Wisconsin ranked No. 12 in AP poll to start season

For the sixth time in Paul Chryst’s seven years at Wisconsin, the Badgers will start a season ranked in the top 20 of the Associated Press poll.

The first version of the poll came out Monday and Wisconsin was sitting at No. 12 in the country. It’s the same ranking the Badgers had at the beginning of last season and the third-highest start under Chryst.

Wisconsin is one of five Big Ten teams ranked in the poll. Ohio State is the highest at No. 4. After that, it’s Indiana at No. 17, Iowa at No. 18 and Penn State at No. 19. The Badgers and Nittany Lions will open the season against each other Sept. 4 at Camp Randall Stadium. It’ll be just the fourth time since 1998 that Wisconsin will face a ranked team in its opening game.

In addition to Penn State and Iowa, the only other opponent on Wisconsin’s schedule that is ranked is No. 9 Notre Dame. The Badgers and Fighting Irish will meet in Chicago at Soldier Field on Sept. 25. Two other opponents, Michigan and Northwestern, are each in the receiving votes category.

Defending champion Alabama will start out at No. 1, with Oklahoma at No. 2, Clemson at No. 3, the Buckeyes at No. 4 and Georgia at No. 5.

You can see the full poll here.