Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Mount Rushmore of Wisconsin Badgers Football

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This past week I’ve heard a lot of talk of the Mount Rushmore of certain sports, mainly stemming from LeBron James’ talk of his Rushmore of NBA players and how one day he will be included as one of the four best players ever. I’m not going to split hairs here and dispute anything LeBron said, however it did get me thinking. If they decided to construct a Mount Rushmore of Wisconsin Badgers football right next to Camp Randall Stadium, who would be on it?

Well lucky for you my creative juices were flowing and here are four people who are the best of the best when it comes to the Badgers football program.

Alan Ameche- Looking at the rich history of the Badgers football program Ameche is a name that first stands out. He was the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner back in 1954 and was also a consensus All-American that year as well. In his career at Madison, Ameche compiled what was then an NCAA record of 3,212 yards and played in Wisconsin’s first ever bowl game, the 1953 Rose Bowl. Ameche’s number is retired at Wisconsin and is a member of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.

Ron Dayne- One of the most powerful, bruising running backs college football has seen, Dayne helped bring the national spotlight on Madison, WI. Dayne still holds the record for most rushing yards in an NCAA FBS career, compiling 6,397 yards. The accolades are a plenty for Dayne, way more than I can list here. But in 1999 the highest honor came Dayne’s way as he won the Heisman Trophy, the school’s second winner. His number 33 is retired as well in Wisconsin and is also a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

Pat Richter- One of the most-storied athlete to come to Madison, Richter not only excelled in football but basketball and baseball as well (that’s right kids, Wisconsin used to play baseball). He was named an All-American twice and set a Rose Bowl record in 1963 with 11 receptions for 163 yards. Richter took over as Wisconsin’s athletic director in 1989 and completely turned around all athletic programs and facilities into what they are today. Richter’s number is also retired and he is also a member of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, Academic All-America Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame and was named to Sports Illustrated’s NCAA Football All-Century Team.

Barry Alvarez- Regularly called the savior of the Wisconsin Badgers football program, Alvarez was one of the best hires by athletic director Pat Richter. Alvarez took over the laughing-stock of the Big Ten in 1990 and built them up to one of the best teams in that conference today. In his 15 years as head coach Alvarez compiled a record of 118-74-4, by far the best winning percentage in school history. Alvarez also had an 8-4 bowl game record, including a 3-0 mark in the Rose Bowl as full-time head coach. He won three Big Ten championships, was named AFCA and Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year in 1993 and Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1998. Alvarez is a member of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, Rose Bowl Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame and took over for Richter as athletic director in 2004.

Tell me what you think, do you agree with my Mount Rushmore of Wisconsin Badgers football? Is there someone else you would put on there instead of one of these four?

Tags: Alan Ameche Barry Alvarez Mount Rushmore Of Wisconsin Badgers Pat Richter Ron Dayne Wisconsin Badgers

  • Roderick Taylor

    That’s the same top three that I’d have. I might restrict the Badger Mount to those that actually played at Camp Randall and in that case I’d give the fourth position to either Joe Thomas or Monte Ball. Being Wisconsin we really should have a lineman up there, but having said that it would be tough/impossible to leave Monte Ball off any list of greatest ever Badgers. I think J. J. Watt was smart to go pro when he did, however if he had stayed his final year he would have been in the running. Great topic for a cold winter night by the way!

  • Taylor

    I thought of having just players-only, but I couldn’t leave off Alvarez and everything he has brought to the football program. I did give heavy consideration to Watt and Ball though. I appreciate the feedback, I always enjoy doing pieces like these!

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