The Indiana football team will only play Big Ten teams for the 2020 season but may pick up a 10th game. We take a look at the four teams it could be.
The Big Ten announced on Thursday afternoon that all fall sports would play a conference only schedule, including football. By losing the non-conference game on their schedule, each Big Ten team is losing three games. To help the conference has talked about adding a 10th conference game.
Each team plays nine conference games each year, as adding a 10th game would mean scheduling a team that was currently not on their schedule. With 13 other teams int he conference that leaves four teams that are possible to play.
In Indiana’s case, they currently have five home and four road games. So whoever the Hoosiers play it will be on the road to balance out their schedule. The good news for the Hoosiers is that it will be a team from the Big Ten West which is the weaker of the two conferences.
So which team would it be the best for the Hoosiers to play? We rank the four teams that they could play.
4. Iowa Hawkeyes
The Hoosiers last played the Hawkeyes in 2018 when they lost 42-16. That was in Bloomington, but this game would be in Iowa City and they are much tougher at home. This would be a tough game for Indiana and in a season when they already have a tough Big Ten schedule this would not make it any easier. They will be breaking in a new quarterback, but the Hawkeyes would still be a tough out on the road.
3. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota broke out on to the scene last year and will be looking to build on that success. They return their quarterback in Tanner Morgan and should be pretty good again. This would be a very entertaining game with two teams looking to show that last year was not a fluke. While this would be entertaining it wouldn’t be an easy game for the Hoosiers. Indiana traveled to Minnesota in 2018 and lost an entertaining 38-31 game. This could be just as fun, but wouldn’t be the most ideal matchup for the Hoosiers.
2. Nebraska Cornhuskers
The Hoosiers went into Nebraska last year and pull off the “upset”. Indiana was the better team going in, but it had been a long time since they won in Lincoln. The downfall to this game is having to travel to Nebraska two years in a row, but it would give the Hoosiers a rare opportunity to win two in a row in Lincoln. The Hoosiers actually come into this year with higher expectations than the Cornhuskers and would more than likely be the favorite in this game. This would be a great chance for the Hoosiers to pick up another win in conference.
1. Northwestern Wildcats
This would be the game that would provide the most intrigue. Former Hoosier quarterback Peyton Ramsey transferred to Northwestern and could be the starter for the Wildcats. It would be a fun matchup to see Ramsey up against his old team. But on the flip side, it would also give the Hoosiers the best opportunity to pick up another win. Ramsey should definitely make the Wildcats better, but they weren’t good last year. It can be tricky to win in Evanston, but with the team the Hoosiers return this year they would definitely be the favorite. This game is the best scenario for the Hoosiers for their 10th game.
None of these games would be a bad game for the Hoosiers as all would bring in their own intrigue. All of these games would be winnable for Indiana, but Iowa and Minnesota would be the tougher games.
The schedule will look a lot different this year, but hopefully, this is a step to allow them to play. If the season can get played I don’t think any Hoosier fan will care who their 10th game is but Northwestern would probably be the number one pick.