Alvarez to the Rescue

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by Andrew Coughlin

What a treat for Badger fans.  Barry Alvarez will be on the sidelines to coach in his fourth Rose Bowl game against No. 8 ranked Stanford.  His first game coaching since stepping aside in 2005. Fans know that Alvarez took Wisconsin from obscurity to legitimate NCAA football program. 

Before Alvarez took over in 1990, the Badgers were consistently under .500, rarely ranked in the top 25 and had never won a Rose Bowl game.  During his 16 seasons at the helm he finished above .500 eleven times, failed to crack the AP top 25 just four times and won 3 Rose Bowl titles. 

The chance to step into the lime light and on the sidelines once again was probably a no-brainer for him.  Low risk and high reward.  If the Badgers lose to the Cardinal, it'll be: 'Well, they were 8-5 and weren't supposed to be in the Rose Bowl anyway.'  And if they win it'll be: 'Barry is our savior!'

I'm sure another motivating factor for him was knowing that the university will pay him $118,500 for this one game, with a $50,000 bonus if Wisconsin wins.  According to U.S.A. Today, the university is getting the money from the University of Arkansas.  The school had to pay a $1,000,000 buyout to steal Bret Beilema away.

Barry is a living legend in Madison.  The statue of him placed outside of Camp Randall, although quite creepy, is well deserved.  This will be a memorable game and an extraordinary reward for Badger fans and Wisconsin alum alike.

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