Blog Entry

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact

Posted on: June 27, 2011 1:59 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 2:50 pm

By Eye on College Football Bloggers

Occasionally the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron- style to answer a pressing question regarding the wild, wide world of college football. This week's topic:

So Russell Wilson is transferring to Wisconsin. What does his decision mean for the Badgers? For the Big Ten race? For the Auburn team he spurned? Could it have an impact on the national title picture?

Tom Fornelli: I think it puts Wisconsin right there with Nebraska in the role of Big Ten favorite, and considering the uncertainty surrounding T-Magic in Lincoln and the quarterback position there, Wisconsin may in fact be the favorite. We already know they can run the ball, and now they added a new dynamic to the offense they've never had before.

Adam Jacobi: I'd like to caution everyone from going overboard here. This will be Wilson's first year in the Wisconsin offense, and while Paul Chryst (pictured bottom right) is a solid enough coordinator to craft his offense around its strengths year to year, there's just naturally going to be an adjustment period.

Further, at what point, has Russell Wilson ever been a great quarterback? Sure, he threw the ball a lot at N.C. State, but he wasn't great at it; his passing efficiency last season ranked 62nd in the nation, right above Oregon State quarterback Ryan Katz (who looked promising last year, sure, but no one's arguing he's "there" yet).

I'm willing to grant that Wilson is an upgrade over Wisconsin's returning quarterbacks, and that he makes the Badgers better than they were before. I just don't think setting high expectations on Wilson has ever been a recipe for success beyond eight or nine wins.

Chip Patterson: When Wilson exploded on the scene as a freshman in 2007, it was his playmaking ability and natural athleticism that caught his opponents off-guard and led to Wilson being named the ACC Rookie of the Year. But in 2010, it was a change in his game that helped the Wolfpack finish with their first nine-win season since 2002. Instead of scrambling to the sidelines, Wilson improved his pocket presence. He started stepping up in the pocket and hurting teams with his legs up the middle. Wisconsin doesn't need a dual-threat quarterback; it needs a competent one who will take what the defense gives the Badgers.

As Adam said, Wilson is not the most efficient passer. He also benefited last season from having a receiving corps made up mostly of tall pass catchers who could "go up and get it" when Wilson got in trouble (T.J. Graham was the only receiver on the two-deep last season under 6-foot-3). But there will be many upgrades that Wilson will get offensively in the move to Madison, most notably the availability of a dominant run game. Since his arrival at N.C. State, the Wolfpack have ranked in the bottom half of the ACC in rushing offense every single season. In 2010 Wisconsin's rushing offense ranked 12th nationally.

Wilson's addition answers perhaps the biggest question mark in Wisconsin's 2011 outlook. But his arrival also brings about new concerns, such as how his late addition might affect team chemistry or how quickly he can adjust to Paul Chryst's offense. The Badgers now become a favorite for the Leaders division, but there are still plenty of adjustments to be made before penciling them in for a return to Pasadena.

Jerry Hinnen: Well, no, it's too early to project the Badgers for a return trip to the Rose Bowl. But as I think Wilson's arrival puts Wisconsin firmly in that mix, I don't think we should undersell the importance of this decision, either. I don't know about "great" (to respond to Adam's question), and yes, he took a step back last year even as his team was taking a step forward. But in 2008 and 2009 Wilson was pretty damn good all the same: a combined touchdown-to-interception ratio of 48 to 12, a healthy 7.6 yards-per-attempt in that span, 640-plus rushing yards for good measure, All-ACC honors.

Much of Wilson's decline in efficiency can be attributed to N.C. State asking him to do too much, something we all know Wisconsin is most assuredly not going to do. The Badgers have already made the likes of Scott Tolzien and John Stocco into hyper-efficient stars, something Wilson's already proved himself more than capable of being with the Wolfpack. With the assets surrounding Wilson in Madison and the entire summer to bone up on Chryst's playbook now that he's already left his minor league baseball team, the Badger offense could be nearly as dynamic as it was in 2010.

And look at the Wisconsin schedule: no true road games until back-to-back dates at Michigan State and Ohio State in late October, and key dates with Nebraska and Penn State at home. If the Badgers can get past the Huskers and split the two October roadies, 11-1 and a second-straight BCS berth is right back in play. That's just not the case with Jon Budmayr under center, so, yeah, I think we're talking about a potentially major, national-sized impact -- maybe not crystal football major, but the next best thing.

(And as for the team on the other side of it, yes, Auburn could have used a player of Wilson's physical gifts during what looks like a rebuilding year. But as long as the Tigers have got Gus Malzahn (and two quarterbacks in Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley in their third year of his system to boot), there's only so far their quarterback play can slip; Wilson or no Wilson, they'll have bigger questions to answer than who's under center.)

Bryan Fischer: Going off what Chip said, Wilson's numbers are not the most efficient ones out there. He had to throw the ball 527 times last year, thanks in part to an inconsistent run game that had a few young running backs who tended to have trouble holding onto the ball. Toss in some wideouts that struggled and you get part of the reason he managed to only complete 58 percent of his passes last year. Still, you saw flashes of why he can be a threat with his arm and legs regardless of what talent is around him.

