You know the games are starting to mean something when sports writers and bloggers are spending are writing just as much the opposing team as their own. Here are some Bucky and Sparty updates for you.
Wide receivers Nick Toon and David Gilreath practiced Tuesday and felt fine. Tom Mulhern has more on Gilreath's concussion in the ASU game and reports that Gilreath also suffered a concussion during preseason camp.
Dave Heller writes that its hard to get a good read on UW and MSU because of their easy non-conference schedules but he believes penalties and 3rd down conversions are two weaknesses for the Spartans.
Matt Lepay looks back at the first four games in his weekly The Voice column on UWBadgers.com. Lepay writes that the defense has been solid but needs to create more turnovers while on offense has been resilent with several starters missing games.
Both the JSOnline and Madison.com preview the MSU game. Jeff Potrykus writes that unlike last defensive coordinator Dave Doeren needs to be ready for a formidable ground game while Tom Mulhern says the similarities between the Badgers and Spartans are striking. Both teams have efficient passing games, solid run defenses, and talented RBs.
Across the lake the big news in East Lansing is that head coach Mark Dantonio will coach his first game Saturday for the Spartans since suffering a heart attack after the win over Notre Dame. Dantonio will coach from press box.
If you're interested in the MSU perspective heading into this game MSU blog Sparty On has a game preview, Green & White says the Spartan defense will be tested by the Badgers' brute force, and WSUM posted an audio interview with the football beat report for the MSU student paper.
Jeff Wooldridge at MLive.com says that Wisconsin will be MSU's first real test (suck in Notre Dame) and that UW is the better team. He predicts a 24-20 win for Bucky.
Over at the ESPN Big Ten Blog Adam Rittenberg writes that Dantonio's return should give a lift to the Spartans as they head into tough games against Wisconsin and Michigan and that John Clay needs a monster perfomance vs. MSU to get back into the Heisman race. Rittenberg also has a video post about the three keys for UW to be an elite team this year: offensive efficiency, better special teams play, and significant production from the safety position.
The Daily Cardinal shares some of the highlights from Bielema's press conference, including Bielema's thoughts on the Michigan State game.
Adam Tupitza at Bucky's 5th Quarter ranks the top five toughest Big Ten games for UW this year. Michigan State is #3. The others include at Iowa, vs. OSU, at Michigan, and vs. Northwestern.
The Chicago Tribune takes a look s at the Big Ten conference so far as league play starts this weekend. UW mentions include Clay as the #3 Heisman candidate and UW-Austin Peay as one of the worst games.
UWBadgers.com has an update on three former Badgers fighting NBA roster spots this fall. Marcus Landry (Kings), Greg Steimsma (Cavs) and Kirk Penney (Spurs) were all added to their respective teams training camp rosters within the last week.
The guys over at Sixty Minutes No Alibis No Regrets have have been posting a ton of content the last few days. If you're a hockey fan check out the site for recruiting updates and the latest polls.