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Thursday, June 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

New season, new story for IU

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

The IU football team is entering the heart of the Big Ten season not knowing exactly what kind of team they have. 

Before the season started, no one believed the 2009 Hoosiers could win over three games. Now, some prognosticators have IU as a bowl-caliber team. 

But IU fans have been down this road before.

So, the begged question is, what makes this season different?

Unfortunately for those fans, the crystal ball yields bad news.

Even if they are an improved team from years past, their schedule draws comparisons to a guillotine.

With three ranked teams, including Big Ten powerhouses Ohio State and Penn State on the Hoosiers’ schedule and a loss to No. 23 Michigan, wins will come at a premium this season. 

Still, after a 3-1 start, it’s expected that wins will come. 

Future opponents such as Iowa and Wisconsin nearly slipped against non-conference competition. Illinois is not the Rose Bowl team they were a few years ago, and IU defeated a ranked Northwestern team last year. 

Given the circumstances alone, it wouldn’t be astonishing to see the Hoosiers steal three to four games in Big Ten play and watch them play a 13th. 

The inevitable matter that usually holds IU back from playing in the postseason, though, is a lack of talent on par with the rest of their conference. 

And with the ground-and-pound style play traditionalized in the Big Ten, IU usually gets worn down by bigger, better players in the trenches every fall. 

Last year, it was seen after a rash of injuries knocked out players on the offensive line and the defensive line lacked experience and fortitude to keep up with their rivals.

This year, both lines have been fantastic, ranking near the top of the Big Ten in sacks allowed and rushing yards allowed per game. 

Plenty of questions need to be answered as IU runs through their annual Big Ten tour, but this year has the potential to be a successful one for the Hoosiers.

Now there’s something you don’t hear often.

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