Wisconsin returns to this week's Top 25 after its road thrashing of Purdue. Elsewhere, we finally deem Notre Dame for real.
I did it. I put the Badgers back in the Top 25.
Impressed as I was with the 38-14 rout of Purdue in Purdue, a lot of it had to do with my lack of faith in Louisiana Tech, Boise St., Ohio and Iowa St. I heartily believe the Badgers would beat all of those teams in the majority of match-ups on a neutral field, and I also think they would beat a few of the teams above them (namely the Big East brethren, Rutgers and Cincinnati). You could also make a case for Wisconsin against Mississippi St. and Texas A&M, but let's be happy with this for now.
I think the central message here is that as Wisconsin's offense rounds into shape, thanks primarily to steadier quarterback play from Joel Stave and a coalescing of the offensive line, the team inches closer to the Big Ten-favorite shape we all expected. Those losses to Oregon St. no longer look so bad either -- Oregon St. is suddenly on the brink of the national title picture, while Nebraska isn't so bad (right?).
Elsewhere, you'll see a lot of movement. Much of that is due to the drops of South Carolina (down two spots to No. 6), Florida State (down four spots to No. 9) and West Virginia (down eight spots to No. 11). Within the compensatory rises, I put greater stock in teams like Kansas State and Notre Dame, who I had probably previously underrated.
As always, let me know what you think. Especially with this mover-and-shaker of a ballot, I'm open to revision.