Badger Bits: Adjusting Expectations

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 15: Running back Montee Ball #28 of the Wisconsin Badgers breaks through the Utah State Aggies defense for a touchdown in the third quarter September 15, 2012 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)

Somewhere, some time not too long ago Bret Bielema successfully iced the kicker from Utah State and I rode around a Manhattan Badger bar on my buddy's shoulders inebriated and whooping like an idiot. We were both pretty happy people at the time. Having come down this morning, I'm in disbelief of what I had been reduced too. Bielema may very well feel the same way.

The concerns are as numerous as they are obvious. If we're taking sides I'm for Danny O'Brien remaining the starting quarterback, a position I'm more than willing to reevaluate upon further evidence. The offensive line maybe took a step forward in Game 1 under Bart Miller -- Montee Ball averaged 3.9 yards per carry on 37 carries -- but pass-blocking was poor once again and the play-calling did little to take Aggies defenders out of the box.

What we hoped to be a glitch has become a full-blown trend. Three games into season (a quarter of the regular season is now over) Wisconsin fans have to adjust expectations. A berth in the Big Ten Championship Game in a weakened Leaders Division looks pretty good, with the Rose Bowl a luxury and a win a pipe dream. Which doesn't necessarily mean it will be a bad season. There will be fun times, I promise. Whether they outnumber the regretful mornings remains to be seen.

Links after the jump.

Sunday morning thoughts from Jeff Potrykus. Man, this sentence made me sad:

UW's offense is a wreck and it will be interesting to see if offensive coordinator Matt Canada can find a way to get the Badgers to the 20-point mark again.

Matt Canada says he hasn't named a starter yet for UTEP, though it appears that O'Brien's job is safe barring more turnovers.

Joel Stave's takeover in the second half was a surprise to many, including the guys in the huddle.

Wisconsin failed to produce a first down on 15 of their 35 "meaningful" possessions this season.

This week's Badgers Roundtable talks about what was encouraging about the win, and what was not.

Wisconsin slipped to No. 24 in the Coaches Poll. Still unranked in the AP.

Russell Wilson put up a very 2011-ish stat line during the Seahawks' win over the Cowboys on Sunday.

More Matt Hinton on the awful, awful Big Ten and Wisconsin's slipping grasp on a B1G title game spot.

Wrapping up: Leave it to Bo to put a smile on everybody's face.

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