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More on that later... first, the notes;
Turnabout dance: What got into the Wisconsin Badgers this afternoon?
Almost all of the local and national pundits (including this one) predicted that Illinois would roll into Camp Randall Stadium and run up the score, ruining homecoming weekend and throwing more fuel on the "Fire Bielema" bonfire.
So much for that theory....
With three interceptions from their secondary and two touchdown passes from Dustin Sherer to David Gilreath, the Badgers took a 27-17 victory to snap a four-game losing streak.
Frustrated over the 0-4 start to the conference season, many Wisconsin fans called for coach Bret Bielema's dismissal last week and there were plenty of no-shows in the student section.
They missed an entertaining game.
Fans these days have short memories. The Badgers also had a few down years under Barry Alvarez, but nobody remembers those. While the victory today can't erase the sting of painful losses against Michigan and Ohio State and the embarrassing drubbing against Penn State, it could be a springboard for a positive second half of the season.
Interesting notes of the day: UW has won five straight homecoming games; and, Illini coach Ron Zook has not won in Madison.
Macha man? By this time next week, the Brewers likely will have hired a manager. The three apparent finalists - Ken Macha, Bob Brenly and Willie Randolph - all have strengths and weaknesses.
Macha, who was general manager Doug Melvin's first choice before the 2003 season, seems to have the upper edge. He's a sharp guy (has an engineering degree) and has a no-nonsense reputation.
If you asked me to make a wager, I'd say Macha is the guy. The prevailing trend in sports, however, is for teams to replace a departed leader with one whose personality traits are opposite.
Ned Yost wasn't great in the press conference setting. Bob Brenly would be. He has a chance, but it seems like Macha could be the guy.
Moving west: Once the Brewers hire a manager, they'll have to find a replacement for scouting director Jack Zduriencik, who is the new general manager in Seattle. Zduriencik did a fantastic job in nine seasons for the Brewers and is such a likable guy that many in the baseball media were pulling for him to get an opportunity to move up.
The Brewers have known for some time that Zduriencik had GM potential, so you'd expect them to have a successor in mind.
Environmentally friendly: The UW athletic department offset the carbon emission impact of the game by planting 20 acres of trees at a tree farm 12 miles east of Madison.
"Every game day, a crowd larger than many Wisconsin cities gathers at Camp Randall Stadium to watch Badger football," associate athletic director Vince Sweeney said.
"It's important for us to be environmentally conscious in what we do and to spread the word about how everyday actions can lead to a cleaner environment."
Free time: The Packers are off Sunday. How will you spend the day? Storm windows? Winterizing the yard? Or, dozing in front of other NFL games?
The Buzz on Marquette: The Marquette Golden Eagles were picked sixth in a pre-season poll of Big East coaches. That's not exactly cause for celebration or alarm with a first-year coach in one of the tougher leagues in the country.
Williams and the Golden Eagles received an oral commitment from Brett Roseboro, a 6-foot-10-icn, 220-pound forward from Quakertown, Pa. Roseboro joins the 2009-'10 recruiting class that includes forwards Jeronne Maymon and Erik Williams and guards Junior Cadougan and Dwight Buycks.
Forward Trevor Mbakwe, who left Marquette this summer, apparently has accepted a scholarship from Minnesota for next season. Initial rumors had him following Tom Crean to Indiana, but those were wrong. Mbakwe, who is from the Minneapolis area, will have two years of eligibility.
Marquette point guard Dominic James is an intern at 540 ESPN.
Tipoff looming: The Bucks open the regular season Tuesday in Chicago. Can you feel the excitement?
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.