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Purdue Ranked #24 in Sports Illustrated’s “Way Too Early” Top 25

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Yes! In football!

NCAA Football: Indiana at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

After Indiana barely scrapped into the AP top 25 for one week this past season the streak of “longest time since being ranked” for a Power 5 conference team passed from the Hoosiers to Purdue. Our single week in 2007 is the only time we have been ranked since 2005, but that could change in 2020. Sports Illustrated seems to think that the Boilers might even start the year in the top 25:

24. Purdue

Here’s a stat to remember: 24 of the Boilermakers’ 39 touchdowns in 2019 were scored by freshmen. Their leading rusher, receiver, passer and sacker were all freshmen. And their best player, multipurpose threat Rondale Moore, only played four games. After an injury-riddled season, Jeff Brohm has all the pieces for a bounce-back year and a chance to challenge Minnesota and Wisconsin in the Big Ten West. But the non-conference schedule offers no guaranteed wins (Memphis, Air Force, at Boston College).

That’s a very, very big leap, but with a pair of top 25 recruiting classes, the return of Rondale Moore, David Bell, and George Karlaftis, plus another year of growth on the lines it is possible.

The non-conference slate is a rough one, to be sure. As is the overall slate. Purdue’s 2020 schedule includes games against several teams in SI’s top 25, including #11 Minnesota, #13 Wisconsin, #17 Memphis, and #20 Michigan. This doesn’t include #3 Ohio State or #5 Penn State (assuming they don’t get a deserved bowl ban) as a Big Ten title game opponent.

233 days until kickoff.