Most observers believe that the addition of quarterback Danny O'Brien will make the Wisconsin Badgers a better team next season. But at least one writer is not sold on O'Brien and thinks that this transfer will not be nearly as successful as Russell Wilson's last year. That writer is K.C. Joyner, who is the self-proclaimed "Football Scientist." In his ESPN article (Insider required), Joyner says that Wisconsin might not be the Big Ten Leaders Division favorite because of the "of the volume of issues O'Brien brings to the table." He then goes on to cite O'Brien's poor route depth metrics, questionable body language, struggles with a pass rush, and tendency to throw off his back foot as the reasons why the Badgers should not expect to win a third straight Big Ten title.
Joyner's been here before, folks. He wrote nearly the exact same article about Russell Wilson last year. And although Russell had a ridiculously good year, Joyner didn't back down, saying on Twitter two days ago that "Wilson played better than I thought he would, but he still had his share of costly gaffes." Costly gaffes?!?!?!? He had 33 touchdowns and 4 interceptions for crying out loud! I don't think Joyner watched much Wisconsin football last year.
Danny caught wind of this article and decided to respond to Joyner with a simple response: "challenge accepted."
Personally, I would take this analysis more seriously if the source wasn't Joyner. He failed to do any statistical analysis on O'Brien's solid freshman year. Also, I'm not sure he understands that it's easier to be a quarterback at Wisconsin than at Maryland. The Terrapins offense was a mess last year. I'm not accusing the guy of being a Wisconsin hater, as he wrote an article supporting Montee Ball in the Heisman race, but I'm certainly taking his most recent article with a grain of salt.
Dave Heller has a comprehensive list of where the Badgers are going in various NFL mock drafts across the web.
According to Tom Mulhern, as many as 12 departing Badgers could get a NFL look this spring, via either the draft or free agency. The record for most Wisconsin players taken in one draft is eight.
If you didn't see it yesterday, Wisconsin football will be playing in two primetime games next season. One is at home against Utah State on Sept. 15, and one is on the road against Nebraska on Sept. 29. Some thought that Oct. 27 versus Michigan State would be in primetime, but that may have been deemed logistically impossible because of Freakfest.