After being snubbed by the College Football Playoff committee, the one-loss Hoosiers missed out an opportunity to play in one of the New Years’ Six bowls after it was announced that Notre Dame made the field of six and that three-loss Iowa State continued to remain above Indiana in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Indiana finished 11th in the final rankings completed by the college football playoff selection committee led by Iowa AD Gary Barta.
The combination of those two happening and conference tie-ins to the other New Year’s Six games forced the Hoosiers out of consideration. Despite being ranked seventh in the nation according to the AP and Coaches’ polls, the Hoosiers did not earn enough respect among the 13 in the playoff selection committee, and IU will instead play in one of the top remaining bowls outside of the NY6.
Indiana fans that are upset have every right to be upset. In a historical season that broke records game after game, earned the Hoosiers in a top 10 spot in the AP poll for multiple weeks, and a team that earned the respect of computer rankings, IU was ultimately punished for playing not enough games, even though their only loss came from No. 3 Ohio State by a single touchdown.
Instead, the 2021 Outback Bowl (Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Florida) will host the Indiana Hoosiers and Ole Miss Rebels on January 2, 2021. The game will be broadcasted nationally on ABC starting at 12:30 pm EST.
Indiana has an opportunity for a homecoming for a number of players’ and their families given the strong Indiana recruiting ties to the Tampa area. Ten Hoosiers on the current roster come from the Tampa-Clearwater area, including Tom Allen’s son, Thomas Allen. Another fourteen Hoosiers are from the state of Florida.
Ole Miss (4-5) has losses to Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, and LSU this year. Their match up against Texas A&M was postponed twice year. The high-powered offense is currently averaging nearly 41 points per game.
The Rebels finished fourth in the SEC West conference during the regular season.
Indiana head coach Tom Allen was a Special Teams Coordinator and Linebackers Coach at Ole Miss between 2012 and 2014 under the leadership of then-head coach Hugh Freeze.
At the time of reporting, tickets for the event are currently available on Ticketmaster for the New Year’s showcase.
Featured Photo: Indiana University Athletics