13. Indiana Hoosiers
Tevin Coleman leaving is a massive blow to the cause, but getting a 1,000-yard transfer running back in UAB’s Jordan Howard is going to soften that blow quite a bit. Let’s not forget that this was a team with a major health and youth issue at quarterback last season, and it could be a team better off for it in 2015.
Indiana also will be helped by only losing two seniors off the offense, even if one of them was star receiver Shane Wynn. It means this offense can move in to the offseason focusing on the little things instead of just learning how to play together.
That’s not the case on the defensive side of the football, as IU will replace five senior starters from the final game of the season. However, given this being the second year of the switch to a 3-4 defense and the lack of overall great results on that side of the football in 2014, it could be a good thing to have to replace that many players.
IU began to get better on defense as the season went along, and there are potential stars in Ralphael Green at nose tackle and Michael Hunter at cornerback.
This is a team that could really use a full spring together, healthy, to springboard towards finally becoming a bowl-eligible team. It just so happens there’s a lot to prove in the offseason before we’re ready to move them off the bottom rungs of the conference.