Welcome to an evening edition of Badger Bits. This week, I try to remember if I had something to do this morning.
Bret Bielema is certainly taking advantage of the bye week. Earlier today he chatted with ESPN's SportsNation, and he is scheduled to appear on College Football Live a little bit later. He opened the doors to ESPN earlier this season, appearing on "Depth Chart" and allowing unfettered access for College Gameday. Earlier this week Russell Wilson appeared with Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser for "5 Good Minutes" on PTI.
I can't remember Wisconsin ever receiving this much national exposure. While an undefeated start and a No. 4/5 national ranking helps, make no mistake, Bielema is taking every opportunity he can to pimp his football team.
Wisconsin sits in a very precarious situation. Should they win out, they will be in the national title picture, that much is certain. But they may need some help to make it into the title game over other currently undefeated Top 10 teams like Stanford, Boise State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Hell, even a one-loss Alabama or LSU may sneak in over the Badgers. Luckily, Bielema isn't stupid.
"What I do know and understand in this profession is that the polls matter," UW coach Bret Bielema said Tuesday during the Big Ten coaches' teleconference. "I think that was probably brought to our attention last year more than ever."
Wisconsin's magical media tour is every bit a calculation on Bielema's part to make sure the Badgers stay in the national conversation, as well as to turn Wisconsin into a national brand, helping to bring in the level of talent that Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State have brought into the conference for years.
There is something to be said for a closed-fort mentality. This is football, after all, not a beauty contest. But Wisconsin is in a unique position. Rarely, if ever, have the Badgers been as hyped as they are at this very moment. Bielema is striking while the iron is scorching hot. He has to if Wisconsin hopes to stay in the spotlight not just this year, but for seasons to come.
The football equivalent of a first-world problem: the coverage team is getting worn out from all of the kickoffs.
I don't think there is much to worry about considering how awful Ohio State looked last week, but I'm hoping Nebraska wins in a blowout making last week's win as quality as possible.
From Spencer Hall's Week 5 Power Rankings:
In the year 2011, Bret Bielema is the older brother of the conference who never lets you win anything because he is talented and kind of a dick about it. (Ohio State is the oldest brother. He is the subprime mortgage broker currently in bankruptcy court and rehab.)
ESPN's feature on why Jump Around is amazing. But you already knew that.
Someone else predicting Wisconsin to the National Title game. Though I don't know how much I trust anyone who sticks Illinois in the Rose Bowl.
Bielema won't tell us whether he voted Wisconsin No. 1 in the Coaches' Poll. (But, like, seriously he did. Probably.)
Wrong blog, but go Brew Crew!