Poll Dancing: Are we not entertained?
My apologies- due to work demands, I won't be able to post a QuickCast this week...and next week might be a stretch as well. But, I wanted to quickly review this week's polls and talk about the state of things.
Wins over struggling opponents generally don't earn teams much this time of year; not in the eyes of human polls nor within the algorithms that create the computer rankings. BUT, thrashing those lowly opponents do get some attention. By beating Wisconsin at home and Iowa on the road by nearly 30 points each, Matty's boys stood pat this week.
Their Boiled Sports Composite Ranking holds at 3.6. Now, this Purdue team, and this fanbase needs to deal with unfamiliar territory; the national catbird's seat. Both 'Nova and Virginia continue to handle their business like our Boilers. And at the same time Duke is finding its rhythm along with a few other teams that stubbed their toes in the last month. Something will give, eventually as the cream of the college basketball world seems to all continue to rise.
The Forces of Good welcome Coach Beilein's Wolverines to Mackey Arena in a mere three days. As I said on Twitter, it feels like Matty's boys owe UM a whipping just for making it such a close contest in Crisler a few weeks ago; At least that's what I'm telling myself.
Finding motivation and psychological triggers has to be tough for Matty and co. But as we've talked about for months, the steadiness and professionalism of this team is its strength. The old Joe Tillerism of never too high, never too low might best describe this Senior class' strength. And teams like this are made for times like these...or maybe the inverse.
Beating UM, then IU at Ass. Hall in the next seven days will go a long way in helping Purdue's seed in March. It would also put in truly elite company by any measure. Over 60 straight days and 17-straight games without losing is something to write home about...but it's not at all the goal of these Boilers.
What I'm trying to say is winning matters, but losing isn't the end of the world. Make no mistake, getting revenge on Purdue would make Wagner's month...and beating the hated Boilers would make Archie a bit of a folk hero among the IU faithful. Purdue has a LARGE target on their collective back, and I believe they know it.
The thought of my Boilers peaking too early is in my head on a daily basis, if I'm completely honest...I continue to try to remind myself that what I'm witnessing is special, no matter what happens in March or April. But that doesn't help me keep the euphoria in place. There's a bigger prize that these players want a ton more than even we the die-hards can imagine...make no mistake about that; the squad knows.