The annual Big Ten football media day gathering in Chicago kicked off yesterday when half of the league's 14 teams had their coach and selected players take questions from the press.
Indiana is in today's second group as Hoosier head coach Kevin Wilson and three of his players have made it to the Hyatt at McCormick Place.
The three Hoosier players making the trip include Preseason All-American OL Dan Feeney, linebacker Marcus Oliver and veteran OL Dimitric Camiel.
The Big Ten Network will carry the head coach press conferences beginning at 9:00 A.M. ET this morning. New Illinois coach Lovey Smith will kick things off and Kevin Wilson is slated to follow him at 9:15 A.M.
Peegs.com is in Chicago and this premium football board thread will include our updates from media day.
In anticipation of today's event, we've gathered a few of the main story lines facing Indiana as the Hoosiers try to make a bowl game for the second straight season.
New defensive coordinator and alignment
For the second time in the Kevin Wilson era a change has been made at defensive coordinator. Kevin Wilson has brought in Tom Allen from South Florida. A guy with strong Hoosier roots, especially in the Indianapolis area, Allen should help with recruiting. But the real question is how will his 4-2-5 alignment work with the Hoosier personnel?
Can Lagow be the man at QB?
We all saw how the Indiana offense struggled the last couple years when Nate Sudfeld was too injured to play. Now with Sudfeld off to the NFL, can JuCo transfer Richard Lagow or one of the other veteran quarterbacks step up and run the quick tempo Kevin Wilson offense?
Lagow got a jump on things by being around in the spring and he has the size and arm strength for the position. But the position requires quick thinking and touch, something Sudfeld excelled with at times in his Indiana career.
Who can rush the passer?
Indiana has some veteran defensive tackles but the end position on the defensive line is a real question mark with the departures of several guys who did get the quarterback.
Can new defensive line coach Mark Hagen find someone at the defensive end position that can get pressure on the opposing QB this fall?
Bowl game eligibility just got that much more difficult
This is the first year that Indiana and other Big Ten teams have to play nine regular season conference games. Already burdened with the tougher East division slate, Indiana will now have to win a minimum of three league games to have a chance for a bowl, something the Hoosiers failed to do last season.
Is there tangible momentum to build on?
The Pinstripe Bowl appearance was Indiana’s first since the 2007 Insight Bowl. That team lost several key players and never built on that momentum. Is this Hoosier team better prepared for an encore performance? Has the bowl berth provided a boost on the recruiting trail and in motivation among the players in offseason workouts?
No shortage of defensive back candidates
Last year the big question mark was the defensive backfield. This year that position brings in much more experience and a couple interesting older newcomers in South Carolina transfer Wesley Green and junior college transfer Jayme Thompson. Can last year’s question mark be a strength in 2016?