Thursday, August 13, 2015

Which Badgers Players Are In The NFL?

Badgers in the NFL

There may be some better football factories across the nation in places such as Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State, Florida State, and LSU, but the Badgers still have produced some pretty darn good players over the years. Let's look at the current Badgers in the NFL, and rank the best of the bunch.

1. J.J. Watt/DE/Houston Texans- Of course, the monster from Waukesha, Wisconsin starts this list. 6'5”, 289 pounds, and if' he is only 6'5”, then Charles Barkley is skinny. Listen, I think Aaron Rodgers is awesome. Heck, I believe he might be the greatest pure quarterback to ever put on a football uniform, but right now, at this moment, J. J. Watt is the best football player in the world.

2. Joe Thomas/OT/Cleveland Browns- The one thing the Badgers are known for is lineman. There is not a better offensive lineman in the NFL right now than Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns. Thomas is an 8 time All-Pro, and the only offensive lineman in NFL history to be named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first eight seasons.

3. Russell Wilson/QB/Seattle Seahawks- Yes, Wilson only spent one season in Madison, but he still technically was a Badger and as a result, he qualifies for this list. Wilson is an undersized but highly intelligent quarterback. The question is how will he perform, when he is no longer on a loaded roster in a couple of years?

4. DeAndre Levy/OLD/Detroit Lions- This past offseason DeAndre Levy ranked 66th on the NFL top 100 players list. Levy has been a great player for a long time, and last season was one of his best ever. He finished 2014 with 151 tackles, good for second best league wide.

5. Travis Frederick/C/Dallas Cowboys- Many thought the Cowboys 2013 first round selection of Frederick was a disaster at the time. Oh boy, were they wrong. Frederick has started every game of his NFL career so far and was an All-Pro a year ago. Frederick is quickly emerging as the best center in the league.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Badgers 2015 Schedule | Wisconsin Will Lose To Alabama in Game One

Badgers 2015 Football Schedule
It’s officially July. Which for us sportswriters, means it is time to begin previewing the upcoming football season? The Badgers 2015 schedule is out, so I thought starting with a Badgers schedule preview would be a good idea.

Week one: Vs. Alabama- the Wisconsin Badgers will begin their 2015 season with about as a big of a bang as one could have possibly drummed up. The Alabama Crimson Tide, college football's current flagship franchise will face the Badgers at Jerry World, technically known as Cowboys Stadium, in the 2015 Cowboy Classic. The Badgers could have a new quarterback, specifically one redshirt freshman D.J. Gillins, a four star recruit from Gainesville, Florida. Gillins sat out the 2014 season on a redshirt and was highly touted. Will he be ready enough to be the starter? We will find out in fall camp. Regardless of who plays quarterback, I expect the Badgers to begin 2015 with a loss.

Week two: Vs. Miami (OH) - This will be a chance for the Badgers to pad their stats early following the opener against Alabama. Badgers win this one, or should, easily.

Week three: Vs. Troy- Another chance the pad their stats. Same result as above.

Week four: Vs. Hawaii- For the third week in a row, same situation, and same result.

Week five: Vs Iowa- the Badgers 2015 Big Ten Conference Schedule begins this week with the Iowa Hawkeyes coming to Madison. On paper, this should be a win for the Badgers, but with Iowa, you never know. This will be a lot closer than most people think.

Week six: @ Nebraska- The Badgers first real road game of the season doesn't come until week six. Nebraska has a new coach, a new system, and a new direction. This should be an easy win for the Badgers.

Week seven: Vs. Purdue- This will be the Badgers easiest Big Ten game of the season. Easy win for Bucky. Move along.

Week eight: @ Illinois- Illinois took some good steps forward last season. I still expect the Badgers to win this game, but not my much.

Week nine: Vs. Rutgers- I really like the direction this Rutgers program is going in. I expect the Badgers to lose this one at home.

Week ten: @ Maryland- Another program on the rise and heading in the right direction. This will be too close to call this early.

Week 11: Off week.

