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Badger Bits: So what exactly is Wisconsin's brand?

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With all of the recent discussion concerning the Big Ten's future divisional alignment for football, it's no surprise that the overall value of each Big Ten team is being determined and debated by fans, media, and administrators alike. Mike Lucas over at thinks that Wisconsin and Iowa have carved out spots in the second tier of teams in the league. Lucas believes that Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan, and Penn State carry brands that are national in scope, and which no other Big Ten teams can boast. He also refers to historical statistics that clearly place the aforementioned four teams on a whole other level than the other eight squads. He ends the story by saying that while Wisconsin isn't a national power, the team still has a brand name based around blue-collar pedigree, a tough downhill running game, and the ability to dominant when it comes to time of possession.

As Wisconsin fans, should we be happy about being right around the fifth and sixth spot when it comes to the most prestigious teams in the conference? For now, that answer should be yes. There's nothing worse than having to follow a bad team, and lately Wisconsin has consistently cranked out winning seasons year after year. Nothing currently going in the program suggests that success in Madison won't continue. If Wisconsin continues to put good teams out on the field, there's no reason they can't one day be considered a national power, which was something that would have sounded very far-fetched prior to 1993.

So did Wisconsin choke against FCS Wofford last year? Continue reading to find out!

Wisconsin's third home game of four straight to begin 2009 brought FCS opponent Wofford to Madison. The last time the Badgers played a FCS team was Cal Poly in 2008, which ended up being an interesting game to say the least.

Wofford Terriers (1-1) at Wisconsin Badgers (2-0), September 19, 2009 - A game against a FCS opponent usually raises more questions than answers. And this was indeed the case for Wisconsin in game three of the young season. The Badgers struggled to get on the board early, only holding a 3-0 lead after one quarter of play. Wisconsin fumbled six times in the game, three of those from John Clay. Fortunately, UW started pouring it on in the 2nd quarter, which eventually led me to fall asleep while watching the game on TV. Regardless, it was 31-0 Badgers at half and they took the victory with a final of 44-14. But the sloppy play and inability to hang on to the ball did nothing to prove that the Badgers were ready to begin Big Ten play the following week against Michigan State.

More Links:

Jay Valai lost 17 pounds last season as a result of the swine flu. He had a solid year despite the weight problem, but now he's back to full size and strength.

This video of Scott Tolzien's toss at the Big Ten Media Days is epic. Just watch the tape.

An anonymous Big Ten player poll doesn't uncover many votes for Wisconsin on anything, but apparently at least one Big Ten player thinks Nick Toon is overrated.

Tweet of the day:

"Christmas come early, got a Nike shoe autographed by Lebron James. Thanks @jleu30." - Tim Jarmusz, blatantly taking advantage of Jon Leuer's new-found connections to star NBA players. I have a feeling Tim isn't a Cleveland Cavaliers fan.

Bret Bielema really cheesed off John Clay this past winter.

You should check out's Wisconsin football preview if you get a chance; there's lots of good information there. Today's preview is the offensive line.