Here is an interesting piece of trivia: when Wisconsin beat Florida State in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night, the win snapped a seven-game losing streak against higher seeded teams in NCAA tournament play. The Badgers hadn’t beaten a higher seeded team since the Final Four run in 2000.
You’d think with the decade of success UW has had that wouldn’t be the case, but it is. In all but one of the seasons since the Badgers went to the Final Four, their season ended with a loss to a higher seeded team. The lone exception? UW being on the end of a 5-12 upset in 2001 with a stunning loss to Georgia State.
One of the last teams in the NCAA field of 65 teams, Wisconsin upset No. 5 seed Florida State 60-58 in overtime in the East Regional first round. It’s UW’s first win over a higher seeded team since the Final Four run in 2000.
In honor of that, here we go:
And this one:
Cross-posted at The Underground Conservative.
More proof that Wile E. Thompson, Supergenius, is an idiot.
The Packers’ GM won’t pay for any impact free agents and trades down in the draft annually to save money but matches the Tennessee Titans’ offer sheet for restricted free agent Jarrett Bush, who brings back bad memories of Ahmad Carroll.
A guy on the Packers Blog asked: “”Do you want Patrick Lee and Joe Porter as our only corners behind Woodson and Harris the first week of the season?”
My response: I’d take Daffy Duck at reserve corner over Jarrett Bush.
With what is the lowest seed for a Big Ten team that I can recall, Wisconsin gets a No. 12 seed in the East Regional and will play No. 5 Florida State in Boise, Ida., Friday.
No way, no how, does UW, which really doesn’t even deserve to be in the field of 65 teams, get past the Seminoles. Florida State gets the chance to do the same thing to the UW basketball team as it did to UW in football.
In an unusual pairing, Marquette is in the Boise bracket on Friday as well. The Warriors play Utah State in the West Regional.
News: The Green Bay Packers have announced there won’t be any ceremony retiring Brett Favre’s jersey at Lambeau Field any time soon.
Views: Most likely, Favre has vetoed any ceremony as long as Wile E. Thompson, Supergenius, has anything to do with the franchise, a move I support. Ted Thompson made it his personal goal upon his arrival in Green Bay to rid the franchise of arguably the greatest player in its history, mistakenly believing he was the obstacle to rebuilding it. And rid it he did last summer, playing a calculated gamble to divide the fan base to make it easier to justify dumping Favre.
It’s a rift that won’t heal any time soon.The Packers’ free-fall in 2008 to one of the worst teams in the NFL was poetic justice for the arrogant GM, who has presided over the two worst seasons since 1991-92 when Ron Wolf was hired as GM, Mike Holmgren as coach and Favre acquired as QB. The Packers have failed to make the playoffs in three of Thompson’s four seasons as GM and, coming off a 6-10 season, once again Thompson stands pat during the off-season.
In my view, Ted Thompson is as big a villain in Wisconsin sports as Sal Bando, the man who drove Paul Molitor out of Milwaukee and ushered in years of incompetence and mediocrity with the Brewers. More poetic justice: Thompson’s California Pretty Boy couldn’t engineer a game-winning drive with the game on the line to save his life.
For those who argue about Thompson’s draft proficiency, please consider the following: Thompson has had exactly one Pro Bowler and zero All-Pros in four drafts consisting of 43 draft picks. His selection of Justin Harrell in 2007 may go down as the worst draft pick in the past 25 years other than some guy named Tony Mandarich. Yes, I’d rate him worse than Terrell Buckley and the flop named A.J. Hawk.
Why? On Draft Day, no one had Harrell going before the late second or third round. The book on him? Fat, lazy, unmotivated, too soft to play through injuries. In short, a girlie man. You could make the case that both Buckley and Hawk were selected where they deserved but Buckley turned out to be a journeyman DB who had a lengthy career and so far Hawk hasn’t come anywhere near his potential.
Thompson’s habit of trading down for extra picks shows the trait of a man afraid to take defensible risks. Why draft a player in the third round when you can trade that pick to gain a fifth and seventh, two players who (a) cost less money and (b) have less of a chance of making the roster and as a result only make you look like a genius if they make the final 53-man roster.
This year, since Thompson once again showed no initiative in free agency and instead sat on his hands, he needs to make a splash in the draft. Trading down may have made sense when he arrived in 2005, replenishing draft picks that the incompetent Mike Sherman had traded away, but now the Packers need quality, not quantity. take
UW basketball clearly puts the F in F-ugly.
How in the hell can a team consistently blow leads with 10 or less minutes left in games, all the while not being to score at all whatsoever?
Once again, the Badgers blew a 7-point lead with 6 minutes left in the Big Ten quarterfinals and lost to a mediocre Ohio State team that the Badgers had beaten during the regular season, albeit not by much.
