Big Ten Announces 2015 Conference Schedule

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MADISON, Wis. – A little more than two weeks ago, the Big Ten Conference made history by announcing its 2014 league schedule, the first season the conference will have 14 teams and an East-West divisional split. After that announcement, the Badgers’ opponents and locations for the 2014 and 2015 seasons were known. Now the dates for the 2015 games have been set.

 The schedule features three home games in October, including a matchup with rival Iowa to kick off the league campaign on Oct. 3. The Hawkeyes have not played in Camp Randall Stadium since 2009. The two teams, which play for the Heartland Trophy, have not met since 2010 and will face each other in Iowa City in 2014.

 Including the opener against Iowa, Wisconsin plays its first four games of the Big Ten season against West Division foes. The Badgers visit Nebraska on Oct. 10, host Purdue on Oct. 17 and play at Illinois on Oct. 24.

 The Big Ten chose a unique time for Rutgers to make its first-ever trip to Madison as the Scarlet Knights will play UW in Camp Randall Stadium on Oct. 31, otherwise known as Halloween. The Badgers then travel to Maryland for the first time in school history to take on the Terrapins on Nov. 7.

 Following a bye on Nov. 14, UW wraps up its schedule with a pair of West Division games. The Badgers will play their home finale on Nov. 21 against Northwestern before closing the season in the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe against Minnesota for the second straight year. The game in Minneapolis will be played on Nov. 28.

 The 2015 Big Ten Championship Game will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Dec. 5.

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BIG TEN ANNOUNCES 2014 CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

 Big Ten’s 2014 schedule features new division alignment along with conference debut of Maryland and Rutgers

Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten office announced the conference schedule for the 2014 football season today, as approved by the Big Ten Directors of Athletics. The 2014 schedule will consist of eight games for each of the Big Ten’s 14 teams, feature a new division alignment, include the conference debut of Maryland and Rutgers and culminate with the fourth annual Big Ten Football Championship Game.

The 2014 Big Ten season begins on Sept. 13, with Rutgers making its Big Ten debut by hosting fellow East Division member Penn State. Maryland will take part in its first Big Ten game two weeks later on Sept. 27 with an East Division matchup at Indiana. Four other conference games will be held on Sept. 27, including two West Division matchups with Illinois at Nebraska and Iowa at Purdue and two cross-division contests with Minnesota at Michigan and Northwestern at Penn State. The Oct. 4 schedule will feature the Terrapins’ first home Big Ten game against fellow East Division member Ohio State along with an East Division matchup in Michigan at Rutgers and West Division contests in Nebraska at Michigan State, Purdue at Illinois and Wisconsin at Northwestern.

 From Sept. 27 to Nov. 29, the 2014 Big Ten schedule will feature 10 consecutive weeks of Big Ten competition, boasting at least five conference games each week. All 14 teams will be in action during the final two weeks of Big Ten play, including six division games each week. The final weekend of the 2014 season begins with Nebraska at Iowa in a matchup of West Division rivals on Friday, Nov. 28. The Saturday, Nov. 29, schedule feature two more West Division matchups in Illinois at Northwestern and Minnesota at Wisconsin, three East Division contests in Michigan at Ohio State, Michigan State at Penn State and Rutgers at Maryland and a cross-division game with Purdue at Indiana. The winners of each division will meet in the 2014 Big Ten Football Championship Game, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

 Beginning in 2014, the Big Ten football division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division. Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015, which will serve as transitional years in which the schools will still be playing eight-game schedules. Beginning in 2016, each school will play three teams from the other division as part of its nine-game schedule. The cross-division games will include one protected matchup on an annual basis between Indiana and Purdue.

 The Big Ten will hold the 2013 Football Media Days and 42nd annual Kickoff Luncheon on Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 and 25, at the Hilton Chicago, featuring all 12 head coaches and some of the nation’s top returning players. The 118th season of Big Ten football kicks off Thursday, August 29, and culminates with the third annual Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 7, to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and televised by FOX. The winner of the title game will earn the Big Ten Championship and a chance to play in either the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.

Dayne Elected to College Football H.O.F.

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MADISON, Wis. – More than 13 years after running to the top of the NCAA career rushing list, former Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne has been chosen to join an elite group. On Tuesday, the National Football Foundation announced that Dayne will be immortalized as part of the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013.

 

“I’m very excited and thrilled to be mentioned with the greatest names in college football history,” Dayne said. “This is a tremendous honor for me and the university. As with everything in my career, I see this as a team honor and something I never could have achieved without my teammates and coaches.”

 Dayne finished his career as college football’s all-time leading rusher. The official NCAA record book credits him with 6,397 career rushing yards, most in FBS history. Including bowl games, Dayne rushed for 7,125 total yards as a Badger.

