Why Indiana football is one of the Big Ten’s biggest mysteries this fall

BLOOMINGTON – Big Ten media days, less than two weeks from now in Indianapolis, will mark the start of the conference’s annual academic calendar with some fascinating questions.

A new commissioner will meet his league for the first time, trying to tidy up the messy transition from the last administration. One of the Big Ten’s oldest and most-respected members will have to answer for a scandal that’s rocked a football program to its foundations. USC and UCLA will be one year away from joining.

Indiana’s turn through the scrum probably won’t seem quite so profound. But for all interested, the Hoosiers present a fascinating pair of questions heading into what should be a pivotal 2023 season for coach Tom Allen:

Indiana Head Coach Tom Allen watches his team during Indiana football’s Spring Football Saturday event at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2203.

What exactly is IU football this year? And, for a coach whose greatest fundamental strength has been the ability to build a sense of tight-knit camaraderie, can Allen’s approach translate when he leans as heavily into roster turnover as he has the last two years?

Indiana shapes up as one of the Big Ten’s mysteries this fall.

The Hoosiers figure to have transfers, unproven young players — or in some cases both — starting at nearly every position in every phase this season. Quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, secondary and even placekicker will need new starters and could feature brand-new faces this fall.

Allen and his staff were particularly aggressive in the transfer portal last winter, adding players like Tayven Jackson, Philip Blidi, E.J. Williams, Andre Carter and a host of others to a roster depleted by graduations and departures following a 4-8 2022.

And there’s growing confidence in a handful of second-…


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