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Posted on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

Michigan football team won't see another Wisconsin QB transfer, Danny O'Brien

By Kyle Meinke

There was some jumbling of the football schedules when Nebraska was added to the Big Ten before last season. Some rivalries, such as Michigan vs. Ohio State, were preserved.

Others, inevitably, fell apart. The Wolverines' spirited series with Wisconsin was among them, after the league powers were placed in separate divisions. They aren't scheduled to face each other for at least a four-year span.

That's turning out to be not such a bad deal for Michigan.


Former Maryland starting quarterback Danny O'Brien sports a Penn State jacket during a visit to State College, Pa. on Monday. O'Brien opted to attend Wisconsin, becoming the second high-profile QB transfer to pick the Badgers in as many years.

Associated Press

The Badgers added a commitment Wednesday from highly regarded quarterback Danny O'Brien, who played at Maryland the past two years. He has two years of eligibility remaining, and can play right away because he graduated in three years.

O'Brien instantly becomes one of the Big Ten's top quarterbacks.

He also addresses the biggest weakness for Wisconsin, which was the favorite to repeat as Leaders Division champion without him. With him, that's certainly the case.

O'Brien is the second quarterback in as many years to transfer to Wisconsin, following Russell Wilson's path to Madison. The former North Carolina State star guided the Badgers to a Big Ten title and Rose Bowl berth in his one season there.

The Wolverines, meantime, didn't have to face the league champs last year en route to an 11-2 regular season. That gave them a big advantage over divisional rival Michigan State, which played the Badgers twice.

The Spartans' loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game helped Michigan leapfrog them for BCS considerations, despite a loss in East Lansing.

The Wolverines won't face Wisconsin for at least the next three seasons, either. Schedules for beyond 2014 have yet to be released.

Of course, they could face each other if both advance to the Big Ten championship game. And Michigan's path to that game is certainly more manageable without the Badgers, and their new quarterback, on the slate.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

Why do we keep hearing that Michigan is so fortunate that we aren't playing Wisconsin, or some so-and-so other team that may be off our schedule? I don't know if I'm the first to say it, but the Badgers were the lucky ones not to have played us last year, and THEY are the fortunate ones not to have US on THEIR schedule for the next three years.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

What's with the Wisconsin approach of a one and done QB? OK, this one plays for two years. I guess the Shane Morris' and Russ Bellomy's of this world would rather play at Michigan.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 5:19 a.m.

I watched O'Brien against NC State last season and he was the best player on the field. Nevertheless, these UM journalists are starting to annoy me with all the skeptical talk. Michigan has never been about easy scheduling. Thats not our mantra. Every team on our schedule is beatable. We just have go out and play Michigan ball. GO BLUE!!!


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

He's instantly the best quarterback on the wisconsin roster b/c the rest aren't very good. I admittedly don't know a lot about the terrapin football program, but stats aren't very impressive. He broke his arm against notre dame (their 10th) so missed the last two. I don't see what the big deal is.


Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:02 a.m.

We'll face him and beat him two straight years...if he's good enough to get his team to the B10 title game. By the way, it must suck to be a Badger QB putting in your time with the program, feeling like it's finally your turn...then having a late transfer come in EVERY TIME!

Wally the Wolverine

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 11:27 p.m.

If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. We just have to get to the B1G title game, that's all.

Steve McQueen

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

Michigan does not care who they face, or what players are on the opposing team. Bring them all on. As a side note, O'Brien not playing for O'Brien at Penn State will be sad not to see.