Poll Dancing: Handle your business, Boilers.
T-minus 6 days until the 2015-2016 regular season is over...and all is pretty well. There have been a few disappointing losses, collapses a-plenty and the offense looked like its goal was to not score for long stretches during the season. And yet, our Boilers are sitting in a pretty decent position- Ranked in the teens with just two games left, two wins over top-10 teams this season and an opportunity to land a 3 seed in the dance...even though they won't finish top-4 in the conference.
When you look at the top-25, you gotta scratch your head. EVERYBODY kinda looks like Purdue. Disappointing losses strewn throughout the group, bad stretches are normal and incomplete teams are in the top-5. There have been more losses by top-10 teams this season than any year. That's why MSU is back up at the top after being left for dead in January. That's why IU is flirting with the top-10 again after dropping completely out of the rankings for a month. That's why Duke is solidly back in the teens after a horrendous stretch. Come to think of it, Purdue might be the one of only a handful of consistent commodities in the top-25.
Our Boilers were ranked all season...climbed into the top-10 only to drop a game to the white-hot Hawkeyes (not ranked at the time, later ranked in the top-10...now unranked again) that they had no business losing. But the next game is Purdue's lone dreadful loss to Illinois. It seems that one, along with our Boilers propensity to lose every other game in the second half of the B1G season has hampered growth a bit.
But now, if Purdue can beat a sub-.500 Nebraska team on the road and a Wisconsin team that resembles Wisconsin again (finally) on Senior night, they'll be 24-7 and fifth or sixth in the league...and as they enter the B1G tourney, they could be ranked nearly as high as they were back in December...Crazy.
Humans who vote have forgiven Purdue for their shortcomings a bit quicker than some of the computers...while the RPI equation is actually just catching up with the rest of the world. The end result is a BSCR of 15.8.
I predicted a seven point victory over Maryland...for a while I looked like a genius, then, as the Terps remembered Purdue can't handle a trap, I looked like a dumbass for about two minutes...in the end I looked kinda smart. I'll stick my neck out again- I think Purdue will handle their business, go 2-0 this week. Bonus picks: I think IU will go 0-2 versus Iowa (5 Seniors playing in their last game in Iowa City) and Maryland (tough matchup for the Forehead's squad). This will create a logjam three-way BT championship tie. Regardless of if this fun scenario comes to fruition, the next few weeks are gonna be fun.