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.
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|