Hoosier Morning

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James Brewer could return this week after being out with an ankle injury. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

AT HOOSIERSHQ.COM

  • Indiana is hoping for James Brewer to be back in the lineup against Northwestern, Dustin writes.
  • Van Waiters was a rush defensive end before such a thing existed, Andy writes.
  • Indiana point guard Whitney Lindsay seems to have made some necessary improvements coming into this season, Jeremy writes.

IT’S INDIANA

HEY, REMEMBER DARNELL AUTRY? (or news on Northwestern)

BIG TEN FOOTBALL

BIG TEN BASKETBALL

TAKE A LOOK

An explanation: James Brewer led me to the idea of a big man. Clarence Clemons is “The Big Man” for the E Street Band. And he has a killer sax solo on “Jungleland.” So, here it is:

35 comments

  1. JPat-

    I really liked your comment earlier about how 2-3 years ago, you were one of only a few people expressing discontent with the football coaching staff, and that now, almost everyone is on the same page. My only frustration is that we’ve pretty much wasted two years under the delusion that things were “improving,” only to see that we are actually getting worse. This problem could have been fixed two years ago if Glass would pay attention to public sentiment (remember, the “Fire Lynch” sign was held up two years ago, showing that discontent with the staff is not a sudden matter) but instead we decided to keep our Ford Pinto and hope to get better.

  2. Husky,

    I know it feels good to have your original thought backed up by others, but here’s my take:

    IU simply had to give Lynch a chance after seeing how the team responded in going to the bowl game in 2007. IU hadn’t been to a bowl game in such a long time, and following Hep’s emotional passing and the almost divine guidance IU recieved that season… sending Lynch packing after what he did would have seemed heavy handed to many folks. Including prospective coaches that may have been contacted as his replacement. Personally, I’m glad they gave him a chance, as he did have head coaching experience at that time, and had done what no coach at IU since Bill Mallory did… take them to a bowl game. What we’ve seen since then has helped prove your position, but he deserved the opportunity. These years weren’t wasted in my opinion, but used to allow Bill the chance to prove he could continue to take IU to bowl games. That might sound silly now, but think about the Cam/Dinardo eras and how bleak those hires got to be compared to the joy of playing in the Insight Bowl.

    Glass will make the right decision and judge Lynch based on the results on the field. The team has the opportunity to prove Bill is worthy of any more time or if this downward slide continues into another losing record. Makes for great theatre on Saturday at the Rock.

  3. Husky,

    I’m with 16guards on the general theme of his post. Initially, you needed to give Lynch a chance. It has been two years and the sample size is larger. Glass has enough data now to make the right decision for IU football going forward.

    PB

  4. Husky, thank you. Guys, maybe I should have given him more time but I look at it like this. The decision making during the games was/has been pitiful. My mother even picked up on a lot of the stuff watching games on TV from out of state. The adjustments after half were not there. When Fisher said and was quoted saying, We don’t adjust at the half…Glass should have interviewed him and if that was true fired Lynch on the spot. Any good coach will tell you it is purely coaching in the 2nd half of games in any sport. Just the point differential alone that first year after the bowl was amazing. We had 18 starters back and won 4 games, I think it was 4. I expected a bowl..after all we were on the up and up. Do any of you remember how embarrassing the bowl game was. I had a party for it and I will never forget the QB on the other team on the sideline phone saying, “This is too easy” to his coordinator up top in the booth. If IU can win this NW game and beat either Wisky, Iowa, or PU(most likely), give Lynch next year. Watch him like a hawk and make him get rid of these half a$$ coaches under him. If he fails to go to a bowl this year and win 6 or 7…FIRE HIM!!!

  5. 16guards: you do make a good point, although in retrospect, 2007 looks like Lynch simply crash-landed the plane in a river AKA Sully Sullenberger rather than land at the nearest airport. The only difference between Bill and Sully is that Sully’s engine was broken; Lynch had a fully functional machine that was a little broken-hearted but otherwise fine.

