Approaching Wisconsin's first bye of the season, this week will probably be one of recycled storylines until Saturday rolls around. I say "probably" because this is Wisconsin football in 2014, and we just never really know anymore.
Among the most common threads we'll see is the "adversity" the Badgers faced over these past two weeks. Regardless of whether you buy into adversity being a tangible factor for teams, UW surely has faced a remarkable number of distractions for two weeks of non-conference play. I imagine some of it is tied to the unusually big season-opener and the weight of expectations tied to that LSU game. There's also, of course, the unusual Joel Stave situation. The latter has yet to play out to conclusion, but for now, I enjoyed Gary Andersen's quote in this Madison.com story:
"Two weeks in a row now we've had some substantial adversity hit us right in the face," Andersen said after Saturday's victory. "A lot of teams at this time of the year have faced zero adversity. We've faced it twice.
"In my opinion, we've looked at it right in the eye, we've dealt with it. There were no kids pointing fingers, there was nobody placing blame. They just kept on fighting."
The bolded part really sticks out to me. For all those decrying the end of Wisconsin football as know it (O Bret, Where Art Thou?), that part cannot rationally be tossed aside. The fact that we're talking about "the yips" seems like excellent proof of that. Let's see how non-conference play shakes out -- both for Wisconsin and this purely underwhelming Big Ten -- before reevaluating the outlook for the Badgers' season.
Penn State's bowl ban has been lifted and its full scholarships have been restored for next season. Black Shoe Diaries is all over it. Big news, to say the least, especially with the conference looking so weak early on. James Franklin also seems primed to set the Big Ten East on fire on the recruiting trail.
ICYMI: Wisconsin's next game, Sept. 20 vs. Bowling Green, has been slated for an 11 a.m. CT kickoff. JSOnline has a good early preview of Bowling Green. Zach Wingrove will have B5Q's Getting to Know piece on Monday.
Fox Sports Wisconsin's Jesse Temple has a really great, thorough story on Stave's struggles. He speaks to former MLB player Steve Sax, Stave's family and a doctor who's spent a great amount of time delving into the mental roots of the yips.
Badger247 has a Q&A with Wisconsin 2015 linebacker commit Nick Thomas. BadgerNation talks with Georgia linebacker commit Mohamed Barry, who's happy to be a Badger.
BadgerNation has a nice story on a yearly routine for Wisconsin's basketball program: running the hill.
Non-sports alert: If you're an Apple person or anyone at all interested in smartphones, tech or figuring out why we need smartwatches, The Verge (SB Nation's Vox Media sibling site) is your go-to source.