Last week, the Big Ten Network announced a new project involving SB Nation and the websites covering Big Ten Conference teams. The project, "BTN's Mount Rushmore of Big Ten Football," will let fans vote to decide which four former players should grace each program's Mount Rushmore.
There have been hundreds of players who have played for Wisconsin over the past 125 years. Some have etched their names alongside school since 1898 -- like Pat O'Dea -- that have stood until this day. Just this year, we've seen Melvin Gordon set the single-season school and Big Ten Conference rushing records... and he's still going.
You, the Wisconsin fans, have the ability to vote on the Badgers' Mount Rushmore using the voting widgets below.
BTN Live will beging unveiling each program's Mount Rushmore starting Dec. 11. Wisconsin's list will be shown on the Dec. 15 show at 5 p.m. CT.
Per this link, here's how the nominees were picked:
On Monday, Dec. 1, BTN will unveil a list of 10 candidates per school based on the following criteria:
1. Football only.
2. Former student-athletes only - coaches and current student-athletes are not being considered.
3. On-the-field accomplishments while in college only - professional career will not be a factor. Accomplishments that were reviewed include, but are not limited to, career statistics; awards won; and team success.
4. Particular student-athletes were intentionally removed from consideration due to off-the-field transgressions and/or criminal activity.
Bucky's 5th Quarter is very excited to provide additional analysis of BTN's nominees. Here are the candidates, along with the achievements that have made them deserving of this nomination. Be sure to look out in the future for additional insight in the form of a special B5Q Roundtable.
Alan Ameche (1951-54)
- Wisconsin's first Heisman Trophy winner in 1954
- 11th all-time in career rushing yards in Wisconsin history; first Badger to rush for 1,000 yards in a season in 1952
- Ran for 200 yards against Minnesota on Nov. 21, 1951
- 17 career hundred-yard rushing games
- Led Big Ten in rushing in 1951-52, and Wisconsin in rushing each season from 1951-54
- Walter Camp Award winner in 1953
- Awarded Chicago Tribune Silver Football winner in 1954
- College Football (1975), Rose Bowl (2004) Halls of Fame Inductee
- His No. 35 is retired by Wisconsin, one of only six Badgers to earn that honor
- Finished his collegiate career as the NCAA's all-time leading rusher with 3,212 yards
- All-American status by various publications from 1952-54; consensus All-American in 1954; first-team All-Big Ten from 1952-54
- Led Badgers to 1953 Rose Bowl and rushed for 133 yards in the game in a 7-0 loss
Montee Ball (2009-2012)
- Won Chicago Tribune Silver Football in 2011, Doak Walker Award (college's best running back) in 2012
- Earned two-time All-American, All-Big Ten selections in 2011-12
- Won the Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year award in both 2011-12
- Holds NCAA records for career touchdowns (83), rushing touchdowns (77), touchdowns in a season (39); also holds school records for points in a season (236 in 2011) and career (500 from 2009-12)
- Scored a touchdown in three consecutive Rose Bowls (2011-13), the first player to do so.
- Second all-time in Wisconsin history for career rushing yards with 5,140 (currently third in school history with 5.56 yards per carry)
- Currently owns fourth and fifth-best single-season rushing yard totals (1,923 in 2011, 1,830 in 2012)
- Ran for 100 yards or more in 26 games
- Third all-time in school's all-purpose yards (5,738; 5,140 rushing, 598 receiving)
- Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011
Ron Dayne (1996-99)
- Won the Heisman Trophy in 1999, the second Badger to do so
- In 1999, he was also awarded the Maxwell, Walter Camp, Doak Walker, Chicago Tribune Silver Football Awards
- Also in same year, Dayne won AP, The Sporting News, Football News Player of the Year awards
- Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame in 2013
- His No. 33 is retired by Wisconsin, only one of six Badgers to have that honor
- Is the NCAA's all-time leading rusher with 6,397 yards (not including bowl games)
- Wisconsin's all-purpose yards leader with 7,429 yards (7,125 rushing, 304 receiving)
- Named back-to-back Rose Bowl MVP in 1999-2000, becoming the third player to repeat as the bowl's MVP while leading Wisconsin to two wins
- Now owns the second-highest mark for rushing yards in a single game (339 yards vs. Hawaii on Nov. 30, 1996)
- Rushed for 100 yards or more in 33 games, as well as 200 yards or more in 14 games -- both school records
- Ran for over 2,000 yards in a season twice in his Badgers career -- his freshman (2,109) and senior (2,034) years
- Second all-time in school history with 71 career touchdowns
- Led Big Ten Conference in rushing yards per game in 1996, 1998, 1999; awarded Big Ten Player of the Week honors nine teams in four years
- Consensus All-American in 1999; first-team All-Big Ten in 1996, 1998, 1999
Jamar Fletcher (1998-2000)
- Named to Big Ten's 1990s All-Decade Team
- Honored as two-time All-American (1999-2000; consensus in 2000), three-time All-Big Ten selection (1998-2000)
- 2000 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
- Was a key member of two Big Ten and Rose Bowl Championship teams in 1999-2000
- Tied for Badgers' school record in career interceptions with 21; holds school record for interception return yardage with 459
- Led nation in 1998 with seven interceptions; had seven picks in each year from 1998-2000
- Holds school record for most career interceptions returned for a touchdown with five.
