No. 5 Wisconsin

Today’s pick of Wisconsin ends our Netflix countdown doc-series on “Bad ass schools of the bad-ass Big Ten.”

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I am not sure how the conference of Hopalong Cassidy turned into Butch Cassidy, but here we are: bird drops keep falling on their head.

In history we have had The Daltons, the Clancys, the Barrows, the Dodge City boys and now “Delany’s Gang.”

Jimmy “The Power Broker” Delany, an accomplished man and lawyer who played for Dean Smith at North Carolina, is not responsible for the totality of the mayhem.

But he is the sheriff of Big Ten City.

Delany tried to get a way from it all in August by taking a hiking trip to the Andes with other college football executives.

But there was no escaping the long arm of Dennis Dodd, the talented bulldog writer and posse leader from CBS Sports, who tracked Delany down in Peru.

Butch and Sundance fled to Bolivia--why is it always South America?[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

Delany knew the call was coming--he could hike but he couldn’t hide—but Gentleman Jim fessed to Dodd he was generally saddened about the mess he had left back home.

“Of course, we’re concerned,” Delany told Dodd.

The litany of scandal dating to Penn State, the worst of the worst, is mind-boggling and has contaminated large swaths of Big Ten territory.

It hasn’t just been student-athlete trouble, no, in fact the worst of it has involved adult coaches, doctors, strength coaches and administrators.

The Big Ten East Division has its own mug-shot board at police headquarters and we were actually thrilled to be finally promoting a school from the Big Ten West.

But, no, not even Wisconsin could get a clean slate into the 2018 season.

Two of the Badgers top receivers have been suspended until further notified for alleged off-the-field escapes.

The most serious charge has been level against Quintez Cephus, who is facing two counts of felony assault for an alleged April 22 attack on a woman.

It was so easy to get excited about Wisconsin, coming off a 13-1 season with returning quarterback Alex Hornibrook.

Everything sets up nicely: Wisconsin has an easy, all-home non-conference schedule (W. Kentucky, New Mexico, BYU) and plays in the much-easier West Division.

Wisconsin misses Ohio State and Michigan State from the cross-over East and could be perfectly positioned when the playoff selection committee convenes.

The off-season issues, though, cloud the immediate future.

“There are always things you have to deal with,” Badgers Coach Paul Chryst lamented after announcing the two-game suspension of receiver Danny Davis.

Just another day, these days, in the Big Ten.[/membership]

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