Gary Andersen will begin his tenure as Wisconsin's head football coach with a top-25 ranking. The Badgers were ranked No. 23 in the preseason USA Today coaches poll released Thursday morning, giving the Badgers a solid start for the 2013 season.
Five Big Ten teams made the poll, with Ohio State leading the way at No. 2, ahead of Michigan (No. 17), Nebraska (No. 18), Northwestern (No. 22) and Wisconsin. Alabama was voted No. 1, with Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford and Georgia rounding out the top five.
The Badgers began last season ranked No. 12 in the preseason coaches poll, and although an 8-6 season landed them in their third straight Rose Bowl, they were unranked in the final poll. Andersen's Utah State team began the season unranked but finished No. 17 after an 11-2 season.
Wisconsin returns 12 starters from 2012, but also a BCS-leading 83.87 percent of its letterman, per Phil Steele. The Badgers' season begins Aug. 31. vs. UMass at Camp Randall Stadium. Big Ten play starts Sept. 21 vs. Purdue at Camp Randall (time TBA).
Below is the full preseason coaches poll, including two of Wisconsin's 2013 opponents in Ohio State and Northwestern.
|2||Ohio St. (3)||12-0||1427||NR|
|6||Texas A&M (1)||11-2||1215||5|
|Schools Dropped Out|
|No. 11 Kansas State (11-2), No. 17 Utah State (11-2), No. 20 Vanderbilt (9-4), No. 21 San Jose State (11-2), No. 22 Cincinnati (10-3), No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-2), No. 25 Tulsa (11-3).|
|Others Receiving Votes|
|Kansas State (11-2) 113; Miami (Fla.) 101; Michigan State 89; Baylor 80; Virginia Tech 65; Fresno State 62; Arizona State 51; Mississippi 32; Vanderbilt (9-4) 29; Utah State (11-2) 23; Brigham Young 20; North Carolina 19; Northern Illinois (12-2) 19; Tulsa (11-3) 9; Ohio 8; San Jose State (11-2) 8; Arizona 5; Cincinnati (10-3) 3; East Carolina 3; Kent State 3; Mississippi State 3; Washington 3; Central Florida 2; Arkansas 1; Arkansas State 1; Rutgers 1; Tennessee 1; Toledo 1.|