Hoosiers ranked in both AP, coaches polls

The streak is over.

After 25 years outside the polls, the longest drought among Power 5 schools, the Hoosiers are ranked in this week’s coaches and Associated Press polls.

During a bye week, the 7-2 Hoosiers slid into the No. 24 spot for the AP and No. 25 in the coaches. That means rival Purdue, which hasn’t been ranked by the AP since 2007, now has the longest Power 5 drought in the polls.

From last week’s coaches poll, No. 20 Wake Forest, No. 22 Kansas State, and No. 24 San Diego State all suffered losses Saturday and dropped out. Kansas State (No. 20) and Wake Forest (No. 22) were also bounced from the AP rankings.

IU has not been ranked since 1994, when the Hoosiers slotted into the No. 25 spot following a 3-0 start. They dropped out the next week after a 62-13 loss at Wisconsin, starting a prolonged rankings drought.

The No. 24 Hoosiers will try to avoid that fate Saturday when they head to No. 9 Penn State in what’s now a battle of ranked teams. The Nittany Lions (8-1) just lost their first game of the season to now-No. 7 Minnesota, 31-26.

IU coach Tom Allen recently recalled the goals he set for the program back in 2016, including the wiping away of certain streaks, like 52 years since a Big Ten title and 28 since a bowl win. Allen didn’t mention IU’s run outside the top 25 specifically, but he acknowledged during the bye week — after the Hoosiers had clinched their first winning season since 2007 — that the poll has been mentioned.

“We did talk about it, because I told our team during fall camp that we were a top-25 football team. I believed it,” Allen said. “I said we got to go prove it, but that’s what I believed this football team was going to do. And so, from that perspective, we can’t control any of that, in terms of who decides to vote or not vote.

“But at the same time there is an expectation. … I just think that you set those things out there and you don’t back away from those things and it’s part of the program that you have and what you’re building and it shows respect for that.”

IU built toward this week’s ranking with a four-game winning streak in conference play, tying the program’s longest streak since 1993. Last week, the Hoosiers logged the second-most votes of unranked teams with 44.

Texas, which had 79 votes last week, now sits at No. 23 in the coaches’ rankings after downing previously No. 22 Kansas State, 27-24.

IU’s No. 24 ranking in the AP poll is its best mark since the ’93 season, when the Hoosiers were ranked as high as No. 17 in the regular season and went to the Independence Bowl as the No. 21 team in the country.

“I just know that we’re playing a really good football team in Penn State here real soon,” Allen said Monday. “So whatever we have done in the last nine games, we have obviously done a lot of positive things, got a lot of things to keep getting better at.

“But that’s kind of where you want to be as a program. You want to be where you’re recognized as such. And then when you get recognized at that level, then you got to go sustain it and show that you deserve to be there and that’s something that’s a weekly thing that you have to have.”

31 comments

  1. Good that TA is willing to note that IU has to sustain it. Where will IU be ranked after Penn State game? Pretty good that IU didn’t even have to play Saturday to rank # 25.

  2. Great for the team. Great for the long suffering fans. I just hope they play this week like they belong. Win or lose, I want to see a team that plays like a top 25 team. Penn State’s defense is just ok. IU’s receivers will have their chances. Go Hoosiers!

  3. It is great to have IUFB ranked and now they have a shot to prove how high they could be ranked by winning at Happy Valley. IU’s offense can score on PSU as their secondary is not great. Our defense needs to continue the trend to come up with game changing take-aways. Our STs need to keep putting teams inside the 25, the FG team is good enough to win the game at the end if necessary. Get the job done Hoosiers.

    1. My thoughts exactly! IU is not a top 10 team…yet! But we are plenty good enough to win 2 of our final 3 regular season games. Take it up a level. No fear, no hesitation. GO IU!

  4. I think IU stacks up against Penn State a little better than it looks. The reason is I see so much more physicality and confidence on IU. Game televised on ABC I think. Point spread is about 14 IU underdog. Psychologically IU is going to have to take ownership of Penn State crowd and take ownership of white out like it is their own. Tall task at Penn State.

  5. I’m delighted that TA, Staff and his players get to enjoy this recognition. It certainly won’t hurt recruiting, which is entering the critical phase.

    Two more wins this regular season would move IU up even higher in the rankings.

