Badger Bits: Playing the "What If?" Game with Devin Smith

Marcus Cromartie failed to stop Ohio State's Devin Smith from snagging this game winning touchdown. Would cornerback Devin Smith have been able to stop Devin Smith from catching this ball?

Wisconsin senior cornerback Devin Smith broke his left foot in the second game of 2011, ending his season. In a radio interview on Wednesday, head coach Bret Bielema hinted that this injury may have cost his team a chance at a national championship.

"I honestly think if Devin Smith had played the entire year at the way he was playing at the time he got hurt, we probably never would have lost ... those plays that hit, they were going after his backup, Marcus Cromartie." - Bret Bielema

Geez Bielema, why don't you throw Cromartie under the bus a few more times? Sure, Bret qualified it by saying Cro did some nice things last year, but that was still a direct shot at the corner. To say that it's only Cromartie's fault that the Badgers gave up those late touchdowns against Ohio State and Michigan State is not fair. There are plenty of things that went wrong in those two games that had absolutely nothing to do with Devin Smith's absence or Marcus Cromartie's presence. Here, I'll make up my own statement.

"I honestly think if UW's special teams play did not suck and give up blocked punts against both the Spartans and Buckeyes, Wisconsin probably never would have lost." - Adam Tupitza

I'm pretty sure every team in the country has one or two of these "what if?" questions throughout the course of a college football season. It's the team who answers those questions with a "doesn't matter" that ends up winning the national championship.

Weekend Links:

Timberwolves GM David Kahn says that Jordan Taylor's shot will need to become more dependable if he's going to make it to the NBA. Also, yesterday Patrick Herb tweeted a bunch of favorable results from JT's combine that suggest he is more athletic than one might think.

I'm willing to bet that Wisconsin's sub-standard facilities are one of the reasons the Badgers don't pull in better recruiting classes. Fortunately, the Badgers' ranking in this department may go up soon thanks to current construction around Camp Randall.

Wisconsin's road game against Oregon State is scheduled for a 3 PM Central/1 PM Pacific kickoff, and will be televised by FX (almost certainly the first time a Badgers game will be broadcast by that channel). Should help the Badgers that it's not one of those 9:30 PM CT kickoffs.

Athlon Sports predicts the record of every Big Ten team. They think Ohio State will go 11-1 and win the Leaders Division, though 9-3 Wisconsin would still represent the division in the B1G Championship because of the Buckeyes' postseason ban. They then have the Badgers losing to Michigan in Indianapolis.

Congratulations to running back Montee Ball (2011 Heisman Trophy finalist) and forward Brianna Decker (2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award) on being named the University of Wisconsin Athletes of the Year.

Montee's getting some pictures taken today for USA Today. Check out the gallery.


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For more Wisconsin Badgers news and tidbits, follow me on Twitter (@AdamTheVictor).

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