In yet another way this 2019 Indiana football season has hearkened back to the program’s last era of sustained high level play.
The Hoosiers are ranked in the Top 25 in this week’s Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll. It is the first time that IU has been ranked in either poll since 1994.
With the Hoosiers on a bye and several teams in the No. 20 through 25 spots suffering losses this week, IU was able to slide into both polls and break the longest national ranking drought among Power Five schools.
IU is ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll and No. 25 in the Coaches Poll.
Head coach Tom Allen was asked about the importance of being ranked last Monday as his team prepared for the bye week.
“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.
“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.”
The challenge to remain in the polls will be significant, as IU will face a pair of top 15 teams over the next two weeks. The Hoosiers travel to No. 9/11 Penn State on Saturday and then host No. 14 Michigan the following weekend.
“That’s kind of where you want to be as a program, Allen added last Monday. “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.”
After being slotted as one of the four teams in the College Football Playoff last week, Penn State lost to now No. 7 Minnesota 31-26 over the weekend.
IU started the 1994 season with a 3-0 record and entered the polls at No. 25. A 62-13 loss to Wisconsin the following week began a 25 year drought.
Indiana (7-2, 4-2) has won seven of its first nine games, and four straight Big Ten games, for the first time since 1993.
Rival Purdue now holds the dubious distinction of being the team that has been outside the polls the longest. The Boilermakers were last ranked in 2007.
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