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Russell Wilson Chooses Wisconsin Over Auburn

As I speculated earlier this morning, Russell Wilson has chosen Wisconsin over Auburn for his final year of college football eligibility. In addition he has left the Asheville Tourists, the minor league baseball team he had been playing for.

Following his dismissal from NC State for not giving up baseball to play football full time, much of the speculation pointed towards Wilson going to an SEC school. Given that the SEC is currently the sun around which much of college football revolves, that was understandable. Making good on that speculation, he visited Auburn first among the schools he considered.

However, Wisconsin came into the picture and made a strong impression. It's likely that the school sold him on its strong returning roster at every position but quarterback. He will operate behind what is always a monstrous offensive line, have a well oiled rushing machine to complement his passing, and play opposite a pretty good defense. The crumbling of scandal-ridden Ohio State also makes Wisconsin's path to the Big Ten title game a lot easier, as they're in the same division (Leaders, thanks for asking) and the Badgers travel to Columbus.

Auburn's cupboard is comparatively much more barren, as the Tigers have lost 31 lettermen from last year's team due to graduation, early NFL entry, and dismissals. Wilson would also have to operate in the large shadow of Cam Newton, a standard he could never live up to. In Madison, they just expect quarterbacks to hand off without fumbling and take advantage of the openings provided by defenses stacking up against the rushing game.

While some people will characterize this as a blow for Auburn, all it means is that the quarterback situation is the same now as it was the day after Newton declared for the draft. They've got two veterans who can't beat out one another and hyped freshman Kiehl Frazier coming in. Getting Wilson would have helped this year's team, but it's not like he was the missing piece that would magically make AU a division contender.

It's still a rebuilding year on the Plains, and it was always going to be no matter where Wilson ended up.