2011 Record: (1-11, 0-8 in Big Ten)
Head Coach: Kevin Wilson (second year head coach)
Last Bowl Game: 2007 season Insight Bowl: lost to Oklahoma State 49-33
Stat to Cheer: had a turnover margin improvement of +5 (-2 in 2011 vs -7 in 2010; yes we are stretching here)
Stat to Fear: scored TDs on just 48.65% of red zone trips (last in B1G, 113th in Nation)
Phil Steele’s Returning Starters: (Offense: 8; Defense: 7; Specialists: 2)
Key Defensive Returnees: SS Mark Murphy (76 tackles), CB Greg Heban (62 tackles, 2 INT), DT Larry Black (47 tackles)
Key Offensive Returnees: QB Tre Roberson (3 TD, 6 INT, 426 yds rush), RB Stephen Houston (802 yds, 8 TD), WR Kofi Hughes (35 rec, 3 TD)
Kevin Wilson went from winning an average of 10.8 games per year at Oklahoma to winning just one last year as the head coach at Indiana. It’s going to take a while for Wilson to get this thing turned around. There was a lot of turnover last year in Bloomington and as a result the Hoosiers played a lot of young players. When you look at this years team there might be as little as three senior starters. That being said, because Indiana played so much youth last year they are in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten in terms of returning experience.
Last year, Indiana rode some bad luck and some bad football to eleven losses. At the start of the season they lost four games by an average of 4.75 points. Their final seven games were lost by an average of 27 points. That’s what happens to young teams that don’t have a lot of depth. They get worn down, especially when they start to get faced with tougher, deeper competition. This years Indiana squad will improve but I wouldn’t look for it to show up that much in the W-L column. At a program like Indiana, Wilson is going to need a full four years to get one cycle of his kids into the program before we really see if he’s going to be able to turn this ship around.
2012 Prediction: 3-9
Previous 2012 Previews:
Big 12: Kansas