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Wisconsin Badgers news, 7/17: Nigel Hayes' future, Corey Clement, best university rankings

It's early, but ESPN's Jeff Goodman has some interesting thoughts on Nigel Hayes' post-college future.

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Hooray for 11 a.m. games! Wisconsin will play Western Illinois Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. on Big Ten Network, the conference announced on Wednesday. The Leathernecks finished with a 4-8 record in 2013.

With the inaugural College Football Playoff coming this season, it's interesting to see how past Wisconsin teams would fare if there was a playoff at the time. CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock acknowledged Bret Bielema's first UW team wouldn't have been good enough for the four-team playoff in 2006, instead heading to the Orange Bowl vs. Louisville, which was led by former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brian Brohm and 2007 NFL Draft fourth-round selection Michael Bush.

Corey Clement ran wild against less-superior teams, but wasn't anywhere to be found in big games last year. Will this change for the 2014 season? ESPN Wisconsin's Zach Heilprin details Clement's game, and reveals it will be a two-back system with new running backs coach Thomas Brown. Clement will presumably be featured on the jumbotron this year.

Does anyone know the criteria for making these watch lists? Evidently, it can be awarded to quarterbacks who aren't even starters, as Joel Stave was named to the Davey O'Brien Award watch list. But, hey, good for Stave. I still think Russell Wilson should have won it in 2011. ... True freshman D.J. Gillins may not see the field this year, but his future looks bright. 247 Sports named the Florida native one of the top incoming quarterbacks in the conference.

I didn't know that former wide receiver Al Toon holds the school record in the triple jump, and he's one of many UW student-athletes that was preoccupied by more than one sport that paid dividends.


It's a question that is gaining more and more legitimacy as the years pass by: who will be the next head coach of the Badgers when Bo Ryan steps away from the game? Sports Illustrated's Brian Hamilton looks at the candidates who could succeed Ryan, including Toledo's Tod Kowalczyk.

The Badgers have their fair share of NBA talent on next year's team, and the combination of Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky lands UW ninth on ESPN's list of teams most loaded with pro prospects (Insider); Jeff Goodman notes Nigel Hayes is most likely bound for overseas because of his size. ... Speaking of which, Dekker is No. 18 on Chad Ford's Big Board, while Kaminsky is noted as being "on the cusp."

Stu Jackson, who coached Michael Finley in Madison and led the Badgers to NCAA tournament appearances from 1992-94, was named the Big East's senior associate commissioner for men's basketball.

Quick hitter

To no surprise, the University of Wisconsin-Madison was named the 25th-best university in the world, trailing Michigan-Ann Arbor (21) and Northwestern (23) from schools in the Big Ten.