Every year we get to endure to the joy of being reminded of Indiana football’s futility against Michigan (30 year winless streak) and Ohio State (29 year winless streak). Recently we have however experienced the joy of ending long winless streaks against Penn State (20 year streak broken in 2013 via a 44-24 Hoosier win), and Michigan State (10 year streak broken in 2016 via a 24-21 Hoosier win).
Unfortunately there is another winless streak that is getting a little long in the tooth, and the Hoosiers will have the opportunity to address it this weekend. Indiana’s last win against Wisconsin was in 2002. Now admittedly, the series has been on a bit of a hiatus. After the 2002 win, the teams took a couples years off and then played every year from 2005 through 2013. They haven’t played since. We can’t say that we’ve missed them. Here are the scores of the last 4 games, and no, these are not typos:
2013: Wisconsin 51, Indiana 3
2012: Wisconsin 62, Indiana 14
2011: Wisconsin 59, Indiana 7
2010: Wisconsin 83, Indiana 20
That 2010 game is still incomprehensible. The story goes that Bucky Badger did 573 push ups after Wisconsin scores. Sure, the Badgers had J.J. Watt, but we are pretty sure there was only one of him that day, not 22.
That’s an average score of 64 to 11 over the last four games. The Indiana average was so low that we could do the math in our head. The Wisconsin average, well, not so much. Vegas has the Badgers as an early 11 point favorite for Saturday’s contest. Perhaps they don’t know about the last 4 games? Ok, we’d probably take the Hoosiers +53.
Indiana’s problem in 2017 hasn’t been keeping things close for the most part. It just can’t put together a complete game. If the offense is clicking the defense looks bad (see Maryland). If the defense is clicking the offense is bad (see Michigan/Michigan State). The special teams continues to have major breakdowns. They keep it close for 3 quarters but then fall apart (see Ohio State). They start out awful but then right the ship (see Penn State). It is always something with the 2017 edition of the Hoosiers, and it’s hard to imagine that will change with the 8-0 and top 5 Badgers. It certainly seems foolish to expect different results at this point. If Bucky Badger is making the road trip we hope he has been training.
Here is a summary of Indiana’s current winning/losing streaks against each of the teams in the B1G, in order of futility:
- Michigan – 22 game losing streak (last win 1987)
- Ohio State – 22 game losing streak (last win 1988)
- Wisconsin – 9 game losing streak (last win 2002)
- Nebraska – 5 game losing streak (last win 1959)
- Northwestern – 5 game losing streak (last win 2008)
- Penn State – 4 game losing streak (last win 2013)
- Minnesota – 2 game losing streak (last win 2007)
- Iowa – 2 game losing streak (last win 2012)
- Maryland – 1 game losing streak (last win 2016)
- Michigan State – 1 game losing streak (last win 2016)
- Rutgers – 1 game winning streak (lost loss 2015)
- Illinois – 2 game winning streak (last loss 2011)
- Purdue – 4 game winning streak (lost loss 2012)
Yeah, we saved the best for last. If you want to know how far Purdue sunk under Darrell Hazell, well, that list pretty much says it all. It is worth noting that in order to achieve another .500 season, the Hoosiers will need to continue ALL of their active B1G winning streaks over the course of the last 3 games, assuming that they lose to Wisconsin on Saturday.
Photo credit: GASH/AP