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Badger Bits: It's okay to embrace Russell Wilson

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I didn't think this needed to be written, but then Andy Baggot brought up a good point. To what extent can we embrace Russell Wilson? He is a man with no past and no future at the University of Wisconsin. We will all miss out on one of the singular thrills of college football, of being able to watch a quarterback develop from a saucer-eyed freshman to a Heisman-caliber senior and that is truly too bad. Then there's knowing that most of what Wilson can do was cultivated at a different school, under another coaching staff, and that all Wisconsin did was pick the fruit from a ripe vine.

I thought Ivan Maisel's article calling Wilson a "rent-a-player" last week was misguided, but I also understand where the sentiment came from. We watch college football over the professional version in large part to avoid seeing our favorite players ditch town chasing a better deal. Cam Newton and Russell Wilson directly fly in the face of that ideal. Still, you no doubt felt a little queasy seeing the two players paired together in the same sentence. That gut feeling is good.

Wilson is different and it has every bit to do with how he has embraced everything--the team, the school, the city, and most importantly, his coaches and teammates--on a personal level. I understand why there is uneasiness, but I can't understand it after finding out what there is to know about the man. How he essentially wrote and conducted his father's funeral. How he earned enough respect in just two short months to be elected captain of a team he had just gotten to know. At the time, Wilson said he would have stayed at NC State if coach Tom O'Brien had asked him to. Now he is the embodiment of what is one of the hardest working Badger teams anyone has ever seen.   

Wilson is one of the best athletes to ever come through the program, but he is also, by unanimous account, a man of impeccable character. You should root for him for that reason, if you won't for any other. It is too bad that we couldn't see Wilson develop over the years, but he has earned every right to be a part of Wisconsin lore. 


David Gilbert could be back by Oct. 29 for the Ohio State game

Wilson is ESPN's First-Team All-American at quarterback in their midseason awards.

Who's awesome? We're awesome.

The Badger are geting 7-to-1 odds to win the national championship, fourth best in the nation.

Last year's 83 points are like a drunken mistake that both schools wish had never happened.

The Hoosiers swear they aren't out for revenge. No seriously it's cool bro. 

Montee Ball has 12 touchdowns against FBS opponents this season. The same number of touchdowns, total, scored by Indiana this season.

Peter Konz and Montee Ball met with Bret Bielema to discuss their draft prospects.

Paul Chryst didn't break down crying "that's my right tackle," but he should have. Via the Journal Sentinel:

"There's a lot of (expletive) talk about what he's not," Chryst said of Oglesby. "He is (expletive) tough. I think he is a great (kid). I think he works to get back because he enjoys it and that's what you're supposed to do.

"I've got a lot of admiration for him. He could have taken the purple heart a long time ago."

"Tasmanian Devil" is about as complimentary a nickname for a defensive end as I can imagine.

The Badgers are focused on keeping their "edge." That month off to pat themselves on the back before the Rose Bowl still looms heavy.

James White sounds beat up about his so-so performance against Nebraska. Second-half MVP?