Graham Mertz Badgers

Sep 4, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst talks with quarterback Graham Mertz (5) during the third quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s start off with this: We’re not saying being a voter in the Associated Press top-25 poll is an easy task. It’s hard enough covering your own team while keeping track of a host of others around the country.

Certainly, voters can’t watch every game. In fact, they probably can see only a handful, depending on what time the team they cover plays.

That being said, whether you watched Wisconsin’s game against Penn State last Saturday or not, it’s hard to believe anyone was overly impressed with the Badgers’ showing. Sure, the opponent might have had something to do with that.

But move Wisconsin up on a ballot? We’re puzzled how anyone could come to that conclusion.

And yet … here we are. Two voters did that exact thing.

The more egregious was Ben Portnoy of The State who moved the Badgers up one spot … to No. 10! By the way, he has Penn State at No. 18.

Robbie Faulk of the Starkville Daily News also moved Wisconsin up one spot on his ballot, from 17 to 16 (at least he has Penn State at No. 11).

As usual, though, this is why we say it’s called a poll. Wisconsin overall came in at No. 18 with 376 points, eight behind Coastal Carolina and 17 ahead of Virginia Tech.

After having one person not rank Wisconsin in the preseason, eight did so after one game. Many dropped the Badgers 10+ spots on their ballot.

Here’s all the votes from Week 2 compared to the preseason poll:

Voter Preseason Week 2
Ben Portnoy, The State (Columbia, SC) 11 10
Jon Wilner, San Jose Mercury News 8 13
Colten Bartholomew, Wisconsin State Journal 11 15
Josh Furlong, 10 15
Tom D'Angelo, Palm Beach Post 13 15
Aaron McMann, 13 16
Darren Haynes, WUSA-TV (Washington, D.C.) 15 16
James Kratch, The Star Ledger 6 16
Robbie Faulk, Starkville Daily News 17 16
Sam McKewon, Omaha World-Herald 15 16
Steve Batterson, Quad City Times 12 16
Andy Greder, St. Paul Pioneer Press 12 17
Madison Blevins, WBIR-TV 15 17
Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel 12 17
Robert Cessna, Bryan-College Station Eagle 8 17
Ryan Aber, The Oklahoman 13 17
Scott Richey, Champaign News-Gazette 17 17
Steve Virgen, Albuquerque Journal 16 17
Adam Grosbard, Orange County Register 13 18
Blair Kerkoff, Kansas City Star 14 18
David Briggs, Toledo Blade 15 18
Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune 13 18
Gentry Estes, The Tennessean 16 18
Matt Baker, Tampa Bay Times 12 18
Michael Lev, Arizona Daily Star 13 18
Ron Counts, Idaho Statesman 13 18
Brian Howell, Daily Camera 12 19
Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune 14 19
Ethan Joyce, Winston-Salem Journal 13 19
Glen Guilbeau, USA Today Louisiana 14 19
Matt Brown, The Athletic 15 19
Trevor Hass, 14 19
Brett McMurphy, Action Network 12 20
Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 12 20
Jordan Hill, Opelika-Auburn News 14 20
Lauren Brownlow, WRAL (Durham, NC) 19 20
Mike Votel, Seattle Times 15 20
Pete Martini, Salem Statesman Journal 16 20
Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald 14 21
Nathan Baird, 16 21
Bennett Conlin, The Daily Progress 15 22
Dylan Sinn, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette 18 22
John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader 14 22
Jon McGonigal, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 16 22
Rece Davis, ESPN 18 22
Tom Murphy, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 14 22
Chris Murray, Reno Gazette-Journal 15 23
Adam Zucker, CBS Sports Network 8 24
Jack Ebling, WSYM (Lansing, MI) 18 24
Neill Ostrout, Journal Inquirer 14 24
Zach Klein, WSB (Atlanta) 15 24
Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle 15 25
Mike Barber, Richmond Times-Dispatch 13 25
Ryan Pritt, Charleston Gazette-Mail 16 25
Ryan Thorburn, Eugene Register-Guard 14 25
Cecil Hurt, Tuscaloosa News 16 NR
Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News 24 NR
Dave Reardon, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 17 NR
David Jablonski, Cox Media Group 9 NR
Garland Gillen, WVUE-TV New Orleans 14 NR
Jonas Pope, Raleigh News and Observer 13 NR
Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman NR NR
Nate Mink, Syracuse Media Group 20 NR