Is Indiana A True Contender In The Big Ten?

It is time to start talking about Indiana. The Hoosiers were already a top 10 team entering Saturday. And they remain unbeaten after a 24-0 victory over Michigan State. Anytime a team gets to 4-0 in the Big Ten, they are worth discussing.

But let's look at Indiana more closely.

Yes, they are 4-0. That is impressive, but the combined record of those four opponents is 3-11. In most seasons, getting a win against Penn State and Michigan would be respectable. But those two teams are currently 1-6.

So, what does that mean for the Hoosiers? Are they a legitimate team or not? Well, the current answer is we just don't know.

Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. looks like a breakout at the position. Against the Spartans, he completed 65.8 percent of his 38 pass attempts for 320 yards and two scores. Granted, he did add to interceptions to his season total, but he's been excellent this season.

His favorite target continues to be Ty Fryfogle. The senior wide receiver hauled in 11 catches for 200 yards and both of Penix's touchdowns against Michigan State. That brings his season totals to 24 catches for 424 yards and four touchdowns through four games.

That combination should continue to be a problem this season for opposing defenses. But with Ohio State, Maryland and Wisconsin on the schedule the next three weeks, it wouldn't be a total shock to see this Indiana team at 4-3 come the regular season finale on Dec. 12.

Either way, we'll find out a lot more about the Hoosiers when they take on the Buckeyes next Saturday.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.