  6. 16Guards, your analysis is spot on! Moreover, I think Coach Lynch is in an untenable position which can’t be too satisfying either for himself or his family. He is a good man. He is a man of principles and high character. I am proud of the way he comports himself and represents IU. But, he is not a B10 coach which, by the way, he never said he was. IU gave him the job. He didn’t ask for it! I think he has done the very best he can given that he has zero experience at this level.

    When people say…well Pat Fitzgerald had no experience and look what he’s done at NU, I say Pat Fitzgerald was a B10 player (a good one) and was schooled in a B10 program. Coach Lynch, by contrast, to my knowledge, has never been in a B10 program except for IU and neither have his assistants. So, he and his staff have no frame of reference for life at this level. When people say that they look like MAC coaches, well, there is a reason for that!

    A good solution, but one that may not be attainable, is to keep Coach Lynch involved in the program so that IU can continue to benefit from his recruiting skills and other attributes he brings to the table. At the same time, I do agree that if we hope to be even marginally B10 competitive on a consistant basis; we need a head coach that can function effectively at this level.

  7. I can buy some of your points, Husky, but a few things to remember:

    Hep had been at IU since early 2005. He really only had 2 years worth of recruiting done prior to 2007. We were running a veer offense with Kellen Lewis, who at the time was sober and staying out of trouble with the law. James Hardy looked to be an NFL prospect at the time, and we had a younger Tracy Porter on our defense. Other than that, there were a lot of role players and decent talent, but to think that IU was a fully functional machine after losing to an Oklahoma State team with someone like NFL talent Dez Bryant is a bit of a stretch for me. IU was fortunate to go to a bowl game in 2007, and a lot of the bad luck this program accumulated from 1992 to 2006 somehow bounced our way (see the miracle blocked punt that IU ran for a first down in the bucket game, let alone the game winning field goal). That’s not to say Lynch wasn’t given a program in better shape than the one Cam, Dinardo, or even Hep inherited. (Although most folks forget that Dinardo recruited Porter, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and several other current NFL players that were also Hoosiers) Lynch has simply not advanced IU to a point beyond what he inherited in 2007. We’d still be lucky to make a bowl at this point, and have some talent, but also lack it significantly in the trenches and defensive backfield.

    The change that needs to be made, as many have said, is for IU to commit to spending the money on a coach who can: (A) recruit enough players to get IU over this hump, and (B) assemble a staff that can teach this team fundamentals and create an environment that fosters a passionate winning attitude. That commitment is going to cost significantly more than Lynch’s current $500,000 salary. I would put it in the neighborhood of a 1.5 to 2 million dollar annual commitment.

  8. iufan23, good post. I talk about Pat Fitz a lot so I will piggyback a little. He is a young guy that is recruiting well, great x and o’s and gets his team “up” to play. I would say he and Bill are on equal playing field. Bill’s age and experience equal out the fact that Pat played Big 10 football. Plus, Lynch coached under Hep at IU for a while and even had to head coach 2 games while Hep was sick. I guess after writing this that I disagree with your take. NW is the Ivy Le team of the Big 10 and the stadium is falling apart and the facilities are not there but Pat has been winning…why is that???

    I do love your idea of keeping Lynch on. He seems great at recruiting and truly is a class act.

  9. iufan23,
    I agree with you that Lynch and IU were in an emotionally fragile time. And that is probably why those decisions were made. I also agree on his experiences to draw from. Which is not much in the way of winning. I do think he is a good guy and rep for IU. But nice guys finish where IU always finishes.
    16guards,
    I was saying that yesterday. The question is, How does IU pay for this type of coach without hurting the other sports programs. I think they are going to have to invest (shell out the dough)on a new coach and hope it pays for itself by bringing in crowd, better opponents and higher skilled athletes. Somthing majorly different has to happen or the same results will always happen.

  10. JPat- you made the quote of the day there:

    “NW is the Ivy League team of the Big 10 and the stadium is falling apart and the facilities are not there but Pat has been winning…why is that???”

    Can’t put it much better than that.

  11. I hate to say it, but IU needs to show some faith in their decision to hire the right guy. Now is not the time to put together an advisory group and get 20 people together to make a decision on who the right guy is.

