3-point stance: College football's deadline deal

June, 28, 2011
6/28/11
5:00
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1. So here’s who Russell Wilson reminds me of -- Cliff Lee. The decision of the former NC State quarterback to enroll at Wisconsin for his senior season is the closest thing to a baseball trade deadline deal that college football will ever see. Whether or not Wilson has the effect on the Badgers that Lee had on the ’09 Phillies, I don’t know. But in going to Wisconsin, Wilson has a lot better chance of playing for a title than he would have on a young team at Auburn, which also wooed him.

2. Before swooning for the Badgers now that Wilson is wearing their shade of red, take a deep breath. Wilson’s arrival could make the Badgers a favorite to repeat in the Big Ten, but there are a couple of ifs. Wilson has to make an adjustment to the Wisconsin offense. He also has only two months to bond with a locker room full of players he hasn’t met. That proved difficult for Jeremiah Masoli at Ole Miss a year ago.

3. The series of the top 50 college players who failed to make a splash in the NFL displays its own generation gap. The players in the first half of the 20th century didn’t play professionally because they wanted to start their careers. That’s how little pro football offered financially and otherwise. Once TV infused the NFL with money, however, the players on the list got there by not playing as well on Sunday as they did on Saturday. There’s a big difference.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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