Indiana setting sights on winning B1G title in 2021
There’s never really been much talk about Indiana winning a B1G title on the football field. Just getting to a bowl game has often been considered a satisfactory accomplishment in Bloomington.
After winning eight games in 2019 and finishing the 2020 regular season with a 6-1 record, Indiana is now gearing up to contend for a B1G championship during the 2021 season. Head coach Tom Allen believes his team is in the position to compete with the best in the league.
Speaking with ESPN’s Heather Dinich recently, Allen said this spring is the first time he’s allowed his team to talk about winning a B1G title, coming so close to doing exactly that a year ago. The lone loss was to Ohio State, a 42-35 decision in Columbus.
. @CoachAllenIU told me this is 1st offseason as IU HC he's allowed the team to talk about winning the B1G. Said when he first arrived, they'd huddle and say "B1G Ten championship!" on 3. "I made them stop saying that b/c I didn't think anybody believed it. It just sounded good."
— Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) April 12, 2021
In Allen’s first two seasons, the Hoosiers stalled at 5-7 in back-to-back years in 2017 and 2018 before having a big year in 2019. Indiana ended that season with an 8-5 record and earning a bid to the Gator Bowl.
This year, IU ended long losing streaks to Michigan and Wisconsin and also defeated Penn State en route to one of its best seasons in program history. The team still couldn’t get over the bowl victory hump, falling to Ole Miss in the Outback Bowl.
Despite the disappointing end to last season, Allen thinks it’s appropriate to start aiming for a bigger prize: the B1G title.
“I do believe we’ve now put ourselves in position where that has to be part of the conversation,” Allen told Dinich.
Indiana will have a great opportunity to prove it belongs at the top of the B1G early in the season. The Hoosiers open the season with a road trip to Iowa before returning home to play Idaho and Cincinnati. They then will have back-to-back road games against Western Kentucky and Penn State in the first five weeks of the season.
Those first five games will dictate a lot in Indiana’s pursuit of a B1G championship.