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Some pre-season IU hype.. in football.. no, seriously

July 17, 2008

It’s not often that I get to get excited about anything that is written about IU football before the season begins (most pre-season conference rankings have my Hoosiers somewhere between 10th and 11th in the conference going into ’08) but ESPN.com Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg gave me something to smile about today, naming IU senior quarterback Kellen Lewis the conference’s best quarterback, topping returning Ohio starter Todd Boeckman, Purdue’s Curtis Painter and Illinois quarterback Juice Williams.

The recently-reinstated Lewis will be shouldering all of the offense load for the Hoosiers going into this season and will have to do so surrounded by considerably less talent after his number 1 target, wide receiver James Hardy, bolted Bloomington for an early shot at the NFL draft where he was snatched up in the second round by the Buffalo Bills. Though the media, Rittenberg apparently being the expection, may largely overlook Lewis’ talent, the only reason to explain why he’s not on the Davey O’Brian pre-season watchlist, you can guarantee that stopping Lewis will be the central plan of many defensive gameplans this year. The blogger writes:

“He has the league’s best combination of arm strength, decision-making and athleticism. Last season, he eclipsed 3,000 passing yards with 28 TDs and only 10 INTs, to go along with a team-high 736 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Time away from the team (suspension) could hurt him, but the second-team All-Big Ten selection will catch on soon enough.”

I like my team to win 6 or 7 games this year. A non-conference schedule that features four home games and the absence of a certain team from Columbus on the Hoosiers’ Big Ten schedule should make it more than possible for now-permanent head coach Bill Lynch to take IU to a bowl game for the 2nd consecutive year.

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