"The three guys that got the majority of the reps today aren't anywhere where we need them to be for us to be a competitive team in the fall," Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said about his quarterbacks following the Badgers spring game this past April.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the quarterback situation is less than ideal when a head coach makes a comment like that. Sure, there was time for quarterback improvement between the spring game and September. But the Badgers' pursuit of Russell Wilson is as much a testament to the questions surrounding UW's quarterbacks as it is a testament to the immense talent of Mr. Wilson.
Inserting Wilson at quarterback is a calculated risk by Bielema and offensive coordinator Paul Chryst. One-year quarterback plans have proven to be a boom or bust proposition in recent years (see Cameron Newton and Jeremiah Masoli). Wisconsin has recently been one of the most stable programs in college football but a Wilson debacle would seriously threaten that stability. Thankfully, Wilson seems mindful of what he has to do to make this a successful year in Madison. If you're not excited about Wilson being our starting quarterback this fall after reading his interview with Mike Lucas, then I don't know what to tell you.
Is Wisconsin now the odds-on favorite to win the Big Ten Championship? Vegas always has an opinion on these types of matters, so I decided to take a look at a couple of gambling odds websites. One site had Wisconsin as the most likely Big Ten team to win the BCS National Championship this season (20-to-1 odds). Another had Wisconsin as the favorite to win the Leaders Division but the Nebraska Cornhuskers as the favorite to win the Big Ten. It's clear that Vegas thinks that Wisconsin and Nebraska are the two best teams in the conference. If that ends up being the case, it's a good thing we get to play them at Camp Randall. At night. In the biggest home game of the season. With Russell Wilson. See ya October 1st Herbie! And then maybe again in the Big Ten Championship?
If you missed Russell Wilson's interview on College Football Live yesterday, here's a link to the video.
Roundup of Wilson stories from the top college football writers in the country:
Andy Staples, SI.com - (major props to Staples for mentioning Free Bacon Tuesday at a certain Madison bar)
Madison.com story with quotes from Ivan Maisel (ESPN) and Stewart Mandel (SI.com)
It's Wisconsin week at Off Tackle Empire, which perfectly coincides with the timing of Russell Wilson's decision. Yesterday, Ricardo Efendi discussed the Russell Wilson addition. Head on over to OTE for more Badger content all week (You might see some non-caring honey badgers while you're over there, courtesy of John).
Track Em Tigers, SBNation's Auburn blog, has a post on their reaction to not getting Wilson. And Every Day Should Be Saturday has a guest commentary from a Badger homer. (And apparently one of their memes is calling Russell Wilson "Cheese Toast," if anyone knows the background to that one I'd love to hear it.)
DT Jerel Worthy of Michigan State wants us to know: "This guys on espn think that russell wilson gona change something at wisconsin. It still don't matter cause they gotta come in spartan stadium. Homecoming he will see how the big ten gets down"
Okay, we're done with the linkage! Russell Wilson highlight reel time: