2013 preseason AP Top 25: Wisconsin ranked No. 23

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Badgers will begin the season ranked 23rd in the AP poll, just where they were in the preseason USA Today coaches poll. Is that too high, too low or just right?

The preseason AP Top 25 was unveiled Saturday morning, ranking Wisconsin 23rd -- precisely where the Badgers landed in the USA Today coaches poll released earlier this month.

Rank Team Record Votes Previous
1 Alabama (58) 0-0 1,498 NR
2 Ohio State (1) 0-0 1,365 NR
3 Oregon 0-0 1,335 NR
4 Stanford 0-0 1,294 NR
5 Georgia (1) 0-0 1,249 NR
6 South Carolina 0-0 1,154 NR
7 Texas A&M 0-0 1,104 NR
8 Clemson 0-0 1,083 NR
9 Louisville 0-0 1,042 NR
10 Florida 0-0 894 NR
11 Florida State 0-0 845 NR
12 LSU 0-0 802 NR
13 Oklahoma State 0-0 755 NR
14 Notre Dame 0-0 748 NR
15 Texas 0-0 677 NR
16 Oklahoma 0-0 579 NR
17 Michigan 0-0 531 NR
18 Nebraska 0-0 382 NR
19 Boise State 0-0 328 NR
20 TCU 0-0 323 NR
21 UCLA 0-0 286 NR
22 Northwestern 0-0 199 NR
23 Wisconsin 0-0 185 NR
24 USC 0-0 134 NR
25 Oregon State 0-0 129 NR
Others Receiving Votes: Michigan State 95, Baylor 92, Virginia Tech 86, Miami (FL) 85, Arizona State 53, Kansas State 43, Fresno State 36, Vanderbilt 19, Washington 17, Northern Illinois 16, Mississippi 11, Utah State 8, Georgia Tech 6, North Carolina 3, Arizona 3, Cincinnati 3, Penn State 2, Brigham Young 1

Four other Big Ten teams made the top 25 ahead of Wisconsin, including Ohio State (No. 2), Michigan (No. 17), Nebraska (No. 18) and Northwestern (No. 22). Michigan State would be the proverbial 26th team, finishing with 95 votes, the most among "Others Receiving Votes."

Those five top-25 teams also tie the Big Ten for second-most among college football's conferences.

The significance of the AP poll has dropped in the eyes of many college football pundits, and it's easy to see why when viewing the the disparity -- or lack thereof -- between it and the coaches poll. Especially in the initial preseason polls, it appears the voters have very little to vote on aside from last year's records and figures of varying importance for the upcoming season, such as returning starters, strength of schedule, etc.

The two polls side-by-side, with the disparities in bold:

Coaches AP
1 Alabama (58) Alabama (58)
2 Ohio St. (3) Ohio State (1)
3 Oregon Oregon
4 Stanford Stanford
5 Georgia Georgia (1)
6 Texas A&M (1) South Carolina
7 South Carolina Texas A&M
8 Clemson Clemson
9 Louisville Louisville
10 Florida Florida
11 Notre Dame Florida State
12 Florida St. LSU
13 LSU Oklahoma State
14 Oklahoma St. Notre Dame
15 Texas Texas
16 Oklahoma Oklahoma
17 Michigan Michigan
18 Nebraska Nebraska
19 Boise St. Boise State
20 TCU TCU
21 UCLA UCLA
22 Northwestern Northwestern
23 Wisconsin Wisconsin
24 USC USC
25 Oregon St. Oregon State

Criticism of the voters, as you'd expect, seems to magnify with each year. Things will certainly change once the College Football Playoff era begins next year, but for now, we'll be stuck with one more season of gripes. Not that I'd necessarily defend either poll -- there's no way coaches throughout college football are informed or care enough to submit rational, objective and informed ballots each week, and not all reporters will be much different, sadly.

One saving grace: We'll be unveiling the 2013 SB Nation BlogPoll shortly, our college network's take at ranking college football's top teams. Here's how last year's finished -- if you have any ideas or feedback as to how we should implement the BlogPoll here at B5Q, please do fire away in the comments. We already have some new ideas planned for this season, and we're thrilled we can finally bring them to you soon.

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