BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana Hoosiers are the seventh-best team in the country, according to the Associated Press Top 25, with a record of 6-1 and their only loss of the season coming to Ohio State.
Indiana, by all accounts, was primed to be selected for a New Year’s Six bowl game, or at the worst a bid in the Citrus Bowl. Neither of those outcomes happened. The Hoosiers will be playing Ole Miss in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 2 in Florida.
“Just very excited for our football team to return to Florida for a January bowl game,” said head coach Tom Allen. “Two years in a row. The first time that has happened in our program’s history.”
There are many, including former IU athletic director Fred Glass, who feel the Hoosiers have been grossly disrespected by the College Football Playoff committee, who decides who will play in the New Year’s Six bowl games, and the Big Ten Conference.
Glass told the IndyStar that he felt IU had been “done-in by the good-ole-boy Big Ten power structure”, and that “there are influential people (in the Big Ten) who don’t want Indiana to be good in football.”
“There will be a time and a place to address that,” said Allen, quickly dismissing any question having to do with the subject in his Sunday media briefing. “I don’t think this is the time or the place.”
“For me personally and many of our players, this is an awesome bowl opportunity for us to have. So, that’s what we’re going to focus on right now and not on the things that we can’t control, but there will be a time and a place to address that.”
The Hoosiers could have had a birth in the Big Ten Championship game against Northwestern had it not been for a rule change by the Big Ten late in the season that permitted a 5-0 Ohio State team to play in the game.
The conference had originally said each team must play a minimum of six games in order to qualify for the championship game. Ohio State was only able to play five as they had several games canceled for COVID related reasons.
“The committee really appreciated watching the Indiana team play,” said Gary Barta, who is the chairman of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. He is also the athletic director at the University of Iowa, which is also in the Big Ten.
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