Badger Bits: Wisconsin ranked #12 in pre-season AP poll

Have no fear, your daily Badger Bits are here!

The Associated Press released its pre-season Top 25 poll on Saturday and the Badgers have been picked in the Top 15, earning the No. 12 spot- the same ranking that was given to Wisconsin in the USA Today Coaches poll. Alabama will start the year at number one, unsurprising after their win in the national championship game. Three other Big Ten teams are ranked: Ohio State is at No. 2 and received three first place votes, Iowa finds itself at No. 9, and Penn State still makes the top twenty at No. 19.

The Badgers will be looking to maintain a Top 15 ranking for a full season for the first time since 1999, where Ron Dayne led Wisconsin to a Rose Bowl win and a No. 4 ranking after starting the season at No. 10. Staying in the Top 15 has proven difficult for the Badgers since then, with disappointing seasons in 2000, 2007, and 2008 where the team either fell into the high twenties at the end of the season or fell out of the rankings all together.

The Quad Blog at the New York Times has its "Five and Five" preview of the Wisconsin Badgers up on its website. Paul Myerberg lists running back John Clay and quarterback Scott Tolzien as two of the top five things to like about the Badgers this year, as well as listing Wisconsin's road game to Iowa City and the need to replace playmakers on defense as things that might hurt the Badgers this year.

More Badger news after the jump!

The fall camp practice reports are up from both Friday and Saturday (as well as a report from Saturday's second practice) on UWBadgers.com. The team had a free day on Sunday, where instead of practice they participated in Family Fun Day. The team the Badgers will be back in action today, with practices at 9:15 AM and 7:30 PM. 

Defensive tackle Jordan Kohout is set to return to practice today after suffering a knee injury during practice last week. Kohout will have to make up for lost time as he tries to earn one of the two starting defensive tackle spots that are vacant this year.

ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg has a nice post up on the Big Ten Blog about how the offensive linemen are trying to ignore the labels they've been given for this year. Rittenberg had previously named Wisconsin's O-line the best in the Big Ten. Mike Lucas of Madison.com also has a piece up about the offensive line's favorite set of plays.

Over at Crimson Quarry, SB Nation's Indiana blog, they have a preview up about the 2010 Wisconsin team. Pre-Snap Read also has an in-depth preview up about the Badgers.

Finally, head basketball coach Bo Ryan had some nice things to say about former assistant Howard Moore, who has recently left Wisconsin to take the open head coach position at University of Illinois-Chicago:

"I couldn’t think of a better choice to be the head coach at such a fine institution like UIC than Howard Moore. His work ethic, integrity and genuine concern for helping student-athletes puts him in an elite category of college coaches.

That's it for today- starting Wednesday I'll be posting Badger Bits from the heart of Badger Nation: Madison, Wisconsin!

12 days until kickoff!

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