Right up until the Hoosiers held their first weekly press conference after their season opening, very nearly record setting triumph, over Indiana State, head coach Kevin Wilson was extremely excited, in fact exuberant, regarding this season. He gushed about how hard they were working in practice, how many guys they had returning to the roster from last year’s young team, and their schedule. Wilson encouraged fans, likely still stinging from not reaching last year’s Final Four, to come out and support this team. To get behind them. Honestly, the ticket sales did increase at Memorial Stadium, but a pall seems to have been cast over the program after a second consecutive loss over the last two seasons to the Navy Midshipmen and the exposure of Indiana’s defense. That unit ranks last in the league in passing and rushing defense.
To add fuel to the fire, there seemed to be a bit of misunderstanding between the university’s Athletic Director, Fred Glass, and Wilson regarding the decision of the school, as well as Wilson’s thoughts on Navy’s triple option, that may or may not have led to Indiana terminating their four game agreement with Navy two years early.
Be that what it may, because what we really need to do is examine Wilson’s background and the history of Indiana’s football program to see if, in what is his third season, if this man is destined to become as revered as Bill Mallory or cast aside like his predecessor, Lynch. My money is on Wilson making a run for it, but it could be a pretty tough coin toss to call, due to his personality and what sort of attitude is already ingrained in IU’s football program.
In this his third season, Wilson, brings a record to the table of 6-20. Not exactly eye popping, but his recruiting class ranked #38, he managed to nail down four four star recruits, and a positive attitude definitely gets things done. Even when the task is daunting and this one is.
This organization has appeared in one bowl game over the last two decades and that was a 16 point trouncing at the hands of Oklahoma State. They have a slate of 27-101 within their own conference since Mallory left IU in 1996 and since 1951, not one head coach has managed to capture 40 percent of IU’s conference contests.
There have been some bright spots and I’m not referring to the McMillan era or George Taliaferro either. There have been Anthony Thompson and Randle El. Wilson has really got the offense going and they lead the Big Ten in scoring offense, pass efficiency, and believe it or not kickoff coverage. Sudfeld’s stats have been made much of so I won’t repeat them here, but Tre Roberson, who Sudfeld is supposed to replace, leads the Big Ten in passing efficiency.
Wilson has the program going in the right direction, now he simply needs a victory over a marquee opponent and to really work on shoring up that defense. Are all the new assistants he hired going to step up and give him a hand? I guess that’s what remains to be seen, as Wilson, a deeply emotional, intense, committed man is in for the long haul if people will afford him the opportunity and have some faith. It might not be this year Indiana gets to travel to a bowl, but they are getting closer and when they do finally arrive there, I’m pretty sure they will be favored to win.
Can Indiana make it to a bowl game this season? If you think so, check out the NCAA college football schedule here to see which bowl you want to see the Hoosiers play in this December or January.