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November 9, 2010

Badgers not focused on polls

MADISON - The computers clearly are no fans of Wisconsin. Considering Wisconsin and Auburn are the only two programs in the country with wins over currently ranked top 15 teams, it's a wonder how the bells and whistles of the BCS component aren't in favor of the Badgers.

Everyone else seems to be.

"I don't know the specifics of what goes into those things," head coach Bret Bielema said at his weekly Monday press conference. "I realize that somebody has got to program them so you wonder what is going through there and how exactly they come up with their formulas.

"But the poll I really appreciate and respect is the coaches poll."

UW currently sits at No. 5 in the coaches poll and No. 6 in the Associated Press poll with its 8-1 record. Bielema's admiration for the coaches poll isn't for the simple reason his team is ranked the highest in it. It's more the fact that he senses a better understanding of the game through that ranking system.

"I understand that there are probably a couple of coaches out there that don't put in the time," Bielema said. "I pride myself on doing it. The AP vote is always going to swing a little bit. I think the AP vote is very reactionary. You get excited when good things happen and you're all the way down when bad things happen.

"The coaches poll seems to be consistent."

And it matters.

The three components that comprise the BCS equation are the Harris Interactive Poll (UW ranks No. 5), the coaches poll (UW ranks No. 5) and the computer poll (UW ranks No. 10). So for UW to be thought of so highly in the coaches and Harris poll indicates the human element of the BCS formula has been impressed with UW's play on the field.

"I realize that certain teams have had good signature wins," Bielema said. "But for Auburn to do what they did against Alabama and LSU and for us to beat No. 1 (Ohio State) and come back on one week's (rest) and beat Iowa there I think holds true to people that know the game, AP voters included.

"I think they really respect (that) which is why we've stayed where we are."

Currently, UW ranks No. 7 in the BCS standing, slightly behind No. 6 Stanford and slightly ahead of No. 8 Nebraska.

But there are still three games yet to be played.

"None of that matters," Bielema said. "I know it's something to write about and something I'm going to be asked about, but our kids know that the way they played the first half of last week, if they repeat that in the second half we won't even be having this discussion.

"That's the important thing to always hold true."


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