Purdue continues their unlikely climb through the power rankings moving up to 26th according to Pomeroy. Still they aren’t where you would traditionally expect the outright B10 conference leader to sit. Nor are they getting the votes in the polls that you would expect (19th in the AP and 23rd in the Coaches).
What’s amazing is how much Purdue has been able to improve over the course of Big Ten play. At the beginning of conference play, Purdue’s power ranking put them at 82nd. They’ve amazingly manages to move up an almost 50 spots to 26th.
In the meantime, the season has been a real head scratcher for Illinois. For the last month, while Purdue has been winning games and moving UP the power rankings. Illinois has been losing games but tracking along with them. In fact it wasn’t until February that Purdue actually passed Illinois in the rankings. How can that be you ask? Ken Pomeroy dedicated much of a column last week in response to that very question.
Plotting the Pomeroy rankings of the two squads since Big Ten play started really highlights how incongruous Illinois’ season has been.
How could you possibly look at that chart and conclude that one team is atop the conference while the other is fighting to stay out of the cellar?
I keep waiting for the Illini to step up and start winning. Why do I have this horrible feeling it’s going to happen this Saturday in Happy Valley?