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Badger Bits: Wisconsin highlights from Big Ten media day

Tuesday evening links.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Media Days Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The flurry of reporters, media scrums, and sometimes insane questions kicked off the 2017 Big Ten media days on Monday.

With expectations rising for this year’s program and fall camp starting on Saturday, Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst and three players graced the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.

B5Q wasn’t there to capture the grandeur of the Windy City, but we’ll recap some of Chryst’s and the players’ interviews later today. For now, here’s a recap from those on the Wisconsin beat:

As the Badgers ignored predictions on their way to a 10-3 record and Big Ten West Division title, they must do the same now that the perception has turned.

UW enters this season as an overwhelming choice to return to Indianapolis, and handicappers could realistically have it favored in all 12 games on the schedule.

“It’s the same talking points, just flipped,” UW coach Paul Chryst said Monday at Big Ten Media Days. “If last year the messaging doesn’t mean anything, if you choose to ignore it because they’re incorrect, then you can’t all of a sudden flip it this year and buy in to it. A lot of our guys live that, know that. You still want to keep making sure none of the outside talk matters, good or bad. It’s what we do and how we approach it.

“What’s great about this season is you have to go play it, and all the talk doesn’t really matter.”

Land of 10’s Jesse Temple also featured what appears to be the upside-down world of expectations from last year’s 2016 squad.

  • Temple, “the littest beat writer this side of the Mississippi” (that’s an inside joke, folks), broke down redshirt junior inside linebacker T.J. Edwards’s passion for the Chicago Cubs.
  • This is a star-studded lineup in their first podcast live from Chicago, but check out Mad City Sports Zone’s new podcast, “The Camp.” Great to see veteran Badgers beat writer Zach Heilprin start this up.
  • ESPN Madison has a flurry of podcasts available to listen to that highlight Chryst, inside linebackers Jack Cichy and Edwards, BTN’s Dave Revsine, and tight end Troy Fumagalli.
  •’s Ben Worgull looked at preseason All-American Troy Fumagalli being “primed for huge 2017.” Having coached players like Owen Daniels, Lance Kendricks, and Travis Beckum, this quote from Chryst is high praise for the former walk-on:

“I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of really good tight ends, and a lot of them at Wisconsin, and Fum is right up there with that group,” head coach Paul Chryst said. “They’re all different. I’ve loved seeing (Fumagalli’s) progression, his growth as a player. He’s talented. I think he’s got an edge to him, which I like, a hunger. I think he’s put a ton of time in.”

  • The inside linebackers will be (again) an “embarrassment of riches,” so it should be interesting to see how Wisconsin utilizes its four starting-caliber players.’s Sally Ehrmann discussed with Cichy, Edwards and Chryst.
  •’s John Veldhuis touched on Michael Deiter’s versatility, the need for a back-up quarterback behind Alex Hornibrook, and more.