Found July 31, 2012 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
Arizona-state-wisconsin
CHICAGO Given his outstanding individual performance a year ago, University of Wisconsin running back Montee Ball's name is a hot topic as a Heisman Trophy candidate for his senior season in 2012. If people are going to talk about him, Ball figures it's about time they pronounce his name correctly. During the Big Ten media days last week, Ball revealed that he preferred his first name be pronounced as it appears on his birth certificate: Mon-TAY instead of Mon-TEE. According to Badgers coach Bret Bielema, Ball's name actually has an accent mark over the second "e" on his birth certificate. But Ball never made a point to correct coaches or teammates when he arrived at Wisconsin from his hometown of Wentzville, Mo., in 2009. When Ball was a Heisman Trophy candidate last season, he brought up the mispronunciation of his name for the first time to reporters but didn't discuss it again. Ball said he brought up the topic once more this season at the behest of his girlfriend. Why didn't he tell anyone sooner? "It was not really that big of a deal," Ball said. "It is an easy switch, but it's kind of like the mindset of Wisconsin running backs, being a product of the offense. It's something that's really hard to change. A lot of people still call me Montee, but I most definitely don't correct them. Last season, Ball produced one of the finest seasons in college football history when he rushed for 1,923 yards and 33 touchdowns in guiding Wisconsin to a second straight Rose Bowl appearance. He also tied Barry Sanders' single-season FBS record with 39 total touchdowns scored. Ball, who has 61 career touchdowns, needs 18 more to break the NCAA career record for touchdowns. And while acknowledging his quest for individual achievement, Ball made sure to place team goals ahead of his own. "I really want to go undefeated and try to make it to the national championship game if possible," Ball said. National championship: a couple of words everyone at Wisconsin can pronounce correctly. "Like I've been telling the team," Bielema said, "Hey we've been knocking on the door of the national championship game two years in a row. Let's get ourselves in position if possible to walk through that thing.'" Taylor's take: Badgers linebacker Mike Taylor said he wasn't concerned about being left off the 51-player preseason watch list for the Dick Butkus Award, given annually to the top college linebacker in the country. "I think people make a big deal of it," Taylor said at Big Ten media days. "It's just an award. That doesn't really matter if you think about it. You're still going to play football. It's just the way it is. I'm not mad about it." Last season, Taylor led the Big Ten with 150 total tackles for Wisconsin, including a 22-tackle game against Ohio State. It was the most tackles in a single game by a Badgers player since 1998. Taylor's 10.7 tackles per game ranked 13th in the country. Taylor's teammate, Chris Borland, did make the Butkus Award watch list after registering 143 tackles last season. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to be on the list," Taylor said. "It's obviously an honor to be on the list. It's not going to stop me from thinking I'm the best or stop me from thinking I can have a good season. If anything, you could say it's motivation." Taylor can play himself onto the 15-player semifinal list for the award, which will be released in October. Maxwell talks Wisconsin: Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell hasn't yet played a down of football against Wisconsin, but he's seen enough to understand the budding rivalry developing between the two schools. Last season, the Spartans and the Badgers split a pair of games. Michigan State knocked off Wisconsin 37-31 on a last-second 44-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver Keith Nichol. Wisconsin then returned the favor with a 42-39 victory in the inaugural Big Ten championship game that went down to the final minutes. "I think rivalries kind of develop when you have two good football teams who play each other year-in and year-out and they always have good, hard fought games," said Maxwell, who will take over at quarterback this season for Cousins. "If you look back to 2007 when we played Wisconsin, I think every single game that we played against them has been decided by seven to 10 points. "When you have two good football teams like us and Wisconsin and each game comes down like that, there's always going to be a little added pressure, a little added hype, and it naturally develops into one of those rivalries." Since 2007, both teams have won three games, with none decided by more than 10 points. Michigan State has scored 199 points in those six games, and Wisconsin has scored 196 points. The two teams meet this season on Oct. 27 at Camp Randall Stadium. Follow Jesse Temple on Twitter.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball attacked

Wisconsin Badgers senior running back Montee Ball was the victim of an "unprovoked assault" early Wednesday morning in Madison. Ball was attacked by five men near Wisconsin's campus around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday.  The men kicked Ball in the head several times after knocking him down.  Ball was taken to the hospital and released later Wednesday morning, he is still...

