Wisconsin Badgers

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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.

Recruit dropped by Wisconsin for Georgia offer tells his side of the story

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Ben Bryant says he dreamed of playing for Wisconsin. That dream seemingly became a reality when the 2018 recruit committed to Paul Chryst‘s Badgers on Dec. 7 of last year, shutting his recruitment down more than a year in advance.

That dream ended before it began, though, when Bryant says the Wisconsin coaches told him to kick rocks after reporting an offer from Georgia.

The LaGrange, Ill., prospect told his side of the story in a Twitter post below:

“Just recently a UGA coach reached out to me via text” Bryant said. “After a couple of communications, he gave me an offer. I was blown away. This was followed by potential dates to visit. To be clear, I had no intention of visiting of UGA. I had no intention of every committing to UGA. However, I felt complimented big time by this offer and appreciated very much the attention they were showing me. It made me feel good about my abilities and potential (being a recruit with essentially two offers).

“The night before this was tweeted out, I called coach (Jon) Budmayr to give him a heads up that I was given the offer and left a message on his voicemail. I made it clear that I was still 100% committed to the Badgers. The next morning we spoke on the phone and I was informed that I was no longer a good fit for Wisconsin and I was encouraged to continue looking for a fit. The implication that my loyalty to UW had been compromised was not true and is what saddens me the most.”

These situations are always impossible to navigate for college coaches, because they aren’t allowed to comment on unsigned recruits. Even speaking off the record to team-friendly recruiting sites and letting them get the message out through “sources” looks bad, because it appears a bunch of adults are throwing a teenager who wanted to play for them under the bus.

Is Bryant telling the absolute truth here? It’s impossible to know, but the benefit of the doubt lies with him.

In the meantime, the 6-foot-3, 195 dual-threat quarterback, whom Rivals ranks as the No. 21 player at his position, is reluctantly back on the open market.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany set to cash in with over $20 million in bonuses

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It’s good to be a college commissioner nowadays but it seems it’s an even better time to be the one leading the Big Ten.

USA Today reports that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is set to cash in big time with some $20 million in future bonus payments on the books from the conference. The league’s most recent tax returns shed light on the paychecks, which will come in addition to the over $2 million he already receives each year.

“Commissioner Delany has provided invaluable leadership for Big Ten member institutions while delivering first-in-class performance during a time of great transformation in college athletics,” University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler said in a statement provided by the conference. “He has not only successfully balanced the missions of academic achievement, student-athlete development and athletic success, he has successfully developed the resources necessary to strategically position the conference for success well into the future. His compensation is market-competitive, based on an independent third-party analysis, and reflects the value and impact of his leadership.”

Delany has served as commissioner of the Big Ten since 1989 and has been one of the most powerful leaders in college athletics ever since. He was the driving force behind numerous expansions by the conference over the years and the cash-cow that the Big Ten Network has turned into.

While Delany has drawn his fair share of criticism from fans and media members alike over the years, it’s hard to argue with what he’s done for the league’s burgeoning balance sheets. He is already one of the most handsomely compensated commissioners out there but something says the presence of this pay package will cause a few raised eyebrows around college athletics while also quieting talk that he may be set to retire in the very near future.

Ohio State, Florida State, LSU in Top 10 for Texas Tech WR transfer Jonathan Giles

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One of the more surprising transfers of the 2017 offseason has given a rather broad hint as to his next college football home.

Late last month, Jonathan Giles, a semifinalist for the 2016 Biletnikoff Award, announced that he would be transferring from Texas Tech.  Two weeks later, the wide receiver took to Twitter to release a Top 10 list for potential landing spots, and, not surprisingly, it includes several high-profile programs.

It’s unclear if the fact that Ohio State, Florida State and LSU are listed Nos. 1-3 means anything.

It’s also unclear when Giles will whittle that list down to, first, official visits as well as, ultimately, his final decision. Giles will have to sit out the 2017 season regardless of where he lands, but will still have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.

The 5-11, 184-pound Giles led the Red Raiders in receptions (69), receiving yards (1,158), receiving touchdowns (13) and yards per catch (16.8) as a true sophomore last season However, he exited spring practice this year second on the depth chart.

Florida may not be a landing spot for graduate transfer QB Malik Zaire after all

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With spring football wrapped up at programs across the country, the attention for many might be turning instead to spring break.

That is not the case with one graduate transfer, as several teams are still waiting to learn if former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire is going to make the move to their school. Based on one report that surfaced Friday though, it appears one team might not be the landing spot many thought it was.

Per Orangebloods.com’s Anwar Richardson, the signal-caller may be moving up his announcement and will not be considering Florida as strongly as he was earlier in the process as a result.

The Gators and Zaire have been linked together for over a month as Jim McElwain tries to build depth at the position following presumed starter Luke Del Rio’s second shoulder surgery this offseason. While it makes plenty of sense for the Irish QB to take his talents to Gainesville, it remains to be seen if the school can get a rule changed by the SEC to allow them to take a graduate transfer in the first place. It was believed that both parties would wait for the conference’s spring meetings to make any sort of announcement but it seems that is not the case any more.

If Florida isn’t in the mix, that could leave Texas and Wisconsin as the prohibitive favorites to land Zaire later this month. Both the Badgers and Longhorns have thin depth charts at the position even if they sport returning starters at quarterback in 2017.