first_imgGo ahead, celebrate a Badger football victory — it’s much needed across the UW campus.Despite sitting just above UW in the Big Ten standings, it turned out the Hoosiers were the far worse team and IU’s offensive and defensive capabilities dwindled as the second half began Saturday.But don’t let this Hoosier beating fool you — the Badgers have a lot to work on and will again be tested this week by their archrivals, the Golden Gophers of Minnesota.That’s right, the same Minnesota team that went 1-11 a year ago now has a better record than Wisconsin and seems to be speeding up rather than slowing down.Oh, and that abysmal Gopher team last year only lost to Wisconsin by seven points, so winning at home is by no means a sure thing four days from now.But by this point in the season, with the Badgers locked into a sub-.500 record in Big Ten play, maybe the upcoming rivalry game is of little importance in comparison to other aspects of the team.With the chances of Wisconsin making a bowl game still looming in the realm of uncertainty, the Badgers absolutely need to win their next two games in order to keep their postseason hopes alive.Right now though, it shouldn’t be the most important thing on the coaches’ minds.Now is the time for the coaching staff to decide what’s more pressing at the moment: Going to a mediocre bowl game this year, or letting the underclassmen get a chance to show what they’ll bring to the table next season.Why not let Zach Brown and John Clay get the majority of the carries? Will the drop off be that significant from what we’ve seen from P.J. Hill this season?In Big Ten play, Hill has only rushed for over 100 yards twice, both in the past two weeks. Clay has been the more productive of the two, averaging 5.7 yards per carry — that’s a higher percentage than Hill has had in his entire UW career.Maybe the coaching staff putting in the younger players would essentially mean giving up on a lost season. Well, maybe after losing its first four Big Ten games and barely reaching the .500 mark overall with a veteran team is a pretty good sign that things aren’t the way they should be.Yes, there were a few mishaps before the second quarter came to a close in Bloomington.Junior quarterback Dustin Sherer threw an interception, while redshirt freshman Mario Goins and sophomore David Gilreath each had a turnover on special teams to give Indiana great field position multiple times during the first half.But those three players, all of whom will probably be in starting roles next season, have been gaining the experience needed to lead the team next year — that’s the direction the coaching staff should be heading in. But it doesn’t look like that will be the case as the season comes to a close.For now, it seems most Badger fans can hope that the football team wins out and goes to the Motor City Bowl. For this particular program, that’s not something to be proud of.Forget about Detroit. It’s time for the Badgers to salvage what they can out of this season and let the young talent play. If they do well, then all is great. If they don’t, at least they can get their first-game jitters out of the way in a virtually meaningless season.When picked by experts all around the country to finish toward the top of the Big Ten, it’s remarkable to realize that even the lowliest of bowl games is not yet set in stone but rather a mere possibility with only two games remaining.So about that 55-20 victory on Saturday. If that’s any indication of things to come, then Cal Poly won’t be too much of a struggle in the Badgers’ last week of play.Or maybe it will — UW football has already underachieved; maybe it will reach its all-time low in the coming weeks.Regardless, whether or not the coaches let the young players or the veterans deal with the adversity is the real question going into the last weeks of 2008 Badger football.Jonah is a sophomore hoping to major in journalism. Have your own thoughts on the football team? Is it time for the underclassmen to take over? He can be reached at jbraun@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

first_imgThe bane of the football season has arrived. It’s the Thursday night game — something few love and many despise. I fall into the majority on this one, and I think that playing a football game in the Coliseum on a Thursday isn’t fair to the students or a good idea.The Thursday night football game is a contradiction for a University that claims to put a great value on both academics and student life — this game makes students choose one or the other.When I was a freshman, I remember thinking that it was really cool that we got to play on a Thursday night, but of course as I have gone deeper into my course work and gotten more involved with my extracurricular activities, a Thursday night game just cuts into the amount of time that I can spend studying and working without feeling like I’m missing out on something.In an attempt to compromise, USC bans all tailgating on campus and on the Row for Thursday games, but that takes away a lot of the fun of going to a school where football is such a big deal. I’m not saying that the only way to enjoy a football game is to be blackout drunk before it happens, but there is a certain culture surrounding the games and many students, myself included, feel cheated out of one weekend of this experience when the game is held on a Thursday.If the University were going to cancel all its classes on Thursdays to allow the game to fully take over, then there wouldn’t be this struggle for power. But it isn’t just Thursday or Thursday afternoon classes that would need to be considered — what about Friday?I am one of the many who purposely schedules my classes so that I have a three-day weekend every week, but for many people, and nearly every science major, this luxury just isn’t a reality.This semester I have a class that is from 4 p.m.- 5:40 p.m. on Thursday, and my professor canceled it. I have friends who don’t get out of class until 6 or 7 p.m. and their professors haven’t given them the day off. Now these students have to decide if they would rather attend the football game or their class, a decision that is utterly unfair for someone who is paying for both.So then it comes to a tipping point. Would a student rather skip the game so that they can commit the necessary time to their schoolwork, something that costs roughly $33,000 this semester or go to the football game, something they also had to put out $185 for?It doesn’t seem fair to force the students into this predicament every year. In an email to the student body, Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry addressed the many troubles that come with the Thursday night game.“As a member of the Pac-12 Conference, USC will occasionally host home football games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on weekdays,” Carry wrote.For the three years that I have been a student here, USC has hosted a Thursday night game. Even though “occasionally” may mean only once a semester, “occasionally” should mean once every few seasons. Spread the wealth!Of course, on a Thursday night, USC has a greater chance of competing with the NFL for viewership than Oregon State does, but the conference should put its priority on its students and student-athletes instead of chasing down the dollars.Now of course, USC would never say that they expect you to go to the football game instead of your classes. In fact, Carry even told the student body what is expected of them tonight.“Classes will be held on Thursday, Oct. 27 and students will be expected to attend class in accordance with the syllabus set by their faculty instructor.”I hope you have as understanding of a professor as I do.Hailey Tucker is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Tucker Talks,” runs Thursdays.last_img read more

first_imgRobbie Brady’s about to become a Norwich player. The move ensures the 23 year-old will remain in the Premier League and line out alongside Wes Hoolahan in Alex Neil’s side. Hull last night accepted an offer of 7 million pounds from the Canaries after a previous bid was rejected.last_img