  6. I realize Indiana football team has a 7-2 record at the moment and I am hoping that it improves over the next three games….But I am still a little skeptical, why?? All the games they have won this year has been (come) against teams with losing records. Oh yeah!! we can say they have won the games they where suppose to win, but more needs to be done. Most fans are not going to show up for games, when you are only beating teams with losing record. Indiana needs that signature win against either Penn State or Michigan. Getting ranked is great, but Indiana is 7-2 (ranked 24 AP poll and 25 coaches) and Illinois is 6-4 (and not ranked), which is the better team at the moment?? It will be interesting to see who ends up with the better bowl game.

    1. You realize that not all bowl decisions come down to record. Some will look at how well the fan base travels and can they get a good crowd there from both schools. Usually the top 4 or 5 teams are slotted due to agreements with certains bowls, but after that it comes down to a money thing and not a record thing. These bowls are pretty independent and can pick and choose who they want participating outside of the slotted bowls.

  7. The strength of Penn State is the front 7 you can comment on the secondary but if you can’t block their line it doesn’t matter I hope Indiana can win I doubt it though for one they’re on the road and they still have more talent but I hope they make it a fight

  8. Stop enjoying this football season! We were better once in the distant past when it was ok to enjoy football, because, earlier is always better and free from corruption. It was better then because they didn’t wear helmets and the NFL didn’t make everyone greedy. People just suffered in silence going to factory jobs to lose their hands, or mined in total darkness, breathing fresh air only to sleep.

    Those were the days.

    But since I was born after the passage of Civil Rights, I will be extremely happy for this Hoosier team. There have been seasons with much worse Big Ten competition in the past and we still got our throats slit, because we were barely a high school team. No program in the history of the NCAA has had to have such odds in rebuilding. This is just one step, and hope to see this squad continue to build on what’s already a great season.

    Congrats Hoosiers. There are actually a few of us who are proud of you. Let at the grumbly great googily moogilies mope around in their own sadness, which they just project onto you. Wash away…

  9. Me like leather helmets. Me like the Tull….and the lions in the shadows lazy in their green meadows.

    Are we breaking out the chrome helmets for PSU?

    I double dare you, Tom Allen…
    Take down PSU in the ostentatious naivety of those braggadocios chrome helmets. Hoosiers busting the chops of PSU in Happy Valley with the sparkly chrome swag mimicking a Delta faucet shower head? And then the rains came….and came…and came. Biblical. Bungle in the Jungle…sort of stuff. Jethro.

    1. I like the Tull reference, he was one of the few people that could make a flute part of a rock band and only one to make the flute solo a big part of the song.

      DD is right that we need to enjoy this season as it is already a very good football season and much better than we have gone through in years. Before the season many were wondering how IU would win four game and where a fifth win would come from. You never know how seasons will turn out just like this year.

      Is this the season that will bring a sea change in the B1G. Does Minnesota become the new big dog in the West, is Illinois on the rise in the West, and does IU end up moving up in the B1G East? Are all these flash in the pans or real changes in B1G. MSU looks like they are in a down turn but they have rebounded in the past. PSU has shown they aren’t ready to be in the big time yet but talented enough to play against the best. UM is still questionable despite the past game and a half. After watching the PSU Minnesota game maybe the second half against PSU may not be as good as people think. Iowa has three losses already, Wisconsin has two so far and NW is still in the doldrums. Nebraska and PU haven’t lived up to the hype they developed last year. Maryland and Rutgers look like they will be a long project to improve in the B1G.

      In this environment can IU, MN, and IL continue their climb, I think IU is poised to continue the climb next year with the players coming back next year. Still it is necessary to enjoy this year as it is far different than we have seen since Mallory years [yes I know about the 2007 team but it didn’t look sustainable].

  10. I suppose the chrome helmets could reflect the white out as to blind the Penn State players glancing off ABC cameras reflecting into Penn State 4 and 5 star players.

  11. Great post, DD! Some people are hard to please.

    I mean, if you can’t appreciate this IU FB season and what this team has already accomplished in relative terms, your perspective may be a little warped or you just can’t be satisfied. IMO, IU should have defeated MSU earlier this year. In spite of my obvious bias, having watched that game twice, I am convinced that IU was the better team that day. Our youth cost us the game because of a bunch of stupid penalties, but IU was/is the better team. But it was a learning experience and IU has gotten better since that disappointing loss.