    Glass has earned a lot of decision-making capital based on his success thusfar. I forsee a smaller group of folks, with input from folks like a Bill Mallory, Jerry Yeagley, Ned Pfau, Trent Green, Anthony Thompson pool of folks.

    In the end, it may be more of a “if you build it, they will come” type of approach to the hire. I do know for a fact with the marketing efforts IU has put forth to getting season ticketholders in recent years, there is mounting evidence Glass is going to find someone who keeps moving that momentum upward and reward those “new” folks he’s now brought onto the IU bandwagon. There are alumni dollars there to help support this kind of effort, and don’t forget that every year we get more and more of the finances secured to build the North End Zone and Cook Hall projects retired. The revenue from the BigTen Network is also a plus working in our direction that we did not have back when we had a similar type of coaching search that brought in the late Terry Hoeppner.

  12. 16Guards-

    I agree with the “if you build it” approach. We need a Hoeppner or a Crean-like hire here. Someone with a track record, some success at a higher level. Someone whose name raises eyebrows. Someone whose name will be mentioned on Sportscenter when he is hired, even if it is not a lead story.

    If we do so, you can bet on an immediate surge in season ticket sales and a buzz around town. Knowing that IU football is being talked about on a national level – that an unprecedented optimism is in the air – will provide a great kick-start to the marketing machine.

  13. Great points 16guards. I also think IU can make it happen if they really want to. They really do need to have some faith in thier decision. New question is,….Do they have the chobes to do it?

  14. “The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette’s LaMond Pope has an interesting stat: in Indiana’s four wins, Ben Chappell has not thrown an interception.”

    Slow day today? The announcers on the BTN was all over this on Saturday, and if I’m not mistaken, it was even mentioned during the live game chat here on the Scoop.

  15. Good discussion. I think it would be easier if Lynch wasn’t a good, decent person that we know will never put IU under the NCAA microscope. He also will never win. Keep him in the program. We’re stuck with the salary so we might as well get something for it. Make it a ‘promotion’. Treat him with respect. Let him step aside with his pride intact. A guy like Lynch might even eat some of the salary for a long term commitment.
    As far as the next coach? Stay away from NFL coaches. They almost always run afoul of the NCAA. Too many rules for them. They want to go out and buy the players they need. How about a big time D coordinator. Someone like Bud Foster, at VT, though he probably wouldn’t leave, but someone with that kind of track record. Then, offer the moon to the offensive coordinator at Oregon. Think that scheme wouldn’t draw offensive talent to a Big Ten school?
    It’s a big investment but if they don’t do it will anyone take them seriously.

  16. Listening to DD today, he said that Urban Meyer wanted the IU job when Cam was fired. DD said that he called IU about Urban, but was told they wanted Dinardo!

    So, John Gruden wants the job and they hire, then Urban Meyer wants the job and they take Dinardo over him? Wow, how many hiring mistakes can one University make?

  17. Mike, wow! I need to process this. Art Shell wanted it as well…I know I know some don’t like him but he is/was a big NFL name back then.

  18. Very few schools can support a football coach plus a basketball coach both earning 7 digits. It is just too much money, particularly in these times. So, hiring a “name” probably isn’t going to work.

    IU would do well to hire a solid DC or OC from a good but not necessarily stellar program. We want someone of good character, with leadership, a proven record of taking lesser talent and getting the very best from them. What we don’t want is another MAC coach with all due respect to Coach Hep (may he rest in peace). And, getting an assistant who has mentored 4 and 5 star recruits isn’t what we need either. We need someone who we think can build a program with 3 star talent. This will not be an easy search, but it can and should be done.

  19. Gentlemen- knowing that such names as Meyer, Gruden, and Shell have showed past interest in the program just shows that simply being a Big 10 school will always keep us on the radar of good candidates.

    Uncle Scoop/Remora- That was, in all honesty…brilliant. Good for a chuckle, to say the least. Where is Downing these days, by the way?

  20. iufan23,

    While I would like a bigger name coach or an OC or DC from a top 10-15 program, you’re logic of not hiring a MAC coach makes no since.

    Why not hire another MAC coach? Just hire a proven winner, like they did with Hep, and not a coach with a losing record like Lynch.

