I know, I know. It's a Bleacher Report-style headline. I know Russell Wilson's time as a Badger was something special. But he was a special, irreplaceable case. He was a mercenary. A great one. Russell Wilson Rosin will know that.
We're talking careers here. We're talking about just how much Joel Stave has done. And in a fashion, just how few quarterbacks have had sustained time under center.
Joel Stave's 1,104 yards passing on the season is already good for 19th on the all-time passing list. I'll give you a moment to let that sink in. With three full seasons of 12 starts to work with? Joel Stave's going to reach 7,728 yards passing.
The current record holder? The Immortal Darrell Bevell. He threw for 7,686 yards.
Now, this is his floor if someone doesn't supplant him, or heaven forfend he gets another injury that causes him to miss months. He played the equivalent of six full games this season, and anybody can double stats. Here are the reasons why he's got a shot to shatter the record.
1) Bowl/Championship Games.
Obvious, right? But Darrell Bevell didn't get to add his Rose Bowl to the record. You can figure that will add at least another 550 yards to Stave's total. (He averaged 92 yards per half this year). Also, the Badgers are going to have a run of being projected not to finish below second in division for the next few seasons. There's going to be another trip to Indianapolis in the near future.
2) The receivers have to be better, right?
Much has been made of the mess of a receiving corps this year. Suffice it to say, it'll be a lot easier to complete passes when you have a second read and don't have to keep the backs in to protect the passer. Thus, we could absolutely see a 3,000-yard season out of Stave at some point.
3) A more efficient running game.
I've made mention of how the Badgers have passed the ball more this season than in their recent iterations. Well, what you don't know is that this is the worst season the Badgers have had in regards to passing yards per game in the past six. And part of it is the Badgers have had days where running was impossible. I mean, 2008 was the touchstone for Bielema on the struggle.
And the Badgers are currently rushing 30 yards per game below that season.
So the team will be better, and if we get good health from Stave? We may see a record broken somewhere in 2015.
We're on pace for it, anyway.