DR. SATURDAY: Lynch in trouble

So the mainstream blog network has discovered that, in fact, Indiana does still have a football team. They have uniforms and everything, guys.

Dr. Saturday, part of Yahoo!’s blog network, is taking a look at coaches on the hot seats. As you might guess, Bill Lynch got his own post.

“Bill Lynch’s head-coaching tenure has been fairly free of overtly embarrassing sound bites or motivational tactics, but one quote from his press conference the week after last season’s Northwestern game, responding to a question about nagging delay-of-game penalties, stood out: “When we were getting booed, I was booing too, because it’s unacceptable.” Seriously? You joined in the booing, coach? And this was after what would turn out to be the team’s lone conference victory of the season.”

John M., from Crimson Quarry (one of the better Indiana-related blogs going), was asked for his take.

“As for the numbers, I don’t think there is any doubt that winning six or more games will save Lynch’s job. I find it hard to believe that he would survive a season with two or fewer wins. It’s tougher to handicap three, four or five wins without knowing who IU might beat or how competitive they were in the losses.”

Take this with the appropriate grain of salt, or as me just throwing another log on the fire. I am good either way.


  1. That quote is seriously supposed to be an “Embarrassing attempt to right the ship”? Really? Good grief.

    Can we start the season already?

  2. The schedule is brutal. Lynch will really have to do something new this year if he wants to keep his job: win against Big 10 teams. None of the Big 10 games are easy, either. In fact, I’ll be shocked if he can win more than one of them.

  3. A few regular posters will be surprised I say this but I say:

    4 wins or less: Lynch gone and several on his staff.

    5 wins: depends on how team plays, progress, coaching decisions,play calling, after half play, etc.

    6 wins or more: keep job for one more year and evaluate.

  4. Can they afford to fire him and hire another coach?

    Didn’t the Athletic Department budget just recently return to black or is it still in the red?

    And not to mention what happens with Freitag this year and IU Soccer – he could be out.

    A simple coaching change won’t fix things and could make them worse – financially. And that’s really bad news for the IU Basketball team, which is the heart and soul of the University and the IU faithful worldwide.

  5. A few thoughts in response, Chester.

    A better question is, if IU has another disastrous season, can the program afford not to hire a new coach? Ultimately, to make more money on football, IU has to produce a winning program. If it becomes apparent that Lynch isn’t going to do that, then how long are you willing to keep him on? It’s like repairing a leaky roof: you may not want to spend the money now, but not doing so will cost you more in the long run.

    As for Freitag, while I have a great deal of respect for what Yeagley and Co. have built, let’s not oversell soccer. It is a nonrevenue sport that rises and falls on its own. Football is dramatically more important to IU’s athletic program than soccer is. The idea that IU would defer firing a football coach in favor of firing a soccer coach is beyond absurd.

    No, a “simple coaching change” is no guarantee of success. On the other hand, IU has now upgraded its facilities and the talent in the pipeline is better than in years past. IU’s job may not be a plum, but it’s a more attractive jobe today than it has been in decades.

  6. “John M., from Crimson Quarry (one of the better Indiana-related blogs going), was asked for his take.”

    Hugh how can you make this statement: “one of the better Indiana-related blogs going” in the sentence above?!

    I just went to the site and it seemed pretty cool until I got down to the schedule on the lower left. There the first entry had IU playing Eastern Kentucky on Sat., Sept. 5th! WHAT?! That date was changed to Thurs., Sept. 3rd MONTHS ago! With my passion for football it turned me off. I mean, that’s completely sloppy and careless work. A supposed IU website can’t even post the correct date to the first football game of the season? If I were running that show the corrected date would have been updated within 48hrs if NOT sooner! More than likely, however, the mistake wouldn’t have been made to begin with.

    I hope they change it before anyone else goes to the supposed “one of the better Indiana-related blogs going” websites! I guess I’m used to doing a little QA (Quality Assurance) work as a computer programmer before putting a product into production. Good grief……..

  7. If he doesn’t win 6, I’d say there is probably a better than 50/50 chance he’s gone. There is a lot of pressure on the football program to produce positive results in a lot of different categories including wins, attendance, TV, and bowl games. Lynch is a good man, but that doesn’t always equate to positive results. If he’s gone, Crean’s brother in law will probably get some back channel conversation to see if he’s interested in coming back to the Midwest. Harbaugh and maybe Gruden…there is a lot of pressure from big $$$ donors to fill the stadium with IU fans and they now have the facilities to lure a big name coach. But in the mean time, Right Here, Right Now Coach Lynch!

  8. Mike,

    Thanks for the feedback. I reported the problem on IU’s schedule to SB Nation some time ago. SB Nation, in turn, gets the stats for its schedule/statistics widgets from some outside service. I and SB Nation have sent the request through the appropriate channels, but for whatever reason it hasn’t been fixed yet. I have no ability to change the data in the schedule widget, or it would have been fixed long ago.

    Still, even if it were my mistake, I think your post is an overreaction. Even the New York Times and Wall Street Journal (and the Herald Times) have “corrections” sections. Based on the number of software updates I have to download, I’m guessing that even the best computer programmers make mistakes sometimes.

  9. I’m thinking Lynch will be okay with 5 or more wins, regardless of other factors (blowout losses, etc.) He might well be gone with only 4 wins, but maybe not if the team plays tough, close games. It would be very hard for Glass to keep him after a 3 win season.

    This is his third year at the helm, so his first year of recruits are mostly red-shirt freshman. I hope he wins enough to see them become seniors and therefore have an entire team of his players. If he doesn’t we’ll be starting over. Again.

