Obviously, this is a different task in football than in basketball. First, IU won only 39 games from 2000-2009, meaning that a top 10 list will include more than a quarter of IU's wins. While IU is far from a historical power in football, the Hoosiers' .333 winning percentage from 2000-2009 was the worst since the 1950s. Still, in between all of the losses, there were some fun moments for IU. As before, I welcome your disagreements and additions in the comments:
10. October 12, 2002: Indiana 32, Wisconsin 29 (Bloomington): In Gerry Dinardo's second Big Ten game at IU, the Hoosiers overcame a 29-10 third quarter deficit and upset Wisconsin for the second consecutive year. Gibran Hamdan passed for 310 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win. Unfortunately for Dinardo, after his 1-1 Big Ten start, he won only two of his final 22 Big Ten games as IU's coach.
Gibran Hamdan, shown later with the Buffalo Bills, proved his NFL worthiness against the Badgers. (via www1.pictures.zimbio.com)
9. September 17, 2005: Indiana 38 Kentucky 14 (Bloomington): In the last (to date) meeting in the old Bourbon Barrel rivalry, IU ended a 1-9 skid against the Wildcats with a beatdown that left the Hoosiers with an 18-17-1 lead in the series. Blake Powers threw 4 touchdown passes and Chris Taylor ran for 176 yards.
Powers and Taylor led the Hoosiers to a win over the hated Wildcats. (via graphics.fansonly.com)
8. October 7, 2006: Indiana 34, Illinois 32 (Champaign): The 2006 Illini were terrible, but the Hoosiers had not won at Champaign's Memorial Stadium since 1979. After IU fell behind 25-7, coach Terry Hoeppner exhorted the Hoosiers to come back, and they did, taking the lead at the final gun with an Austin Starr field goal.
Austin Starr defeated Illinois with one of his mant clutch kicks. (via assets.espn.go.com)
7. September 29, 2007: Indiana 38, Iowa 20 (Iowa City): In one of the strangest games in IU history, the Hoosiers jumped out to a 21-0 lead, thanks in no small part to a long fumble return by Kellen Lewis. Lewis justifiably was flagged for his flip into the end zone, but it was the most indelible image of a memorable day.
Kellen Lewis flips into the end zone during IU's win at Iowa. (via www.heraldtimesonline.com)
6. October 28, 2006: Indiana 46, Michigan State 21 (Bloomington): this particular Michigan State team, in the final days of the John L. Smith era, was a mess, but this game makes the cut because of the sheer enjoyment. I don't recall IU ever putting as thorough a beatdown on a Big Ten team. IU spotted the Spartans a 7-0 lead but led 44-7 before a couple of garbage time TDs by MSU.
James Hardy scored 4 touchdowns in a blowout win over Michigan State. (via blog.cleveland.com)
5. October 14, 2006: Indiana 31, Iowa 28 (Bloomington): The Hoosiers trailed the then 15th-ranked Hawkeyes 21-7 before a furious comeback. James Hardy caught three touchdown passes from Kellen Lewis in the win, which game only a week after the last second win at Illinois.
One of three TDs by James Hardy (via images.blackheartgoldpants.com)
4. October 6, 2001: Indiana 63, Wisconsin 32 (Madison): The Hoosiers jumped out to an improbable 35-0 first quarter lead and a season that began with a home loss to Utah suddenly got interesting, although it was too little, too late for Cam Cameron. I was so thoroughly disillusioned by Cam-ball that when I saw that score update while watching a game in a different stadium, I said to my friend: "I guarantee that they flipped that score. And if they didn't, we'll still blow it." Thanks to 6 touchdowns by Levron Williams, the Hoosiers rolled over Wisconsin, the first win over the Badgers since 1992.
Antwaan Randle El against the Badgers. (via images.usatoday.com)
3. November 24, 2001: Indiana 13, Purdue 7 (Bloomington): On a rain-soaked field in Bloomington, IU's defense played well and the offense was good enough, and Cam Cameron, destined for firing, salvaged a bit of pride by winning the Old Oaken Bucket for the first time in five years. While Cameron's teams were known as all-offense, no-defense, a goal line stand in the fourth quarter saved the day.
Few players have deserved it more, Antwaan. (via home.flash.net)
2. September 11, 2004: Indiana 30, Oregon 24 (Eugene): Few expected much to come from IU's trip to the Pacific Northwest, but IU took advantage of Duck turnovers to build a 24-0 lead and held on, barely, to win. The Hoosiers remain the only Big Ten team to win there in the last 30 years, and one of only two non-conference teams (Boise State in 2008 is the other) to win in Eugene in the last 15 years.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the Hoosiers schocked the college football world. (via graphics.fansonly.com)
1. November 17, 2007: Indiana 27, Purdue 24 (Bloomington): How is it possible that I wouldn't want to watch the #1 game on my list? Given the implications, bowl eligibility for the first time in 13 years, I couldn't list any game higher than this one, but I'm still annoyed that IU, at home, with everything on the line, had a mediocre Purdue team down 24-3 and almost blew it. Still, Austin Starr won yet another game with his leg, and the Hoosiers were bowl-bound for the first time since 1993.
Austin Starr celebrates his game-winner. (via graphics.fansonly.com)
So, that's it. I hope that the decade of the 2010s is kinder than the last one, but the Hoosiers still provided some memories. Again, I welcome any criticism, corrections, or additions.
Honorable mention:October 25, 2008: Indiana 21, Northwestern 19 (Bloomington); November 10, 2001: Indiana 37, Michigan State 28 (East Lansing); October 30, 2004: Indiana 30, Minnesota 21 (Bloomington).