But after the Badgers knocked off LSU — which was ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll — it was inevitable that UW would be in the top 25. But where?
The poll was released later than usual thanks to the Labor Day weekend, but we found out Tuesday that Wisconsin went from unranked to No. 10 — the greatest jump in the first poll of the regular season ever.
Every poll voter had Wisconsin ranked. Five had the Badgers as high as No. 7 while eight had UW at No. 8.
So all is honky-dory, right?
Eight voters ranked LSU higher than Wisconsin. Eight. I’m double checking and, yes, Wisconsin indeed did win that game at a neutral site.
Here are those who decided the Tigers — perhaps based on some preseason ranking (which is, of course, just guesswork since no teams actually played) — deserved to be ranked higher than Wisconsin:
Jerry DiPaola, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: LSU 8, Wisconsin 16.
Matt Porter, Palm Beach Post: LSU 15, Wisconsin 19.
Tony Parks, KZNS: LSU 15, Wisconsin 21.
Dana Sulonen, Opelika-Auburn News: LSU 11, Wisconsin 23.
Andy Greder, St. Paul Pioneer Press: LSU 10, Wisconsin 24.
Graham Watson, Yahoo Sports: LSU 16, Wisconsin 24.
Joe Dubin, WSMV-TV: LSU 22, Wisconsin 24.
Scott Hamilton, Winston-Salem Journal: LSU 20, Wisconsin 24.
Am I calling these people out? Yeah, I guess I am. Seems a little strange, doesn’t it? By the way, Greder also had Tennessee — which barely won at home against Applachian State — at No. 11.
Speaking of "go figure," there’s the case of Marq Burnett, who had Wisconsin ranked in his preseason poll at No. 17. Then moved the Badgers down to No. 22 this week.
As I always say, that’s why the call it a poll.
Here’s the complete rankings from this week with a comparison to the preseason voting: