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Wisconsin football: Badgers finish the season ranked No. 11

The final AP Poll sees the Badgers stay put after losing to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Oregon vs Wisconsin Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After an exciting national championship game that saw Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers beat Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers 42-25 the Associated Press released their final top-25 of the season. LSU, obviously, was the unanimous No. 1 choice and Clemson slid into the No. 2 spot after beating the previous No. 2 (now No. 3) Ohio State Buckeyes in the CFP Semifinal.

The Wisconsin Badgers ended the season at No. 11 which, all things considered, is pretty dang impressive. After a down 2018 season a lot of preseason predictions didn’t even have the Badgers finishing second in the B1G West, let alone winning the division and being one spot away from the national top-ten.

UW is the fourth highest ranked, out of six total ranked, B1G team in the final poll with the aforementioned Buckeyes at No. 3, the Penn State Nittany Lions at No. 9, Minnesota Golden Gophers at No. 10, Iowa Hawkeyes at No. 15 and Michigan Wolverines at No. 18.

The other two teams in the top-five are the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs and the Rose Bowl champion Oregon Ducks at No. 5. The fourth playoff participant, Oklahoma Sooners, fell all the way to No. 7 after being curb-stomped by LSU in their semifinal matchup.

Looking forward to the 2020 schedule, the Badgers have a tough non-conference slate ahead of them. They play Southern Illinois, who went 7-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference last year, at Camp Randall, then the next weekend they host the No. 19 Appalachian State Mountaineers who are always a terrifying schedule and lastly they play the No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Lambeau Field.

In between the App State and Notre Dame games, the Badgers travel to Michigan and then after the Notre Dame game Minnesota comes to Camp Randall Stadium. We should know pretty early in the season what Wisconsin’s ceiling is.