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When Kevin Wilson was hired as Indiana's head football coach prior to the 2011 season, he made it clear to anyone and everyone that he was intent on restoring pride in Hoosiers football. His rant on local sports radio, targeting two local sports talk hosts—who eventually hung up on Wilson, and for good reason—instantly became an Internet sensation.
The only problem is Wilson's Hoosiers then proceeded to churn out a 1-11 season, followed by a 4-8 performance in 2012. No one said this was going to be easy, especially since football is an afterthought in hoops-crazed Bloomington.
Season three in a coaching stint is often used as a litmus for the coach's future prospects and the overall direction of the team. If that's going to be the case with Wilson's tenure at Indiana, he may be in a bit of trouble heading into 2013.
There's plenty of returning starters on the roster for the upcoming season. But based on past performances, that could be part of the problem. Indiana wasn't particularly terrible with the football last season, averaging 442.0 yards per game (second in the Big Ten, 34th in the FBS), but the defense was another story entirely.
The Hoosiers were easily the worst team in the conference, giving up a whopping 463.5 yards and 35.3 points per game (106th and 104th in the nation, respectively). Clearly, any changes to Indiana's success rate will need to start with changes on defense.
First, the bad news. There are only three full-time starters returning for 2013, none of which are on the defensive line. The initial reaction is to say, "Hey, the defense was so bad last season, isn't a changeover in personnel a good thing?" Ordinarily, we'd agree. But what kind of talent is replacing the departing players?
Indiana at the No. 11 recruiting class in the Big Ten in 2012 according to Rivals.com. Clearly, the talent level for the upcoming troupe of redshirt freshmen is in doubt.
Wilson fared quite a bit better recently, with Rivals.com's No. 4 recruiting haul in the Big Ten. But even the top recruit, 4-star defensive back Antonio Allen isn't likely to see the field until at least 2014.
That leaves the 2013 Hoosiers with some depth issues, at least enough to earn a spot on our list.