In ’93, the Badgers went 10-1-1 and won their first Rose Bowl, 21-16 over UCLA. Starting with that ’93 season, the Badgers have posted a 183-77-4 record, including this year’s 8-2 mark.
What many people don’t know is that former Wisconsin Chancellor Donna Shalala, who had hired Alvarez at Wisconsin, wanted Alvarez and his staff to join her at Miami (Fla.) when she was ready to take over as president in June 2001. Alvarez and his entire coaching staff were ready to move to Miami to coach the Hurricanes but remained at Wisconsin because they were unable to negotiate salaries for Alvarez’s assistants at Miami.
The Badgers have won five Big Ten titles in those 20 years since Alvarez was hired and have gone 3-3 in their six Rose Bowl appearances. That number of appearances leads all Big Ten schools since 1993.
The Gophers have to hope that their hiring of Jerry Kill, who has said that he has modeled parts of his program after Alvarez’s work, will have similar success here in Minnesota.
• Eurobasket.com named Trevor Mbakwe, who is playing for Virtus in Italy, its player of the week on Tuesday after the former Gophers basketball player had 23 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in a loss to Granarolo last week.
• The word is that 9,000 students have bought tickets for the Wisconsin game on Saturday.
• One big matchup to watch for Saturday is the battle between Badgers center Dallas Lewallen and Gophers defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman. Lewallen will be making his first start in two games after dealing with a knee injury.
• We’ll know a lot more about the Gophers basketball team when it faces ninth-ranked Syracuse on Monday in Hawaii.
• Aaron Rodgers talked to the Wisconsin State Journal this week about when he might return to starting for the Packers: “I’m going to be back when I’m ready, when there’s a very low risk of reinjuring that. ... Obviously if you have another blow like I had, displacement of the collarbone could take three to five months of rehab.”
• Injuries have forced St. Cloud product Nate Wolters into the starting lineup for the Milwaukee Bucks, and he is averaging 8.3 points and five assists per game this season.
• The Timberwolves will face the Brooklyn Nets and former Wolves star Kevin Garnett tonight. Garnett is having a tough start to the season for Nets, who have struggled as a whole. Garnett is averaging a career-low 22.7 minutes per game and a career-low 6.6 points per game this year.
• Twins greats Rod Carew and Paul Molitor, as well as former Twins GM Andy MacPhail, are part of the 16-member committee that will meet Dec. 9 in Orlando to consider expansion-era candidates for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The ballot has 12 names, including former Twins manager Billy Martin and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
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