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Sep 7, 2013; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini players celebrate after beating the Cincinnati Bearcats 45-17 at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football Roundtable: Are the Illini Close to Breaking the AP Top 25?

The staff of Writing Illini takes a look at the recent success of the Illinois Fighting Illini to start the 2013 season. During the offseason, no one thought Illinois would flirt with the Top 25 rankings, but it has all but become a reality. The question is: how soon will the Illini break into the AP Top 25?

Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan: Yes, in short, they are close to making an appearance in the AP Top 25. They are already being recognized for their early season success by receiving 9 votes after their drubbing of Cincinnati, and those votes land them in the 34th spot in the country according to the AP Voters. Should Illinois knock off the AP #19 Washington Huskies this weekend, they will surely make their debut in the AP Top 25 next week.

Ricky: Every assumes that a win over the #19 Washington Huskies will boost the Illini into the AP Top 25, but I wonder if they can soon with a loss against the Huskies. I say, Yes. We are all hoping Illinois wins this weekend, but if they lose close, they could still get into the Top 25 sooner rather than later.

So, in short, a win gets them into the rankings, but a loss wouldn’t kill them.

Rees: Yes, the Illini are close to breaking the AP top 25. The blowout win versus the Bearcats shot them up the rankings. They probably started in the triple digits in rankings and they are looked at as a top 35 team. People need to calm down before they get their hearts broke with Illini football. Remember, Illinois started 6-0 a couple of years ago and finished 7-6.

Austin: The Illini, a shocking 2-0, are already receiving votes in the AP and USA Today Coaches Poll. According to my count, they are mid-to-late thirties, showing much more skill than what was expected from this team. That said, the Illini are right in the mix to get in the polls, and a win against Washington this weekend would, in my opinion, vault them into the Top 25. This team has shown that when they are playing well, they can score at will.  Their defense has shore up the issues from week 1. The big test will be this weekend against a ranked team. I could honestly see them as a #22 team with a win this weekend.

What do you think, Illini Nation? Are the Illini close to breaking the AP Top 25?

The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer along with staff writers, Austin Jabs, Rees Woodcock, and Ryan Kraemer.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.

Follow Rees on Twitter @ReesISMe.

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Tags: AP Top 25 Football Illinois Fighting Illini

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