Oakland has decided to follow the Butler model and play some absolute monsters in their pre-conference schedule. The debate will perpetually be is a good loss better than a bad win- I'd argue that any win is better than a loss in this day and age. But, no one can deny that a win versus a ranked team is very helpful to a mid-major in the long run.
Our boilers struggled for about 25 minutes with Oakland before putting them away. MSU barely scratched out a win. But last night, Oakland got over the hump versus Tennessee.
For those keeping score at home, that's Tennessee's second loss versus a common opponent with Purdue. Granted, one of those doesn't count, but that doesn't mean I'm forced to forget it. Tennessee is 7th, Purdue is 19th. And I understand the point about Purdue's lack of difficult opponents. But, let's look at a few other ranked team's schedules, shall we-
Villanova has only played one ranked team- they lost. They've only played one other big conference team (UCLA)- The Wildcats are 10th.
UConn skyrocketed up the charts by beating a then-undefeated MSU team (now has three losses) and followed it by beating an undefeated UK team (now has two losses). So they went from un-ranked to top-10 in two weeks. If you watched Kentucky, you can see they're a typical SEC team (read as not very good). MSU will be good, but Izzo's gotta tear 'em down first. UConn's 4th.
Illinois is 12th. Their quality wins, I guess, are against unranked, 3-loss UNC, and unranked, 5-loss Gonzaga. They beat Oakland by 11...Purdue beat them by 15. They beat SIU by 21 at home, Purdue beat SIU at a neutral (and empty) site by 19.
In all seriousness, look at the top-10. Outside of Duke's dominance of nearly all of its opponents, everyone's looked shaky at times this season...and very few teams have played more than 2 major conference opponents. Much like in football, it'd probably behoove everyone for rankings not to come out until a month into the season. But, unlike football, it'll all come out in the wash as they actually decide who's the best on the court.
Purdue's schedule is definitely detrimental, but, they Boilers have beaten their opponents by an average of around 20 points. And, their one loss comes to a team that is now receiving votes and will most-definitely be ranked in the next few weeks. I'm sure Purdue's permanent place at 18 or 19 in polls won't be affected though.
If you haven't seen this, here is one of the most-unique, if not cool traditions in college sports. The small Christian college, Taylor does something that most of the lower bowl in Mackey would like to do each game- watch in utter silence (at least for part of the contest).