This has been the story time and time again from arguably the worst Badger team I have seen since the days of Steve Yoder. Heck, it even looks like a Steve Yoder team. Slow, non-athletic, a collection of vanilla guerrillas. That is, white stiffs.
This team was a major disappointment all season long. A combination of lousy recruiting and — I never thought I’d say this — bad coaching has cost the Badgers dearly. There’s no leadership on the court, no go-to guy with the game on the line. Calling the game for ESPN, both Brent Musberger and his partner said they’d had never seen a Bo Ryan-coached team make some many mental mistakes in crunch time.
Well, that comes from a team that puts the “S” in stupid. Normally, you can watch an entire season of college basketball games and not see more than a handful of shot-clock violations. Watching Wisconsin this year, you can see 3 or 4 shot-clock violations per game. And that doesn’t count the low-percentage shots fired off just to beat the buzzer.
That’s just dumb basketball. Did Ryan and his staff even evaluate the on-court IQ of some of their recruits? Trevon Hughes just is not suited for point guard. Period. He’s been a major disappointment after coming in with such hype. Neither Hughes nor Marcus Landry are leaders, capable of taking over a close game at the end.
And the only way players like Kevin Gullickson and Tim Jarmusz should be able to get into a Big Ten game is to buy a ticket. What were Ryan and his coaches thinking? Gullickson was a top recruit of, ahem, UW-Green Bay. UWGB. Mid-major. Why was UW battling with UWGB for a recruit, any recruit?
Theory here is Ryan has fallen in love with his system to the extent that he believes he can plug any player into the system and make it work. Problem is, you need athletes to make any system work. And UW just doesn’t have enough of those, and that comes back to recruiting. Ryan and his staff have done a lousy job of recruiting the last few years, which is difficult to stomach considering the Badgers’ success. Theoretically, it should have been easy to recruit players when you are succeeding. But UW targeted the wrong players. Period.
There’s also no height on this team. While you cannot coach height, you can recruit it. Looking at the UW roster, there’s a 6-11 and a 7-0 player, but they must really be awful since they rarely get to take off their warmups, let alone see meanignful minutes. Defensively, the Badgers are like a custard filled donut, soft in the middle.
And no speed, either. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve seen Badger defenders beaten flat-out off the dribble. Once again, that can’t be coached but it can be recruited.
We just watched the likely Mr. Basketball in Wisconsin, Jamil Wilson of Racine Horlick, sign with a losing program at Oregon instead of UW, despite the fact that Wilson wanted to play for the Badgers. But Ryan showed little if any interest in Wilson. He let Korie Lucious of Milwaukee Pius XI get out of state to rival Michigan State. He let Devron Bostick of Racine St. Catherine’s get out of state to Minnesota. All Bostick did was play a key role in beating the Badgers at the Kohl Center in January as UW blew a 14-point lead with 3 minutes to play.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not in the “Fire Bo Ryan” camp, although there are some on various Badger forums who are (firing the Boy Genius, Bret Bielema, is another story). But I am not a Ryan Kool-Aid drinker who believes the man should never be criticized when he does a poor job at something. And he has done a lousy job of recruiting the last 2-3 years and hasn’t done his usual stellar job of coaching in close games this year.
How so? At Minnesota — another lead blown late in a game — UW came out of not one but two timeouts with two bizarre plays called, one had Hughes dribbling out the clock near the top of the key jsut to fire up a prayer with 4 seconds left on the shot clock. The other had Landry take a shot from the Uecker seats as the shot clock ran out. At both junctures, UW was leading. All it would have taken was a high percentage shot inside or at least draw a foul.
By the way, next year doesn’t look any better for UW. This may be the program’s high water mark for the next 2-3 years. Other teams in the Big Ten have caught and passed Wisconsin. Now the ball’s in Bo’s court. It’s up to him to upgrade the recruiting and if necessary adapt his system to his talent, not the other way around.
Fire. Bret. Bielema.
What kind of idiot watches an opponent scrambling to line up for a potential game-winning field goal without any timeouts left then inexplicably calls a timeout with 12 seconds left to get that opponent off the hook?
Bret Bielema, that’s who. With Wisconsin leading 24-22 and Michigan State’s special teams resembling a Chinese fire drill in a desparate attempt to line up to attempt a field goal that would win the game, Bielema calls a timeout to save the Spartans and allow them to take their time and get things right.
Idiot. Imbecile. Moron. Make that, Don Moron, of whom the Boy Genius is beginning to remind me.
Good Lord, how bad can this get?
