Kevin Wilson took over a failing Indiana football program in 2011 and has done a terrific job since arriving in Bloomington. Indeed, the Hoosiers garnered two conference wins last year, which is more than they had in 8 of the previous eleven years. While the betting public may overlook Indiana this season based upon the fact that the Hoosiers have only had one winning season in the last eighteen years, that oversight is a terrible mistake based upon the following:
- Indiana returns 19 starters (10 offensive; 9 defensive) , which makes the Hoosiers one of the most experienced teams in the nation;
- Indiana returns three capable quarterbacks, all of whom played last year. Cameron Coffman threw for 2,734 yards in 2012, including completing 60.7% of his pass attempts (15-11 ratio, while Nate Sudfeld threw for 632 yards (62.2%; 7-1 ratio).
- Both Coffman and Sudfeld are the beneficiaries of one of the best group of receivers in college football. The combination of Shane Wynn (660 yards; 9.7), Cody Latimer (805 yards; 15.8) and Kofi Hughes (639 yards; 14.9) will be difficult for opposing teams to stop.
- Indiana also returns 73 career starts on the offensive line, and coach Wilson is known for developing outstanding talent in the trenches (he played center at North Carolina and spends a lot of time with the offensive line in practice).
- The Hoosiers also enter the 2013-2014 campaign with excellent special teams led by kicker Mitch Ewald, who made 15-of-20 field goal attempts last season (missed one FG from 55 yards). Ewald also had 31 touchbacks on 68 kickoffs, while making 100 consecutive extra points to begin is collegiate career.
There is no doubt that coach Wilson fields his best team since arriving in 2011, and the Hoosiers should eclipse their four-win total from last season. Let’s also remember that this veteran-laden squad suffered five close losses last season, which is nothing more than negative variance. Indiana is one of the most improved teams in college football, and I expect the Hoosiers to possibly reach .500 in 2013.