UO NOTES: Alonso declines to talk; Wisconsin more at home in recruiting; Erin Andrews watches practice, and players watch Erin Andrews
LOS ANGELES - Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso, attending Rose Bowl media day with the rest of the team, spoke with the media on Friday.
"I'm not doing interviews," he said, maintaining his season-long stance.
Alonso's personal conduct put on him on suspension twice in his UO career - two offseasons ago after a drunk-driving arrest, last offseason after a breaking-and-entering charge. He returned and played in 11 games. He had 41 total tackles, with 3 1/2 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and one quarterback hurry.
How come he doesn't do interviews? Alonso wouldn't answer.
He just doesn't feel like speaking? No answer.
But Alonso nodded when asked whether he might talk after the Rose Bowl.
• When Wisconsin plays, the whole state can get behind the Badgers. A quick tabulation of UW and UO rosters showed:
Thirteen of Wisconsin's 24 starters, and 26 of the 48 players in its two-deep lineup are listed as from the home state.
In contrast, Oregon has two starters (receiver Justin Hoffman, defensive lineman Taylor Hart) and three players (Hoffman, Hart, tight end Colt Lyerla) in its 48-player two-deep lineup from the home state.
There are 58 players from Wisconsin on the Badgers' roster, and 23 players from Oregon on the Ducks' roster.
Wisconsin has a population of 5.6 million and Oregon 3.8 million people. So, clearly, the Wisconsin high schools produce more players.
• Curiously, seven of the top eight players in the Wisconsin secondary are from Texas or Florida. And, QB Russell Wilson (Virginia) and running back Montee Ball (Missouri) are from out of state.
• Wisconsin has a player from Oregon - Oregon, Wis., outside of the Badgers' home of Madison. It's reserve defensive tackle Jacob Ninneman.
"I more think of Oregon, like the town near Madison, when I hear 'Oregon,' " fullback Bradie Ewing says.
• Coach Bret Bielema says there is one player on the Wisconsin roster that Oregon recruited, and it's defensive lineman Jesse Hayes from Cincinnati, Ohio. Other than that, coaching staffs from each program have rarely crossed paths.
"Two totally different styles of offense, defense and special teams," he says. "We don't have a single player from California, so it's probably more (about) geography than anything else."
Californians are aplenty on the Oregon roster.
• ESPN personalities such as Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews have been allowed to watch practices this week - while other media has been locked out - and Wisconsin players got their thrills when Andrews made her appearance at Badgers' practice.
"I want to say my favorite thing so far (about the Rose Bowl) was practice," safety Aaron Henry says. "We had a special guest in Erin Andrews. Whenever you can have Erin Andrews show up at your practice, that's always a plus.
"I'm sure most of you reporter guys, whenever you see her, you're really excited. But me and some of the guys are definitely a fans of hers. ... There is something about Erin Andrews. This is my third time seeing her this year, and it never gets old."
It's unknown whether Duck players went as ga-ga about Herbstreit.
• Bielema describes the Rose Bowl environment, after the Badgers' Big Ten championship game and Ball's postseason awards tours:
"Life has been insane. To top it all off, my fiancee decides to get sick on Monday when we get down here, so I've been sidestepping those things. Don't touch anything she's been handling. She'll be really glad I let that out there. We may not even get to March (nuptials)."
By the way, the New York Times had done a story before last season's Rose Bowl and BCS title game, talking about Bielema and Oregon coach Chip Kelly and their bachelor lifestyles. So, it appears Bielema is getting hitched.
• Bielema laments not being in the BCS title game, with the Badgers having lost nailbiters to Michigan State and Ohio State.
"I thought going down the stretch we'd be a great matchup for either one of those teams," he says, of LSU and Alabama, "because of the way our offense plays against a very good defense. And I'd be excited to have our defense play against their offense. But, would have, could have, should have. If we had won one of those other two games, we'd have been in that position."
