just compared each team's video game rating to its F/+, Football Outsiders' trademark advanced metric.

Da'Shawn Hand eliminates Virginia Tech, names top 3 | SB Nation

The nation's No. 2 recruit has narrowed his top three, and SB Nation has the scoop.