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Hoegher's 2014 Previews: INDIANA HOOSIERINGS

I've got win distribution plots, y'all! Isn't this exciting? I'll probably put Indiana's in the comments below after I get them uploaded.

NOTE: All of the numbers and figures that follow are based on my ratings system, which is derived from scoring data going back to 1930. For more explanation, see my primer here: [LINK]

Data gathered from the wonderful resources provided by Sports-Reference, James Howell, and Phil Steele.

PAST PERFORMANCES OF VARYING QUALITY

Indiana - Historical Overall Ratings

Indiana - Historical Offense & Defense

Indiana - Historical Win% & "Luck"

[brief statement on nothing in particular]

"BEST" and "WORST" (since 1930, 9953 total teams)

Rk Year Team Adj Rk Res Rk Conf Record Adj Off Yr Rk Adj Def Yr Rk Luck Yr Rk SOS Yr Rk N.C.
802 1945 Indiana 1223 314 West 9-0-1 1.67 13 0.49 10 13% 7 0.16 39
1166 1944 Indiana 800 2267 West 7-3 1.63 21 0.31 3 -5% 70 0.33 27
2267 1988 Indiana 2089 2886 B10 8-3-1 1.48 11 0.89 47 -8% 83 0.02 62
2404 1942 Indiana 1974 3527 West 7-3 1.29 42 0.47 13 -10% 104 -0.32 100
2570 1993 Indiana 2692 2376 B10 8-4 0.95 56 0.60 10 -3% 61 0.03 53

>1945 Indiana (Coach - Bo McMillin)

Conf Record Luck (wins) rk Adj Off rk Adj Def rk Adj Eff rk Adj Marg rk
West 9-0-1 +1.3 7 1.67 13 0.49 10 0.77 12 1.18 12
Total Teams Rating rk Opp-O rk Opp-D rk SOS rk Variance rk
103 1.13 12 1.07 43 0.92 38 0.16 39 1.03 76
Gm Wk Date H/V Opponent FCS Record Opp Rk Off Rk Def Rk PF PA OT W/L W-Lk
1 3 Sep-22 V Michigan ~ 7-3 8 10 4 13 7 ~ W 25%
2 4 Sep-29 H Northwestern ~ 4-4-1 27 24 42 7 7 ~ T 83%
3 5 Oct-06 V Illinois ~ 2-6-1 57 84 22 6 0 ~ W 90%
4 6 Oct-13 H Nebraska ~ 4-5 71 55 80 54 14 ~ W 99%
5 7 Oct-20 V Iowa ~ 2-7 91 68 97 52 20 ~ W 99%
6 8 Oct-27 H Tulsa ~ 8-3 20 22 19 7 2 ~ W 73%
7 9 Nov-03 H CornellCollege Y ~ ~96 ~ ~ 46 6 ~ W 99%
8 10 Nov-10 V Minnesota ~ 4-5 45 36 61 49 0 ~ W 85%
9 11 Nov-17 V Pittsburgh ~ 3-7 69 86 38 19 0 ~ W 95%
10 12 Nov-24 H Purdue ~ 7-3 23 21 25 26 0 ~ W 75%

Bo McMillin coached Indiana for 14 years. He was the head for arguably the two best Hoosier football teams ever and accomplished this after leading Kansas State (Bill Snyder wizardry aside, one of the worst schools historically) to multiple winning seasons. His 1945 Indiana team ended the year #4 in the AP Poll, heights they'v not even gotten close to since (outside some Top 25 flirtations in the Bill Mallory years).

Yet Bo McMillin never coached in a bowl game. I know this is due to the Big Ten's own bowl restrictions, and that Indiana fans are used to not seeing their team in bowl games, but it seems a bit rough to me that this man never got his due. I mean, Ron Zook coached in a Rose Bowl. Strains the mind, doesn't it.

I also want y'all to take this opportunity to admire a Hoosier team that wasn't godawful at defense. 4 shut-outs that season, and another game with only a safety given up (which really isn't the fault of the defense anyway). I hardly think the 20 pts given up to Iowa in a 32 pt win is really worth critcizing, either.

The win over Nebraska brought their record to 5-3-2 for the series.

Rk Year Team Adj Rk Res Rk Conf Record Adj Off Yr Rk Adj Def Yr Rk Luck Yr Rk SOS Yr Rk N.C.
8937 1997 Indiana 9148 8267 B10 2-9 0.47 113 1.11 77 7% 27 0.29 15
8988 2011 Indiana 8635 9464 B10 1-11 0.84 84 1.39 111 -11% 107 0.08 47
9295 1957 Indiana 9479 8631 B10 1-8 0.46 111 1.51 106 4% 35 0.52 5
9403 1984 Indiana 8990 9823 B10 0-11 0.77 85 1.47 105 -16% 106 0.05 54
9655 1970 Indiana 9626 9660 B10 1-9 0.47 120 1.51 113 5% 37 0.02 70