    We’ll see how it goes Saturday at PSU, but right now, the only team that has outclassed IU this season was OSU, and they’re destroying every team they play. And they are likely to win the National Championship this season, so it is no shame to lose to what may turn out to be the best team in the country and one of the best teams in the history of the Big Ten.

    Of course we all want this IU team to win more. But at the beginning of the season I was simply hoping that they would win six regular season games, and was skeptical that they could do that. So this team has already exceeded my expectations. This ranking means very little right now, but it is national recognition and something to celebrate. In practical terms, it should help TA improve recruiting. What’s not to like?

    1. Pretty much. No one is saying this Hoosier team belongs in Pasadena this year. But, wow, feels like for the first time, there’s a trajectory and it isn’t precarious. It feels like something solid is being built here. Let’s see if we can pull off a W vs PSU or UM. I still think Michigan is vulnerable. However, smart football people like V13 and some others say we might match up with PSU better. But winning at PSU after their loss this Sat might be a lot for a young Hoosier squad to overcome. I’m dubious, but for the first time, actually hopeful that we can show up and compete.

      Of course, some of the details about this season and where we’ll end up from here can be debated, but damn, 7-2. Usually it’s the other way around and we’re trying to analyze what would have happened in games where the Hoosiers usually shoot themselves in the foot a few times to lose close ones. There have been many Big Ten seasons where the conference was really down and we still only managed a win or two. But we’re winning those games this year. Plus, two on the road, which has been impossible for this program over the years. There’s a reason why we used to be everyone’s homecoming game. Notice that isn’t happening as much anymore? I think next year, we’re probably not going to be on anyone’s homecoming schedule.

      Also, for Pete’s sake, aren’t sports supposed to be………fun? I don’t really understand why people invest so much time into things that make them miserable. If a 7-2 start to football has to come with a big giant BUT, I don’t know what Tom Allen could do make them happy. I guess making fun of the chrome helmets, which came under the previous regime, is what they have now. That’s a sign of progress.

      This team is playing better every week. They still have issues. They’re still really young. But I haven’t had more fun watching Indiana Football in a long time.

      I even enjoy talking with EVERYONE here, regardless of how cranky they are. I hope everyone realizes all of this banter is in good fun. I’d invite everyone over for a BBQ here in CA, but they’ll cut the power on us and ban fire. We can’t even be prehistoric cave men out here. Fire is too advanced. Hope everyone likes ramen noodles soaked in seawater. The beer and wine are still good, though. At least until we run out….

      1. DD,
        I’m enjoying this season as much as anyone else. I think it is great opportunity to build something that has never been done at IU, that is if it can be sustained. However, I think there is an opportunity to do just that, if TA can leverage the on field results from this year into continuing to recruit higher quality classes. While IUFB has certainly been extremely fortunate with the way the schedule has played out, it is not entirely fortune at work here (Even though it is about time fortune smiled on IUFB).

        If we look at TA’s first two full recruiting classes, ’18 & ’19, they represent a significant improvement in average player ranking. A lot of folks get mislead by the numerical ranking of a class instead of looking at the quality of the average player rankings. In IUFB’s case they represent the best average rankings as far back as I could look, and by a significant margin. With the amount of younger players seeing the field, I think it is telling as to why IUFB is holding it’s own against equals in games they would have lost in the past.

        If TA can continue to put together recruiting classes that equal or exceed what he has done the last 2 years, then there is a good chance of sustained or even improved on the field results. Look at what he has done with just the Fr. & So. classes. Imagine that to be all 4 classes at the same time and continuing to improve. Averaging at the 3* in just two classes has made an impact. If it could be taken up to a 3.25 or 3.5* level consistently that could translate into significant improvements in on the field results long term. A 3.5* average may not seem like much, but even the elite FB schools only average around 3.95 to 4.1*

        1. Lots to build on. Lots of work to go. There’s good reason to believe that there’s more goodness to come. I’m sure there will be a few missteps along the way, but in the past, those missteps were killers. Now, it is just a little adversity for them overcome. Indiana Football will never be built on foundations that can withstand major missteps like those you see up at Michigan. They’ve been as mediocre as Indiana Basketball, yet they still recruit in the Top 10 nationally. Harbaugh is the most overrated coach in the game. Living in the Bay Area, we all knew of Harbaugh’s soft underbelly. The best thing that happened to Ohio State and the Big Ten was when Michigan thought that their reincarnated Bo Schembechler was coming home. Meanwhile, Indiana FB will have to earn every commitment and own their performance after every game.

