Monday, September 7, 2009

Prediction adjustments following Week 1

After watching the Hoosiers get an unconvincing win in Week 1 and seeing some actual game action, I want to make some adjustments to the season prediction.

I was correct in saying the IU-Eastern Kentucky game would be close. Looking ahead to Week 2 against Western Michigan, after predicting a loss at first, I think now the Hoosiers could get a win. The Broncos were routed by Michigan on Saturday, 31-7. Western Michigan's offense never got started and scored its only points late in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines offense ran up nearly 300 yards total offense in the first half.

That is encouraging for the Hoosiers, who had trouble stopping the EKU pistol offense last week. If the defense can contain the Broncos and the offense can get going, WMU may fall to 0-2 on Saturday.

Unfortunately, after watching Michigan, I don't think the Hoosiers are going to break the losing streak in the Big House this year. Michigan looked and played like the West Virginia teams coach Rich Rodriguez built. The Michigan offense looks as if it would overwhelm the Hoosiers defense.

Penn State smoked Akron on Saturday as well, making me more confident the Hoosiers should be favored to win their game there. And surprisingly, Virginia lost to William and Mary 26-14, creating more confidence that expected loss could turn to a win.

I still can't say the Hoosiers' record will improve over the 4-8 record I predicted. A win at Virginia would push the record to 5-7, but Purdue looked sharp in its win over Toledo, 52-31, leading me to wonder whether that win will come to end the season.

Week 1 inspired some confidence in the Hoosiers prospects this season, but it also issued some more challenges. Ultimately, it should not change the outcome: 4-8 is still the expectation.

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