Wisconsin opened higher than expected in the first College Football Playoff rankings.
The Badgers, fresh off their first back-to-back losses since 2016, came in at No. 13 when the initial top-25 was released Tuesday night.
Coach Paul Chryst’s team is the third-highest ranked two-loss team, and it’s four spots higher than unbeaten Minnesota. The only Big Ten teams ranked ahead of them are Ohio State at No. 1 and Penn State at No. 4.
The playoff selection committee likes Wisconsin more than the media that cover the sport and vote in the weekly Associated Press poll. There, Minnesota and Michigan, the latter of which the Badgers beat, are ranked ahead of No. 16 Wisconsin.
Though the Badgers hopes of making it into the top four of the playoff are nearly non-existent, the fact they are in the top-15 gives them an outside shot at still making a New Year’s Six bowl game if they can run the table in the regular season.
Wisconsin will host Iowa on Saturday. The Hawkeyes debuted at No. 18 in the CFP rankings.
You can find the full rankings here: