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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

A peak behind the curtain: life for the Badgers under new head coach Barry Alvarez

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Bret Bielema is gone, still trying to learn when to say "Go Hogs" instead of "On Wisconsin" when he does media interviews in his newly chosen home state of Arkansas.

In his wake, he left behind a Wisconsin football team that plays Stanford in the Rose Bowl January 1st and, from the sound of things, the players aren't pining for him one little bit.




A.D. Barry Alvarez is back for one game, and FoxSports Wisconsin's Jesse Temple says the team is responding nicely, thank you. (a tip of the chapeau to Today's TMJ4's Vince Vitrano--he Tweeted the link to this article Friday morning).

Much has been made about Alvarez' return, especially when it comes to how much he's getting paid to coach the team for one game   It came as a shock to some that he was getting a check, and others were worried about it coming out of the school's pockets.  

As the dust settled, we come to find out that the cash--though sizeable--is coming off the stack of cash Wisconsin got as part of Bielema's buy-out. 

And, why shouldn't Alvarez be paid?   Being Barry is what Barry does, and he's very good at it.  Why should he give it away?   So what if he's already getting a check for being the school's athletic director?   For the next few weeks, he's the face of the football team.   Sure, the offensive and defensive coordinators are probably doing a lot of the heaviest lifting but it's Alvarez who's setting the tone of practices (at least according to what Temple's saying), the team mood, the overall atmosphere heading into a game in which Bucky will be a decided underdog.  

There are some who say Alvarez should be above it all and do the job for free.  It's easy to spend other people's cash, to tell someone else when they should or shouldn't take a check.   I have absolutely no issue with Alvarez wetting his beak at Pasadena.  It's money well-spent.

And, if Wisconsin pulls off the upset, Barry is worth every dime.

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