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Finally ready to play, Badgers already had ups and downs in AP poll

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The Wisconsin Badgers are set to play their first game of the 2020 season Friday.

But for the past four weeks, Wisconsin (and other Big Ten teams) have been eligible to be voted upon in the Associated Press top-25 poll.

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Adding to the craziness of 2020 is not only trying to see where a team which hasn’t played will be slotted in the rankings, but also how it moves up and down on the ballots each week despite remaining 0-0.

It’s folly, of course. But interesting folly.

Sure, how teams who are actually playing fared affects Wisconsin’s standing (we guess). But it’s been quite the sight seeing the Badgers rise each week in the AP poll, up to tied for No. 14 in this week’s rankings.

In Week 7, nine voters have Wisconsin ranked in the single digits (between 6-9). Eight voters don’t have the Badgers ranked at all (some are leaving Big Ten schools off entirely, others are more selective).

Back in Week 4, when Big Ten teams started to once again appear on ballots, only two voters had Wisconsin in single digits (one at No. 8 the other at No. 9) while 15 had the Badgers not ranked.

What changed? Who knows.

This week, for example, David Jablonski of the Dayton Daily News ranked Big Ten teams — after not doing so the previous three weeks — and had Wisconsin at No. 12. WRAL’s Lauren Brownlow moved the Badgers up four spots, from 14 to 10. In Week 4 she had UW at No. 15 then No. 13. The Albuquerque Journal’s Steve Virgen moved the Badgers up three spots to No. 13 this week. But in Week 4 he had them at 11, then dropped UW to 14.

None of it makes any sense, really, but it sure is fun to look at.

Here’s all the votes from Week 7 with Weeks 4-6 included for comparison’s sake:

Voter Week 7 Week 6 Week 5 Week 4
Dylan Sinn, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette 6 7 8 9
Nathan Baird, Cleveland.com 7 8 10 16
Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune 8 8 9 11
Colten Bartholomew, Wisconsin State Journal 8 9 9 12
John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal 8 9 10 11
Matt Baker, Tampa Bay Times 8 9 10 11
Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 9 10 11 19
Nate Mink, Syracuse Media Group 9 9 9 13
Parrish Alford, Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.) 9 9 8 8
Andy Greder, St. Paul Pioneer Press 10 11 13 12
Derek Redd, Charleston Gazette-Mail 10 11 14 15
Lauren Brownlow, WRAL Baltimore 10 14 13 15
David Briggs, Toledo Blade 11 12 11 11
John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader 11 11 14 13
Soren Petro, 810 WHB Kansas City 11 12 12 16
Chris Murray, Reno Gazette-Journal 12 12 13 16
Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News 12 13 14 14
David Jablonski, Cox Media Group 12 NR NR NR
Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune 12 13 13 18
Sam McKewon, Omaha World-Herald 12 13 9 11
Steve Batterson, Quad City Times 12 12 12 12
Adam Grosbard, Orange County Register 13 14 15 16
Pete Martini, Salem Statesman Journal 13 13 13 11
Steve Virgen, Albuquerque Journal 13 16 14 11
Tom D’Angelo, Palm Beach Post 13 11 13 15
Ferd Lewis, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 14 15 15 19
Gentry Estes, The Tennessean 14 14 14 19
James Kratch, The Star Ledger 14 14 11 14
Josh Furlong, KSL.com 14 15 12 14
Michael Lev, Arizona Daily Star 14 12 13 NR
Robert Cessna, Bryan-College Station Eagle 14 14 11 12
Ron Counts, Idaho Statesman 14 14 18 NR
Theo Lawson, Spokesman-Review 14 15 19 21
Tom Murphy, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 14 14 15 12
Aaron McMann, Mlive Media Group 15 14 17 17
Audrey Dahlgren, WLNS-TV 15 15 20 13
Blair Kerkoff, Kansas City Star 15 17 19 19
Bob Asmussen, Champaign News-Gazette 15 17 17 22
Garland Gillen, WVUE-TV New Orleans 15 17 18 23
Madison Blevins, WBIR-TV 15 17 14 10
Norm Wood, The Daily Press 15 16 15 11
Rece Davis, ESPN 15 17 16 17
Trevor Hass, Boston.com 15 14 18 21
Matt Brown, The Athletic 16 17 19 16
Davis Potter, Casper Star-Tribune 17 15 14 22
Jon Johnson, The Dothan Eagle 17 17 17 23
Conor O’Neill, Winston-Salem Journal 18 19 19 20
Jonas Pope, Raleigh News and Observer 18 14 14 NR
Eric Boynton, Spartanburg Herald-Journal 19 16 16 11
Jerry DiPaola, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 19 18 18 NR
Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald 19 20 18 18
Adam Zucker, CBS Sports Network 21 NR NR NR
Neill Ostrout, Journal Inquirer 22 22 22 22
Pat Dooley, Gainesville Sun 24 24 17 NR
Brett McMurphy, Stadium Network NR NR NR NR
Brian Howell, Daily Camera NR NR NR NR
Brooks Kubena, The Advocate NR NR NR NR
Jon Wilner, San Jose Mercury News NR NR NR NR
Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman NR NR NR NR
Rob Long, WJFK-FM Washington, D.C. NR NR NR NR
Ryan Aber, The Oklahoman NR NR NR NR
Tom Green, Alabama Media Group NR NR NR NR
Be irresistible couple