Lynch staying the course

From outside the program, Indiana’s game against Northwestern on Saturday appears to be a must-win on so many levels.

Lose, and the Hoosiers fall to 4-4 with No. 18 Iowa and No. 10 Wisconsin coming up the next two weeks. Unless they pull a stunner in one of those two games, they would need to beat Penn State and Purdue away from Memorial Stadium to become bowl eligible.

And that’s not even considering what the game could mean to the job status of IU coach Bill Lynch. Lynch is under contract through the end of next season, and athletic director Fred Glass has said publicly that IU plans to honor that contract, but he will certainly face severe pressure at least from fans if the season continues on a downward spiral and the Hoosiers fail to make a bowl game for the third straight year.

But in sticking with his M.O., Lynch said at his weekly press conference on Monday that the team would handle Saturday’s game like any other.

“I know this sounds real cliche, but it really is truth,” Lynch said. “It’s the next game. We take real pride in being consistent in how we approach things. From the Towson game on, it will be that way all the way through Purdue. It’s the next game. Our routine and how we prepare and all that, I think if all the sudden you make one game bigger than the other, with your players, you lose credibility with them a little bit. ‘Wait a minute, last week, you said this. This week, you’re saying that.’ There’s got to be a consistent approach. That’s how we do it.”

Lynch said that remains true even though the Hoosiers are starting to run out of opportunities. They have four wins so far, but all of them are against weaker non-conference foes. They haven’t beaten a Big Ten team yet, and need to for bowl eligibility. They probably also have to for the coaching staff to be able to show that the football program is making the progress Glass wants to see.

“If we spend time worrying about that, then we’re not doing our job,” Lynch said. “That’s why I go back to the answer before that our approach is consistent. We’re going to have our guys as well-prepared as we can every week to give ourselves the best chance to win. I think our guys respond well. I think our guys were well-prepared  on Saturday, but we just had one of those games where we just didn’t give ourselves a chance to win it. But you want to have a sense of urgency every week, from Week 1.”

Senior captains Ben Chappell and Tyler Replogle both reiterated their coach’s philosophy. Both are running out of time in their careers, and neither has played in a bowl game since their redshirt freshman year. But both also said the Hoosiers need to remain steady and not play any more desperate.

“I think it’s just important that we continue to do what we’ve done,” Chappell said. “Just take it one week at a time. Stick with the process, because if we start getting nervous or saying, ‘Oh, we gotta win this game.’ Or ‘We’re not gonna win this game.’ ‘We gotta win this game.’ I don’t think that’s the way to go after it. We’ve got five Big Ten football games left. We’re coming off a tough game. Especially from my perspective offensively. Playing the way we did. Just know we’re better than that. We’ve got another chance on Saturday, so that’s what we’re gonna do.”

Other notes from Monday’s press conference follow:

  • Lynch said junior tight end Max Dedmond’s knee injury has not yet been diagnosed yet. “Dedmond’s pretty questionable,” he said. “It’s like a lot of those knees where you have to do further things than they’re doing today. We’ll know more by tomorrow.” Dedmond has five receptions for 37 yards and two touchdowns so far this season.
  • Lynch said he expects junior wide receiver Tandon Doss should be OK. He left the game on Saturday against Illinois and walked off the field with his torso wrapped.
  • Senior right tackle James Brewer has a chance to return this week, but Lynch said he’s not sure whether or not that will happen. Brewer has missed the last three games with an ankle injury. “I’m hoping,” Lynch said. “I think it’s too early to say for sure. With the injury report that we got this morning, we’re gonna increase his activity, then we’ll kind of see where he’s at. It’s one of those things where you can say, ‘Yeah, he’s ready.’ and then you get into practice Tuesday and Wednesday and we look kind of silly if he isn’t ready. But we are hoping, where last week at this time I knew he wasn’t going to be ready to play.” Lynch made sure not to disparage the play of Justin Pagan and Marc Damisch, who have been filling in in Brewer’s absence, but that the 6-foot-8, 331-pound Brewer obviously brings more of a presence. “It’s different,” Lynch said. “We’re certainly not going to make any excuses and you play the next guy, but we’ve started three different offensive tackles in the last three games. That tells you something about replacing him. I think Damisch and Pagan have both played hard and played well, but they’re both by position, more natural guards. Somebody had to bounce out there. Hager was really coming on, poor guy, in the first series, he gets a start and he tears up his knee. It’s like having Ben out there. When you have an established player that is a consistent performer, which is James Brewer, sure it’s gonna make a difference. But that’s why we’re hoping to get him back.” Chappell feels the same way. “James is obviously a great player, so we miss him,” Chappell said. “Those guys that are playing now are fighting their asses off, so I can’t ask for anything more. Hopefully we can get James back soon, and that will get a smile on my face.”
  • Chappell certainly wasn’t smiling about Saturday’s game, though. He took the loss on the offense and said the Hoosiers didn’t do anything they set out to do at the beginning of the season. “It was a disappointing loss,” Chappell said. “Especially from our perspective on offense. We didn’t do our job. We really didn’t do what we’ve been saying all year with finishing. We didn’t finish throws. We didn’t finish catches, didn’t finish blocks, didn’t finish runs, didn’t finish drives. So I think that’s probably the most disappointing thing about it. Obviously I don’t believe the final score is representative of how the game went. Offensively, giving them that many points is inexcusable. The defense played great, I thought.”