1970 Indiana (Coach - John Pont)

Conf Record Luck (wins) rk Adj Off rk Adj Def rk Adj Eff rk Adj Marg rk
B10 1-9 +0.5 37 0.47 120 1.51 113 0.24 121 -1.04 118
Total Teams Rating rk Opp-O rk Opp-D rk SOS rk Variance rk
125 -1.05 119 0.98 75 0.96 66 0.02 70 0.59 93
Gm Wk Date H/V Opponent FCS Record Opp Rk Off Rk Def Rk PF PA OT W/L W-Lk
1 4 Sep-19 H Colorado ~ 6-5 24 20 36 9 16 ~ L 1%
2 5 Sep-26 V California ~ 6-5 43 39 52 14 56 ~ L 1%
3 6 Oct-03 H WestVirginia ~ 8-3 63 51 78 10 16 ~ L 6%
4 7 Oct-10 V Minnesota ~ 3-6-1 73 70 69 0 23 ~ L 2%
5 8 Oct-17 V Illinois ~ 3-7 98 74 111 30 24 ~ W 11%
6 9 Oct-24 H Wisconsin ~ 4-5-1 57 57 61 12 30 ~ L 5%
7 10 Oct-31 H MichiganState ~ 4-6 53 63 45 7 32 ~ L 4%
8 11 Nov-07 V Iowa ~ 3-6-1 112 117 99 13 42 ~ L 21%
9 12 Nov-14 H Northwestern ~ 6-4 32 34 32 7 21 ~ L 1%
10 13 Nov-21 V Purdue ~ 4-6 60 94 30 0 40 ~ L 2%

Here's the kicker about this Indiana team: they lost nine games, and yet never really faced anybody actually good. If you played Nebraska that year (11-0-1) and lost, no one's going to criticize that. From a Big Ten perspective, both Ohio State and Michigan were solid (9-1 for each), even if the rest of the Big Ten was pretty crappy, as per usual for the day.

But Indiana doesn't have those excuses. Somehow, they missed on both Michigan and Ohio State in conference. The best opponent by record would be 8-3 West Virginia, who was just middle-of-the-pack by my numbers (63rd out of 125 teams). The best by my metrics would be either 6-5 Colorado or 6-4 Northwestern, which... Northwestern. Irregardless, a barely above 0.500 team should not be striking fear into your hearts.

So we're left with a team facing a pedestrian schedule, and by some strange quirk, facing a near uniform split with the "best" teams coming to Bloomington to play. And they still only managed a single win, closing out the season with five straight blowout losses (including one to #112 Iowa!). Is it any wonder that this team comes in ranked so poorly?

John Pont would coach for two more years after this season before being replaced by (fun fact!) Lee Corso.

FUTURE PROJECTIONS OF SUSPECT VALIDITY

Indiana Proj Rk - 58 (out of 129)

Off Ret St - 8 (1 QB)

Def Ret St - 10

Conf Prj Rec Conf Adj Off rk Adj Def rk SOS rk C-SOS rk
B10 5-7 3-5 1.40 11 1.25 108 0.17 35 0.31 39
Gm Wk Date H/V Opponent Prj Rk Prj Off Prj Def W-Lk
1 1 2014-08-30 H IndianaState 126 ~ ~ 99%
2 3 2014-09-13 V BowlingGreen 50 65 35 35%
3 4 2014-09-20 V Missouri 21 25 27 15%
4 5 2014-09-27 H Maryland 59 73 49 63%
5 6 2014-10-04 H NorthTexas 86 104 68 82%
6 7 2014-10-11 V Iowa 41 61 22 25%
7 8 2014-10-18 H MichiganState 20 45 7 27%
8 10 2014-11-01 V Michigan 23 21 32 16%
9 11 2014-11-08 H PennState 32 57 11 34%
10 12 2014-11-15 V Rutgers 56 69 39 38%
11 13 2014-11-22 V OhioState 5 8 16 4%
12 14 2014-11-29 H Purdue 101 101 98 89%

Indiana 2014 Profile (old projections)

Hoegher's Biased Perspective

Just for fun, I decided to look at the past few years of Big Ten previews that I've written up.

2012 Preview:

NEGATIVE: An Adj Def of 1.458 (113th rk) is atrocious. We don't really need to say more than that.

2013 Preview:

Even so, Indiana needs to stop the hemorrhaging of yards and at least bring up its defense from "abysmal" to "bad."

Aside from some general embarrassment at my writing styles (which continues to this day!), it's clear that defense has been the issue for some time. This is where I'd usually say that there's no where to go but up, but...

2013 Def - 111th

2012 Def - 111th

2011 Def - 111th

2010 Def - 103rd

2009 Def - 94th

Bad, bad, bad. As Mister Candystripes might say "sometimes you just stay horrible."

And yet, I'm not going to disparage Kevin Wilson. Kevin Wilson is an offensive minded coach, who was hired at a conference doormat, which would probably be regarded as the undisputed worst team in the Big Ten were it not for Purdue sudden plummet into ineptitude. In his time here, he has elevated Indiana's offense to a consideration as a legitimately elite force, given the Hoosiers their first win over Penn State ever, and brought Indiana to the cusp of bowl eligibility. That their defense remains in the toilet is unfortunate, but should not take away from what he's accomplished.

Frankly, (and I'm trying to figure out a way to say this tactfully) I don't think making a bowl game should have much (if any) affect on Kevin Wilson's job status, this year or the next. This is still Indiana, and with annual games against Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, and Rutg-hahahaha, clearing six wins is going to be a difficult annual goal.

That said, 6-6, because I want to see Sparty-freude on my birthday.

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