The 2018 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Indiana Hoosiers.
No. 58: Indiana Hoosiers
Spring Practice Starts: March 3
Spring Game: April 14
Indiana Hoosiers Spring Status
The Hoosiers were close to coming up with a bowl season, losing four games by eight points or fewer and needing just one extra victory to go bowling.
Don’t gag away the 42-39 game to Maryland, and the Hoosiers go to their third straight bowl game.
This is Tom Allen’s gig now and his team after taking over under tough circumstances, but he’s going to have some rebuilding to do.
He’s losing WR Simmie Cobbs, a great tight end in Ian Thomas, and eight starters off a solid defense with LB Tegray Scales and CB Rashard Fant almost impossible to replace.
Is Indiana football now in a place where a bowl game is supposed to be a given? Maybe, but it’ll take a good offseason to get there.
Indiana Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Linebacker. The defensive front needs some help, too, but Scales was special and Chris Covington was terrific. Throw in the loss of Dameon Willis, and it’s going to be a battle for the three spots.
Undersized Marcelino Ball is back from a knee injury, but he’ll be a statistical star at one of the outside spots. 230-pound Reakwon Jones should bring a little thump. After those two, a lot of hope will go into the recruiting class.
Indiana Biggest Issue
The passing game has to be more explosive. The Hoosiers averaged 13.5 yards per completion two years ago, and 14.2 yards per grab in 2015. Last year? Just 10.4 yards per catch. Peyton Ramsey was more accurate than Richard Lagow, but he didn’t push the ball down the field enough. Not having Cobbs or Thomas around anymore isn’t helping the problem.
Will freshman Michael Penix Jr. be able to step in and push Ramsey? Can Ramsey do more? The quarterbacks need to be good, and the receivers have to be better.
Indiana Biggest Positive
The rushing production is there. Morgan Ellison is a big back who ran for just 704 yards and six scores, but he can do more with more work. In all – throwing in Ramsey’s rushing ability – everyone who gained a positive rushing yard last season returns.
Really, Why Are The Indiana Hoosiers Ranked Here?
It’ll be tough for the Hoosiers to be better, needing to immediately reload the defense while finding more pop on offense. The defensive back seven has the most work to do for a defense that turned in a nice 2017, but if the offense is rocking again – like it did in the Kevin Wilson era – the problems on the other side can be glossed over.