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Predicting the Big Ten Conference Season

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The Hoosiers start the conference season at Nebraska this evening. But let's first gauge the staff on their game by game predictions.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Hoosiers are opening up conference season tonight and the Crimson Quarry staff appears to be pretty optimistic about our chances in conference, though you'll see that some of us aren't exactly certain why we keep coming out optimists. Still, the predictions are mostly positive as you'll see below.

@Nebraska

Staff Predictions: 5 wins 1 loss

Kick: Win, probably by double digits. The clock has struck midnight in Lincoln and last year’s sweep will be fresh in Indiana’s minds. I think how they handle this game sets the tone for the whole season. They can’t lose to bad teams anymore, and Nebraska is a bad team.

@Michigan St.

Staff Predictions: 5 losses 1 win

Adam: Izzo's squad puts the clamps on IU's three point shooting and exposes our weakness inside once again, while the young players get rattled by the Izzone.

David: Indiana gets a big conference win against Tom Crean's mentor to set up a mini-run for the Hoosiers in the toughest part of their B1G schedule.

Ohio State

Staff Predictions: 4 wins 2 losses

Adam: The Bucks pull away early and a late IU run makes it interesting. But it will be too much to overcome.

AJ: Ohio State has nearly as bad post problems as we do. They run almost exclusively a zone defense and are very vulnerable to the outside shot. They won't rebound like they should and the Hoosiers will hit from three. Unless something changes in the next week, IU wins this by at least two possessions.

Penn St.

Staff Predictions: 6 wins

Ben: This will be a revenge game for the worst loss I have ever seen.

@Illinois

Staff Prediction: 6 losses

Kick: FUN FACT: Danville High School has produced two legends: John Groce and me.

AJ: You forgot Travis Carroll.

Ben: Either way, their stupid spaceship arena always gives us problems.

Maryland

Staff Predictions: 3 wins 3 losses

Adam: My pick for second place in the B1G. The newcomers show up in Assembly Hall and roll.

AJ: After last night's win at Michigan State I'm actually more down on the Terps than many. It was ugly. Dez Wells is out of control and a strong atmosphere took them off their game. It will be a battle, but I think the Hoosiers prevail. My biggest concern is that they've already got two solid road wins under their belt. So they can obviously battle through that adversity.

@Ohio State

Staff Predictions: 1 win 5 losses

Adam: The Hoosiers fire back and break through for their biggest win of the season with red hot shooting in a building where they've had success before.

David: Losing to Ohio State will never be as infuriating as it was when Aaron Craft was still around.

@Purdue

Staff Predictions: 6 wins

Ben: Haas and Hammons aren't enough to overcome our 15 three-pointers in Mackey.

AJ: I considered this a loss to start the year, but after seeing how lackluster the Boilers truly are I'm flipping my vote to a win. They play the most through the post than any other power 5 conference team, but if you look at the stat lines you wouldn't know it. The only thing AJ Hammons does better than disappointing fans is getting into foul trouble.

Rutgers

Staff Predictions: 6 wins

AJ: No one had a single thing to say about this game. I'm struggling to come up with something off the top of my head. I guess as a former Seton Hall student I should despise these guys, but it is more of a pity thing. Oh well, I guess better dead than red. If we lose this game I expect Tom Crean to do the honorable thing and commit seppuku.

@WIsconsin

Staff Predictions; 6 losses

David: Bo Ryan continues to use fundamentals and slow pace to make even the most fun of teams into unwatchable garbage while at the Kohl Center.

Michigan

Staff Predictions: 6 wins

David: In what has turned out to be a surprisingly rough season for John Beilein and company, good Michigan shows up in Bloomington. But it isn't enough to overcome the Hoosiers at home.

@Maryland

Staff Predictions: 6 losses

Adam: The Terps get a last second jumper to beat a frisky Indiana squad in College Park.

AJ: Not convinced that the Hoosiers yet have what it takes to go on the road against a ranked opponent and coming out smelling like roses. This may change in the near future but even if the defense shows some improvement beating this Maryland squad on the road will be a major challenge.

Minnesota

Staff Predictions: 6 wins

Ben: Two teams that love to push the tempo and run with each other make for the most entertaining game of the year.

Adam: IU follows up a tough loss with a tough win against a strong Gophers team. Hanner has a career game.

Purdue

Staff Predictions: 5 wins 1 loss

Ben: Inexplicable late season Assembly Hall loss to a bad team that just happens to be our rivals.

David: It feels like decades since Indiana used to look up to Hummel, Moore and Johnson and envy the sustained success of the program in West Lafayette.

@Rutgers

Staff Predictions: 5 wins and 1 loss (kinda)

Kick: I can't predict which one we're losing, but between this game, the upcoming Northwestern game and the Purdue game previously, we're losing one of them. Prepare for it now.

Ben: We escape the RAC with a gutsy victory on same late Yogi/Troy heroics.

@Northwestern

Staff Predictions: 6 wins (kinda)

Kick: See above

AJ: Good lord what an awful stretch of scheduling. Purdue, Rutgers and Northwestern. If we don't get all three then something is wrong. As much as we have a tendency to play down to competition be prepared for some god awful basketball.

Iowa

Staff Predictions: 6 wins

Ben: Fran gets ejected half way through the second half.

David: Iowa simply doesn't have the personnel to keep up with IU's fire power.

Michigan St.

Staff Predictions: 1 win 5 losses

Ben: Izzo's teams always get better as the season progresses.

Adam: It's hard to tell how the Spartans will fare this far into the future, but this game seems like an end-of-season letdown after a 5 game winning streak.

Conference Record

Aggregate Predictions: 11-6-1

Kick: 11-7. I struggle to see Indiana getting to 11 wins when looking at things holistically, but it's the number that keeps coming up when I pick the games. It's what I had before the year and it's what I have now, but the path is a little different than before. The league is definitely down, and some teams (Nebraska, Michigan) have looked like non-contenders through the majority of their non-conference slate after being slated to finish in the top half of the league. Those were two games I originally thought Indiana would struggle in that I now see as must-wins. It's gonna be a weird ass year, period.

Adam: 11-7

David: 12-6

Eric: 11-7. I could see us winning a few more, but I expect we might drop a couple that I didn't forecast as well. Such is the nature of the Big Ten.

Ben: I foresee a 10-8 record.

AJ: 11-7. IU is in a really weird spot. They're probably only the 6th or so best team in the conference, but with unbalanced schedules they have a great opportunity to finish in the top 3. Even Pomeroy's computer doesn't quite know what to think. He has them as favored in 11 of their 18 games, but the predicted record is only 9-9. Certainly, if IU wins all the games they should and gets 1 or 2 of the ones where they're the slightest of dogs (like tonight at Nebraska), this could actually be a very special season for the Hoosiers. 13 wins is not out of the question. But neither is 10 losses.