As we trudge on through the dead zone of the college sports news cycle, we here at TCQ decided to enter our predictions for the coming Hoosiers football season. This isn't something we take lightly, people. At no point did any of the writers drink half of a bottle of scotch and convince themselves that "we'll totally beat Ohio State because we're just due, you know?"
But before we get into
amateur hour our predictions, what are the people who somehow get paid for their opinion on sports experts saying? Athlon Sports is saying 5-7 (2-6) for the Cream and Crimson, good for sixth in the division. That struck me, and many others, as pretty low. All jokes aside, a 2-6 conference record would represent a one game backslide from last season and I can't buy this team being worse than last year. So with that in mind, LET'S GET TO THE BEEF.
The Indiana State Sycamores v. YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS!
Best Case: We rewrite history.
Worst Case: The season becomes history on day one.
TCQ, on average, Says: W, 47 - 15
What AJ said: "Hoosiers win 52-20. Tevin Coleman has a coming out party as the most explosive part of the Hoosiers offense. In the meantime the defense looks pretty good shutting down the Sycamores until the wee hours of the game when Indiana State tacks on an extra touchdown and field goal. "
What Ben said: "Win, 49-21. Tevin Coleman begins his dark horse Heisman campaign by rushing for two touchdowns and catching two more."
What C4B said: "Win, but not 73-35 levels of victory. Probably 56-14 if we've developed a defense."
What Kick said: "Hoosiers win, 31-3. Everyone spends the rest of the week concerned that we didn't score more and being unable to believe the defense has really started to come around. Because, as Hoosier football fans, we simply can't enjoy anything. Tevin Coleman jukes a kid so badly that he leaves the Sycamores at halftime to go on a journey of self-discovery through Asia."
YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS! v. the Bowling Green Falcons
Best Case: BGU's regents realize the terrible mistake they made in not having their mascot be an ACTUAL GREEN FALCON THAT CAN BOWL and correct it in time for this amazing mascot to distract the masses as Nate Sudfeld commits war crimes on the field.
Worst Case: There's a bus crash. No, not the team bus. Any bus. It's not all about football, guys. Have a heart.
TCQ, on average, Says: W, 36 - 24.
What AJ (1-0) said: "Hoosiers win 32 - 17. Not quite as explosive as an offense as we were expecting after game one, the Bowling Green defense proves they're better than they let on last year. Still, there are just too many options for Indiana and they overwhelm the mid-major defense. "
What Ben (1-0) said: "Win, 38-17. The Falcons have a new head coach, but with two weeks for the Hoosiers to prepare, the result stays the same as last year. Kevin Wilson dedicates the victory to Curt Miller, who coached at both schools."
What C4B (1-0) said: "Win, hopefully by a solid couple of touchdowns."
What Kick (1-0) said: "Hoosiers win, 39-38. The typical "go on the road against an inferior team and nearly get beat" game for IU. Armchair coaches in sports bars across Bloomington sit back and go 'Tried to tell y'all they ain't any good,' as BG takes the lead in the 4th quarter."
YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS! v. the Missouri Tigers
Best Case: We beat a decent team on the road for the first time in school history, probably.
Worst Case: Someone pipes this song into the team hotel all night and we're forced to forfeit because of all the bleeding ears.
TCQ, on average, Says: L, 29 - 35.
What AJ (2-0) said: "Mizzou, 38-24. Even without Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri is not a team to be messed with. Indiana goes into the Show Me State on their first competitive and is relatively noncompetitive. Missouri scores twice early, while the Hoosiers take some time to find a rhythm. By then it's too late. They get some late scores to make it look more respectable, but the damage is done. Indiana faithful are thinking, "not again". "
What Ben (2-0) said: "Mizzou, 38-22. Though the Hoosiers are only down by a touchdown at halftime, the Tigers figure us out in the second half and easily pull away."
What C4B (2-0) said: "Loss, but not by much (maybe 10 points or less)."
What Kick (2-0) said: "Hoosiers, 41-31. Tevin Coleman, and really the Hoosiers, have their coming out party. Fred Glass destroys a small neighborhood with fireworks in celebration as Hoosier nation, being unsure of how to handle football success on the road, rush the court at Assembly Hall."
The Maryland Terrapins v. YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS!
Best Case: The Hoosiers welcome their new B1G brethren with a blowout victory in front of a sell-out crowd. No jokes here, that would just be really great.
Worst Case: Maryland doesn't bring any crab chips with them.
TCQ, on average, Says: W, 37 - 36.
What AJ (2-1) said: "Hoosiers win 42- 38. After taking a beating in Missouri, Indiana comes back focused against their likely biggest competitor in the new conference alignments. Hoosiers welcome the Terps to the conference with some high powered offense behind an absolute bomb from Sudfeld to Wynn to put Indiana ahead indefinitely."
What Ben (2-1) said: "Win, 42-35. I think both Maryland and IU are very evenly matched, but a late drive engineered by Sudfeld puts us over the top in a high-scoring and entertaining barnburner."
