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Wisconsin Football Falls Outside the Top 25 in Week 4 SP+ Rankings



Wisconsin football; Badgers head coach Luke Fickell
Sep 22, 2023; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Luke Fickell look on prior to the start of the game at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night, Wisconsin Football laid down a 21-point victory in their Big Ten Conference opener against Purdue; now, the Badgers sit outside the top 25 in the AP polls with a 3-1 record (1-0 Big Ten) heading into a Week 5 bye before taking on Rutgers. 

The ESPN SP+ rankings were updated following the Week 4 slate, and the Cardinal and White slipped in the latest polls despite their 38-17 triumph over the Boilermakers.  

Wisconsin Football Falls Outside the Top 25 in Updated SP+ Rankings

For anyone unfamiliar with the ESPN SP+ model, it’s not your father’s associated press top 25 poll. It’s a forward-facing, Predictive model that serves as a tempo and opponent-adjusted measure of efficiency.

With that out of the way, the Week 4 SP+ rankings currently have Wisconsin football as the No. 27 team in the country — down two spots from last week. According to the metric, the Badgers have an overall grade of 13.2, with the No. 39 offense, No. 18 defense, and No. 4 special teams unit.

Other notable Big Ten programs in the SP+ top 10 include Michigan (1), Ohio State (3), and Penn State (10).

When the Badgers come out of the bye week, Wisconsin football begins a tough stretch of games against Rutgers, Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio State. Let’s hope the coaching staff can make necessary defensive adjustments, clean up the penalties on offense, and work in the younger running backs who must fill the No. 2 role after losing Chez Mellusi for the season.

Good, Bad and Ugly From Wisconsin Football 38-17 Win Over Purdue

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Dillon Graff is a Substack newsletter best-selling author, publisher of AllBadgers, and the owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today's BadgersWire, Athlon Sports, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, Bucky's 5th Quarter, and FanSided.