I still think it will take Wilson awhile to get adjusted to 1, playing football again after playing minor league baseball; and 2, Wisconsin's offense. With a big offensive line and very good running game, the Badgers won't need him to make plays right away but rather just be consistent with his play. He does hold the NCAA record for most pass attempts without an interception, and if he can take that part of his game to Camp Randall, I don't see why the Badgers won't be thinking about the Big Ten title game. I'm not ready to anoint them with Wilson coming in, but they certainly have a lot going for them now with an experienced signal-caller.


Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: August 21, 2011 2:41 pm

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact

@Givelt To God,
          Talking about TOB? Where is your corrupt, cheater coach now? Hahaha! UNC-Cheat is a joke to the football world! 

Since: Jul 15, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:57 pm

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact

Go back to video games.  I'm talking about passing on 3rd and 1.  P87

Since: Jul 15, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:51 pm

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact

You may get a chance to see him play your Hokies.  Not the Orange Bowl so we need to think higher than that.  OK?

Since: Jul 15, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:42 pm

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact one has pointed out that his presence and the threat to pass can improve the running game.  Is that because the 1 / 2 tandum of backs is so good that it is hard to believe that part of the offense could be even better?

Since: Jul 15, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:39 pm

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact

I think it will take Glennon 2 years to get close to throwing for as many touchdowns or hitting more than 5 receivers in any one game compared to any of RW16s single season numbers.  And keep in mind, it will be the same offense.

Clearly UNC fans saw what he did to them.  Unfortunately the UVA fans won't get to feel the pain, after all RW could have gone to Va Tech or the Cavs if those in-state schools had given him respect.

It has also been reported that RW wouldn't commit to spring practice.  My recollection was an article that spoke to him getting up with the squirrels so that he could practice both football and baseball for NC State in an earlier spring.  That same year, he left the Red/White game early (after receiving his All ACC trophy) to play in a Wolfpack baseball game.

So this ... he is not fully committed stuff is an excuse.  I think it takes the right "organization" to understand what they have in RW.  If I say RW3, I'm taking about baseball.  And I know the Rockies understand RW3.  RW16 may be a little rusty early on this summer and fall, and the team will need to play a few real games to see what his tall receivers, backs and TEs saw in him the past few years.  But that is why a team has defensive units, good kickers and can help with the turnover margin.  This stat cannot be left up to the QB alone.

I saw a quote from Ponder when asked about Wilson in the Madison paper.  He acknowledged he is a great competitor and that is the ingredient that a casual fan doesn't get. 


p.s.  I won't predict a BCS berth, however, I'm sure the Big 10 is in for a treat.

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:49 am

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact

Hoke Joke.....

....enjoy now cause it won't be 8  !!!

There isn't one media outlet outside of Ohiio picking "The Ohio State" to even win their division let alone getting to the conference championship game.

Keep dreaming..... as ESPN college foolball analysts all agreed on Tuesday night....."there's a power shift in the Big Ten and the Badgers are looking to replace the Buckeyes in that role from this year forward."    Guess we'll see if they're right !!


Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:37 am

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact

Hoke Joke.....

How do get bitch-slapped ??

Wisky lost by 2 to TCU and was not even favored to win.   Matter of fact, I think they covered the spread.


Bitch-slapped is being the #1 team in the country into your first game defending the ranking and find yourself down 21-0 before you can say "The Ohio State" .......and proceed to lose in your first defense......that's bitch-slapped.


Since: Jun 30, 2011
Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:27 am

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact

diffendale, Really?  Did you even watch the game?  TCU 21, Wisconsin are some stats from the game.  Once you've reviewed them, please feel free to comment on how Wisconsin was "tortured".


1st downs: WI 20, TCU 18

Total yards: WI 385, TCU 301

Rushing yards: WI 226, TCU 82

Possession: WI 36:35, TCU 23:25     

Since: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: June 29, 2011 10:14 pm

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact

So many typical responses from folks that have no idea about what is going on.
Russell Wilson all but single handedly won 9 games last year without any running game and a mediocre defense at best.
He did however, put Tom O Brien in a no win situation when he would not commit to football. If O' Brien laid out the welcome mat for Wilson to return, Mike Glennon would have transferred, and Russell may still have chosen baseball.
As to the Hole fan who had so many nice things to say about Tom O Brien, after 9 major violations, and the most corrupt athletic director in the nation, I think shutting that hole in your face would be in order. The record still stands O' Brien 4, UNC Cheater Hill 0.

Since: Oct 8, 2010
Posted on: June 29, 2011 2:01 pm

Roundtable: Russell Wilson impact

Tom O'dum dum and the NC State KittyKat Pack are IDIOTS!  As a UNC fan seeing Wilson go is exciting since we are in a slump against the Kitty Kat Pack.  But Wilson was a great QB for the Pack.  And I hope Glennon is a bust and blows through the roof.  Wilson deserved much much more respect than he did while he was at NC State.  Just another product of the ignorance of Tom O'bumdum

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