Worrying about rankings about equivalent to me about only valuing offense on players. Worry about a competing team on the floor.
Yep. Not to mention perception is reality in the eyes of prospective recruits.Nobody who worries about rankings is A) not worried about a competing team on the floor, too, or B) worried about rankings MORE than a competing team on the floor. I suppose what you're saying might be relevant if you were talking to the players, but we're fans, man!
As far as my reasoning for why rankings matter, entire generations of impressionable young college sports fans and future athletes grow up literally only getting exposure to teams in the top 25. For one, it still carries a very real status symbol. However, there are also multiple news sources or apps that filter games and results by top 25 teams' games only. It's good exposure for the program! Will we look back and think of how important our January 4th AP poll ranking was in 2021? Obviously not. However, for now, it's a nice little reward for our team's good play and shows respect on behalf of the national college basketball world. I, for one, also spend a lot of time talking smack with my non-Illini friends, and I would really enjoy having a single-digit number next to our names when we play Iowa on January 29th and I'm in Iowa City to watch it!