ESPN's College Gameday crew is in Bloomington for the first time tomorrow night as #2 Ohio State comes calling, and some, including friend of the show Gregg Doyel, are saying it's the biggest IU game in fifty years:
It's a huge game, and would obviously be a massive win for IU, but the Hoosiers were once a win away from Rose Bowl. (Yes, I'm serious).
Thirty years ago, #16 Indiana entered the penultimate game of the Big Ten season at #13 Michigan State. The Spartans were the undefeated Big Ten leader, while IU's 5-1 mark included wins over Ohio State (in Columbus!) and Michigan - an unthinkable feat for a program like Indiana. A victory in East Lansing would've put the Hoosiers a home win over three-win Purdue away from the program's second-ever trip to Pasadena.
Needless to say, Indiana didn't win that day. They were dominated in a 27-3 loss, but that loss led to one of the most memorable moments of the Bill Mallory era:
So, no, tomorrow's game doesn't carry the magnitude of that '87 MSU game, but with a national audience tuned in and Indiana trying to prove it is no longer a cellar-dweller, it's still massive..
P.S. Where can I get that sweet 1987 Indiana jacket?!