*Eye-Popping Emoji* Wisconsin Starts Year Ranked #4
College football took another step closer into being back in our lives Monday morning. The rankings came out for the preseason. Every Wisconsin Badgers football fan expected UW to be somewhere in the top 10 mix. Most assumed it would be around six or seven. People assumed wrong with Wisconsin. They come in at number four. Yes, Wisconsin is a top five team in the nation to start the year. Yes, the writers believe that Wisconsin could play for the College Football Playoff come December. We’ve talked about how the hype train for Wisconsin being a thing, but it’s now fully out off the rails.
Badgers have their highest preseason ranking since 2000. That year isn’t a memorable one for the Badgers. They had a shoebox scandal right before the season began that left 26 players suspended for the first game of the year and 11 for the first three games of the year. While this version has to deal with Quintez Cephus, they have nothing like The Shoebox. Also, the 2000 team faced a gauntlet of an early season schedule. After a stunning home loss to Northwestern, they went on to play three teams in the top 20. Wisconsin would go on to lose to all of them.
Wisconsin does not have an easy schedule this year compared to years past especially early on where you could draw comparisons. They go to Iowa who could be ranked later in the year, home to Nebraska then to Ann Arbor to play Michigan who is currently ranked 14th. The game of the year for Wisconsin could be versus preseason number 10 Penn State. There are other traps along the way like the road trip to Evanston and West Lafayette.
And yes, we can wonder if Wisconsin received some help from the Ohio State scandal. Many people predicted them to be a top five team, and they’re still sitting at five behind Wisconsin. You have to wonder if the Badgers received the benefit of the doubt considering the situation at Ohio State is so fluid.