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Friday, November 19, 2010

Know Your Foe - Wisconsin 2010

We host the #5 ranked Wisconsin Badgers. They are coming off an 83-20 nailbiter against Indiana, while Michigan cruised to their seventh win of the season at Purdue. This will be the final home game of the season and the 64th meeting between the Badgers and the Wolverines. Michigan leads the all-time series by a wide margin: 49-13-1. You can't do a Wisconsin KYF without quoting our KYF founder Benny: What other school could possibly have a logo/seal that looks like a beer label?

History: The University of Wisconsin was born on the same day as the state on March 13th, 1848. The school was decreed in the Wisconsin Constitution, requiring a prominent public university “at or near Madison". Nelson Dewey (Wisconsin’s first governor) signed the act that formally created the new university, and its first class, with 17 students, met in an existing Madison school building on February 5, 1849.

Location: Madison is far and away the best college town I have ever had the pleasure to visit. Mad-Town holds a distinctive place in my heart because it was the first place that I ever bought and drank a beer legally (18 year olds were grandfathered when the state went to a 21 year old drinking age). Every person I know that went to UW holds Madison in very high regard, despite the brutal winters. Wisconsin was named the number one "party school" in the May '06 issue of Playboy. In 2007 the Princeton Review awarded Wisconsin the first place prize for beer consumption. For my tastes Madison has everything you look for in a college town: a great campus, many big trees, classic building architecture, a funky liberal political slant, serious tail-gating, quality restaurants, loads of entertaining college bars, and an easy to walk to the football stadium.

Nickname/Mascot: They call themselves the Badgers. The badger is actually quite similar to a Wolverine -- in that they both belong in the carnivorous mammals Mustelidae (Weasel) Family. Badger meat was once a main meat source in the Native American diet, but since Badger are now a protected species in North America – it is difficult to find their meat at a standard US grocery store.

The cute Wisconsin mascot is named Bucky the Badger (official full name is Buckingham U. Badger). He was first drawn in 1940 by a local artist named Art Evans. An actual badger from Eau Claire was used at the first football games that year, but the badger proved to be too much to handle and was retired to a zoo. After that, the school replaced the live badger with a live raccoon named Regdab ('badger' backwards). In 1949, a Bucky head-piece was created and a contest was started to properly name the mascot. In 2006, Bucky was inducted as a charter member of the Mascot Hall of Fame's College Division

Colors/Logo: Yet another opponent that wears variation of red, this one is cardinal and white. Their logo is a stylized “motion W”. Wisconsin actively protects their W trademark, even to the point of pushing the CLC taking other colleges and high schools to court and forcing them to change their logo. So far, they have been in disputes with schools in New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia.

Helmets: Wisconsin's helmets have evolved over the years from a strangely cool W on the front to a several versions of the W the sides of the headgear. The current “motion W” design was introduced in 1991 and has become the standard.
Wisconsin wore those 1960's funky W in the front “throw back” helmets in their 2005 game against Bowling Green. They won that game 56-42, which was the second-most points scored at Camp Randall Stadium, trailing only the 1890 shutout of UW-Whitewater by the score of 106-0.

Red helmets were used at occasionally in each year from 1967 through 1970, but not during every game. And during the 1969 season, one Wisconsin player was presented the "Savage Award" after each game, which entitled him to wear a black helmet for the rest of the season. Imagine the confusion of playing a team with players in several different color helmets ? The 1969 Badgers were 3-7.

Fight Song: "On, Wisconsin!" is the name the Badger's fight song. It is also doubles as official state song. That title originally gained fame as the battle cry that Lieutenant Arthur MacArthur, Jr. used to rally his US troops in the Civil War Battle of Chattanooga at Missionary Ridge. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. He later became an Army General, and had a son named Douglas - who also became a General and won a Medal of Honor.

The tune was composed in 1909 by William T. Purdy, with the intention of entering it into a competition for a new fight song at the University of Minnesota. Carl Beck, a former University of Wisconsin-Madison student, convinced him to withdraw it from the contest at the last minute and allow his alma mater to use it instead. Beck then wrote the original, football-oriented lyrics.

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball clear down the field
A touchdown sure this time. (U rah rah)
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Fight on for her fame Fight!
Fellows! - fight, fight, fight!
We'll win this game.

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Stand up, Badgers, sing!
"Forward" is our driving spirit
Loyal voices ring.
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Raise her glowing flame
Stand, Fellows, let us now
Salute her name!

