Two AP voters think Badgers should be ranked lower than a one-loss team

Aug 31, 2018; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Kendric Pryor (3) rushes with the football after catching a pass during the second quarter against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

As happens every year with the Associated Press top 25, we get something of a market correction the first few weeks following the preseason poll. This year is no different.

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Wisconsin checked in at No. 4 in the preseason poll and slid one spot to No. 5 in the Week 2 poll (yes, Week 2, thanks to college football’s strange “Week 0” set of games). But the Badgers only lost 13 points in the poll, which was enough to have Ohio State jump ahead of UW by seven points.

Some voters kept the Badgers exactly where they had them in the preseason poll — 30, in fact, or nearly half of the 61 voters (including Bob Asmussen, who has UW at No. 1) — and 16 others moved Wisconsin up or down just one slot (note: two preseason voters have already been replaced by new voters).

We understand the early movement and teams show its true colors instead of just people projecting. And it works both ways. For example, Rachel Richlinski had Wisconsin at No. 13 in her preseason poll, but at No. 7 following the first game. Brett McMurphy went the opposite direction, dropping the Badgers from 3 to 7.

Then there are Jon Wilner and Bill Landis.

Let’s say this about the poll: Once the season starts shouldn’t it be about production — and wins and losses — rather than projection? That’s our take, at least.

However, both Wilner (who dropped Wisconsin from 3 to 8) and Landis (8 to 10) have the Badgers behind Washington, which lost to Auburn. Sure, Auburn is seemingly a good team and it’s not like Wisconsin played a powerhouse in Western Kentucky. But Wisconsin won. Washington lost. And you drop the Badgers below the Huskies? (Also, on a separate note, Miami and Michigan, both losers, remain in the top 25. Why?)

It doesn’t make sense. At least that’s our two cents.

Here’s the complete rankings from this week with a comparison to the preseason voting:

Voter Week 2 Preseason
Bob Asmussen, Champaign News-Gazette 1 1
Blake Toppmeyer, Knoxville News Sentinel 3 3
Conor O’Neill, Winston-Salem Journal 3 3
Johnny Miller, WBZ Radio 3 3
Pat Dooley, Gainesville Sun 3 3
Robert Cessna, Bryan-College Station Eagle 3 3
Ryan Aber, The Oklahoman 3 3
Steve Batterson, Quad City Times 3 3
Steve Virgen, Albuquerque Journal 3 3
Adam Jude, Seattle Times 4 5
Andy Greder, St. Paul Pioneer Press 4 4
Ben Jones, Tuscaloosa News 4 4
Brandon Marcello, 247 Sports 4 5
Brian Howell, Daily Camera 4 4
Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 4 4
Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune 4 4
Ferd Lewis, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 4 7
Jim Alexander, The Press Enterprise 4 5
Lauren Brownlow, WRAL Baltimore 4 4
Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald 4 4
Matt Baker, Tampa Bay Times 4 3
Michael Lev, Arizona Daily Star 4 4
Sean Manning, The Dominion Post 4 n/a*
Tony Parks, KZNS Salt Lake City 4 6
David Briggs, Toledo Blade 5 5
Dylan Sinn, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette 5 4
Garry Smits, Florida Times-Union 5 n/a*
Gary Horowitz, Statesman Journal 5 5
John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal 5 5
Keith Sargeant, 5 5
Matt Brown, The Athletic 5 4
Sam McKewon, Omaha World-Herald 5 3
Scott Hamilton, Winston-Salem Journal 5 5
Tom Murphy, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 5 4
Aaron McMann, Mlive Media Group 6 7
Jason Galloway, Wisconsin State Journal 6 6
Jerry DiPaola, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 6 6
Matt McCoy, WTVN-AM Columbus 6 3
Rob Long, WJFK-FM Washington, D.C. 6 8
Robert Gagliardi, Laramie Boomerang 6 7
Brett McMurphy, Stadium Network 7 3
Chris Murray, Reno Gazette-Journal 7 6
Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press 7 9
Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News 7 7
Dave Southorn, Idaho Statesman 7 6
Garland Gillen, WVUE-TV New Orleans 7 6
Grace Raynor, The Post and Courier 7 5
Joey Kaufman, Southern Cal News Group 7 5
Mike Barber, Richmond Times-Dispatch 7 8
Neill Ostrout, Journal Inquirer 7 8
Rachel Richlinski, WLBT/FOX 40 7 13
Rece Davis, ESPN 7 6
Scott Rabalais, The Advocate 7 7
Soren Petro, WHB Kansas City 7 8
Steve Layman, WTVF-TV Nashville 7 7
Brent Axe, Syracuse Media Group 8 4
Jon Wilner, San Jose Mercury News 8 3
Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle 8 8
John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader 9 9
Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman 9 6
Bill Landis, Cleveland Plain Dealer 10 8
Mitch Vingle, Charleston Gazette-Mail n/a* 3
Safid Deen, Orlando Sentinel n/a* 5

* — Manning and Smits did not have preseason votes; Vingle and Deen both voted in the preseason poll but are no longer casting ballots

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns