Checking in on Wisconsin ...

MADISON, Wis. -- Greetings from Mad-town.

I'm on the ground here in the Dairy State, ready to get an up-close look at the defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers. I hope to talk to Bret Bielema and some coaches, see a little practice and catch up with some defensive players today. And there will be even more on Friday.

This is an interesting team, one that replaces just about all of its offensive staff and some very valuable players, like Russell Wilson, Kevin Zeitler, Peter Konz, Aaron Henry, Patrick Butrym and Nick Toon. But the Badgers have shown an ability to reload lately, and they still have stars like Montee Ball around.

What I see here this week may not be an accurate representation of what to expect in the fall. Maryland transfer Danny O'Brien, expected to be the No. 1 quarterback, isn't with the team yet. Several important players are nicked up this spring, including receiver Jared Abbrederis, tight end Jacob Pedersen and linebacker Mike Taylor. Still, I want to see how a new crop of starting offensive linemen look, who's potentially stepping forward at wideout and how many difference makers this defense will have besides Taylor and Chris Borland.

This is somehow my first ever trip to Madison, so I'm eager to check out the town. Stay tuned for lots more coverage from here.