The most significant recruiting news for Wisconsin didn't come last February on national signing day. Instead, it came five months later, when standout NC State quarterback Russell Wilson opted to transfer to Madison to play for the Badgers over, among others, the reigning national champion Auburn Tigers. The news didn't just boost the Badgers' hopes of going to another BCS bowl by adding a capable dual-threat QB who has compiled a sterling 76-26 TD-INT ratio in three seasons in the ACC, but it also underscored Wisconsin's elevated status as a national program and, perhaps, one warranting the label of "powerhouse."
"I, as a head coach, don't feel different but I think the outside perception of us is certainly different now," said Bret Bielema, now entering his sixth year as Wisconsin's head man, adding that there are several key factors that have contributed to that. Playing in the Rose Bowl last season is a big reason. The arrival of Wilson is another.