What C4B (2-1) said: "Win, and by as much as CKW will allow us to win by."
What Kick (3-0) said: "Riding high on their big road victory from the previous week, the Hoosiers greet the pumped up fanbase and then proceed to get beaten late by the Terps, losing 34-28, proving once again that we just can't have nice things."
The North Texas Mean Green v. YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS!
Best Case: I see minimal highlights of the last time we played these fellas in the week preceding the game.
Worst Case: The Mean Green is too mean and Nate Sudfeld gets his feelings hurt.
TCQ, on average, Says: W, 46 - 8.
What AJ (3-1) said: "Hoosiers win 38 - 7. This one ends in a route. North Texas just was never able to match up."
What Ben (3-1) said: "Win, 44-12. The Hoosiers will be 4-1 by this point and in the hunt for a bowl game. IU football fever sweeps the nation, as SI puts the team on the cover and College Gameday schedules upcoming trip to Bloomington."
What C4B (3-1) said: "Win, because revenge needs to happen."
What Kick (3-1) said: "Hoosiers dominate 56 - 6. This game is gonna look like a wedding in Westeros and Kevin Wilson is all out of bread and salt."
YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS! v. The Iowa Hawkeyes
Best Case: I win the lottery and the Hoosiers win this game. I don't know why I haven't been putting that for all of these.
Worst Case: Iowa's stadium falls apart the day of the game and we have to reschedule. NOT SO FUNNY NOW, IS IT?
TCQ, on average, Says: W, 26 - 24. Every writer to submit a score picked Iowa to score 24 points.
What AJ (4-1) said: "Hoosiers win 27-24. In a nail-biter the Hoosiers do what they couldn't do all last year, find a stop when they absolutely need it. Indiana goes to 5-1 and a bowl feels all but certain. Now the only question is can they make a run at the division?"
What C4B (4-1) said: "Loss, but with decent upset potential."
What Kick (4-1) said: "Hoosiers win 31-24. Hoosiers always seem to be locked in when they play Iowa. They're finally good enough to close the deal this year. With three road victories on the year, Kevin Wilson becomes the coach with the winningest road record in school history. Related: how on earth is 'winningest' a real word?"
The Michigan State Spartans v. YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS!
Best Case: We get the Ol' Brass Spitoon!
Worst Case: We realize that winning a spitoon isn't all that great and mostly gross.
TCQ, on average, Says: L, 16 - 29.
What AJ (5-1) said: "MSU wins 31 - 20. In a game that is supposed to be the official, "watch out, Indiana is here" in front of a national TV audience the defense looks hapless. The offense, sloppy. And the team out of their depth. Despite a pretty good looking 5-2 record, the fan base starts to panic."
What Ben (4-2) said: "Lose, 31-14. With College Gameday in town for Homecoming and the Old Brass Spittoon up for grabs, the Hoosiers fall flat. "This is all Crean’s fault," mutters one disgruntled fan as he heads towards the exits."
What C4B (4-2) said: "Loss, but no shame in losing to last year's champs."
What Kick (5-1) said: "MSU prevails 24-14. Tevin Coleman attempts to sneak onto the Spartan bus after the game. "I JUST WANTED TO FEEL LIKE A BIG SHOT," he explains from the parking lot of a Ft. Wayne Denny's."
YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS! v. The Michigan Wolverines
Best Case: Michigan is forced to punt, but Brady Hoke gave the punter the day off because who could have possibly foreseen needing him? In a bind, he handles the punting duties himself.
Worst Case: We lose on a call so bad that we can't even chew our gum anymore.
TCQ, on average, Says: TIE, 41 - 41. Two writers say win, two say lose, and the combined scores of the guesses are 122-122.
What AJ (5-2) said: "Michigan wins 47-42. Another Michigan game another high scoring affair where a late mishap shatters our hopes and dreams. Many walk away in full panic mode thinking, "if only"."
What Ben (4-3) said: "Win, 41-39. The Hoosiers get revenge for last year’s loss against the Wolverines by winning this year in Ann Arbor. Despite the anti-fireworks policy at the Big House, Fred Glass brings his own fireworks with him and shoots them off after the upset victory."
What C4B (4-3) said: "Loss, but closer than last year."
What Kick (5-2) said: "Hoosiers win 39-36. I realize I have picked IU to be undefeated on the road up until this point and that is normally grounds for jail time. BUT: the offense has played well in Ann Arbor the past couple of trips and I think they're gonna finally get a big stop or two against a Michigan team that just hasn't been all that good lately. I also pick IU to beat Michigan every time they play and I'm gonna be right eventually."
The Penn State Nittany Lions v. YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS!
Best Case: We get a "winning streak" against Penn State. That's where you beat a team multiple times in a row without losing to them.
Worst Case: I use a Jerry Sandusky joke in the "worst case" line of the snippet.
TCQ, on average, Says: L, 32 - 37.
