FOOTBALL IS FINALLY BACK. Wisconsin kicked off its first practice of the season on Monday. There were a number of notables, and Jake, ESPN Wisconsin's Zach Heilprin, Fox Sports Wisconsin's Jesse Temple and Badger247's Evan Flood ($) have reports.
Position breakdowns: the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus breaks down the cornerbacks. Speaking of the position, I wrote a piece on Sojourn Shelton's expectations heading into the season. The special teams unit was average at best last year, but that could be a thing of the past. New B5Q writer Kyle Vos looks at the defensive line, which led by Warren Herring.
Joel Stave's time as a starting quarterback is in legitimate danger, but he's not turning away from facing Tanner McEvoy. Temple writes that it's nothing Stave hasn't seen before. Will quarterback or the defense be a bigger question mark for the Badgers? Athlon Sports' Steve Lassan dissects that question.
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Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda loses a large chunk of the front seven, so can the unit recover? It'll be a "tall order," writes ESPN Big Ten's Austin Ward in their latest mailbag, but talent down the depth chart could make it possible.
You've seen this before: Melvin Gordon was listed No. 6 on Athlon Sports list of top 25 Heisman Trophy contenders, but ESPN.com Travis Haney explains why we may see a season like never before with Gordon in 2014 (Insider).
"The schedule suggests that the winner of Wisconsin at Iowa on Nov.22 has a great chance to rep the West in the Big Ten title game. It also means Gordon won't have to face some of the better front sevens in the league. That's why I think Gordon can approach the 2,177 yards Andre Williams put up at Boston College last season."
So-called "experts" ranked the 25 best college football traditions and 'Jump Around' checked in at No. 14.
Frank Kaminsky is not only the big man on campus, he's the big man around the country. CBS Sports' Gary Parrish, along with others, polled coaches from all levels on which college basketball player they would take above the rest. 17 percent would take Kaminsky, while five percent would take his teammate, Sam Dekker. So, yeah, UW won't be too shabby this season.
The football team surely needs an athletic weapon on the outside, so is there any way Nigel Hayes can suit up for Andersen? The Ohio native is one of many ballers who could strap on the pads for his school's football team.
Child's play! Princeton Review ranked Wisconsin as the eighth-best party college in the country, behind Big Ten foe and No. 2 on the list, Iowa. In other news, I saw a pig flying yesterday.
There will be brand-new changes to ESPN's "College GameDay," including an on-site DJ and fewer commercials. It will also once again try to pitch President Barack Obama and Tiger Woods as celebrity pickers. Unless a miracle happens, Madison will not host the crew in 2014.