Last season at this time, the Wisconsin Badgers were unranked. After an epic upset and consistently solid play against great opponents, the Badgers found their way into the top 10 for most of the season in most college football, week to week, rankings.

This season, the Badgers are starting just about where they ended. At number ten in the Amway preseason coaches poll, the Badgers will not have to make drastic moves in the polls to be in contention come playoff time.

They are helped in the polls by a plethora of returning starters who figure to make big impacts over the course of the season. Linebacker Jack Cichy, safety D’Cota Dixon, quarterback Alex Hornibrook and receiver Jazz Peavy all figure to continue making strides.

Other Big Ten teams also found their way into the Top Ten. Michigan is just ahead of the Badgers at number nine, Penn State is at number six and Ohio State is just below top ranked Alabama at number two.

Obviously though, the only thing on all these teams and their players’ minds is where they will end the season and if they will make the College Football Playoff. Only time will tell, but the Badgers will get their journey started on September 1 as they take on Utah State in a night game at Camp Randall.

“That’s what’s great about this season is you have to go play it,” head coach Paul Chryst said at Big Ten Media Days. “And all the talk doesn’t really matter. And so don’t spend a lot of time, energy, thinking about what’s being said. You try to focus your energy and your players’ energy on what you can control, what you can best put your energy into, and that’s the fun part.”