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Wisconsin Football: What Does the Badgers' BCS Ranking Mean

CORVALLIS, OR - SEPTEMBER 08:  Montee Ball #28 of the Wisconsin Badgers is stopped by Castro Masaniai #98of  the Oregon State Beavers on September 8, 2012 at the Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Max ManasevitContributor IIIOctober 23, 2012

Badger fans everywhere rejoiced upon seeing their team back in the national rankings. Wisconsin is ranked 25th by the BCS, but does this actually mean anything?

The Badgers have two losses on the year, a loss at Oregon St. (that now looks pretty forgivable), and a loss to a good, but not great, Nebraska team in Lincoln. These losses helped knock the Badgers out of the rankings, yet somehow three wins over perennial bottom feeders Minnesota and Illinois, and what has become a reliably mediocre program in Purdue, allowed Wisconsin to squeak back into the rankings.

Now, no disrespect to Jerry Kill and the Gold Gophers, or Illinois and Tim Beckham, but the vast majority of FBS schools could easily beat both teams. The Boilermakers have a history of doing a lot with a little, but no one is confusing them with a power program.

If the Badgers were not good enough to be ranked before beating three lousy teams, what possibly makes them deserving of a ranking after three unimpressive wins?

In the eyes of college football fans, the BCS has committed significantly more egregious errors than ranking a team that is still largely unproven (last year's all SEC title game, the harsh treatment suffered by TCU and Boise State, Notre Dame aggrandizing), but the Badgers ranking highlights what strange unreliable system the BCS really is.

The ranking showcases how merit-less wins are extremely beneficial to BCS standing. The Big Ten is in the midst of an off-year, yet the absurdity that is the BCS somehow does not realize it. The BCS is illogical, yet at least this year Montee Ball and company should be glad that rationality in college football rankings does not exist.

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