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Badger Bits: Toon's improvement is turning heads in NFL draft circles

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So it turns out that when your favorite college football team dominates a top 10 opponent on national television in primetime, they get quite a bit of media attention the following week. That's certainly been the case with the Badgers this week, and it seems like every college football writer in the nation has had something (and usually something good) to say about Wisconsin or a Wisconsin player. Even the NFL "draft experts" are starting to take notice of the Badgers.

Todd McShay featured Nick Toon in his latest "rising" NFL prospects column. McShay writes Toon's stock, "is rising to the early-second-round range thanks to a fast start." We all knew Toon had that kind of ability if he stayed healthy, and it looks like everyone else is starting to see it as well.

Kevin Zeitler -- who, according to Bret Bielema, has never given up a sack during his time with the Badgers -- was recently identified by Steve Muench as a "sleeper" among offensive line prospects.

Russell Wilson told Dan Patrick this week that he'd pursue an NFL career after the season, but he's less than 6 feet tall, a huge turn-off for NFL quarterback scouts. If he keeps putting up big numbers, though, I'd imagine he'd at least be worthy of a late-round flyer to someone.

It's probably a little too early to speculate how many other Badgers will find homes in the NFL after the season, but I'm anxious to find out. This is one of the most talented Wisconsin teams I've ever seen.

Speaking of Badgers in the pros, Jason Karnosky put together an interesting NHL preview featuring former Badgers and their NHL storylines for the season. Be sure to check out Chuck's Badgers in the NHL post from yesterday, too.

In other hockey news, former Badger Matt Thurber will make his return to the Kohl Center this weekend when Wisconsin hosts Northern Michigan Friday and Saturday. The last we heard of Thurber was when he was dismissed from the Wisconsin team for, among other things, choking his former girlfriend.

The UW coaches seem really impressed by the play of true freshman linebacker Derek Landisch, who was used to help contain the speed of Taylor Martinez against Nebraska

Russell Wilson says he's not paying too much attention to the Heisman buzz he's starting to get. He doesn't even have a Twitter account, which is probably a good thing. #NoEgo

Wisconsin's next opponent, Indiana, is so bad it's experiencing "a mini-player exodus." Yikes.

This caught me by surprise: Barry Alvarez is the sixth-highest paid athletic director in the NCAA. Barry certainly deserves every penny, but I'm a little surprised he ranks up there with the ADs from Ohio State, Texas and Florida. Maybe I shouldn't be.

Perhaps some of you read this already, but the New York Times compared Wilson to Ron Dayne in terms of importance to the program in their game recap this weekend. I guess I agree. He's a pretty okay quarterback.

An interesting stat from Bruce Feldman: Wilson is leading the nation at 12.5 yards per pass attempt. Ty Detmer holds the NCAA record in that statistical category at 11.1 ypa.