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Badgers picked No. 2 in Big Ten; RB Smith suspended indefinitely

The reporters who cover Big Ten football project the University of Wisconsin to finish second behind Ohio State this year.

Illinois got the nod to take third.

The Buckeyes are going for their fourth straight Big Ten title and an unprecedented third consecutive out-right championship.

Wisconsin took fourth last year at 5-3 in the conference and 9-4 overall.

Third-year Badger Coach Bret Bielema has 17 starters back, including Walter Camp All-American tight end Travis Beckum.

Bielema says everybody on his roster has been cleared to practice when the Badgers' pre-season camp opens on Aug. 4.

A total of 26 players missed at least one work-out in the spring.

Smith suspended

Wisconsin junior running back Lance Smith has been suspended indefinitely for violating terms of his first-offender program.

Convictions in a battery and disorderly conduct case would have been dropped had he stayed clean.

Officials said Smith complied with some of the program's requirements late, if at all.

The suspension leaves two tailbacks who've got experience for the Badgers; junior P.J. Hill and sophomore Zach Brown.

Freshman John Clay was red-shirted a year ago and Erik Smith of Chicago comes in as a new recruit.