UW has its less-than-one dimension offense on display once again at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, along with its papier mache defense and its woeful punting game — hey, I think I found the Packers’ next punter, he’s kicking for UW now, even worse than Derek Frost — in bumbling and stumbling to its fourth consecutive loss in Big Ten play.
I never thought I’d be nostalgic for the likes of Darrell Bevell, Mike Samuel and Brooks Bollinger, the pedestrian QBs recruited by Barry Alvarez. But after watching the horrible Tyler Donovan last year, and the equally pathetic Allen Evridge and Dustin Sherer this year, I’ll take Bevell, Samuel, Bollinger, Jim Sorgi and John Stocco. All they did was win games.
Oh, and P.J. Hill is hurt. Again. The Second Coming of Anthony Davis, another UW running back who lacked physical and mental toughness. It’s why John Clay is the Badgers’ best RB. And if the Boy Genius can’t see that, maybe Alvarez should find someone who can.
This isn’t going to get any better any time soon, folks.
Obviously, ol’ Ted’s decision to run Brett Favre out of Green Bay on a rail swam back to bite him in the backside. After four weeks, Favre leads the NFL in TD passes after lighting up Arizona for six — more in one game with WRs that still probably aren’t on the same page than Aaron Rodgers has in four games. In addition, Brett is 2nd in completion percentage and passer rating.
Meanwhile, Rodgers may be out indefinitely with a dislocated or separated shoulder. There should be an update later today. Not that he’s been any great shakes against real defenses — sorry but the Lions don’t count — Green Bay must trot out one of two QBs without a lick of NFL experience, one of whom we got through the draft in a trade for a defensive tackle that would look pretty good in the middle of a DL that can’t stop the run up the middle.
Problems with the Packers’ offense start around the offensive line. Last year’s OL was deceptively good. Why? Because Favre could read defenses and get the ball out before getting sacked. Rodgers doesn’t read defenses well and holds onto the ball too long (in addition to having “happy feet”). There’s no question in my mind Green Bay beats the Buccaneers with Favre at QB.
The running game has disappeared as well. Why? Because defenses no longer have to scheme to stop Favre. There’s no need to scheme to stop QBs who can’t beat you. I said last year that Favre was the difference between a 4 to 6 win season and the 13 win season the Packers had in 2007. The OL is a mess, and Ryan Grant is turning out to be — to steal a line from Ron Wolf — “a one-year wonder, a fart in the wind.” How much of that is attributable to the absence of Favre, how much to the lousy OL and how much to Grant is debatable.
Mike McCarthy is right. The train has left the station. Unfortunately it’s on its way to a trainwreck. I don’t see a winnable game until maybe Houston on December 7.
Where do you begin?
Wisconsin blew — and I mean blew — a 19-0 halftime lead and was unmasked as just another mediocre college football team, losing 27-25 to a lousy Michigan team at Ann Arbor.
Just how much longer is the Boy Genius — Bret Bielema — going to be able to live off an unexpected 11-1 season and a bowl victory in his first season playing with Barry Alvarez’s players? Last year was a drop-off, particularly at the QB position. This year, the QB position is even worse, and I didn’t think it could get any worse than Tyler Donovan. Compared to Donovan and Allen Evridge, the pedestrian QBs recruited by Alvarez during his tenure look like Brett Favre or Peyton Manning by comparison.
The Badgers didn’t get a first down in the second half until they were down by eight in the fourth quarter. Three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out … oops, INT and Pick-Six just to break the pattern. UM put eight men in the box and exposed UW as not even a one-dimensional offense.
Thoroughly outplayed and especially outcoached. Forcing five turnovers and unable to produce points. This game should have been over by halftime. There is no reason for a stumbling, bumbling, fumbling team who coughs up the ball five times in the first half to even be in the game other than UW’s flat-out incompetence on the field and especially on the sideline.
Coming up in order, the Badgers play:
- Ohio State at home
- Penn State at home
- at Iowa
- Illinois at home
- at Michigan State
I can easily see this team being 1-5 or 0-6 in the Big Ten after that stretch with only Minnesota and Indiana remaining.
What the heck. We still have Cal Poly Wanna Cracker left.
I have been a skeptic about the Boy Genius from Day One. When King Barry was allowed to pick his own successor, that should have been a warning sign. Hardly ever does anyone pick a successor that will overshadow his own accomplishments. Ron Wolf was a prime example, picking the incompetent Mike Sherman as his successor as GM of the Packers.
Frankly I’d like to see the Boy Genius fired and an honest search conducted for a quality coach/recruiter for an elite D-1 program. Recruiter, you say? Bielema’s recruiting wasn’t even rated in the top half of the Big Ten this year. Even Minnesota, coming off a 1-11 season and losses to two I-AA programs had a better recruiting class.
UW fans deserve better than this schlop.