The Illinois Fighting Illini have nearly entirely disappeared from the Top 25 USAToday / Coaches Poll while the Big Ten front runner, Ohio State, finds itself slipping out of the top five.
The latest numbers of the USAToday / Coaches Poll has the once-vaunted Ohio St. Buckeyes (13-2) falling from No. 2 to No. 7 after their New Years Eve loss to the No. 12 Indiana Hoosiers (13-1). Only four undefeated teams remain in the Coaches Poll Top 25, led by the No. 1 Syracuse Orange (15-0).
Ohio St. is not the only team sliding big in the rankings. In addition to the Louisville Cardinals (12-2) falling from No. 4 to No. 10, the Illinois Fighting Illini (12-3) fell from a 27th-best 36 points last week to a nearly-forgotten 1 point in the first week of 2012.
The Illini have lost three of their last five games, falling from 10-0 to 12-3. Once ranked as high as No. 19 in the Coaches Poll, the Illlini will begin 2012 with a tour of the Big Ten Conference, hoping to regain their recent prowess.