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Badger Bits: Danny O'Brien 'taking a closer look' at Badgers

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Danny O'Brien talked to Badger Nation on Monday, and though he didn't say much, he did admit that he is taking a look at Wisconsin as a potential destination for his services. Benjamin Worgull writes (subscription required):

O'Brien didn't go into which schools he was looking at visiting, but did admit he was planning on following the lead of another former ACC quarterback - N.C. State Russell Wilson - and taking a closer look at the Big Ten champs.

"I am not coming to Wisconsin this weekend," O'Brien said.

There isn't much to chew on, but there is just enough to call this a story rather than a logical extension of Russell Wilson's example. In that sense, O'Brien may as well have pointed a starter pistol to the sky and yelled "GO!", sending various media outlets off to out speculate one another. If you hate picking nits, you might want to lay low for however long this courtship period lasts.

Some of you may be feeling a few premature pangs of guilt right now. Despite how proud you are of Wilson, and whatever your feelings are towards Ivan Maisel, there is still the hard truth that Wisconsin could be using an ACC castoff to help lead them to a Big Ten title for the second straight year. The morality of this will be debated now into the ether if O'Brien does makes his way to Madison, so I won't delve into it here.

More pertinent at this stage is what O'Brien's interest says about Wisconsin. The program has earned a quarterback-friendly reputation thanks to its recent offensive success. If Wilson gets drafted higher than expected that reputation will be bolstered even further. Even as things stand, there is comfort in being among the first names consistently mentioned with every signal-caller looking for a place to land. It's a rep that should trickle down into the high school ranks (and perhaps already has: Bart Houston) and boost the program in the long run.

Thursday's Links

Wisconsin will trying to win at the Breslin Center for the first time since 2004. More importantly, they can exorcise the icky feelings from last year's massive collapse in East Lansing.

UW comes in No. 24 in the official RPI rankings this week. I think we're going to the NCAA Tournament, y'all. Speaking of which: Still hovering in the 4 to 6-seed range.

Wisconsin stays at No. 3 in this week's Power Rankings at BT Powerhouse.

Bradie Ewing takes us through a typical day while training at NX Level in Waukesha.

Peter Konz goes No. 29 to the Baltimore Ravens in Mel Kiper's latest mock draft.

ESPN continues it postseason position rankings with the defensive line. Wisconsin will lose Patrick Butrym and Louis Nzwegu off the conference's fifth best unit according to Brian Bennett. Plus one David Gilbert next season and this group could stay the same or improve.

Bennett also gave a quick offseason breakdown of the Badgers, talking quarterbacks and secondary.

The State Journal on the The Great TCU Drug Bust of 2012. Tanner Brock, the leading tackler from the 2010 Rose Bowl run, was one of four players tabbed in the investigation.