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ESPN's Brad Nessler apologized to Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez for critical remarks made during the telecast of the Badgers' 34-30 loss to Northwestern on Saturday.

"Anything we did that caused the Wisconsin coaching staff any undue criticism, on behalf of ESPN, if we blew it, we apologize, or at least I do," Nessler told Alvarez during the weekly Big Ten coaches' conference call. ". . . because I am part of that team and that's why you're coaching and we're in the booth. It's pretty easy up here."

The brouhaha began with the Badgers in possession and leading, 30-27. But after a 7-yard run, tailback Ron Dayne fumbled Mike Samuel's handoff with 49 seconds left, the Wildcats recovered and scored two plays later to win.

Nessler and partner Gary Danielson questioned Alvarez's decision to hand off rather then have Samuel kneel three times and run out the clock.

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