Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Wisconsin Badgers fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
After months of waiting and dramatic changes in course, it’s finally game week for the Big Ten. But not everyone is starting from the same spot.
No. 14 Wisconsin kicks off the season Friday night at home against Illinois. Before the season has even started, Badgers fans have high expectations for the program. 97 percent of fans said they think the team is headed in the right direction. That is a strong number, and one that I expected to see early on in the season. Despite the new faces in the running back room taking over bigger roles, and the Graham Mertz Experience just starting out, Badger fans appear to have confidence in Paul Chryst which is good to see. I really am in no mood to have to defend Paul and what he’s done thus far.
Looking directly at you in the Fire Gard crowd. Yes, you.
In the latest Reacts survey fans around the country were asked if they thought it was fair for Big Ten teams to be ranked in the Top 25 this week, before playing their first game, while more than half of the rest of the Power Five are already well into the season.
I must say, the people arguing against the Big Ten (two thirds of the country) are cracking me up. Take a look at the No. 3 team in the land, Notre Dame. 4-0 beating 1-5 Duke, 0-3 South Florida, 2-1 Florida State, and 1-4 Louisville. Props to you Irish fans! One could argue that Penn State staying home the last month has actually been more impressive than that. So miss me with that poll on this rainy Thursday morning.
Even with two-thirds of the country believing the conference shouldn’t have ranked teams yet, fans still acknowledge how good Ohio State is expected to be. They were asked who is the third best team in the country, behind Alabama and Clemson. The Buckeyes earned the most votes with 43%. Well ahead of Georgia at 27% and Notre Dame at 17%.
Big Ten teams aren’t the only ones making a surprise appearance in the latest Top 25. After pulling an upset victory, Coastal Carolina slid in at No. 25. The Chanticleers get the well-earned recognition, even if many have no idea what the school’s mascot is, actually. These are the important stats that I have been waiting to get the reports back on. It appears we need to revisit Mascots 206 class before proceeding forward in this college football season. Ryan, please hop on and teach the people?
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