    Disclaimer to the Kool-Aid drinkers: Yes, I know BSU wasn’t supporting the program and Lynch was in a tough spot, but I really don’t care! He has proven he can’t win!

    Urban Meyer was a MAC coach, he took a 2-9 program, went 8-3 and 9-3 in his 2 years there before jetting for bigger programs. Now has 2 National Championships.

    Brian Kelly, MAC coach before taking over Cincinatti and going 34-6, now in charge of rebuilding one of the most storied program in the country.

    Gary Pinkel, former MAC coach, currently coaching Missouri, undefeated in the Big 12, who just upset #1 Oklahoma over the weekend.

    The coach who just destroyed IU this past weekend, Ron Zook was a MAC coach.

    Besides Hep, lets not forget the coach with the most wins in IU history, Bill Mallory, was a MAC coach before coming to IU, and the only coach to take IU to a Rose Bowl was a MAC coach, John Pont!

    Do I need to go on?

  21. Yea, but Urban Meyer would have lasted two years and then been off to Florida. Iu needs someone for more than two years. And to get that coach, they need to construct an incentive compensation package that rewards a coach for success, however they choose to define success.

  22. I’m with you podunker. The attitude here needs to be you have to spend money to make money. Non-student attendance needs a shot in the arm, and that only comes through winning games with a big-time coach.

  23. Nothing is wasted if you make the most of your experiences . In three years we saw James Hardy, Tracy Porter and Saffold earn big bucks in the NFL; IU went to a bowl game; we showed that our receiving corps is as good as any in the US; and that the coaching staff probably can’t get the job of achieving a winning record and a bowl game as the “norm” done-but the season is NOT OVER YET! Two victories in the last 5 games will make me feel good about IU football and its future. If not, then a coaching change with a very charismatic new head coach, coupled with Indiana’s good base of players and recruits for 2011, will make me feel good about the future of IU football. So I can be happy either way.

    I am SO HAPPY that Oklahoma City exercised their option and kept DJ White. Now if they will only put him on the floor for 20 min/game, they will see what we saw for 4 plus years: DJ White is a relentless worker, a 6’9 force on the boards and in the game, with great basketball and scoring skills! Go DJ!

    Let’s forget football and basketball for today and get 5000 plus fans at the IU soccer match v Butler. If IU wins, then restoring Indiana soccer to national prominence is almost complete! If IU goes on to win against both Butler and Northwestern this weekend, then it will be complete, and, after we beat OSU, we can focus on the Big 10 and NCAA Tourneys. GO IU!

  24. We have a coach. Save this talk until after the season. You guys are worse than the UK fans that a UK player called out after the SC game. You should go root for another team.

  25. Aruss….

    Um, the UK player INCORRECTLY called out the UK crowd as “not filling the stands”….

    The attendance at THAT game was 1,000 OVER CAPACITY…..The player was incorrect….

    And, of course, each and every one of us on here would EAT CROW, if Lynch could EVER pull an upset….

    Problem is, and has been, Lynch cant seem to ever show us an upset of UK’s caliber over South Carolina that game….

    Sorry, but Indiana just continues to embarrass itself scheduling the worst non-conference teams in the nation….getting fans hopes up, the going 0-8 in conference…..or if we are lucky, 1-7…

    Why on earth do you ….Aruss….consider this acceptable ?? please enlighten us !

  26. Aruss; you should have written, “We have an ineffective coach.” And we’ve been saving this talk for years! That’s the point. Those of us that want better are beating on the drumb now. While we cheer for IU and hope for the best in our hearts, our brains tell us that this will be another bad Big Ten season for IU football. And we want to be proactive in doing something about it. What has holding our criticism gotten us over the last two and a half years?

  27. Anybody know anything about Toledo’s football coach? They seem to be doing well. At least that coach found a way to beat Purdue this year!

    My concern about a really good MAC coach is that they would look past IU for a better job. I worry that many of the best MAC coaches would see the IU job as being on par with the one they aleady have. Not that the Big Ten is not an upgraded conference relative to the MAC, but I worry that they would see coaching IU football as a lateral move. Probably more money, but I’ve got to think the coach of the top MAC FB team believes his team could beat IU straight up, right now. And I think he’d be right!

