How Indiana Hoosiers football can get back on track in 2024

Indiana v Purdue
Indiana v Purdue / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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But that’s not even where IU needs hope the most—this is

Moving onto what I call the “veteran” Big Ten powers, we have several alarm bells going off. The names to note consist of Maryland and Michigan at home, along with Northwestern, Michigan State and Ohio State on the road; four of those five schools won eight games or more last season.

When held next to Indiana’s 3-9, that stat paints those guys out as quite the loaded litter—and they are. But again, matters could be far worse. We’ll explain the weakest links away first, with Maryland, Northwestern and Michigan State making up the non-blue-blooded cast.

With both the Terrapins and Wildcats going 8-5 last year, they were good, yet very much beatable. Since the Terps demolished the Hoosiers in 2023, they’ve lost starting quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, on top of pivotal pieces from their offensive line and secondary. Them traveling to Bloomington after taking those hits has to have Indiana feeling like a big victory is within reach there.

Then we have the Cats, who rarely face the Hoosiers, and the last time they did so was before new HC David Braun came along. With that in mind, hopefully the meshing of their relatively competitive rivalry and limited familiarity between coaches will amount to more of a “go-either-way” affair.

Last and certainly least, we have MSU. With the Spartans looking to bounce back from a 3-9 display of their own, I’d hope them being labeled “beatable” needs little justification and, if anything, seems graciously worded.

Sure, they beat Indiana last season, and will be at home this time around, but the closeness of their previous duel joining forces with them also welcoming a first-year HC in Jonathan Smith results in a matchup that’s virtually impossible to predict.