The Wisconsin football team is ranked seventh in the country according to the USA Today Top 25 Coaches' Poll, released today. The only other time UW was ranked higher in the preseason poll was in 2000 when the Badgers started the season fifth.
Wisconsin is one of three Big Ten teams ranked in the top 10. Michigan checks in at No. 5 while Ohio State is 10th. Penn State rounds out the Big Ten teams in the rankings, placing 18th. Among the teams receiving votes are two of UW's first four opponents this season, Washington State and Iowa.
USC is the preseason No. 1, receiving 45 of the 60 first-place votes. LSU is ranked second with Florida, Texas and Michigan rounding out the top five.
Wisconsin returns 18 starters from last year's record-breaking team that finished the season 12-1 and won the Capital One Bowl. The Badgers, whose 31 wins over the last three seasons are tied for the sixth-most in the country, enter 2007 having won their last nine games. That is the third-longest active winning streak in the country.