Indiana lost to USC, 14-3, in the 1968 Rose Bowl, failing to win their 10th game of the season and first-ever Rose Bowl (in their first-ever Rose Bowl appearance). Fifty-two years later, the Hoosiers are still seeking their first-ever 10-win season, one of three Power Five programs who’ve never won double digit games in one season (Iowa State and Vanderbilt). Nonetheless, Indiana football is moving in the right direction.
Indiana flirted with 10 wins several times under Bill Mallory in the 1980s but never won nine games, let alone 10 games. And after an eight-win 1993 season, Indiana didn’t reach eight wins again until last year when they had seven wins by early November but dropped three of their final four games to miss their first-ever 10-win season and first nine-win season since their lone Rose Bowl season.
There’s only one way for Indiana to win 10 games in 2020: Win out and reach the national championship. With an eight-game conference-only schedule, the Hoosiers and every other Big Ten team must run the table through the College Football Playoff semifinals. While the Hoosiers are one of seven Big Ten teams still alive for a 10-win season, with all due respect, they’re not running the table through the semifinals. That, however, is entirely irrelevant as Indiana continues taking huge steps forward and, as we discussed on this week’s High Motor podcast, is one of only five Big Ten program clearly moving forward.