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‘Indiana could shock some in the Big Ten’: Where Indiana football ranks in way-too-early Big Ten standings



Donaven McCulley, Indiana football
The Indiana football program is ranked 16th in the way-too-early Big Ten power rankings for Curt Cignetti's first season. (Indiana Athletics)

The Indiana football program enters a critical spring session under a new coaching staff with numerous offseason additions to its roster.

Curt Cignetti has stressed the importance of ‘stalking complacency’ all while getting rid of the ‘softness’ in the Indiana football program. His first two months on the job surely addressed that from an outsiders perspective.

He said all the right things. He rode momentum on the recruiting trail. And, he retained some key players from last year.

But, none of that matters unless he’s able to win on the field — something he’s done everywhere he’s been.

As we enter spring practice, however, one national outlet isn’t too bullish on the Hoosiers, ranking them 16th in the early Big Ten power rankings.

“Curt Cignetti was a top-notch hire for Indiana. The former James Madison head coach takes over the Hoosiers in his first attempt at operating a Power Five program,” 247Sports National Analyst Cody Nagel wrote. “Cignetti led the Dukes to a combined 52-9 (.852) record in five seasons, including the last two at the FBS level. His 119-35 (.772) overall record as a head coach speaks for itself. Indiana could shock some in the Big Ten with a top-20 transfer portal class and return of former four-star quarterback Tayven Jackson. The Hoosiers won just three Big Ten in the final three years under Tom Allen. So the bar is not set high for Cignetti.”

The two programs behind Indiana? Illinois and Purdue.

Indiana football brought in 25 players on National Signing Day and then added seven players shortly after James Madison’s bowl game.

Since then, there have been five more to officially sign.

“You get here and you got 10 offensive starters in the portal, 25 total, you have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time,” Cignetti told Don Fischer last week. “But, we got some momentum going around day five and then it just picked up and we brought in close to 30 mid-year guys … I think we changed the look of the roster, the look of the team and I’m excited about getting going.”

Indiana football is coming off of just three Big Ten wins over the last three seasons, including a 2-10 record in conference play a season ago.

Indiana is just 9-27 over the last three years overall.

“Now you end up with two kinda guys here — one with a chip on your shoulder and want to prove to people that they can get it done. You want to keep those guys,” Cignetti added to Fischer. “The guys who have sort of succumbed to defeat, failure, negativity, blame, finger pointing, given up along the way. You’re glad they’re in the portal. The portal makes it easy to change the roster, but you better thrive in it to stay in the business and be successful.”

Right now, Indiana’s transfer class ranks No. 19 in the country in the 247Sports rankings. It has the 45th class overall — combining high school prospects and transfers.

SEE ALSO: ‘We have to get rid of this softness in order to stalk complacency’: Curt Cignetti details offseason plan for Indiana football

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.