Iowa was ranked #20 in both polls last week and went 2-0 in game action, beating Indiana on the road and staging an improbable comeback at home to hold off an upset bid from Northwestern, but that meant different things to the polls this week. In the new AP Poll, Iowa actually dropped a spot from #20 to #21. In the new Coaches Poll, Iowa moved up three spots from #20 to #17.
So what gives? Iowa didn't necessarily impress in wins over largely mediocre Indiana and Northwestern teams (especially not against the latter), but it's not that common for teams to go down in the rankings after a two-win week, either. In this case, it seems to be less a slight on Iowa and more that the AP had to make room for three teams to jump ahead of Iowa after they had more impressive weeks than the Hawkeyes.
Kansas State was the big mover, going from fourth among the teams in the Others Receiving Votes category to #18 after they beat Kansas and beat Baylor on the road. Beating Kansas always seems to earn a lot of brownie points (even if this KU team isn't quite as standout as usual) and the KSU-Baylor game was a match-up of the Big 12's first and second place teams at the time. Florida State jumped from #22 to #17 after winning at Syracuse (a fringe Top 25 teams) and edging #16 Louisville in OT. And LSU moved from #21 to #19 after winning at Mississippi State and beating Auburn, both of whom were fringe Top 25 teams. So, sure, those wins are probably all a bit better than Iowa beating a slumping Indiana team on the road and narrowly escaping Northwestern.
Mind you, in the Coaches Poll, all of those teams remain ranked behind Iowa -- #17 Iowa, #18 Kansas State, #19 Florida State, #20 Louisville, and #21 LSU. Of course, the Coaches Poll has had more love for Iowa all season. Iowa briefly slipped out of the AP Poll a few times this season, but they've remained ranked in the Coaches Poll since entering it way back in Week 3. Always knew coaches (or their SIDs, or whoever's filling out these ballots) were smart cookies.
Obviously, it doesn't matter a great deal where Iowa is ranked in the Top 25 at this point. They're clearly a Top 25 team, they're continuing to win, they're avoiding damaging losses -- they're doing exactly what they need to do to earn themselves a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years. (We'll check in on the latest Bracketology for Iowa in a day or two.) Just keep on doing your thing, Hawkeyes.