Wisconsin has yet to play one game at the iconic NFL stadium, but their upcoming hosts are already anxious for Round 2.
UW will open the 2016 season Sept. 3 against LSU at the home of the Green Bay Packers, historic Lambeau Field. Tuesday, athletic director Barry Alvarez confirmed that the Packers would “love” for the Badgers to play another game — or games — at the stadium.
“We’ve visited. (The Packers) would love it,” Alvarez said according to madison.com. “(Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy) has talked to me about, he gets heat all the time from his chamber of commerce in Green Bay that they’d love more activities in the stadium. They tried concerts, and he said the field is built for football. They’d like to get more games up there. We’ve talked, and I know they’d be interested in it, so we’ll see what happens.”
It has previously been reported that the Packers are interested in hosting the Big Ten championship game at their home, although that seems unlikely to happen.
The upcoming opener was officially announced in October of 2013, and will become the first-ever meeting at Lambeau between two FBS teams. It will also serve as just the fourth college game ever played there. As the release announcing the game stated, “St. Norbert College twice hosted Fordham University at Lambeau Field in a Vince Lombardi Memorial Game, winning both contests. The Green Knights defeated the Rams 14-10 on Nov. 20, 1982, and 18-9 on Nov. 19, 1983. St. Norbert also hosted Mankato State College on Oct. 29, 1960, defeating the Indians, 29-14.”
UW will make in the neighborhood of $3 million for the first-ever contest.
Marvin Robinson was never able to make it to the Big Ten to start his collegiate career, but now it appears he’ll get that opportunity in the SEC.
On Kentucky’s official online roster, Robinson is now listed as a wide receiver for the Wildcats. According to John Hale of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Robinson, at least initially, will be a walk-on on Mark Stoops‘ squad.
Robinson had been a verbal commitment to Wisconsin and was set to sign with the Badgers in February of 2015. However, the Fort Lauderdale product failed to qualify academically at UW.
The 6-4, 175-pounder sat out the 2015 season, so he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2016. Whether seeing the field actually comes to fruition remains to be seen as the Wildcats return five wide receivers who caught at least 10 passes in 2015, including the top four on the team in receptions and receiving yards — Dorian Baker (55-608), Garrett Johnson (46-694), Jeff Badet (29-430) and Blake Bone (20-210). Ryan Timmons (12-114) is the fifth, with those five also accounting for nine of the team’s 10 touchdown receptions on the season.
Robinson was a three-star 2015 prospect who was rated as the No. 146 receiver in the country.
Wisconsin will need all hands on deck if they hope to contain LSU’s Leonard Fournette in the 2016 opener at Lambeau field. Unfortunately for the Badgers, a key hand may be unavailable.
A report emerged late last week that T.J. Edwards would be sidelined indefinitely because of a foot injury. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote that “Edwards was seen wearing a walking boot this week and a source confirmed the redshirt sophomore is out” for the foreseeable future.
During the Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, head coach Paul Chryst somewhat addressed the linebacker’s status.
The Badgers open summer camp August 8. The opener against the Tigers is scheduled for Sept. 3.
As a redshirt sophomore last season, Edwards started all 13 games.
One of the most powerful men in collegiate athletics is nearing the end of his reign.
During his time at the podium during Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, commissioner Jim Delany hinted very strongly that he would not be around when the conference’s new media rights deal expires in 2022. In fact, the 68-year-old commish sounded fairly positive that he’ll be somewhere other than the league’s headquarters in Rosemont, Ill., when that deal comes up for negotiations.
“I have a lot of energy and a lot of interest in what’s going on in the college space today,” Delany said. “I will be around for a bit. Whether I’m around here for six years is probably a little bit beyond how I see it.”
A short time later, Nicole Auerbach of USA Today, citing a person with direct knowledge of the situation, reported that Delany will step down in 2020. Jut when in 2020 Delany would ceded control after more than three decades on the job isn’t clear.
Delany took over as commissioner of the conference in 1989. Arguably his greatest accomplishment in that role was helping the league to develop the Big Ten Network, an in-house ATM that has helped the conference stay in step with the SEC financially.
During his tenure, he also helped shepherd the Big ten through the maze of expansion, first with Penn State in the early nineties and then with Nebraska in 2011 and Maryland and Rutgers three years later.
With 2015 winner Derrick Henry of Alabama off to the NFL, there will be a new winner of the Doak Walker Award in 2016. Based on the projected performances of a couple of other finalists from a year ago, this year’s winner could very well come from the group below.
Thursday, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced a watch list that contains a whopping 76 players. The Walker Award has ben handed out annually since 1990 to the nation’s top running back and is named in honor of former SMU great Doak Walker.
Two finalists for last year’s award have made the cut this preseason — LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.
The SEC led all conferences with 13 watch listers, followed by the Big 12 (9), Big 12 (9), Pac-12 (9), ACC (8), Mountain West (6), Sun Belt (6), MAC (5), Conference USA (4) and AAC (3). There were also four from independents (BYU, Notre Dame).
Those two independents were two of the 13 schools with two running backs listed, the others being Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Cal, Duke, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, USC, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan.
Below is the complete 2016 Doak Walker Award preseason watch list: