Why the Indiana Hoosiers are the Ohio State Buckeyes Biggest Threat

  • Big Ten Football
  • College Football
  • Indiana Hoosiers
  • Michigan Wolverines
  • Ohio St. Buckeyes
  • Penn St. Nittany Lions
By Tyler Fangman March 24, 2021 0 Comment
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The Indiana Hoosiers may replace Michigan and Penn St. as the biggest threat to Ohio State’s Big Ten dominance.

What Tom Allen has done in four years at Indiana is nothing short of remarkable. He is 24-22 all-time as the Hoosiers Head Coach. Allen was the 2020 American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year. Tom Allen got a seven-year extension where he will be getting paid 27.3 million. Out of all of the younger coaches who entered around the same time in the B1G, Scott Frost (Nebraska), P.J. Fleck (Minnesota), and Jeff Brohm (Purdue). One could argue that Tom Allen has done the best job at an unlikely place in Bloomington.

Last Season in Bloomington, IN.

Last season was a magical year for Indiana as they finished (6-2 6-1 B1G) and finished No. 12 in the Final AP Poll. Indiana last season knocked off Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin, and nearly clipped Ohio State, albeit a weird and down year for the Wolverines, Spartans(Mel Tucker first year as Head Coach) Nittany Lions. The Hoosiers were the better team in those games. They played in back-to-back January bowl games for the first time and endured tough losses to SEC teams Tennessee 23-22 in the 2020 Gator Bowl and Ole Miss 26-20 in the Outback Bowl.

The Competitive East Woes Last Season

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh in his seventh season is squarely on the hot seat as he is 1-6 against the Buckeyes and Spartans at home. James Franklin at Penn State had an uncharacteristically poor year as they finished 4-5 and had some key players opt out but did when the last four games of the season to grab some momentum going into the 2021 off-season.

The Indiana Football Outlook for Next Season

The Indiana Hoosiers bring in the No. 54th ranked recruiting class in 2021 and are twelfth in the B1G according to 24/7. Now on paper, that may not look great. They do bring some talent. They have 11 three stars and two four-stars coming into the program. We have seen many B1G programs do more with less such as Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern, Kirk Ferentz at Iowa, and Paul Chryst at Wisconsin.

The Hoosiers are bringing back some key players offensively, such as QB Michael Penix Jr. who got injured last season by way of a torn ACL, and WR Ty Fryfogle; the offense again should be one of the tops in the B1G even without WR Whop Philyor and RB Stevie Scott. The Hoosiers offense last season accounted for 28.8 ppg, 1,016 rushing yards, 2,007 passing yards, and a total of 28 touchdowns.

Indiana’s schedule for next season is pretty balanced. The Hoosiers do have Michigan and Penn State on the road but get Michigan and Ohio State at home. They got a pretty good setup with missing Northwestern and Wisconsin for their crossover games. They do have to play at Iowa week one but get Purdue and Minnesota at home.

The Indiana Hoosiers are on the rise in the B1G East and should be on everyone’s radar come this fall. They have many opportunities to show why they are the best challenger to the Buckeyes in the East.

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