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Badgers ranked 9th overall in AP Top 25 preseason poll

The Wisconsin Badgers will be a top-10 team in the nation when they take the field Sept. 1 to kick off their season against Utah State.

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Wisconsin was ranked No. 9 overallin the preseason AP Top 25 poll released Monday morning, the program's best preseason rankingsince it was No. 7 in 2007.

The Badgers wereslotted atNo. 9in the final poll last season after they racked up 11 wins and took down an undefeated Western Michigan team 24-16 in the Cotton Bowl.

Wisconsin acquired 926 points in the preseason poll, just behind No. 8Washington (1,150) and ahead of No. 10 Oklahoma State (889).

Ohio State and Penn State are the only two Big Ten teams slotted ahead of the Badgers, at No. 2 and No. 6 overall, respectively. Wisconsin does not play either team in the 2017 regular season, although a matchup in the Big Ten championship on Dec. 2 is a possibility, as the Badgers are favored to win the West division while the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes will battle it out in the East.

Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan Wolverines, who the Badgers host Nov. 18 at Camp Randall Stadium, were ranked closebehind Wisconsin at 11th overall. Michigan is the only team on the Badgers' schedule that is currently ranked in the AP Top 25.

Alabama topped the preseason poll for the second straight year, with the Buckeyes, Florida State, USC and the defending champion Clemson Tigers rounding out the top five.

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Florida State
4. USC
5. Clemson
6. Penn State
7. Oklahoma
8. Washington
9. Wisconsin
10. Oklahoma State
11. Michigan
12. Auburn
13. LSU
14. Stanford
15. Georgia
16. Louisville
17. Florida
18. Miami (Fla.)
19. South Florida
20. Kansas State
21. Virginia Tech
22. West Virginia
23. Texas
24. Washington State
25. Tennessee