Badgers gridders ranked No. 10 in coaches' preseason pollWisconsin Sports
-- The University of Wisconsin is ranked No. 10 in the coaches’ preseason college football poll put out by USA Today.
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin is ranked No. 10 in the coaches’ preseason college football poll put out by USA Today.
The Badgers are the highest Big Ten team in the poll, even it won a share of the conference title a year ago at 7-1 in the league and 11-2 overall. The Badgers finished eighth in the coaches’ poll at the end of last season, and they were seventh in the AP media poll. Nebraska, which joined the Big Ten this summer, is ranked 11th. Ohio State is 16th and Michigan State is 17th. Both those schools shared the league regular season crown with the Badgers a year ago.
The University of Wisconsin football team and its counterparts in the Big Ten will move to a nine-game conference schedule starting in 2017. The league made that announcement today. Each school will host five conference games one year, and four the next. Wisconsin will not host five Big Ten games until 2018. Right now, teams play eight conference games per year. And at the recent league meetings in Chicago, Badgers’ coach Bret Bielema said he hoped the number would have stayed at eight. He said the Southeastern Conference still plays eight league games per year. And by playing a ninth, Bielema says the odds get bigger that the league’s best team will get an extra loss – and it could keep them out of a BCS bowl or the BCS championship game. Also, Bielema lobbied to have conference games earlier in the season – perhaps on the opening weekend. Right now, teams play four non-conference contests before starting their league schedules.