The Badgers are one of just four undefeated Power Five teams (five overall) but they've done nothing to suggest they're one of the top nine (or 10) teams in college football.
Their three non-conference opponents — Utah State (59-10), Florida Atlantic (31-14) and BYU (40-6) — have a combined record of 11-15 and have combined for just seven wins over FBS opponents, including zero Power Five foes. Florida Atlantic (5-3) and Northwestern (5-3) are their only wins over teams who are currently above .500.
Their best win is over a Northwestern team that did beat Michigan State in Week 9 but was throttled by Duke and Penn State (72-24 combined score) earlier in the season. And though the Wildcats are playing good football (three-game winning streak) and could reach at least eight wins this season, their remaining schedule has no opportunities for big wins that would help boost Wisconsin's strength of schedule and strength of wins.
Wisconsin is not a bad football team. In fact, they're quite good. They have a dominant rushing attack, balanced defense and offense that finds ways to score despite a miserable passing game. The Badgers, however, have done nothing to show they're a playoff-contending team.
Defeating Michigan — handily — in Week 12 at home would help, though the Wolverines' recent swoon means a victory won't improve Badgers' résumé enough to warrant serious consideration as a top-four team during the regular season.
In Wisconsin's defense, they don't set the Big Ten schedule. They ran a gauntlet last year and are doing the exact opposite this year. Additionally, BYU was expected to be a formidable foe when the teams scheduled the home-and-home series in 2012. However, knowing that Big Ten schedules can fluctuate dramatically from year to year, scheduling Utah State and Florida Atlantic opened the door for strength of schedule scrutiny.
Win out, beat Ohio State in the conference championship and we'll talk. But right now, Wisconsin has no business being ranked in the top 10 and it's baffling why the committee thinks otherwise.