ESPN/USA Today coaches poll: Badgers ranked 20th

Wisconsin lands its highest pre-season ranking since 2000.

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Wisconsin is ranked 20th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches preseason college football poll released Thursday evening.

Four other Big Ten teams appear in the poll. Also ranked are Ohio State (No. 2), Michigan (7), Purdue (22) and Penn State (25). The Big Ten tied the SEC for most team in the top 25. No. 6 Auburn, No. 9 Georgia, No. 15 LSU, No. 16 Tennessee and No. 21 Florida represent the SEC.

Oklahoma took home the top rating, claiming 29 first-place votes and 1,514 points, edging the Buckeyes, who garnered 28 first-place votes and 1,495 points. The remaining first-place votes went to No. 3 Miami (Fla.) with five, and No. 6 Auburn with one. The Big 12 claimed three of the poll's top five slots, with No. 4 Texas and No. 5 Kansas State joining the No. 1 Sooners.

The No. 20 rating is Wisconsin's highest preseason ranking since 2000 when UW was No. 5 in the coaches poll. This is also the seventh consecutive season that the Badgers have been ranked in the preseason coaches poll.

Wisconsin opens the 2003 campaign at West Virginia (which received votes in the preseason coaches poll) on August 30. The home opener is Sept. 6 against Akron.

UW Sports Information contributed to this report


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