Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/11/14

RALEIGH, NC - SEPTEMBER 3: Quarterback Russell Wilson #16 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack drops back to pass against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the game at Carter-Finley Stadium on September 3, 2009 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Danny O'Brien spent Monday afternoon in State College, Pennsylvania to take in Penn State's first spring football practice. Photos of him in a Penn State sweatshirt and windbreaker caused a frenzy among the Nittany faithful. Now, it appears, all of that commotion was for nothing.

Danny O'Brien is "poised" to join the Wisconsin Badgers, according Jeff Potrykus of Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

This from the Journal Sentinel [link];

Former quarterback Danny O’Brien is poised to transfer to Wisconsin, a college football source told the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday.

O’Brien is on pace to graduate this spring and under NCAA rules will be eligible to play immediately.
He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

When you sit and think about it, O'Brien going to Wisconsin seems like a solid move all around. O'Brien is in a fortunate and unique position where he will be graduating this spring and eligible to play right away at a big time program, rather than sit a year in the FCS ranks just to stay on the field. In Wisconsin O'Brien will play on the same side as a Heisman favorite running back in Montee Ball, so the pressure on the quarterback transfer will not be as hot as in some other locations.

O'Brien is also joining a winning program, and considering the other options considered to be on the table (Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Penn State) nobody can compete with what Wisconsin brings in recent memory with consecutive Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl appearances.

Most importantly (perhaps) is the fact that at Wisconsin O'Brien walks in to a quarterback situation that will not be contested or heated. Penn State already has a three-quarterback competition to sort through without O'Brien. Vanderbilt and Ole Miss just do not have the kind of talent that Wisconsin offers.

In Madison O'Brien would practically be handed the starting job ahead of Jon Budmayr, Joe Brenann and Joel Stave.

So what does this do for Wisconsin and the rest of the Big Ten? As far as the Leaders Division is concerned, the Badgers were already looking to be tabbed the favorite once again, with Ohio State out of the mix completely with a postseason ban. Penn State is a big question mark, as is Illinois. Indiana and Purdue are still a long way away form being considered in the conversation as well. Despite losing Russell Wilson, Wisconsin still has the parts to be the favorite in the Leaders Division as of today, even without O'Brien.

But like last year, adding O'Brien will have the same endgame as adding Wilson did for Wisconsin. The Badgers would fill the glaring hole on the roster. Assuming it all comes together and O'Brien does join Wisconsin, Badger fans can start making their plans for a second straight trip to Indianapolis with a little more confidence.

 

For more Wisconsin Badgers coverage, check out Bloguin's Madtown Badgers.

Kevin McGuire is the host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast and managing editor of Nittany Lion's Den. Follow Kevin on TwitterFacebook and Google+.

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