Sep 1, 2023 - Sports

College football is back: What's in store for IU and Purdue

The Indiana football team walking out onto the field in front of a rock

We're back, baby! Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Break out the tailgate supplies — college football season is here.

Driving the news: IU and Purdue play their first games Saturday, with the Hoosiers facing a tough matchup against No. 3 Ohio State and the Boilermakers hosting Fresno State.

Why it matters: This is the last season of the Big Ten as we know it today. Next year, the conference will expand to 18 schools and spread out to the west coast as USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington are added.

State of play for the Hoosiers: IU only won six games during the last two seasons combined, but defensive changes and stronger wide receivers on the roster could make a big difference this year.

  • Yes, but: Coach Tom Allen still hasn't publicly said who the starting quarterback will be.

👍 Best-case scenario: IU manages to win six games and qualifies for a bowl game.

ğŸ‘Ž Worst-case scenario: IU starts the season with an embarrassing loss to OSU (Ohio has a 27-game win streak), doesn't rebound from it and has a losing record, again.

A circle of men holding a wooden bucket inside a stadium.
Who will take home the Old Oaken Bucket this year? Photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Purdue has a new head coach this year, with Ryan Walters taking over after spending the last two years as defensive coordinator at Illinois.

State of play for the Boilermakers: Purdue had a great season last year, going 8-6 overall, winning the Big Ten West division and playing in the Big 10 Championship Game.

Yes, but: The team lost five players to the NFL, including quarterback Aidan O'Connell.

👍 Best case scenario: Purdue manages to be as good as they were last year and plays in a bowl game for the third year in a row.

ğŸ‘Ž Worst case scenario: The team doesn't rebound from the players it lost and misses out on postseason action.

What we're watching: The Old Oaken Bucket game on Nov. 25. Purdue leads the series 76–42–6 and has won the last two years.

💭 Lindsey's thought bubble: It's time to break that streak. Go Hoosiers!

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