23 comments

  1. Thelma and Louise stayed the course as well. In another movie analogy it’s kind of like Back to the Future III. Will the train get up to 88 miles per hour before it runs out of track?

    PB

  2. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
    Albert Einstein

  3. I think everyone now knows what “staying the course” gets you when “the course” means catastrophic failure.

  4. Between the movie analogies by PB and Tennessee Coach Derek Dooley’s analogy about his team and WWII Germans, there have been stellar, highly intelligent analogies verbalized today!

    I’ll add mine for our motorsport friends: This IU football season is like a drag race car heading down the drag strip without a parachute or brakes.

  5. These guys suck!!!!!! Let’s hope they don’t win a sixth game and take the place of some other team that really deserves to go to a bowl game.

  6. We beat Northwestern and Lynch has managed to rescue the Chilean miners. But a what a god-awful unsafe hole they will likely be carelessly led into again. It’s amazing we can get anyone to put on the helmets for the year-after-year dangerous descent.

    Just thought I’d have a shot at another analogy…Hope you didn’t mind.

  7. IU needs to replace bill lynch after this season with a tough young coach, an up and comer at, say a MAC or other comparable conference school, like urban meyer when he was at bowling green or brian kelley at central michigan.

    iu needs a rigorous task-master coach who can take the two and three star players iu gets and make them play like three and four star players. and by the way, play some defense and special teams — and a running game would be nice. the hoosiers are regressing under bill lynch, getting worse from game to game and season to season

    i seriously doubt if, even with the new stadium fix-up and fred glass saying all the right things, IU is really as committed to doing what it takes ($…) to build and maintain a consistently winning big ten football program. you look at other big ten programs, even minnesota, and what they are doing and the way they handle things and IU seems clueless.

    if kansas state can do it in the big 12, iu can do it in the big 10. or so you would think. we were good once, in the distant mists of time, when giants like bill mallory walked the earth. with serious commitment and a little luck, IU can return to those semi-glory days.

    the hoosiers sure aren’t going anywhere the way they are now. a change is obviously necessary. too bad for bill lynch, he is a nice guy, but big time college football is a tough business and every coach knows when he gets into it that, unless he is one of the lucky few, getting fired is part of the deal.

  8. Well, I wasn’t here when Bill Mallory was shown the door, but I bet some of the folks around here were saying the same stuff after his third straight losing season…just sayin’.

    Everyone make however much noise you want about Lynch; you’ll have to deal with him at least until the end of 2011. There’s no way we can eat yet another contract like we did under Greenspan.

    Speaking of, you can lay every last bit of blame for us being stuck in this rut on Greenspan. He’s the one who pulled the knee-jerk five-year contract extension out of his rear when Bill rode the emotion train to the Insight Bowl.

  9. There were 10 of us Hoosier fans and grads in Phoenix, AZ this past weekend to watch the ….er….um….game. The ages ranged from 30 to 70. I have watched Hoosier football since 1980 and I can truly say with all the “downs” we have had over the many, many years…..this latest travesty is enough. Enough that EACH and EVERY one of the 10 of us called, wrote, emailed as early as Sunday …and today…to Fred Glass…stating Enough is Enough.

    Of course we offered many thoughts, the main being FIRE LYNCH at seasons end and take some of the $3 MILLION payout for the Penn State (home) game in Landover, MD……and GET A COACH that we deserve.

    Why in the world would you build onto the stadium and put out an embarrassing product like we currently have at Indiana? We are hopeful that the appropriate pressure will be put on Indiana to make the necessary changes and be done with what you need to do nowadays….pay a coach a MILLION +….one with integrity…..and one that has the desire to build this program in the Big Ten.