    Most of these good young coaches aim high, are very competitive (by nature)and they’re super ambitious (nothing wrong with that). They dream of being the next Urban Meyer and look for a school that will allow them to turn things around fast, so they aim to go to a school that pays top dollar and competes on the national stage or even in the NFL.

    Hep was a great hire. He had established himself at a MAC school (I think M of O finished 6th in the nation that year), achieved success, was still young enough to turn IU around, but mature enough so that he wanted IU to be his last stop in coaching.

    I will say this; it will not be easy finding the next coach for IU. But one thing is for certain, if IU is not willing to put together an attractive compensation package, it won’t matter who they pursue.

  28. Meyer might have been here 2 years or 10 years. Florida is a great job and hard to turn down. However, if Meyer was at a Big Ten school instead of a MWC school, he might not have pursued the Florida job or have been pursued for the job. None of that speculation really matters and wasn’t the real reason I bought it up.

    My point is that IU Football, even at the bottom of the Big Ten is still an enticing job. Coaches want big conference jobs. A top OC or DC will look at an IU because it’s a chance to be the head coach at a BCS school. A top head coach for a MWC, MAC etc. team will look at an IU to be in a BCS qualifier.

  29. Good points, Mnke P. I also think that a confident up and coming coach would like the IU job as you have a shot at knocking off some traditional power teams on your way up, cultivating a fan base, and this job is more attractive now with the facilities and University support than it was 10 to 15 years ago. A lot of the heavy lifting (so to speak) has already been done. All you need to do is bring a winning attitude, gameplan, and get the recruits here to carry it out. The institutional handicaps that have traditionally been here are quickly eroding away.

    I also think the regional and national media would make a pretty big deal of an IU team that makes regular bowl appearances and has the occasional team that can knock off an Ohio State or Penn State in the new division formats.

  30. 16guards,

    Except for March Madness, football is the NCAA cash cow and everyone knows it. Being in the Big Ten, the national media would eat up a competitive IU football team.

    Chappell’s performace in a loss to Michigan was nominated for the Porche Performance of the week by ESPN that weekend. He finished 2nd in the voting to a walk off homer that clinched a playoff berth or something like that.

    The point being, Big Conference, winning program = national exposure.

  31. IT seem like none of the receivers could get open.
    Where is the shiftiness, separation, quickness and good route running ? Every team has caught on to the IU scheme big James Hardy type wr, but all of the top schools have that,and true proto type slots. Dear Ben Chappell you need a quick receiver that can get open for you. Oh You have one who happens to be one of the best offensive threats that Ft.Wayne high schools,has ever had in their history. Dre Muhammad. I dont know why his parents sent him to IU ? Demarlo Belcher is another Ft. Wayne product, but he can’t do what Muhammad can. WHAT A WASTE OF TALENT, but it is IU.

  32. MikeP & 16guards; your points are well made. I agree IU should, on paper, be a very attractive job. As for how many of the “institutional handicaps” that have been eliminated, I’m not so sure about that. Getting a good coach and keeping him requires establishing a compensation plan that is financially attractive. However, it also requires a committment to provide additional support in the way of recruting budgets/staff, marketing support, salaries for assistant coaches, efforts to increase exposure in the media, etc. It has to be a University wide and long term committment, otherwise really good coaches will avoid the job or take it until a better one comes along.

    IU’s FB facilities upgrade was huge, but long overdue. But we don’t really know, beyond the obvious physical improvment to the facilities, what IU’s level of committment to football really is relative to other D-I programs. Can IU afford everything required to compete in football on a national level? If not, how long before they get the money necessary to compete? The expanded reruiting budget (IU must recruit nationally), the marketing/advertsing, and continued marketing of the program is also very important, and it costs lots of money. I question whether IU is aware of or is willing to make the invetment required to achieve the stated goal. Time will tell.

  33. Podunker, your second paragraph in your last comment is so, so true. To be a winner, you have to do what a winner does. And then, even more to reach the elite! Does IU have the balls to fully commit to a winning football program?

Comments are closed.