At his weekly press conference, Wisconsin head football coach Bret Bielema reveals the team's most valuable players from the previous game for all the units. Senior transfer quarterback Russell Wilson got the nod for the offense two weeks ago after the Badgers rolled Oregon State, 35-0. In that game, Wilson completed 17 of 21 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
But Wilson's performance against the underwhelming Beavers may have been his most modest of the young season. He threw for far more yardage (347) against Northern Illinois last week and was able to show off his wheels by rushing for 62 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown run, against UNLV. The mind whirls at the possibilities against the overmatched South Dakota Coyotes on Saturday.
When Wilson showed up in Madison in June, pundits responded by immediately installing the Badgers as favorites to win the Big Ten and compete for a big-time bowl game. Others, including Isthmus' sports guy, opted for caution. Three months later, there's no such thing as a Wilson skeptic. His coaches and teammates gush about him on command, and columnists are wondering if it's too early to put his name and "Heisman" in the same sentence (thereby putting his name and "Heisman" in the same sentence).
Wilson is a blast to watch, unfailingly humble with the media and a threat with his arm and his legs. But the Badgers have yet to play against a decent defense, certainly nothing close to what Nebraska will bring to Camp Randall on Oct. 1. Let's wait until then before we put his name in a sentence with anything other than "pretty good so far."