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Wisconsin Badgers news, 7/24: Phil Steele, Melvin Gordon, Tanner McEvoy, more

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Mike McGinnis

Football

Wisconsin was ranked 18th in the International Business Times' preseason top 25 poll. If I recall correctly, this is the highest the Badgers have been ranked throughout this past offseason.

ESPN.com's Phil Steele held a Twitter Q&A on Wednesday and thought the Badgers were a legitimate long shot to make the College Football Playoff. The team's first test comes in about a month.

This may say something about the strength of the team, as the Badgers only had one player in Sports on Earth's Matt Brown's list of top 100 players in college football. Of course it was Melvin Gordon, who was slotted 11th, the second running back behind Georgia's Todd Gurley.

With Gary Andersen and co. set to hit the podium next week for the conference's media days, ESPN Big Ten's Brian Bennett looks at three questions, or areas, of concern for UW.

One of Bennett's concerns is directed at the quarterback position. Can Tanner McEvoy, ESPN Wisconsin's Zach Heilprin's third-most important Badger, win the job that starts to implement the spread-type quarterback Andersen and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig want?

Could we have the next Brian Wozniak on our hands with newest class of 2015 recruit David Edwards? Jake catches up with the four-star tight end.

Hockey

The Montreal Canadiens' addition of former UW skater Tom Gilbert kept the team trending neutral, but ESPN.com's Craig Custance still had positive remarks about the signing (Insider).

"Gilbert was an understated but wise free-agent signing and is someone who should help drive possession for a team that needs help in that department."

Recruiting

Andersen extended some new scholarship offers to recruits, while one recruit still has the Badgers at the top of his list. Drew has all the recruiting details in our latest notebook.

Quick hitter

This is quite interesting: It appears ESPN has bypassed HBO in the realm of sports documentaries.