IU has a lot of catching up to do. And this year is expected to be a step forward, at least in Bloomington. The death of Coach Hoeppner aside, the team still is talented and should have a shot at winning 6 games and qualifying for the post-season. Here is my prediction for what could be a fall to remember in Bloomington.
The key will be for the Hoosiers to win the games they are supposed to win. No hiccups like last year against Minnesota -- a 63-26 loss in Minneapolis. The Hoosiers were 5-4, one game away from the all-important 6th win, and would not get it. There also has to be some defense this year. Kellen Lewis and James Hardy will put a lot of points on the board, but the Hoosiers have to be able to hold them now and then.
- Week 1 IU v. Indiana State: The game is in Bloomington and Indiana State isn't even a Division 1A team. They are a D-1AA team, a member of the Gateway Conference. This game should be a laugher. The Sycamores won one game last year. They lost to Purdue that year 60-35. This game will be emotional, Hoep will be honored before the game. IU 42, ISU 17
- Week 2 IU v. Western Michigan: The Hoosiers begin their annual tour of the Mid-American Conference. This one will be tougher. It is on the road, and Western Michigan is coming off an 8-5 season. IU could have an advantage in this game. WMU plays #3 West Virginia on the road in its opener. That should be a thorough thrashing that could leave them in the dumps. Or it could be a rallying cry -- the team is expected to be among the best in the conference. WMU is experienced with 15 seniors, but IU beat this team in Bloomington last year. I'll give the edge to the Hoosiers, but it's a tight game. The defense will have to come to play. IU 24, WMU 21.
- Week 3 IU v. Akron: The Hoosiers are 2-0, and back at home after a big win against Western Michigan. The Zips can play too. But they will stumble into Bloomington after an expected beat down in Columbus against Ohio State. Akron was 5-7 last year will have 15 seniors and any Michigan fan will tell you they can play football in Ohio. The Hoosiers should win this game by a decent margin. IU 28, Akron 10.
Conference season is next...