- Second all-time in Wisconsin history in passes defended with 35
- Won 2000 Jim Thorpe Award winner given to nation's best defensive back
- Named 1998 team co-rookie of the year with wide receiver Nick Davis
Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch (1942)
- Nicknamed "Crazylegs" by Chicago sportswriter Francis Powers in 1942. Powers covered Wisconsin's game vs. Great Lakes. As Hirsch ran 61 yards for a touchdown, Powers described the run as "his crazy legs were gyrating in six different directions all at the same time."
- His No. 40 is one of six Badgers numbers to be retired
- Member of 1942 Wisconsin team that finished 8-1-1, including a 17-7 win over No. 1 Ohio State on Oct. 31, 1942, in which he threw one touchdown pass and accounted for over 200 yards of offense against the Buckeyes
- Rushed for 786 yards, threw for 226 and had 390 receiving in 1942
- Named third-team All-America in 1942 from Look magazine.
- Was transferred to the University of Michigan in 1943 due to service to the Marines during WWII
- Later came back to Wisconsin as school's Director of Athletics from 1969-87
- Was an accomplished actor, even starring in his own movie, Crazylegs, in 1953
Ron Vander Kelen (1960-62)
- 1963 Rose Bowl MVP, 1991 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Inductee
- Awarded 1962 Chicago Tribune Silver Football
- First-team All-Big Ten in 1962
- Threw for 1,582 yards in 1962, 20th-most in a single season in school history
- Was 33-of-48 and threw for 401 yards in 1963 Rose Bowl; his 33 completions and 401 yards still stand as second in school history in both completions and passing yards in a single game
- In the fourth quarter of that 1963 Rose Bowl, went 17-of-21 while leading the Badgers to 23 unanswered points, but came up short in a 42-37 loss (for more on the game and a crazy last frame, read this LA Times article from 1992)
- Led 1962 Badgers to Big Ten Championship. Team finished second in final AP poll, beat No. 1 Northwestern 37-6 at Camp Randall Stadium
- Finished ninth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1962
- Along with fellow nominee Pat Richter, led team of College All-Stars to win over 1962 NFL champion Green Bay Packers in 1963
- Prior to 1962 season, only played 90 seconds of game time... as a defensive back
Pat O'Dea (1896-99)
- Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame in 1962
- Charter member of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame, 1951
- Became first All-American ever from a "Western" university, 1899
- Led Badgers to their first two Western Conference Championships, 1896-97
- Known as the "Kangaroo Kicker," remains school record-holder with five of six longest field goals, including a 62-yarder against Northwestern in 1898... as a drop kick... during a blizzard
- Also holds the two longest punts in Wisconsin history (pre-modern era punts of 102 and 100 yards in 1897 and 1899, respectively)
- Two-time captain (1898-1899)
- Read about O'Dea in Dave Revsine's "The Opening Kickoff"
Pat Richter (1960-62)
- Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame in 1996
- Also a member of the CoSIDA Academic AllAmerican Hall of Fame; Richter is also a recipient of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award
- Honored as two-time consensus All-American (1961 and 1962) and first team All-Big Ten in same years (also Academic All-Big Ten in 1962)
- Set the Rose Bowl record with 11 receptions for 163 yards in the 1963 game vs No. 1 USC
- No. 8 all-time in school history with 121 career receptions, No. 10 all-time in career receiving yards (1,873) and tied for 10th in Wisconsin history with 15 touchdown receptions
- Led nation in receiving yards in 1961
- Led Big Ten in receiving yards in both 1961 and 1962, while leading Wisconsin in same category from 1960-1962
- Finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1962
- Named captain for 1962 season
- Last nine-time letter-winner at Wisconsin (three each in football, basketball, baseball)
- Served as Wisconsin's Director of Athletics from 1989-2004. Among his accomplishments: hiring Barry Alvarez as head coach in 1990.
- His No. 88 is one of six UW numbers retired
Dave Schreiner (1940-42)
- Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame in 1955
- Wisconsin's first two-time All-American selection (1941-42); named consensus All-American in 1942
- Awarded Chicago Tribune Silver Football in 1942
- Elected co-captain and named MVP of 1942 team that finished 8-1-1 and defeated No. 1 Ohio State
- Led Big Ten in receiving yards with 249 in 1942
- Earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 1941 and 1942
- Lettered at Wisconsin for three years as an end on both offense and defense
- First Badger to score three touchdowns in a single quarter (1942 win over Marquette)
- Finished 10th in Heisman Trophy voting in 1942
- His No. 80 was retired by Wisconsin after Schreiner was killed during World War II in 1945
- A David N. Schreiner Memorial Scholarship was created in his memory
Joe Thomas (2003-06)
- Awarded Outland Trophy for the nation's best lineman in 2006, the first winner ever from Wisconsin
- Named two-time All-American, All-Big Ten selection in 2005 and 2006; consensus All-American in 2006 and two-time consensus All-Big Ten honoree
- Earned Columbus Touchdown Club Player of the Year award in 2006
- Named team captain and awarded co-MVP in 2006 season
- During his career, Thomas registered 311 "knockdown" blocks; 69 of those plays ended in a touchdown
- Was No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns and has been selected to play in the Pro Bowl in all seven of his NFL seasons