    Its been done at Kansas State, TCU, South Florida, Rutgers, Missouri, Northwestern, Boise State, Houston, Kentucky, Mississippi …..and i know I have left out several others….

    As Indiana football fans, we need to voice our concerns rather than being just apathetic and not showing up on Saturdays…..that hasn’t worked at all.

    We all agreed that we have faith in Fred Glass that he and the Indiana administration will start showing that Indiana football IS IMPORTANT. The first great event was the beautiful renovation of Memorial Stadium……and, we can ALL agree, it is beautiful ! Next up, get a well qualified Coach and Staff at Indiana …..

    Indiana….We’re All For You….IU !!!

  10. Actually, the more I think about it the more I am starting to believe that Glass may have sold the Penn State game just to raise money to buyout the last year of Lynch’s contract and as a downpayment for a new coach.

    I’m starting to think that Glass may be a genius.

  11. I have been a season ticket holder for the last 20 and have seen some pretty bad football, but I think Saturday may have been the pinnacle of ineptness.With the exception of a few years under Coach Mallory, we have never been able to comptete in the Big Ten, but especially under this current staff, we have been awful in the Big Ten. I am tired of hearing we are 8 plays away from being undefeated; could somebody please do something about football at Indiana?

  12. Sorry, but this team has won 1 conference game in a year and a half, and has not won a conference game on the road since 2007. I don’t expect to see more than one miracle win over the rest of the season. I also offer up IU’s last two games as proof of the kind of effort and desire this team has left in it. None. Bill is going to have to prove in the win/loss column that he knows what he’s doing, because just being a nice guy doesn’t win you any games.

  13. Aruss, winning record? Please! Lets look at those 4 wins.

    Towson – 1-6
    Western Kentucky – 1-6
    Akron – 0-8
    Arkansas State – 3-5

    Thats right, the record of the 4 opponents IU has beat is a combined 5-25.

  14. “The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs…A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson in “Self Reliance”. I ALWAYS root for IU to win! I hope we beat Northwestern-I believe that we can. I hope that we Beat Purdue-that is what I am all about! I think that we can beat PN St-they are weak this year. We have played Iowa and WI tough before. But without passion, leadership, creativity and total effort, we won’t beat anyone! Northwestern is a must game and requires a supreme effort!

  15. BeatPurdue,

    I NEVER root aginst the team. I know the Bloomington kids, having watched them grow up in the local leagues. I would never in my life root for any of them (or any other IU player) to lose a game I know they want to win.

    I don’t, won’t, can’t support Lynch anymore.

  16. At the end of the day, the players are the ones who really suffer in this kind of coaching situation. They have to suffer through losses, they get ridiculed by people who have no idea what its like to be a Big Ten player, and they never get a chance to develop their full potential. We have to do right by the players that choose to wear the Indiana jersey and give them every opportunity to succeed. It really is time to move on.

    I feel for Lynch and wish him well. I hope that he lands at another program where he would have a chance to succeed.

  17. Where have you guys been for the last two years? Don’t tell me any of you were still on the fense about Lynch until the Illinois game? Well, glad some of you are now speaking out about the need for a new football coach.

    I commend Hoosierwynn and his buddies that wrote to Glass calling for Lynch’s termination. We need to creat an avalanche of similar demands on Glass’s desk. He should be overwhelmed with calls from the Hoosier Nation to fire Lynch.

    Aruss, I’m sorry, but my loyalty is to Indiana University before it is to the football team. Lynch is causing further damage to IU’s athletic department’s financial well-being and doing nothing but perpetuating IU’s reputation as a perenial loser in football. The students suffer, the alumni suffer, the Bloomington economy suffers, the players suffer, and all the other varsity sports programs suffer from low funding. While we can root for Indiana to win and support the players, we can still demand Lynch be fired.

    Please, stop with the “IU has a winning record” defense! No one takes IU’s four victories this year seriously (see Mke P.’s post). IU beat some of the worst teams in the country! If we win three Big Ten games, then hey, I’ll jump right back on the Lynch bandwagon. But going 2-6 in the Big Ten will not change my opinion that Lynch needs to go! He has never had the stuff necessary to coach in the Big Ten and he never will.

  18. Atomic; congratulations. You get the award for the most juvenile and immature post made on this site in months, if not ever. Does you Mom and Dad know you’re playing on the computer again?

Comments are closed.