What AJ (5-3) said: "Penn State wins 32 - 28. Christian Hackenberg is absolutely masterful in a game that leaves the young Hoosier defense's heads spinning. It's not just that Nate Sudfeld and company can't quite keep pace, but it's that Hackenberg seems to know what the defense is running before the snap. Record is now 5-4 the ship is sinking. "
What Ben (5-3) said: "Lose, 28-20. Letdown game after the upset road win the week before, and our victory total against the Nittany Lions remains at one."
What C4B (4-4) said: "Win, putting us one win closer to evening up this series."
What Kick (6-2) said: "Penn State wins 52-49. After becoming bowl-eligible, the defense hits rock bottom and the Hoosiers can't stop or be stopped. We all become legitimately curious if that'll be more than the basketball teams score when they play one another."
YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS! v. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Best Case: We enjoy a lovely day in New Jersey in which no one gets mugged.
Worst Case: Whole lotta muggin'.
TCQ, on average, Says: W, 37 - 30.
What AJ (5-4) said: "Hoosiers win 41 - 14. Thank god Rutgers is there to stop the bleeding. We haven't been playing awful, but we've had a tough stretch of games. Rutgers is just what the doctor ordered as the Hoosiers cruise in a win behind another multi-touchdown game from Tevin Coleman."
What Ben (5-4) said: "Win, 34-31. Because ticket demand is so high among NYC residents for Rutgers football, this game gets moved to the Meadowlands. In front of over 80,000 die-hard Rutgers fans that have been devoted to their beloved Scarlet Knights for many years, the Hoosiers win on a last-second field goal to clinch their first bowl game in seven years."
What C4B (5-4) said: "Win, because we may get more fans at that game than Rutgers will, if what I've heard about our alumni base is accurate."
What Kick (6-3) said: "Hoosiers win 35-17 and a game wrap article describes them as "road warriors." The universe nearly implodes as a result."
YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS! v. Ohio State Buckeyes
Best Case: No one dies painfully.
Worst Case: No one notices that this is the only opponent in which I omitted the word "the" from in front of the name.
TCQ, on average, Says: L, 14 - 36.
What AJ (6-4) said: "Ohio State wins 27 - 20. In an oddly low scoring game, the class of the Big Ten struggles to find the end zone early and often like they've been so prone to do in the past. The Hoosiers look equally perplexed and somehow Indiana fans come away with a moral victory because, "the defense actually looked pretty good". "
What Ben (6-4) said: "Lose, 42-7. Urban Meyer skips this game to attend his daughter’s volleyball game. Haha just kidding I almost got you there for a second."
What C4B (6-4) said: "Loss, but if we aren't playing in snow, it may not be by too much."
What Kick (7-3) said: "OSU rolls, 38-16, sure. But 'Urban' is a ridiculous name and you know it."
The Purdue Boilermakers v. YOUR INDIANA HOOSIERS!
Best Case: The NCAA doesn't notice that we played two FCS teams in one year.
Worst Case: Our jerseys get dirty.
TCQ, on average, Says: W, 50 - 13.
What AJ (6-5) said: "Hoosiers win 53-24. Already bowl eligible at 6-5 that isn't enough for Indiana. With only 4 wins in the last 13 years against Purdue, the Hoosiers are going to kick the 2-9 Boilers while they're down. The score gets run up quick before Indiana allows a couple scores before the half. They then pour it on to start the third before eventually calling off the dogs in the fourth quarter. Still Indiana goes bowling with some cushion to spare. "
What Ben (6-5) said: "Win, 48-14. The Hoosiers cap a 7-5 regular season with an emphatic Bucket victory over the Boilermakers. Kevin Wilson eats victory bacon at the postgame press conference and turns down the West Virginia job to stay in Bloomington. The Hoosiers lose their bowl game to Texas Tech, but the teams combine to score 120 points, so everyone is entertained."
What C4B (6-5) said: "Win. Just win, baby."
What Kick (7-4) said: "Win, 49-0. 'Purdue would be better off with the actual Barack Obama coaching them!' Dibs on tweeting this scorching hot take during the game. The 8-4 Hoosiers get selected to play in the Outback Bowl against the Florida Gators. Kevin Wilson and Will Muschamp agree that Bloomin' Onions are too delicious to worry about a little ol' football game. ESPN shows the footage as they jointly consumer hundreds of pounds of Bloomin' Onion at midfield. Viewers agree it's the best bowl game they've ever seen."
So there you have it: everyone says 7-8 wins for the Hoosiers, but a lot of different paths to get there. IU benefits from having only one "yeah we're definitely losing this" game, and that's on the road to OSU. Everything else is varying degrees of winnable, as most of the tougher opponents are coming to Bloomington and there's no Wisconsin in sight. I think this is the kind of year / schedule where a team like Indiana could make some real noise. Predictions and whatnot are fun, but hopefully the season actually delivers some entertainment as well.
Let us know what you think and give us your predictions as well.