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Badger Bits: Ben Strickland, conference picks and NCAA Football 14

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The former Badger was recently mic'd up by UW's video department, providing some nice insight into why Strickland could be a coaching stud in the making.

Ben Strickland in his playing days, celebrating during a 37-34 win over Michigan State on Sept. 29, 2007.
Ben Strickland in his playing days, celebrating during a 37-34 win over Michigan State on Sept. 29, 2007.
Tom Fluegge-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday! Another offseason week is nearly in the books, and that means we're kinda sorta close to football returning. At least give me some fall camp already.

Video: Wisconsin CBs coach Ben Strickland mic'd up | FootballScoop.com

As this Football Scoop article notes, Gary Andersen called Ben Strickland the one assistant from the previous regime that he simply had to retain. That praise was, and largely still is, stunning. But given Strickland's knowledge and recruiting acumen in the state -- watch the video below for his born-and-raised Wisconsin background -- keeping him in the fold would be critical for a new staff coming nearly halfway across the country to a major FBS program.

Wisconsin's been running a YouTube series where it mic's up all of the coaches, and Strickland's hit the web yesterday. I think it's pretty great footage -- he seems like a truly skilled teacher, and you get the impression the Badgers' young secondary will love learning under a coach not much younger older than they are.

Which college football team will have the best 2013 in a new conference? | SBNation.com

The Big Ten will look the same this upcoming season, so we're spared inclusion on this POWER ranking of the schools that are moving to new conferences. Andersen's old Utah State Aggies make the list -- pretty high, too, ahead of Pitt and Syracuse.

2013 college football conference picks: Top-to-bottom standings for each league | SBNation.com

You might have seen these yesterday, but SB Nation's college network cast its ballots for each conference race. Accusations of ballot-stuffing aside, Jason Kirk did the yeoman's work of compiling the results. Here's how the Big Ten shook out:

Leaders: Predicted order of finish Average standing prediction 2012 conference record
1 Ohio State 1 8-0
2 Wisconsin 2.22 5-4*
3 Penn State 2.97 6-2
4 Indiana 4.4 2-6
5 Illinois 4.88 0-8
6 Purdue 5.52 3-5
Legends: Predicted order of finish Average standing prediction 2012 conference record
1 Michigan 1.76 6-2
2 Nebraska 2.03 7-2**
3 Michigan State 3.03 3-5
4 Northwestern 3.33 5-3
5 Minnesota 5.39 2-6
6 Iowa 5.42 2-6
Big Ten Championship, Dec. 7: Michigan vs. Ohio State (Indianapolis, IN)
Last meeting Ohio State 26, Michigan 21 (2012)
Series record Michigan leads, 58-45-6***
2013 F/+ ranking Ohio State 10, Michigan 28
Big Ten championships Michigan 42, Ohio State 35***
Last Big Ten championship Ohio State 2009***, Michigan 2004 (shared with Iowa)

Review: 'NCAA Football 14' steps up its game | USA Today

NCAA Football 14 was released yesterday, and having picked up a copy on my way home from work and putting in a couple of hours -- beat Ohio State 38-31 under the lights at Camp Randall, hoorah -- I agree with this generally positive review. Anyone else have a review of their own?

Don't miss: A nice interview with Jon Leuer from the Kielbasa Kings Sports Extravaganza vault