My Two Cents: It's Wrong Hoosiers Don't Even Get One Vote in Coaches Poll
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Now that the Big Ten football season is back on, the disrespect for the Indiana football program can begin again.
The Hoosiers, who won eight games a year ago and snapped a 25-year drought in the weekly national polls when they were ranked for a week in early November, return 16 starters this year and have their sights set on having a very good season.
But when the 48 coaches voted this week on the national top-25 poll and included Big Ten teams again now that they are going to resume their conference season on Oct. 24, Indiana didn't get a single vote.
Beyond the top-25 teams, there were 23 more teams that received at least one vote. That's 48 teams currently ranked ahead of Indiana.
The Hoosiers? Gone for now, and forgotten. At least for now.
There is one thing to keep in mind here to mute the angst a little bit, This was the coaches poll. The Associated Press poll isn't going to include the Big Ten until next week. In the preseason polls, Indiana received 19 votes in the AP poll, good for 35th place, but received just one vote in the coaches poll. That means ONE coach voted them in 25th place.
Part of the reasoning might be that while the Big Ten has been gone, other teams that have been playing have stepped up, especially some from the Group of 5 schools who have performed well. UCF, Cincinnati, Louisiana and Marshall are getting votes, and so are unknowns Arkansas State and Coastal Carolina, who never normally sniff a top-25 poll.
Still, this seems like something of a slight to Indiana. Going from a 12-game schedule to an eight-game conference-only schedule probably took four wins away from the Hoosiers — Western Kentucky, Ball State, Connecticut and Illinois — but there's plenty of opportunity for the Hoosiers to still make a statement in 2020.
Four of Indiana's opponents — Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan — are all ranked. A fifth Big Ten team (Minnesota) also is ranked, and Iowa and Nebraska received votes.
That's seven, with seven others — including Indiana – not receiving any recognition.
Playing this conference-only schedule is different, and I get it. I was surprised when it came out over the weekend that a lot of Indiana '"fans" thought that winning only one or two games was a possibility.
I don't see that at all.
I'm a believer in Michael Penix Jr., at quarterback, and I do think he will stay healthy this year with all that added all-muscle weight. He's got plenty of weapons at the skill positions. The defense will be better, too, with lots of all-conference caliber talent at all three levels. They're going to be fun to watch.
Not much will change between now and Oct. 24, but then it all begins. Indiana starts its season with a top-10 foe in right here in Bloomington, hosting Penn State.
They'll get to show a lot right out of the gate.
And then we'll start to see if they're a top-48 team or not.
Related stories on Indiana football
- BIG TEN RELEASES SCHEDULE: For the third time this year, the Big Ten announced its fall football schedule. CLICK HERE
- INDIANA'S 2020 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE: To view Indiana's full 2020 football schedule, CLICK HERE
- HERE'S WHAT KIRK HERBSTREIT SAID: ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit gave some thoughts on the Big Ten schedule release. CLICK HERE