Indiana Hoosiers 2023 College Football Preview
July 24, 2023
Record – 4-8
ATS – 4-8
After posting a pair of back-to-back winning seasons in 2019/2020 the Hoosiers fell back into their old habits with a second consecutive losing campaign. Things started well as they beat what turned out to be a really good Illinois team and they actually stood at 3-0 before the season took a nasty detour to TURD TOWN. The Hoosiers dropped seven games in a row as the schedule difficulty increased, and in fact, they only managed to win one more game the rest of the way (Michigan St).
Indiana Hoosiers 2023 Outlook
QB Connor Bazelak was a disappointment LY (55%, 13-10 TD to INT) and the hope is that talented youngster Taven Jackson (via Tennessee Vols) can take hold of the starting job and bring a more dynamic element to the offense. We assume he’ll get the starting nod but we’ll keep an eye on things over the summer. They certainly don’t have a ton of options. The RB room looks MEH in terms of standout talent but they’ll have enough capable bodies to utilize a committee approach. Leading WR Cam Camper is back for duty but he averaged a paltry 12 YPC LY and we’re not sure if they’ve got any bodies in the WR group that’ll put a scare into Big Ten secondaries. The OL performance was bad LY (38 sacks, 3.4 net YPC) but new OL coach Bob Bostad (Badgers) has three returning starters and some transfer bodies to work with this season. Sadly, this looks like one of the weaker offenses in the conference but maybe they’ve found a gem at QB?
Indiana’s defense fell on hard times LY as they allowed 34 PPG (last Big Ten) and 449 YPG (yup, last Big Ten). The Hoosiers have decided to go with liberal use of the transfer portal (over a dozen players) to fix the stop unit as they’ll be without nine (!) of their top-ten tacklers. Thankfully, they’ll feature #1 tackler LB Aaron Casey to help stabilize the defense but it’s anyone’s guess how successful their personnel strategy will be in 2023. DE Andre Carter is a nice addition (7 sacks, 13.5 TFL LY with W Michigan) as is DT Philip Blidi who adds nice size to the interior of the DL. We’ll have a better idea of how good or awful the defense will be after the first month of the season.
Some good news to report! KR Jaylin Lucas is a home run hitter (2 TD LY) and they’ve got a reliable punter in James Evans (44.3).
Overall – The non-conference assignments are very manageable as they’ve got a pair of home games vs scrubs (Indiana St, Akron) and they’ve got a longshot chance to take down LUA-VUH on a neutral site. Starting with an Ohio St bloodbath isn’t ideal and they’ve gotta go on the road and get massacred by Penn St and Michigan. At least they miss Iowa from the West, and if they haven’t lost their WILL TO LIVE by November, their last three games are all winnable (at Illinois, Michigan St, at Purdue).
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing overly-spooky is noted.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 24
Over 3.5 -130
Under 3.5 +110
Indiana St is a win, and probably Akron. Then it gets interesting trying to find more victories. For complete action junkies we recommend shopping for a flat ‘4’ and going ‘under’. We’ve seen a few of those out there at a price around -160/-170.
DEGENERATE NATION take note. HC Tom Allen is just 6-13 ATS as a home underdog but he’s a mighty fine 12-4 ATS (!) in the role of home favorite. BULLY BALL, yo.
This figures to be a long season for the Hoosiers. They play in a NASTY division with three teams capable of making the College Football Playoff and there are plenty of changes on both sides of the football. We’ll call for three or four wins (high-water mark) but maybe, just maybe, they can find a way to pull a major upset at some point. Hopefully, they can find some success to build upon this season. Hang in there, Hoosiers!