The Indiana Hoosiers football program has never been considered one of the best in the country. In fact, they have an abysmal 41.83% win rate in program history, dating all the way back to 1887. It would be hard to find a program in college football that has had such a sustained history of losing than Indiana.
On the bright side, things might finally be turning around for the Hoosiers.
After an impressive 6-2 record in 2020 that was highlighted by head coach Tom Allen’s inspirational and emotional interactions with his players, Indiana is in a great spot to have another successful campaign.
WynnBET has Indiana’s projected win total for 2021 set at 7.5, with the over listed as the -275 favorite. Indiana is also listed sixth on the odds list to win the Big Ten, which is a big step up from their preseason projections in recent (and not so recent) history.
The Big Ten still belongs to Ohio State, as WynnBET has it set as the heavy -120 favorite to win the conference, but Indiana could make some noise this season and find themselves in another January bowl game.
A huge positive for the Hoosiers, is that 17 of their starters from 2020 will be returning to the program this season, including quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and linebacker Micah McFadden.
Sampson James and USC transfer Stephen Carr will compete for carries in the backfield, as Indiana will hope to find a suitable replacement for Stevie Scott III.
One of the biggest strengths for Indiana is its defensive pass rush. The Hoosiers led the Big Ten in sacks last season with 25, and Ole Miss transfer Ryder Anderson is expected to join James Head Jr. and Michael Ziemba for what will be one of the best defensive lines in the country.
With as many starters returning as Indiana has, the Hoosiers will be a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten East if they can find playmakers in the backfield as well as see some improvement from the offensive lines.
Expect them to battle with Penn State for second place in the Big Ten East, an accomplishment that many Indiana fans would be ecstatic with.