          Anyway, it’s really fun watching what’s unfolding in Bloomington. On replay, of course.

          1. I agree completely with the Harbaugh assessment….Not seeing the Harbaugh clan coming to Skjodt Hall for basketball games as Crean’s guests of honor is another one of the many things I will never miss.

            Michigan lost their only legitimate presence in a major sport with the departure of a very good basketball coach.

          2. Speaking of “soft”….Very sorry about your Warriors. One day you’re on top of the world talking of challenging the Bulls six titles and back-to-back three-peat…and the next moment all you got is watching an ex-Spartan fartin’ from his mouth…and watching IU Football kick around Rutgers on replay.
            Damn…things can go soft and south in a hurry. No Durant…No Curry…No Clay? Hell, I’d be watching IU Football on replay all day…lol.

            Sure looking like it’s back to Jack and his Lakers reigning supreme in the West again.

          3. Unfortunately for me, I don’t really have an NBA team. Warriors have been fun to watch, but I watch the NBA fairly dispassionately from a rooting standpoint. There are players I really like, and some I can’t stand. Like, loved Jordan, but kind of can’t stand LeBron. I love rooting against LeBron. I do respect his game tremendously, but I think he’s a bit of a d-bag as a person.

            In football mode right now though: just got home from the Niners/Seahawks game. Great battle, great atmosphere, fun time, but really sloppy game. Neither of those teams are in Superbowl shape yet.

  12. Po,
    I agree this has a significant chance of being a turning point year for IUFB. Especially, if TA is able to leverage the on field results into even better caliber recruits.

    As for OSU, I would not be too hasty to crown them just yet. If IUFB is able to pull off a UM upset, the toughest road opponent OSU will have faced all year will be IU. OSU will likely not be tested by anything near an equal unless they are fortunate enough to make the BCS. However, I would find the irony delicious if OSU were to meet LSU and jilted former OSU QB Joe Burrow in the playoffs. However, by that time it will likely be Heisman trophy winner, Joe Burrow.

  13. I’m lovin’ it! I liked Illinois (14.5 pt road dog) straight up and Minny at home last week +6.5. Rememeber this, Purdue shut down the Sanduskys in the second half and made it a game…..it is possible. OL and DL’s will have to be stout. Like Ben Crenshaw muttered when his Ryder Cup team was seemingly out of it….”I’ve got a good feeling about this”. Just like birdies seem to run in bunches, so do bogies. PSU lost last week.

  14. The 1st bye was so timely for improvement of a young team by correcting some failings. Got to believe 2nd bye week enhances bread and butter strengths and cleans up a weakness or 2 not to be exploited.

  15. Have you ever noticed how all the top ranked college football teams are from the Trump/Republican states? Only two teams from the Top 25 (Oregon and, rare newcomer, Minnesota) were not in a Trump/Republican state in the 2016 election.

    It’s not only the ‘South’ dominating college football…Liberal democrats have no pigskin game worth a damn. Trump voters and top college football programs march hand in hand. I’m sure most of you already knew that….but it’s sort of odd how it’s never really noted by the national media.

    Vote Gopher!

  16. HC, the second bye week will either have been very good for IU, or a disaster. I’m guessing it will have been very good. Our players are rested and have had plenty of time to work on fixing mistakes and preparing for PSU. As long as IU’s young players don’t have too much time to bask in the glory of being ranked # 24 in the country and they stay focused, the time off should provided great benefit.

  17. The concern about this team letting down due to the rankings is as unnecessary as the fear of a letdown after the Nebraska game heading into the NU game. This team has proven to me they are hungry like they say and will keep improving this year. I am excited about how many games left that they can win. No one is saying this team is national contenders but this team is better and has a game winning knack we haven’t seen in quite a while.

    With the week off I expect the football team to have answers to create issues for PSU. Playing in Happy Valley isn’t easy but this team keeps surprising people and this week may be a pleasant surprise for Hoosier fans.

  18. Must admit this is quite the Hoosier streak….Will it be sustained or will it just be a “flash.” We could get as relevant for a week as this long ago streak. Keep your clothes on, Tom.

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