How they voted: Badgers in 2016 AP football poll (Week 4)
No, Wisconsin’s victory over Georgia State at home last Saturday was hardly inspiring.
Coupled with several nice victories by other top-25 teams, where would this leave the Badgers in the Associated Press poll?
Not surprisingly, UW moved down to No. 11 from No. 9 — teams like Louisville, Michigan State and Texas A&M got a nice boost, which didn’t help the Badgers’ cause.
But what is a fair drop? How much weight is put into one game and do the first two games mean nothing? It is always an interesting aspect of the top-25 poll, as opinions in football change week-to-week.
Wisconsin dropped a few spots on several ballots, which can’t shock anyone. It was expected.
But, as usual, there are some ballots that make you raise an eyebrow.
Marc Weiszer dropped Wisconsin seven spots and Graham Watson moved the Badgers down six slots.
The biggest offender, though, as Josh Kendall. If you recall, in last week’s poll Kendall moved the Badgers down to 14 and moved LSU (as we recall, who lost to UW in a neutral site) ahead of Wisconsin. This week, Kendall slid Wisconsin down 10 spots. Kendall also moved LSU down, but only two slots to 13. Who else is ahead of Wisconsin on Kendall’s ballot? North Dakota State comes in at 21. He also has two 1-2 teams ahead of Wisconsin (the fact he has any 1-2 teams ranked is disconcerting enough), with Ole Miss at 14 and Notre Dame at 19.
Kendall was one of two voters last week to have LSU ranked higher than Wisconsin. This week, the Tigers — who nearly blew a big lead at home to 1-2 Mississippi State and hung on to win by 3 — are ahead of the Badgers on six ballots, including Kendall’s.
The other members of the LSU 6:
— Matt Charboneau, The Detroit News: LSU 10, Wisconsin 11. Had the Badgers at 10 last week.
— Garry Smits, Florida Times-Union: LSU 11, Wisconsin 14. Had the Badgers at 13 last week.
— Jerry DiPaola, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: LSU 13, Wisconsin 14. Had Badgers at 11 last week.
— Andy Greder, St. Paul Pioneer Press: LSU 11, Wisconsin 17. Greder has moved UW up in his poll every week, for what it’s worth.
— Matt Porter, Palm Beach Post: LSU 13, Wisconsin 18. Had Badgers at 13 last week.
I know what you might be saying — it doesn’t matter because next week it will sort itself out some when Wisconsin plays at Michigan State. But isn’t it interesting to get in the minds of voters when faced with non-top 25 matchups? I think so.
On the flip side, a few people did move Wisconsin up on their ballots, including Jon Wilner, who has UW at No. 6. His top five: Ohio State, Louisville, Alabama, Houston, Michigan State.
Here’s the ballot breakdown from Week 4 and since the preseason:
* — Mandy Mitchell took the place of Ngozi Ekeledo
** — Long’s ballot was not made available on the AP site
Dave Heller is the author of the upcoming book Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow as well as 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