Indiana Hoosiers College Football Preview 2021: What Will Happen, Season Prediction
1993 and 1994. That was the last time Indiana football enjoyed back-to-back winning seasons before 2019 and 2020.
1945, 1946, and 1947 – and throw in 1944, too. That was the last time Indiana football enjoyed three straight winning seasons – and four straight if you count ’44.
So you’ll forgive Indiana fans if they’re a wee bit fired up about the football side of things after years of being a favorite homecoming opponent for other Big Ten programs.
There are real, realistic expectations now, because there’s real talent and experience on a team that beat Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State in the same season, and pushed Ohio State very, very hard.
And then came the Outback Bowl loss to a mediocre Ole Miss team, and now the program has to ramp things up and prove itself all over again.
Set The Indiana Hoosiers Regular Season Win Total At … 7
Here’s the problem. Michigan isn’t going to be 2-4 lousy again.
Penn State isn’t going to have its worst start in over 100 years of football again, Michigan State is going to be better, and Ohio State is still in the Big Ten East.
There’s no Wisconsin on the schedule, but there’s a trip to Iowa along with visits from Minnesota and Cincinnati.
It’s not that Indiana can’t beat some of those teams – or even most of them – but it appeared to catch lightning in a bottle in 2020, and as history has shown, it’s hard for this program to catch the same breaks and have the same production three years in a row.
How healthy is Michael Penix’s injured knee? How much better can the running game be? Can the defense come up with the same overall production, and is it possible that some of the big name Big Ten teams on the slate can still be mediocre?
Indiana will make it three winning seasons in a row. It’ll go to a bowl game for the third straight year for the first time since doing it from 1986 to 1988, and more than anything else, it’ll get to have more fun – its games matter more now.
High expectations are what football programs want. Indiana has earned that respect.