• It's been an exciting week for the Ducks, what with LaMichael James being caught on camera putting on his best scared face while doing a ride at Disneyland, and Mark Asper doing the Heimlich maneuver on a man who was choking on a piece of meat at Lawry's steak house.
Apparently about nine UO players got stuck in an elevator, and remained trapped there for more than two hours.
Says UO safety Eddie Pleasant, who wasn't on the elevator: "I guess it was too many people on the elevator, and the first hour the people that worked at the hotel tried to fix the elevator. They felt they couldn't fix it, so they had to wait another hour to call the people that built the elevators to come and fix them."
Says Kelly: "It was not a life-threatening situation."
• Asper has been getting much attention for his procedure on UO fan Paul Diamond. A reporter asked the big offensive lineman if he would help save a Badger on Monday.
"If needed," he says. "Hopefully, none of them are chewing on large pieces of prime rib. Hopefully, they didn't taken any doggy bags home."
He likes being known as the Heimlich guy.
"It's better than the suspension guy or the speeding ticket guy," he says, a reference to the departed Cliff Harris.
• James says he and Kenjon Barner were joking around when their scared faces were shown in the photos, one of them put on Twitter by Barner.
"It's probably going to be the most memorable thing ever," James says. "We were just playing ... posing for the pictures. We didn't know it was going to make a big deal like that. We had no idea. If people think I'm scared, it doesn't really matter."
• James says he won't wear a brace on his previously injured right elbow. "I feel really good. My body is not sore anymore," he says. "I'm going to go into this game 100 percent."
• The Ducks lost to Ohio State and Auburn in previous BCS games.
"We just lost," James says. "There isn't any reason why. We played hard and we practiced hard those games and we just got beat by the better team."
• James will consider moving on to the NFL, a year after deciding to stay to finish his degree. He still has two terms and about 20 credits to earn for his degree.
• What would it mean for Kelly to win in his third try in BCS games?
"It would mean we are 1-2 in BCS games," he says.
He says winning any game "is the greatest feeling in the world - and I don't do drugs, I don't know what that feeling is. But I don't know if there's a drug that can replicate what it feels like when you win a game."
• A reporter suggested to Kelly that, although he had won 33 of 39 games as head coach, the six losses were to the best teams the Ducks played - Boise State, Stanford (2009), Ohio State, Auburn, LSU and USC - and that the Ducks can't win the big one.
"They can say whatever they want," he says. "Bill Parcells says your record says what you are. We can't change that part."
• Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, who stuck with the Badgers for the Rose Bowl despite being named Pittsburgh head coach, coached against UO defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti in 2003 and 2004 while at Oregon State. In 2003, the Ducks won 34-20; in 2004, the Beavs won 50-21.
"I've got a lot of respect for him as a coach," Chryst says, of Aliotti. "I've gotten to know not only him a little bit but his brother (Joe, assistant at De La Salle High), down in the Bay Area in recruiting, but I think the world of him."
He adds: "It's been interesting for me this year to watch him and also see how they've evolved. He's always had a well-coached defense. Players play hard. And he presents a lot of problems."
• It appears Wisconsin center Peter Konz will try to play in the Rose Bowl, despite a bothersome ankle injury. He's a top-flight center and a probable NFL draft pick. He had not practiced since early November.
"For a dislocation, you don't expect the results we've got (in rehabilitation), especially with my range of motion, my ability to get on my feet," he says. "(The specialist) told me, 'You can play as long as you're functional.'
"I'm going to go into this expecting to play. I mean, if everything stays good and I stay healthy and I keep progressing, then (I'm) definitely (playing)."
• The Ducks will be wearing sleek Nike Pro Combat uniforms with metallic helmets.
The uniforms might be flattering - or not.
Who does Asper make fun of in the new ensemble?
"It's a collective make fun - the entire O-line," he says. "None of us look good. But I'd go Ryan Clanton. He's got a very broad chest and side boobs, I guess. Side boobs, man boobs, so his can look rather awkward while it's halfway on and not quite down all the way. It's pretty funny."