It is no surprise that Purdue is not ranked in the USA Today preseason coaches poll, but our fears of a difficult schedule are only confirmed with the release of the poll. Here is the full top 25:
Yikes. From seeing the full poll Purdue already has games against ranked teams in Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Ohio State. Northern Illinois, Michigan State, and Cincinnati also appear in the "Others Receiving Votes" category. Indiana, with a good start, can receive votes eventually (don't laugh) and it is very likely that Indiana State will be int he FCS top 25. They were just outside of last year's final top 25.
It is not like Purdue is playing fringe Top 25 teams, either. No. 2 Ohio State comes to their personal House of Horrors in Ross-Ade Stadium November 2. No. 11 Notre Dame comes on September 14 in Darrell Hazell's first marquee game. No. 18 Nebraska comes to Purdue on my birthday, October 12, for their first visit as a member of the Big Ten. Purdue also goes to No. 23 Wisconsin a week later.
In the Other's receiving votes category Michigan State was 28th with 89 votes, Norhtern Illinois was 38th with 19 votes, and Cincinnati was 43rd with 3 votes.
In total, seven of Purdue's first eight opponents are either ranked or received votes in the poll, with Indiana State being the lone exception.