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Monday, August 2, 2010
Wisconsin dealing with high hopes again

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

CHICAGO -- Wisconsin has been here before.

In 2007 and again in 2008, the Badgers entered the season amid high expectations, only to stumble to varying degrees. After a 10-3 season and a Champs Sports Bowl championship in 2009, Wisconsin knows the bar needs to be raised this season.

Not surprisingly, the Badgers were selected No. 3 in the Big Ten preseason poll Monday. They could enter the season ranked in the top 10 and certainly the top 15.

Fifth-year head coach Bret Bielema isn't going to spend much time talking about the past when his team opens preseason camp next week. But he won't avoid the topic completely, either.

"I do like the fact that the majority of our players went through the scars of that season in addition to myself and several of my coaches," he said. "We'll make note of any mistakes made that year, but the 2010 season is based on individuals in that room."

Bielema is enjoying the fact that for the first time in his coaching career, he sees a senior class where every player has started games for the Badgers.

"It’s very unusual," Bielema said, "to have that many guys who have played a significant role.”