I saw on Twitter this morning that one of the many
fools media types (Gary Parrish) put up his top 25 and he had Purdue at 13th. And that's fine. It's worse than their actual ranking will be, but honestly, who cares? Gary Parrish has probably not watched a complete half of Purdue basketball this season, so really, his opinion is nothing.
The problem, of course, is that his opinion -- and those of other fools like him -- actually gets traction simply because of the size of their megaphone (platform). And then other people who haven't watched 5 minutes of Purdue take their opinions as fact. But does it matter?
We have often been ripped for implying or straight-out suggesting that Purdue gets no respect, but there are many, many instances we can point to that back us up. Purdue is simply not respected by the media. And maybe they haven't earned it...and if that was the case and the media was consistent about that sort of thing, we'd be more okay with it. But when San Diego State climbs into the top ten without beating anybody and playing in a joke of a conference, well, that's annoying.
But here's the thing: maybe it's good. Maybe it's fine. The more I think about it, the more I'm okay with Purdue's ranking remaining below where it probably should be. What's the advantage of being in the top 5? The chance at being #1? Well, yes, that would be very cool and is something we'd love to see, not just as fans, but also for guys like JJ and E'Twaun and Matt Painter. They've worked hard and that would be a terrific mini-culmination for them.
Another perk or side effect of getting into the top 5 and maybe getting to #1 is the positive impact it could possibly have on recruiting. But the thing is, it'll still be Purdue, and what I mean by that is that they'll always be Purdue and they won't be Kentucky or IU or Duke. If a kid wants to go to a name school like those (and I include IU for kids who grew up in southern Indiana), then that's what they want. However, I do think there could be some positive impact on recruiting and it certainly can't hurt Matt Painter to recruit if he's able to say his team has been #1 at some point.
Okay, but aside from those items, what does it do? Well, it gets a bigger target on Purdue. And it also sets them up for a greater fall. Sure, Michigan State can lose five games and still be ranked by guys like Parrish (oh, and so can four loss Minnesota, who is 1-3 in conference), but can you imagine where Purdue would be ranked if they had five losses?? Answer: they wouldn't be ranked the rest of the season. By anyone.
If Purdue was grudgingly put into the top 5 by voters and media, they'd simply be waiting for them to lose one game and then they'd drop them back into the teens. Just like after Purdue's lone loss this year. That loss, by the way, was actually a great thing for this team. We were worried about it at the time, of course, but the Boilers have responded and having one loss has been great. Think about it: If Purdue was 16-0 right now, they'd have to be ranked very highly, thus having more attention and more aggravating remarks about "overachieving" and "despite not having Robbie Hummel," etc. And we'd all be more annoyed than anything. And clowns like Parrish and Katz would be eagerly awaiting a Purdue loss to give the "I told you so" smirks. Because there's nothing more -- nothing -- that these guys want than to be right.
So I'm good with Purdue hovering around #10-15 all season, even if it's worse than they deserve to be ranked. Let everyone dismiss them. Let everybody think that teams coincidentally play "sloppy" against Purdue -- rather than it being Purdue's defense making them sloppy. Let everyone think that the season really was over in mid-October.