Most important game: Indiana

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
10:30
AM ET
On Tuesday, we began a new series looking at the most important game for each Big Ten team in 2012. These are the games that will have the biggest impact on the league race or hold special meaning for one of the teams involved.

Let's take a look now at the Indiana Hoosiers.

Most important game: Nov. 24 at Purdue

Why it's important: The goal for head coach Kevin Wilson's second year is pretty obvious: beat some FBS competition, and win at least one Big Ten game. The Hoosiers did neither during a 1-11 season in 2011. Indiana played one of its best games of the season in its last outing a year ago, hanging with Purdue in Bloomington most of the way before falling 33-25. The Old Oaken Bucket is always going to be important between these two in-state rivals, and the Hoosiers won in their last trip to West Lafayette in 2010. Purdue figures to be improved this season and has much better depth than Wilson's team, but emotions can allow players to perform at a different level in a heated rivalry. Indiana has a chance to get off to a decent start this season, with its first three games coming against Indiana State, UMass and Ball State, and a win in the finale against the Boilermakers could help Wilson gather some goodwill and momentum for the program. Hoosiers fans will have to hope their team is not still seeking its first Big Ten win by the time this important game rolls around.

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