On the heels of a great football banquet, this is a memo to Badger football players. A winless season is never easy. Believe me -- It is even tougher for the graduating seniors and the coaches. For all of the returning players and those who are going to play, please know this.
It will get better, but it is up to you. First, trust your coaches. Most of your coaches wear championship rings. Coach Kent Lincoln and coach Erik Peterson could have been running programs anywhere in the Valley. They are respected throughout the section. Coach Lincoln has a vision and it is a solid blueprint for the future. He will not allow anyone to dwell on this year. So your 2013 football season begins now.
Your team needs more players and needs to get stronger. The 2012 team could not stop the run, pure and simple. Successful run stopping means you are strong enough to fight off your blocker, wrap up the runner and finish the play. Your team also had no run game. There is a solution. Hit the weight room hard and start planning for next year now. That means lifting in zero period, eating well and listening and believing in your coaches.
To the seniors -- become leaders. Do the right thing. That means be at practice early and leave late. That means keeping up your grades. That means no partying, especially during season. Seriously, be an example to the underclassmen.
You have a lot of positives -- a top returning QB, an exciting offense, great facilities and a community that supports you.
Build something great. I promise, you will always look back with Badger pride.
Congratulations to Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter and former Bulldog head coach Pat Hill. It looks like the change has been good for both coaches. Coach DeRuyter has the Bulldogs at 9-3 before Monday's Hawaii Bowl against Southern Methodist University, coached by ex-Hawaii coach June Jones.
Essentially inheriting most of the current roster, DeRuyter and offensive coordinator Dave Schramm have finally utilized the arm of Derrick Carr. Right now, Fresno State is a top 25 team.
For Hill, going back to his NFL roots has also produced good things. Currently, Hill is the offensive line coach for the 13-2 Atlanta Falcons. It is now official -- the road to the Super Bowl for the NFC goes through Atlanta. WAC titles were hard to come by for Hill, so maybe a Super Bowl ring is in the cards.