 As a senior, Dayne became the second player in Badgers’ history to win the Heisman Trophy, racking up 2,034 rushing yards and scoring 20 touchdowns. That year he also won the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Doak Walker Award, Chicago Tribune Silver Football and was a unanimous, consensus first-team All-American.

 Dayne helped lead UW to back-to-back Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl championships in 1998 and 1999. A member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, he is one of just four players to ever be named MVP of “The Grandaddy of Them All” twice.

 Dayne burst onto the college football scene as a freshman, running for a then-FBS record 1,863 yards in the regular season (Adrian Peterson broke the record with 1,925 yards as a freshman in 2004). Dayne added 246 yards and Copper Bowl MVP honors to finish the season with 2,109 yards despite not starting the first four games of the season.

 As a sophomore, Dayne was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award and a first-team All-American from College Football News. Despite missing two full games and parts of two others, he still ranked fifth nationally with an average of 142.0 rushing yards per game (1,457 total yards).

 Dayne was again a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as a junior, leading the Big Ten in rushing and earning Walter Camp first-team All-America honors. He led the Badgers’ upset of No. 6 UCLA in the 1999 Rose Bowl, rushing for 246 yards and earning game MVP honors. That game also set the stage for his Heisman Trophy campaign the following season.

 

“In my opinion, Ron was simply the most dominant running back that ever played college football,” said Dayne’s former coach, current Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez. “If the rules back then were the same as they are now, with bowl games counting towards his career rushing total, no one would even come close to touching his record. We’ve had a lot of great players come through here but when people think of Wisconsin football, they think of Ron Dayne running the football.”

 Dayne’s No. 33 was officially retired by Wisconsin in 2007. He was elected to the UW Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

 Dayne becomes the 11th former Badgers’ player or coach to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. The most recent inductee was his former coach, as Alvarez was a member of the Class of 2010. Dayne is the fourth former UW running back in the Hall of Fame, joining Wisconsin’s only other Heisman Trophy winner, Alan Ameche, along with Pat Harder and Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch.

The 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class will be inducted at the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, 2013, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. They will be honored guests at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 2, 2014 and officially enshrined in the summer of 2014.

 

Badgers in the College Football H.O.F.

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Barry Alvarez, Coach, Class of 2010
Alan Ameche, RB, Class of 1975
Marty Below, OL, Class of 1988
Robert Butler, OL, Class of 1972
Ron Dayne, RB, Class of 2013
Pat Harder, FB, Class of 1993
“Crazylegs” Hirsch, RB, Class of 1974
George Little, Coach, Class of 1962
Pat O’Dea, P, Class of 1962
Pat Richter, WR, Class of 1996
Dave Schreiner, End, Class of 1955

Ball Wins Doak Walker Award

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Montee Ball will finish his college career on top of a number of lists in the record books. He’ll also finish it on top of the list of the nation’s top running backs.

The Wisconsin senior was named the best running back in college football Thursday when he was presented with the Doak Walker Award during The Home Depot College Football Awards at Walt Disney World. He also was named to the Walter Camp All-America team for the second-consecutive season.

Ball finished ahead of fellow Doak Walker finalists Kenjon Barner of Oregon and Johnathan Franklin of UCLA for the honor, which has been presented to the nation’s most outstanding running back each year since 1989.

A finalist for the second-consecutive season, Ball becomes Wisconsin’s second Doak Walker Award winner, joining 1999 winner Ron Dayne.

He is the sixth Big Ten player to earn the award, and the first since Iowa’s Shonn Greene in 2008.

Wisconsin has boasted a Doak Walker finalist each of the last three seasons, with John Clay earning a finalist nod in 2010 before Ball’s back-to-back nominations. UW has had eight Doak Walker semifinalists over the past 15 seasons.

Ball is the NCAA’s all-time leader in touchdowns with 82 and also holds the NCAA career record for rushing touchdowns with 76. He ranks in a tie for fourth all-time among Big Ten players with 5,040 career rushing yards and became the 17th player in FBS history to surpass 5,000 yards.

Ball has rushed for 200-plus yards four times in his career and has 25 100-yard rushing games to his credit, including nine this season. He ranks third nationally this season with 1,730 rushing yards and ranks in a tie for fourth with 21 rushing touchdowns.

The two-time defending Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year award winner, Ball led the Big Ten in rushing and scoring during conference play to become the first player to lead the league in scoring in three consecutive seasons since at least 1939.

Named the Grange-Griffin Big Ten Championship Game MVP for his three-touchdown performance in UW’s 70-31 win over Nebraska in the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game, Ball is a finalist for the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football award for the second-consecutive year. He won the award presented annually to the Big Ten’s MVP last season.

Ball will be honored at the 2012 Doak Walker Award Banquet on Feb. 15 in Dallas.

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