By Bill Scott/ WRN
Athlon Sports released its first top 25 college football poll on Monday and the Wisconsin Badgers check in at number-12.
The Badgers, who finished 11-3 last season, have a much easier schedule in 2017 after facing one of the nations more difficult schedules last season.
The Badgers will face games against Michigan and Nebraska next season, but they won’t have Ohio State or Penn State on the schedule.
The Badgers defense does lose linebackers T.J. Watt and Vince Biegel, but the return of injured linebackers Chris Orr and Jack Cichy should help.
Three other Big Ten teams are not only ranked in the top 25, but they rank higher than the Badgers at number 12. Michigan is 10th, Penn State comes in at number-6 and Ohio State is second.