  10. John M, I love your first post. The line about to make more money IU has to produce a winning program. Well said!!! Most people in general do not understand that comment but if you take the avg empty seats in the past 10-15 years and do the math with ticket cost, IU could have afforded to hire a coach and pay big money 2 times over. It is crazy the millions IU has lost on football because of not winning which leads to empty seats. I appreciate you post!

  11. GFDave, it is possible to start over with a coach and staff and not lose ground if you hire the right people. Just wanted to throw that out there. In fact, depending on the staff hired (recruiting) and reputation of a head coach, a school could be in a better situation in less than a year.

  12. John, Thanks for the response. You raised some good points about the pipeline and new facilities that I wasn’t really thinking about.

    I guess my question about Freitag was more along the lines of – could they fire both? I know some of the reporters at the Herald Times (forgot which ones) have hinted that Freitag may be on a semi hot seat this year. And I think most people who follow IU Soccer probably realize that too.

    My take from you is that it wouldn’t be too costly – monetarily speaking – to fire both Lynch and Freitag, if it comes down to it.

  13. Lynch is going to have a rough go at it this year.

    Right now, Ohio State & Penn State are two games that are tossed to the back and should not be factored into the overall decision of Lynch’s job, unless they are 55-13 or 62-10 blowouts like IU suffered last year.

    Eastern Kentucky, Western Michigan and Akron are must win games, even though W. Mich and Akron are not games I would chalk up as wins. A blow out loss to either of the MAC foes and it will spell bye bye Billy.

    I honestly think Virginia is a make or break game for Lynch this year. An out of conference BCS foe. A close played game or an IU win would put him in a very favorable position with the influential donors. An embarrassing blowout will likely seal his demise as coach.

    Going 3-1 out of conference will help his chances. That only leaves the team looking for two in conference wins to boost Lynch’s chances.

    The overall conference record doesn’t have to be better than 2-6 for Lynch to stay. Home game performance will be the key. Forget Ohio State and just hope it isn’t disgustingly ugly.

    Out of the remaining three home games, Illinois, Wisconsin & Purdue, these are crucial. Two wins out of these there games with a 3-1 OoC and Lynch stays. If all three are a loss, Lynch is fired, undoubtedly. One win (Purdue) can keep him favorable, as long as the team isn’t blown apart in the 2nd half like last year.

    If they go 1-3 at home in the Big Ten with a 3-1 OoC, or 2-2 at home with a 2-2 OoC record, they are going to need one road win.

    A solid performance at Michigan and Iowa with a win over Northwestern and a respectful margin at Penn State along with the above mentioned records might just be enough for Lynch to keep his job.

    The big $ alumni are going to be key. I think they need 5 wins to not put the pressure on Glass to remove him. Even at a 5-7 record, he still might not be safe. A 55-20, 55-13 or 62-10 loss during the Big Ten schedule might be more than he can overcome.

    Of course, I would rather see an 7-5 or 8-4 record, even if that means we will have Billy boy for a few more years.

  14. Mike P, well said. I still want to win and I will take 7 or 8 wins in a heartbeat and yes, keep Lynch for at least one more year. The 6 wins and keeping him does scare me because they might feel the need to redo contract in that case for recruiting. If that happens, the extension should not exceed 2 years. If IU has 6,7, or 8 win seasons those 2 years, a long extension should be considered for Lynch! I will not complain at all with obvious progress on the field and sideline.

  15. 5 wins won’t do it for Lynch if he finishes last in the conference again. Period. This team has to be in the middle of the pack. Going 1-2 in the first 3 games will be voided if the team can beat Wisconsin and/or Michigan, on the way to a solid conference season.

  16. Not really rocket science…if IU has 7 or more losses, then Bill is probably gone. He is a good guy and he seems to have been able to connect with the players. His son Billy and Bobby Johnson are pretty talented at what they do and seem to be getting better as coaches. Glass is his own man and he is very well connected (probably a little more connected than Greenspan whom I liked). I mentioned Harbaugh and Gruden, we might be surprised what names IU would go after if this arises. If it appears early on that we will be in for a long year, this process may move faster than in the past in order to appease donors, ticket holders, and very importantly the student-athletes.

  17. Everyone might be missing the most important stat of all – attendance. An interesting 4-8 team that somehow draws a decent (35,000) number of PAYING customers will be a lot more likely to save Lynch’s job than a 6-6 team that bores the usual 25,000 die-hards.

  18. There is no excuse for this coaching staff not to compete with the rest of the Big Ten this year.

    If he doesn’t at LEAST make a bowl game, he’s out.

    The staff has had 5 years. Every player on the roster they recruited and developed. There’s 9 starters on defense that are seniors, the other 2 are juniors.

    If we still can’t stop anyone, you have to find someone else to do it. This is the last chance for the staff. You don’t win against MAC teams, a 4-8 Michigan team, a 5-7 Illinois team, or a 5-7 Virginia team, goodbye.

    We’ll know by the end of homecoming weekend. A bowl team would win at least 5 of those games.

  19. Mike W, you will be glad to know that the schedule widget now shows IU’s game against EKU on September 3, as it should be. It’s a complete coincidence–I had followed up recently, but not in response to your post. I hope you will stop by again, at least until you find a typo.

  20. kurk81,

    Please define an “interesting 4-8 team.”

    Also, you think an IU team that’s 4-8 would outdraw a team that’s bowl eligible?

  21. That quote from Lynch is actually one of his better quotes. Usually his attitude for pathetic play is “we’ll just keep working” or “we won’t give up” or such. As a fan watching crap like that, I WANT my coach to be pissed off and think it is unacceptable. That is as close as Lynch will come, so for the guy to crack on him for that is asinine, IMO.

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