Police: UW's Ball victim of 'unprovoked assault'

MADISON, Wis. University of Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist last year, was the victim of what Madison Police are investigating as an "unprovoked assault" early Wednesday morning. According to a Madison Police report, witnesses said five men attacked Ball while he was walking in the 500 block of University Avenue at 2:15 a.m. CT. Ball was...

Wisconsin’s Monty Ball Attacked by 5 Men

University of Wisconsin running back Monty Ball was the victim of an “unprovoked assault” early Wednesday morning. Madison Police report Ball was attacked by five men while walking down the 500 block of University Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin at 2:15 a.m. Ball was “knocked to the ground and kicked” in the body and head. Ball was taken to the hospital with head injuries...

Wisconsin's Montee Ball Victim Of Unprovoked Attack

Madison, WI (Sports Network) - Wisconsin star running back Montee Ball was the victim of "an unprovoked assault" early Wednesday morning. According to the Madison police report, Ball was attacked by five men while walking on University Ave. He was knocked to the ground and kicked before being hospitalized with head injuries. Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema issued a...

Five assailants injure Montee Ball in ‘unprovoked assault’

Wisconsin’s Montee Ball was attacked last night in what the Madison Police are calling and unprovoked incident (Credit: AP Photo/Michael Conroy) In a press release, Wisconsin confirmed that the All-American running back “was the victim of what Madison Police are investigating as an ‘unprovoked assault’ early Wednesday morning.”  According to the police report provided...

Wiscosin RB Montee Ball attacked on street

The University of Wisconsin's best football player, Running Back Montee Ball was released from a Madison area hospital early Wednesday morning after apparently being attacked while walking down the street. According to the school, Ball was treated for head injuries after 5 unknown men jumped him while walking down University Avenue near campus. The City of Madison Police reports...

The Sconnie Scoop: More preseason honors for football

The Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook released its top-25 and Wisconsin stands at No. 12. Sixth-ranked Michigan is the only Big Ten team ranked ahead of the Badgers. Montee Ball, Chris Borland, and Ricky Wagner were all named first team preseason All-Americans. In other football news, the Badgers' week two showdown with Oregon State came in at No.11 on Brian Bennett’s...

The Sconnie Scoop: Schobert locks down a walk-on spot

Just days before the beginning of camp, the Wisconsin football team has added a late piece to the puzzle. Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal reports that former Waukesha West standout Joe Schobert has accepted a late walk-on offer from the Badgers. Schobert played both ways for the Wolverines in high school, but it appears as though he will initially start off on the...

Police: Several leads in Ball attack

Detectives investigating an assault that left star Wisconsin running back Montee Ball with a concussion have identified ''several persons of interest'' and believe the altercation may be related to a fight five days earlier, Madison police said Saturday. Investigators determined that a fight occurred late on July 27 and into the morning of July 28 involving Wisconsin...

Montee Ball was allegedly attacked and had to go to the hospital

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball was attacked by 5 men and taken to the hospital according to ESPN analyst Joe Schad. Wisconsin announces Montee Ball was attacked by five men and was kicked and taken to hospital with head injuries — Joe Schad (@schadjoe) August 1, 2012 Ball was invited to attend the Heisman ceremony last year and put up crazy stats for the Badgers. Eventually...

Wisconsin’s Montee Ball vicitm of assault

Montee Ball who surprised many by putting off the NFL Draft for a year and coming back to school and play for the Wisconsin Badgers for one more season, was a victim of assault last night on campus. Below is a statement from Wisconsin head football coach Bret Bielema … “My concern right now is for Montee’s health and well-being. Montee has been released from the hospital...

Simulating the 2012 Badgers Season

Monday can't come fast enough here at MadTownBadgers, so because we're so damn anxious and a bunch of self-described sports geeks here we decided to go to the ultimate source to tell us just how this season will play out for the Badgers, you know the source as EA Sports' NCAA 13. Wisconsin is a top 5 team in the game with a 99 overall ranking. They own the 2nd best offense...

Badgers Eying Missouri OL

Wisconsin has poked around in the state of Missouri over the last few recruiting cycles but haven't grabbed a big name from the 'Show Me State' since Montee Ball. In terms of junior offensive lineman Roderick Johnson, he certainly would quality as a 'big' prospect.
College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.