Defensive Stat Leaders:Tackles: Greg Heban (91).... Sacks: Adam Replogle (5).... Interceptions: Greg Heban (3)
Hoosiers fans are currently basking in the college basketball limelight with visions of another national championship banner waving in their heads. Unfortunately, there was not much to celebrate during the 2012 football season. While the team limped to another losing season, Indiana showed some progress and could easily be a program on the rise with a few key improvements.
Indiana had a season mostly made up of "what-ifs" before unraveling down the home stretch. There was a collapse that led to a last-second loss against Ball State, which prevented the Hoosiers from a 3-0 start. They matched up well against a tought Northwestern team before being outgunned in the 4th quarter. They led Michigan State nearly all day until another collapse added another digit to the 'L' column. A three-point loss to undefeated Ohio State and a one-point loss to Navy sunk Indiana's season. The Hoosiers were able to put together back-to-back B10 wins against lowly Illinois and Iowa, only to cap the season with three blowout losses to Wisconsin, Penn State and Purdue.
While these rankings may be a bit pedestrian for the Oregons and Notre Dames of the world, Kevin Wilson managed to put together one of the best classes in school history. According to Rivals, the Hoosiers finished sixth in the B10 and had a better class than powerhouses such as Stanford, Boise State and Wisconsin. Indiana reeled in five four-star players on Signing Day. Keep an eye out for DE David Kenney and DT Darius Latham. Both could make an immediate impact as the Hoosiers attempt to bolster a unit that finished 104th nationally in scoring defense.
I'm going to get a little crazy and predict the Hoosiers go bowling in 2013. They were awfully close to winning a few more games than they did in 2012, and should be improved over last season. The offense returns its main playmakers and wil continue to put up points. However, the offense has been productive in recent years while the defense just can't seem to make any improvements. Kevin Wilson will have his work cut out for him, but if the defense can become more reliable the Hoosiers will be looking at its first bowl since the 2007 season.
Indiana should win its first game against Indiana State, but has three tough match-ups with Navy, Bowling Green and Missouri all heading to Bloomington. I'm predicting Indiana will knock off Missouri and split the other two.
I'll take the Hoosiers in games against Minnesota, Illinois and Purdue. However, I ouldn't be shocked if they make it to 6-6 by dropping one of those three while pulling off an upset against a Michigan State or Wisconsin.