It’s official: Beavers upset Badgers

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UPDATED 7:27 p.m. ET: A rocky start to the 2012 season for the Big Ten continued this afternoon, with the odds-on favorite to claim the Leaders division title going down in stunning fashion.

Entering the game as the No. 13 team in the country, the Badgers went on the road to Corvallis and came out with a 10-7 upset loss to Oregon State.  For the better part of the game, the Badgers could get next to nothing going offensively while at the same time failing to contain Sean Mannion, who passed for 285 yards and the lone Beaver touchdown in the win.

Montee Ball‘s Heisman hopes also took a hit as the running back finished with just 60 yards on 15 carries and, for the first time in 21 games, was kept out of the end zone.

The loss certainly does nothing to impact UW’s shot at representing the division in Indianapolis in early December, but, combined with Alabama’s shellacking of Michigan in the opener, it’s been a ego-bruising beginning for the conference as a whole in 2012.

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And by “issues” we mean trailing at the end of 45 minutes to play.

Entering the game as the No. 13 team in the country and a seven-point favorite on the road in Corvallis, Wisconsin was expected to somewhat comfortably head back to Madison with a win stuffed into its back pocket.  Instead, the Badgers have found themselves in a dogfight.  With Beavers.

At the end of three quarters of play, UW trails unranked Oregon State 10-0.  Unbelievably, the Badgers have been held to just 77 yards of total offense by the Beavers.

Running back Montee Ball, one of the preseason Heisman favorites, has been limited to just 34 yards on 13 carries.  As a team, UW, which finished 11th in the country averaging 235 yards rushing per game, has just seven yards rushing as of this posting.

On the other hand, the Beavers have 331 yards of offense, paced by Sean Mannion‘s 263 yards passing and the lone touchdown of the game, a 20-yard scoring toss to Brandin Cooks.

Certainly there’s plenty of time for the Badgers to mount a comeback from what’s hardly an insurmountable deficit.  Based on how the first three quarters have played out, however, that’s far from something to take to any bank.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.