It is the Badgers' highest end-of-season ranking since finishing No. 4 in each poll following the 1999 season.
Wisconsin finished its season 9-3 after a 9-0 start. Georgia (10-2), which beat UW 24-21 in the Outback Bowl Saturday, is ranked No. 7 in the AP and No. 6 on the coaches' final list.
USC (13-0) is No. 1 in each poll, taking all but one first-place vote in the AP. Coaches were mandated to select USC No. 1 after the Trojans dismantled Oklahoma 55-19 in the Bowl Championship Series title game Tuesday night.
The Badgers are one of four Big Ten teams to crack the final rankings. Iowa (10-2) was the top Big Ten team, finishing No. 8 in each poll. Michigan (9-3, No. 14 AP, No. 12 coaches) and Ohio State (8-4, 20/18) also represented the conference.