It’s a football day in Bloomington

The parking lots are packed, and have been for a few hours. Sure, there’s almost as much Black and Gold as there is Cream and Crimson out there. But so what? This town hasn’t felt this way on a football Saturday in far too long.

As this regular season culminates, the emotions it has stirred all along are only intensified. There’s been a live-for-today mentality surrounding the program all year, even though tomorrow, in so many ways, is what matters. When Terry Hoeppner passed away, the urgency shifted from establishing a program through whatever pains that would require to proving something this year, right now.

This game brings it all into focus: If Indiana wins, it has a very good chance of being picked as the Big Ten’s representative in the Motor City Bowl. If it does not win, it faces a nerve-wracking wait to see if another bowl will 1) be able to select an at-large team and 2) actually choose the Hoosiers.

But what will happen to Bill Lynch and his staff? That is the more important question even though the fans, rightfully so, are caught up in the emotion of the day.

I have written — as have most area columnists — that Lynch is the right man for the job. The fans — at least those who voted on our blog poll — believe Lynch should not be retained by almost a 2-to-1 margin.

This Purdue game will be the final line on Lynch’s resume for keeping his job.

As I sit here typing the Indiana players are coming from a door across the stadium, crossing through the North end zone and into their locker room. A few dozen fans have found their way into the stadium, and they are cheering for the Hoosiers.

The last man to come out of the door is Bill Lynch, a few minutes after the team has all crossed the field. He is alone, and he takes his time on this particular walk.