Week 12: Vs. Northwestern- 2014 can be written off as a bad year for the Wildcats. I like this team, this program, and this coach. I expect a Northwestern win.

Week 13: @ Minnesota- The Badgers will end their 2015 season in Minnesota. A year ago the Gophers were so close, but came up just short. I expect Minnesota to finally get it done against Wisconsin and win this game.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Badgers Drafted Into the NFL in 2015

Badgers in the 2015 NFL Draft
Which Badgers players were drafted into the NFL in 2015? Even though they aren't one of the more prestigious schools out there, the Wisconsin Badgers do seem to have a few players that are drafted each year. This year they had two. Let's take a look at those.

Melvin Gordon/RB- Melvin Gordon entered this draft as one of the premier running backs available. He ended up being the second one taken. Todd Gurley was selected by the St. Louis Rams at number 10 overall. Gordon was selected number 15 overall by the San Diego Chargers. Gordon will go to a team that has been searching for a number one running back since LaDainian Tomlinson left in 2009. Gordon has good speed and will fit well in the Chargers offense.

Rob Havenstein/OL- The other Wisconsin Badger selected in the 2015 NFL draft was offensive lineman Rob Havenstein. Rob Havenstein was taken by the St. Louis Rams with the 57th selection overall, late in round two. He will should be an important part of the Rams line early, and will be important in keeping new quarterback Nick Foles upright and will be asked to open holes for rooking running back Todd Gurley as well.

There were other Badgers that were draft prospects but didn't get drafted. Still, that does not mean their NFL dreams are over. Wide receiver Kenzel Doe was invited to the New England Patriots mini-camp but did not earn a contract. Defensive lineman Warren Herring actually signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons, and has a good shot to make the team, or at least the Falcons practice squad. Defensive back Peniel Jean did not get picked up by anyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

College Football Playoffs | The Biggest Bowl Games of 2014

NCAA 2015 Bowl Games
Over the last several weeks, I have previewed the various NCAA Football bowl games. Now it is time to preview the inaugural college football playoffs. The first game will be the Rose Bowl and it will feature Oregon vs. Florida State. The second game will be the Sugar Bowl and it will feature Alabama vs. Ohio State.

Oregon vs. Florida State- Remember the 2006 Rose Bowl when Vince Young made all those millions of dollars he got from the NFL in one game, the Rose Bowl, in which he had 467 yards from scrimmage and no turnovers? Well many consider that game to be perhaps the greatest college football game ever played. This one won’t top it, but it will come very close. Florida State has  the nationals longest winning streak, with 27 in a row dating back to 2012. Jameis Winston has yet to lose a game as the starting quarterback of Florida State. Still, Florida State has lived dangerously all season, falling behind often and needing second half comebacks to remain undefeated. Bad news is that won’t work in this game. Oregon is better than any opponent they have faced in the ACC this season. Marcus Mariota won the Heisman, and is the number one player on every NFL big board right now for the 2015 NFL draft. I believe the living dangerously finally comes back to bite Florida State, and Oregon wins this game 45-31.

Alabama vs. Ohio State- What a ride 2014 has been for the Buckeyes. They had dreams of a national championship with Braxton Miller as the quarterback. Yeah, that was two quarterbacks ago. Miller was lost for the season during Fall camp, so the Buckeyes turned to freshman J.T. Barrett. After that early season debacle against Virginia Tech, Barrett got better as the season went along, but was lost for the season late in the year with a leg injury. The Buckeyes now turn to Cardale Jones, who has just one career start. Meanwhile the Crimson Tide have been less than impressive all season and are the number one team by default. If this is the best team in college football this season this is a down year, seriously. Still, I expect Alabama to win this game 41-20.

National Championship- This leaves us will Alabama and Oregon in the National Championship. Some might say this will be a good game, but to tell you the truth, I won’t expect it to be. In recent years, whenever that great Alabama defense has played a quarterback with a pulse, they’ve looked bad. Well guess what, it doesn’t get any better at quarterback than Marcus Mariota. I think this one is going to be a blow out. Final score Oregon wins 48 24.