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Poll watch: Where IU landed in final, early top 25

A look back and a peek into the future

Indiana v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Outback Bowl loss may have pushed Indiana out of the top 10, but the Hoosiers still managed to put a memorable final stamp on their run in the Associated Press poll this season.

In the AP’s final 2020 top 25 published Tuesday, IU landed at No. 12 and extended its streak of poll appearances to a program-record 10 consecutive weeks. For the Hoosiers, this marks the first time since 1988 that they are ranked in the final Associated Press poll. It’s also their highest finish since appearing at No. 4 in the last poll of the 1967 season.

This is only the sixth time in school history that Indiana has closed the season ranked inside the AP’s top 25. Here’s how it compares to previous finishes:

  • 2020: 12
  • 1988: 20
  • 1979: 19
  • 1967: 4
  • 1946: 20
  • 1945: 4

IU had been ranked No. 7 in the AP poll entering the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl. The Hoosiers are one of four Big Ten teams to finish the season in the rankings, joining No. 2 Ohio State, No. 10 Northwestern and No. 16 Iowa.

Looking ahead...

It’s been 52 years since Indiana last appeared in the AP’s preseason poll. But with so many playmakers planning to return in 2021, that drought is on track to end.

Where will the Hoosiers ultimately land? Good question! Although we won’t know for sure until *crosses fingers* August, a couple media outlets offered a sneak peek on Tuesday.

In ESPN’s Way Too Early Top 25, IU landed at No. 10 — one spot ahead of Cincinnati, which will travel to Bloomington in September, and two spots in front of Iowa, which is scheduled to host Indiana in next season’s opener. According to ESPN, “It seems as if Tom Allen is only getting started.”

Fox Sports’ Joel Klatt also offered a glimpse at his top 10 teams for 2021, ranking Indiana seventh.

Here’s a look back at how the final AP Top 25 shook out, and also how ESPN expects the poll to look in seven months:


  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Clemson
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Georgia
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Iowa State
  10. Northwestern
  11. BYU
  12. Indiana
  13. Florida
  14. Coastal Carolina
  15. Louisiana-Lafayette
  16. Iowa
  17. Liberty
  18. North Carolina
  19. Texas
  20. Oklahoma State
  21. USC
  22. Miami
  23. Ball State
  24. San Jose State
  25. Buffalo


  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Georgia
  5. Ohio State
  6. Texas A&M
  7. North Carolina
  8. Iowa State
  9. USC
  10. Indiana
  11. Cincinnati
  12. Iowa
  13. Oregon
  14. Washington
  15. Notre Dame
  16. Florida
  17. Wisconsin
  18. Ole Miss
  19. Louisiana-Lafayette
  20. LSU
  21. Texas
  22. Penn State
  23. Coastal Carolina
  24. Liberty
  25. Miami