Wisconsin moves up to No. 8 in latest College Football Playoff rankings

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Wisconsin continues to methodically beat its opponents to remain undefeated this season. And the longer the Badgers can hang on to that unblemished mark, the more it becomes a realistic possibility they can make the College Football Playoff as other teams cannibalize each other.

Still, based on where Wisconsin stands in the latest CFP Top-25 poll, the team has a long way to go.

Wisconsin was ranked No. 8 in the CFP poll, which was released Tuesday. This comes after the Badgers came in at No. 9 last week, behind six one-loss teams.

The top five teams in the initial CFP poll last week all won their games. No. 1 Georgia defeated South Carolina 24-10, No. 2 Alabama handled LSU 24-10, No. 3 Notre Dame beat Wake Forest 48-37, No. 4 Clemson held on for a 38-31 victory against No. 20 North Carolina State and No. 5 Oklahoma won a wild 62-52 shootout against No. 11 Oklahoma State.

The two Big Ten teams that were ranked ahead of Wisconsin each lost. And while that helped the Badgers rise in the CFP poll this week, it could actually hurt them in the long run when Wisconsin plays in the Big Ten championship game. No. 6 Ohio State lost 55-24 at Iowa, and No. 7 Penn State lost 27-24 at No. 24 Michigan State. Wisconsin could play Ohio State, Michigan State or Penn State in the league championship game, but each of those teams already has two losses.

Wisconsin pulled away for a 45-17 victory against Indiana on Saturday in a game that did little to enhance the Badgers’ schedule strength. Indiana dropped to 0-6 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin found itself trailing 10-0 in the first half before finding more offensive cohesion.

According to the Sagarin Ratings, Wisconsin’s strength of schedule ranks No. 68. However, Wisconsin plays two teams currently ranked in the Sagarin top 20 over the next two weeks: No. 18 Iowa and No. 20 Michigan. Victories in those two games could help to sway the 13-person playoff committee that the Badgers are worthy of inclusion.

Wisconsin presumably will need at least a few higher-ranked opponents to lose in order for the Badgers to gain ground. TCU defeated Texas 24-7 and is still in the playoff hunt. Miami defeated Virginia Tech 28-10, and the Hurricanes remain undefeated. Regardless, there are two huge games this Saturday with playoff implications that will affect the Badgers.

TCU and Oklahoma play each other this week, as do Notre Dame and Miami. The loser in each of those contests is likely to drop out of the playoff chase.

There are a multitude of scenarios that could play out. For now, all the Badgers can control is that they keep winning to stay in the hunt.

The post Wisconsin moves up to No. 8 in latest College Football Playoff rankings appeared first on Land of 10.

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