That's the sixth preseason Top 20 appearance for Wisconsin. This seems to be an all-or-nothing proposition for the Badgers; #11 in 1994 gave us a 7-4-1 season with a win over Duke in the Hall of Fame Bowl, #20 in 1998 was the 11-1 season that led to a Rose Bowl victory over UCLA, #10 in 1999 was of course the 10-2 season with the win over Stanford in the Rose Bowl, #5 in 2000 was another four-loss season capped by a one-point victory over UCLA in the Sun Bowl, and 2003 was a 7-6 fiasco with a two-score loss to Auburn in the Music City Bowl. So, when we're picked in the Top 20, we always go to a bowl game. Forty percent of the time, the season ends with 10+ wins and a Rose Bowl victory; the other 60% of the time we endure a campaign with four or more losses. I'll take those odds.
The Top 10 looks like this:
Three Big Ten teams in the Top Ten, and Penn State checking in at #18, means that there's plenty of opportunity for our beloved conference to be declared "overrated." My first impression is that a lot of people had a tough time filling out their ballots, and that Oklahoma and Virginia Tech don't seem like Top Ten teams to me, but there do, after all, have to be ten teams in a top ten, so who else are you going to pick? Hard to say.
Obviously, the choruses of "Wisconsin might be overrated" has already begun, which is predictable and, 60% of the time, not unwarranted.