Academics: Considering the size of the Wisconsin student population (41,000+ enrolled) coupled with the volume of beer consumed, the academics here are not bad at all. Wisconsin is currently ranked #45 in the 2011 US News National ranking. This places them as the 3rd (or 4th) highest ranked Big Ten School (Behind Northwestern and Michigan). Students and alumni really pump up Wisconsin by saying it's a great combination of academics and a fun party school. And if you have ever been there, you would agree.

Athletics: Wisconsin competes in the Big Ten Conference in all sports except men's and women's ice hockey and crew. Before the 1990s, Wisconsin was a perennial Big Ten football doormat, competing with Northwestern for the distinction of favorite homecoming opponent. All that changed with the arrival of Barry Alvarez; they have won three football Big Ten titles, three Rose Bowls, and a Heisman trophy. They have consistently fielded quality football teams. This football success has spread to other sports. In basketball they have been to the NCAA tournament for nine straight seasons, and they made it to the Final Four in 2000. They also have a National Championship in basketball, in 1941. Their hockey teams have always been strong, and in 2006 they made history when both the men's (their 6th) and women's (their 1st) hockey teams were crowned NCAA National Champions. They have also won recent National Championships in Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, and Soccer.
I can't mention Wisconsin sports without mentioning the 5th quarter. This tradition has become nationally famous. Win or lose, fans sing, dance and cheer with the band as they play fun stuff like The Bud Song. Originally, this post-game concert was designed to give the fans something to listen to on their way out of the stadium, but it developed into a huge post-game party. I know many students that would miss the game and show up late in the 4th quarter to enjoy the band.

Famous alums: The Wisconsin list of notable alumni is a solid mix of folks that includes 12 Nobel Prize winners and a 7 Pulitzer Prize winners. Famous names of note are aviator Charles Lindbergh, Harley-Davidson founder William Harley, historian and author Stephen Ambrose, MLB commissioner Bud Selig, 1970s rockers Steve Miller (left six credits short of a degree) and Boz Skaggs, Wizard of Oz munchkin Meinhardt Raabe, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright (he attended, but did not graduate).

Yes… Wisconsin has three astronauts the most famous being Apollo 13 hero Jim Lovell (attended UW for 2 years but then sobered up and transferred to the Naval Academy). No former US Presidents, but they have a kick-ass statue of Abe Lincoln and they did give US Grant an honorary degree in 1879. In addition, they can claim Iajuddin Ahmed, the most recent former President of Bangladesh.
Game: This could get ugly. Wisconsin has one of the best teams in the country, their only loss of the season came at Michigan State. Last week Badger Coach Bret Bielema has shown he has no problems in running up the score in record fashion against a bad defense. They scored 83 points and their best running back (John Clay) did not even play. Add in the still bitter taste Wisconsin has from their 2008 visit to Michigan Stadium... and this does not add up to a fun senior day.

Wisconsin 49
Michigan 21


Mikoyan said...

I think Arthur MacArthur was also the youngest person to ever receive the Medal of Honor.

And as always, excellent job on the Know Your Foe.

Bigasshammm said...

No Sconis?

BaggyPantsDevil said...

I keep hoping the pessimism works some sort of magic and Michigan pulls this one out and doesn't play the role of Baby Seal U. I didn't have much optimism for Illinois and that one turned out great.

Unfortunately, both Wisconsin and Ohio State have reasons to go for style points and pill on the points. I doubt neither of them wants to be the team the voters see as less impressive against Michigan's defense.

GoBlueBob said...

BPD.... How about we just beat both of them and then being less impressive will not matter to either school. If Michigan beats both and MSU falters, Iowa could sneak in.

In fact, just like in dumb and dumber, Michigan still has a chance...

Based on the current records and remaining schedule, it is still mathematically possible for there to be a five way tie for the big ten with Michigan, tosu, msu, Iowa and Wisconsin with 5-3 records.

Is this likely... heck no... but it is still fun to think about.

Mikoyan said...

It's also mathematically possible I could score with a model...

Although I suppose Michigan could beat both the Badgers and the Buckeyes.

Andy said...


I learned long ago to reduce/eliminate all expectations for this coaching staff.

It is clearly a defense mechanism.

I want us to win. I hope we win. I will cheer and scream during the game to help us win. AND I will celebrate if we win.

But, sadly.... I will also be shocked.

Catie said...

RAX has launched into space!