Each year, the Outback Bowl takes place on Jan. 1. It’s one of the more notable bowls in what has honestly become a watered down bowl season.

The Outback Bowl, however, has a bit of tradition to it and pits a Big Ten team against an SEC program. Over the phone this week, the Outback Bowl CEO — Jim McVay — talked about one B1G team in particular that is likely to raise some eyebrows.

It’s about a team that doesn’t typically see the Outback Bowl: Indiana. The Hoosiers have actually never appeared in a bowl game in the state of Florida.

“We would love to have Indiana here,” McVay said by phone from his Outback Bowl office. “I’ve been watching them close lately, and I know all about their ties to Tampa and to Florida. Coach (Tom) Allen has done a tremendous job, and we’d be honored to have them play in our game, if it comes to that.

“I have ties to Indiana, too. My brother Tim played football there (as a defensive back from 1974 to 1977), so I pay attention. They are definitely on our radar, and we’ll see how it all plays out in the next four five weeks. It’s a shame about their quarterback (Tampa’s own Michael Penix Jr.) getting hurt, but it sure seems like they’ve been playing right through injuries.”

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Not only does McVay want Indiana to play in the annual New Year’s day bowl game. It sounds as though he would love to have Indiana there. He even has ties to the Hoosiers and got in-depth about what’s been happening around Bloomington this season.

If Indiana finishes the season strong and can make a January bowl game, it goes to show the growth going on. Tom Allen has something brewing in Bloomington and being able to have a season to remember in just his fourth year would be quite impressive.