August 18, 2022

Why Tom Allen is a candidate for Coach of the Year

Indiana Football

Indiana Coach Tom Allen addresses reporters after a 38-31 win over Nebraska Saturday October 26, 2019 at Memorial Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

Last season he led Indiana to eight wins for the first time since 1993, and now he has the program off to its’ best conference start in 22 years.

The Hoosiers will always be a basketball school first and foremost, but Tom Allen is building a huge buzz behind his football team. Indiana came into the season unranked and is currently sitting at No. 10 in the AP Poll, its’ highest ranking since 1969.

Allen’s team has already took down legendary blue bloods Penn State and Michigan this fall. Not to mention the Nittany Lions and Wolverines were both ranked at the time. Now the Hoosiers are one of two undefeated teams remaining in the Big Ten East, which speaks volumes for Allen.

After all, the 50-year old coach has been the ideal man for the job. Considering Allen is an Indiana native and grew up 98 miles from campus, he knew what type of foundation the program needed. The Hoosiers flew under the radar at the start of the Big Ten season and they quickly have become a household name in the conference after winning their first three games.

Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has scored nine total touchdowns, plus the game-winning two-point conversion in the opener. The sophomore signal-caller is coming off back-to-back games with over 300 passing yards, three touchdown tosses and no interceptions. Penix’s receivers are arguably the best unit in the league and tight end Peyton Hendershot is All-Big Ten caliber, with three touchdown catches in the past two games.

Indiana has scored 36 or more points in three-straight conference games for the first time since 2015. The Hoosiers’ defense continues to be solid. The Hoosiers’ defense is only allowing opposing offenses a little over three yards per carry. The secondary is full of ballhawks and the strength of the unit. Indiana has seven interceptions, including three by corner Jaylin Williams.

Allen’s team has a ton of momentum and playing with extreme confidence. However, the Hoosiers next two games are on the road. Indiana squares off with rival Michigan State for the Old Brass Spittoon and Ohio State for the East lead.

Still, the Hoosiers are playing the type of football that will have them battling well into the fourth quarter every game. Allen has a chance to prove to the College football world that the Hoosiers aren’t overachievers and that their wins aren’t flukes. The fact that Indiana is in this position, means Allen should be considered a Coach of the Year candidate. If not nationally, definitely in the Big Ten. Now all eyes will be on the Hoosiers as they navigate through the Big Ten gauntlet.