Hoosiers continue to play waiting game for bowl bid

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Indiana's interminable wait is almost over.

After going seven seasons without being bowl-eligible, 12 more weeks trying to end the streak and one final week looking at potential destinations, the Hoosiers are about to get their answer.

''I expect we'll hear formally and finally on Sunday afternoon, shortly before it's made public,'' athletic director Fred Glass wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

With 10 Big Ten bowl slots and only eight eligible teams, Indiana's options are literally all over the map.

Glass believes it will come down to four places - The Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium, the Foster Farms Bowl at the site of Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco, the Music City Bowl in Nashville and the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida.

''All of which would provide great bowl experiences for our players and fans,'' Glass wrote.

Of course, with eight years between bowl appearances and only one from 1994-2014, any bowl experience is a welcome sight to the Hoosiers (6-6, 2-6 Big Ten) especially after the way this season went.

They started with four straight wins then lost six straight, four to top 15 teams, and only became bowl eligible by winning their final two games on the road. It was the first time they won their final two on the road since 1993.

Finding a bowl site isn't the only issue Glass has been dealing with since the Hoosiers beat rival Purdue 54-36 on Nov. 28.

Some were pushing for coach Kevin Wilson to be fired if Indiana didn't reach a bowl game this season despite having two seasons left on his contract.

But when Glass made the hire in December 2010, he gave Wilson a seven-year deal because he wanted long-term stability in the program.

Sticking with Wilson has resulted in a steady progression in which Indiana improved form one win in 2011 to four in 2012 to five in 2013 and six this year. The only time the Hoosiers regressed came last season when they lost starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld for the season's second half and wound up with only four wins.

Now, the debate has shifted.

Rather than chasing Wilson out of town, many are talking about rewarding Wilson with a contract extension, hoping the Hoosiers continue to win on the field and in recruiting.

''I've always thought continuity to be a key to getting football where we want it,'' Glass wrote. ''I think there has been clear improvement under Kevin, especially this year including the way we competed with four top 10 teams. He and I will continue to talk about that and how we want to move forward over the next several days.''