2012 Big Ten Previews: Indiana with The Crimson Quarry
We are previewing the 2012 college football season with the help of SBNation.com. Today, The Crimson Quarry discusses Indiana’s chances at getting back to the postseason.
The Hoosiers are optimistic heading into the 2012 season, with 15 returning starters. Head coach Kevin Wilson looks to get off on the right foot with games against FCS opponent Indiana State (Sept. 1) before traveling to Gillette Stadium to welcome UMass to the FBS (Sept. 8). Indiana will host Big Ten powers Michigan State (Oct. 6), Ohio State (Oct. 13) and Wisconsin (Nov. 10).
2011 Record: 1-11
2011 Bowl: N/A
2012 Bowl Projections:
History in Orlando: N/A
Q&A with Crimson Quarry
Describe the 2011 season in two words.
Rock bottom (I hope).
Last year seemed like an “eat your vegetables” season as Kevin Wilson started a majority of young players. Now that they all have an extra year of experience, what should we expect to see out of a team molded in his image?
I would hope to see a proficient offense along with a competent defense. I don’t expect the defense to be great, but given Wilson’s background and where much of IU’s talent lies, I do think this team should be able to score some points. On defense, however, IU was among the two or three worst teams in all of FBS in 2011, and looked even worse to the eye than they did on paper. I don’t expect IU to win any 10-3 games, but it would be nice to have a defense that allows IU to win some 30-27-type games. Hopefully the combination of the experience gained by IU’s young players last season plus a major infusion of talent and experience from the junior college ranks will help the defense improve meaningfully.
On paper, what looks like the toughest game this season?
It’s tough to choose between the two defending division champions, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Both teams will be starting new quarterbacks but should have excellent defenses and they are sound teams that run the ball down the throats of lesser teams. Because of Montee Ball, I’ll say the Badgers present the toughest challenge for IU.
If we hear about one Indiana player on College Game Day this season, who will it be and why?
I assume it would be Tre Roberson. First, he’s a quarterback, and those are the guys who get the most publicity anyway. Second, he truly is an exciting player, with a strong arm and excellent running ability as well. He’s impressive on the field and in front of the microphones, and looked comfortable and competent last year as a true freshman who suddenly found himself starting at QB for a team that was mostly overmatched.
Best case/worst case scenario for the postseason.
The worst case scenario is unfortunately familiar and the most likely outcome. Absent an amazing turnaround, IU will miss the postseason for the 18th time in 19 seasons. The best case scenario involves IU winning out against its non-conference opponents (IU will be favored in three of its four out-of-conference games, and winning at Navy wouldn’t be an astounding upset) and stealing 2 or 3 in the Big Ten, which will be tough because IU plays all of the best Big Ten teams at home and all of the more beatable Big Ten teams on the road. I think a New Year’s Day bowl would be beyond my wildest dreams this season, but from the vantage point of August I’ll allow myself to dream of the 6-6 or 7-5 Hoosiers taking a trip somewhere warm in December.