1. What's been the story of Wisconsin's spring? Does it feel like a rebuilding year, or is there a sense that this team is building towards something in 2016?
The story of Wisconsin's spring feels like a similar story to recent seasons. The Badgers look like they're going to be good, but there is definitely a flaw beyond the nastiness of the first half of the Badger schedule that keeps expectations from getting too high. But most Badger fans aren't in a doom and gloom mode either.
2. What have been some of the surprises so far?
Two things, the offensive line and the secondary. After an uncharacteristically down year from the running game, the Badgers go into the season with two strong additions off the redshirt in left tackle Ryan Ramczyk and guard Jon Dietzen. They're opening holes against a talented defensive line and the running backs are making a lot of plays. Add in the expectation that Dan Voltz comes into the season healthy, and the offensive line looks ready for the tough schedule. This has been important for the spring as the Badgers will likely need to rely on the running game getting back to good to move the ball.
3. Any big causes for concern?
Quarterback. While Joel Stave was not exactly a consensus builder at quarterback, what was behind him was consistently worse. You're welcome for Tanner McEvoy, by the way. Anyway, in year one post-Stave, the Badgers have a former Elite 11 quarterback in Senior Bart Houston, he's got a good arm, but he's thrown a lot of interceptions this spring. They also have an interesting lefty freshman in Alex Hornibrook. But? He's thrown a lot of interceptions this spring.
Paul Chryst does let the quarterbacks play it fast and loose with the windows that they can throw into, so this might not be a bad thing. But as I write this, Houston had four interceptions in the session, Hornibrook had five the day before. Also, the Badgers third scholarship QB has missed spring ball due to a hip injury. And the other options? Freshman walk-on's. So there's that.
4. What are the feelings among the Badger faithful on Dave Aranda and his departure to LSU? Will there be any edge to the season opener, or was it more or less expected that he'd move on?
Badger fans are well aware that college sports are a business, two coaching changes since 2012 will do that. And with Aranda, once the salary was disclosed? There was no malice toward him. He was spectacular as the Badgers DC, he got 1.3 million, which is an amount that the Badgers couldn't match. He left, the cupboard that he left with pretty much all remains. Might get more personal in September, but right now the separation was as amicable as these things can go without him becoming a head coach.
5. Tiger fans are starting to plan their Green Bay trips -- any advice for LSU fans planning to come north?
If you're looking for fast food, Culver's is the the place to go. Otherwise, outside of the professional nature of Wisconsin and alcohol, there are plenty of museums to visit. If that's not good for you, there are plenty of good golf courses for you to visit, and a side trip to Appleton or the Oneida casino would lead to an entertaining evening before the game on Saturday.