Friday, August 03, 2007

USA Today Preseason Poll: Badgers are #7

The entire poll is here. This marks the second-highest preseason ranking in the Coaches' Poll for UW, according to UWBadgers.com. Here is the list of the Badgers' preseason rankings by the coaches:












YearRank
199411
199522
199724
199820
199910
20005
200123
200223
200320
200422
20077



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:













RankTeamFirst
Place
Votes
Points
1USC451481
2LSU41372
3Florida91278
4Texas--1231
5Michigan21218
6West Virginia--1205
7Wisconsin--1114
8Oklahoma--1026
9Virginia Tech--1005
10Ohio State--919


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.

Picking against the top-twenty preseason Badgers: 60% of the time, it works every time.

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