It’s officially “argue over rankings season,” an annual tradition that each fan base gets involved in before a snap in a real live game is taken. The preseason AP Poll has finally been released, with the Badgers coming in at No. 19. The ranking has the Badgers in a similar position to the Coaches Poll, where they came in at No. 17.
The Badgers are currently the highest ranked Big Ten West team, but not by a wide margin. Iowa comes in one spot behind at No. 20 while Nebraska comes into the season ranked 24th. Northwestern and Minnesota missed the cut of the top-25, but both received votes and expect to make a run at a spot at some point this season.
The Big Ten East was also well represented as four teams from the division cracked the top-25. Ohio State was the highest ranked team in the Big Ten coming in at No. 5. Their rival Michigan also landed in the top ten, ranking two spots behind the Buckeyes at No. 7. Penn State and Michigan State come into the season ranked as well, with the Nittany Lions ranked 15th and the Spartans ranked 18th. Three of the aforementioned teams are on the Badgers’ schedule this fall.
Other #B1G teams ranked in preseason @AP_Top25 poll: Ohio State No. 5, Michigan No. 7, PSU No. 15, MSU No. 18, Iowa No. 20, Nebraska No. 24. Northwestern and Minnesota are receiving votes.#Badgers play all of them except Penn State.— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) August 19, 2019
With seven teams from the conference, the Big Ten was well represented and had the most teams of any conference in the initial rankings. The mighty SEC came in second with six teams despite taking four of the top ten spots in the rankings with Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Florida. Clemson was unsurprisingly ranked No. 1 after a historic 15-0 season a year ago. They are one of only two ACC teams ranked, with Syracuse coming in at No. 22.
Overall the rankings are fun to see, and of course exciting, but in the grand scheme the rankings don’t mean much. We’ve yet to see any of these teams play, so they’re an educated guess at best. Despite that, its nice to see the Badgers on the list. Now its time to take care of business on the field and move up.