Indiana football has been difficult to watch for quite some time now. As a student at Indiana University, I can't describe how frustrating this season has been. To see us go up 17-0 on Michigan State only to fall in the fourth quarter was heartbreaking.
But there is still hope for this season.
Believe it or not, but if the Hoosiers can win the rest of their games this year, they will be able to play in the Big Ten Championship, a title that hasn't been won by IU since 1967.
Due to their ineligibility, Ohio State and Penn State are not able to go to the championship game. This gives the rest of that side of the Big Ten a shot.
Regardless of if we win the Big Ten Championship or not, the fact that we could somehow make it would be incredible.
But there are four teams that the Hoosiers need to get through first.
November 3, vs. Iowa (4-4)
The Hoosiers are coming off their first win since September 8, and coming back home for the first time since the close game against Ohio State.
Iowa has lost to some smaller programs this year, including Iowa State and Central Michigan. They have also lost two straight, and their confidence is not at its highest.
This is an opportunity for the Hoosiers to get two wins in a row, and that would be a major confidence boost for them.
Will IU make it to the Big Ten Championship?
November 10, vs. Wisconsin (6-3)
This will be a tough game for the Hoosiers, especially on Senior Night.
There is a chance for an upset, however.
Wisconsin's starting quarterback Joel Stave broke his collarbone and will miss the rest of the season, leaving Danny O'Brien with the starting job.
The Hoosiers will need to put all of their effort into stopping the run this week, as Montee Ball is one of the most talented running backs in the NCAA.
If they can stop the run, they have a shot.
November 17, at Penn State (5-3)
This will be another tough test for IU, as Penn State has been hot the past few weeks. Penn State is 5-1 in their past six games. However, they just lost against Ohio State.
Depending on how the next few weeks go, Penn State might lose its momentum, realizing that no matter what they do, they are ineligible for a bowl game.
Steven Houston will need to step up, just like he did against Illinois. If Houston can get the running game going, it will open up the rest of the playbook for Coach Wilson.
November 24, at Purdue (3-5)
The battle for the Oaken Bucket would be bigger than usual if the Hoosiers were able to win their next three games.
The Boilermakers have currently lost four straight games, three of them being blowouts. Their early-season momentum has faded, and they are beginning to struggle significantly.
If the Hoosiers win their next three games, this one would likely not be close. Wilson and company would be far too motivated to let this one slip away.
So the Hoosiers, against all odds, have a chance to play in the Big Ten title game. While the odds may be incredibly small, there is a still a sliver of hope remaining.