An Incredibly Early Look at IU’s Football Schedule
This week the Big Ten Network announced their primetime football schedule. Indiana will host three games under the lights- Indiana St. (8/29), Navy (9/7), and Missouri (9/21). Looking at the press release made me think about how the Hoosiers schedule is shaping up and what the season will hold for them. So no better time to to look ahead at college football than early May.
Coach Kevin Wilson is in his third year at IU. He made some improvements in the program from the first year to the second. Now with eight home games on the horizon can the Hoosiers make the most of it.
Indiana will play their first five games at home. Opening on a Thursday night in their primetime match up with ISU. They follow that up with Navy the following weekend again at night. Both of these teams are solid but should be victories for IU (2-0). Bowling Green is next up. Last season IU had an opportunity to get to 3-0 when another MAC school in Ball State came calling. The Cardinals won a thriller with a last second field goal. BGSU is not as good as Ball State and the Hoosiers are improved. IU wins this one taking another step forward (3-0). Getting off to a good start in the non-conference is key as the Big Ten schedule is as tough as ever.
Week four brings a major test to Bloomington. Missouri comes calling in the third non-conference primetime game. The Tigers are the first BCS conference opponent for IU. Recently moving to the SEC from the Big XII, Missouri is no stranger to big boy football. The 8:00 PM kickoff and 3-0 start gives IU a lot of energy, but I think Mizzou gets this one (3-1).
The Big Ten schedule opens with Penn State at home. The Nittany Lions were a surprising team last season. This season will be even tougher for PSU. Here comes the first big win of 2013 for Indiana. The Hoosiers beat Penn State for the first time (4-1).
The next two weekends the Hoosiers will spend in Michigan. First up is Michigan St. This game is always a tough one for IU. They play for the Old Brass Spitoon and this time it stays in East Lansing (4-2). A trip to Michigan comes the following week. Indiana has not beaten Michigan since I was in pre-school in 1987. It doesn’t change this year (4-3).
After a bye week comes the biggest two week stretch of the conference season. Homecoming sees Minnesota at Memorial Stadium. The Gophers have improved and find themselves in a similar position as IU. This is very much a swing game for both squads. Indiana has been very good of late on Homecoming and they find a way to get a win here (5-3). Illinois comes to town the next week. The Illini really struggled last year. The Hoosiers won in Champaign last season and will continue their win streak in this border war (6-3, yes I know but at least I’m explaining how I got to this point).
The toughest two game road trip is up next. Wisconsin and Ohio State have owned the Hoosiers. I don’t see that changing. Even with a new coach, Wisconsin will line up that huge offensive line and run all over Indiana. Urban Meyer has a ton of talent in Columbus and should have an even better team than his 12-0 squad last year. These are both losses (6-5).
The Old Oaken Bucket game closes the season as always. Purdue will come to The Rock on Thanksgiving weekend. Under new coach Darrell Hazell there are a lot of changes in West Lafayette. It will be similar to Coach Wilson’s first year in Bloomington. Changing the way things are done in the program and cleaning up attitudes and work ethics. IU will get the Bucket back this year. Wilson gets his first win in the rivalry and in doing so puts IU into a bowl game with a 7-5 record.
It is only May and things can change, but after this I believe all Hoosier football fans will be clearing their calendars for a late December bowl game. IU will use everything that comes along with a bowl trip to continue progressing the program. This team is definitely on the upswing.