35 comments

  1. Dustin, Andy, and Mike.

    Never underestimate how much some of us die hard Hoosier fans enjoy your post game “Sccop” talks during the football season. It was a disappointing year but I ALWAYS enjoy hearing your guy’s insight after each game. See you guys next year.

  2. Great job Guys! Your Scoop talks continue to be my favorite part of IU sports coverage. You make it look easy, and we all know it’s not. Keep it going!

  3. Yeah, but without Dusty it’s ScoopSchlock…or ScoopMentalBlock…or ScoopScribblingBlock.

  4. Dustin, Andy & Mike,

    I really enjoyed the way you navigated all of us frustrated and demoralized Hoosier football fans through another season in the swamp. You guys truly do a phenomenal job. Sober analysis, balance and you guys deliver a lot of insight when Indiana Football truly delivers some perplexing results on the field.

    Some of us truly love football and really hope that we can see the tide turn here, but in the meantime, Scooptalk, blogs, articles and chat have been a nice way to build a sort of gallows humor around some the heartbreaks and poundings we experience far too regularly. You guys are borderline war correspondents by this point!

    Keep it up and on to Hoops.

    BTW, regarding the rest of FBS Football, Playoff now!

  5. Aruss,

    Don’t think so. Seth could go to a number of programs, but likely not one with a lame duck like Muschamp.

    My bet is that Seth gets a raise and stays. Some people I know around the Arizona football program say that Seth isn’t much of a hopper. But, if he were going to leave, I’d say keep your eyes on the new USC coaching hire, as they’ll be looking for a new staff. You guys on the beat might have insight into this, but does Littrell have head coaching ambitions? If not, I’d say being an O-Coord under Wilson is a pretty attractive gig, unless you can position yourself with a national championship contender.

  6. Double Down,
    Good point on USC. I think he’s got head-coaching ambitions like most coaches do, but I think he’s still got a ways to go before he’s ready. I’d say he’s kind of in the same position Ekeler was. He’s young, he’s smart and he’s energetic and he knows what he’s doing schematically, so I could see a big-time program taking a shot at him as an OC. He does have a lot of growing up to do before he’s ready to take over a program, though. (Watch the press conferences) He’s actually what I imagine Wilson having been like in, say, 2001, when he left Northwestern for Oklahoma.
    Would say this, though. The guy most likely to be a head coach on this staff — by a long shot — is Kevin Johns. Like you could give him an FCS program tomorrow and I think he’d be fine. If Littrell does get an opportunity, Johns is more than ready to take over. If I was Wilson, I’d be a lot more worried about losing Johns than Littrell. Also, Greg Frey will always be an offensive line coach and I don’t ever see him as a coordinator, but he’s great at what he does, and that’s a guy Wilson would have to be concerned about losing as well.

  7. I guess this is as good a thread as any to do my recap of the Indiana Football Season. I’d be curious to hear other’s thoughts as well.

    So, this isn’t going to be the blatantly obvious, “Indiana sux at defense. FRIE Mallory,” type of review. I just want to post some interesting stuff I saw, both good and bad, vent some frustrations, but mostly try and answer what I think most fans are thinking/feeling right now.

    OFFENSIVE PROWESS: Indiana’s record setting offense seems to be a trend that won’t go away anytime soon. Kevin Wilson has managed to put up points with some bad personnel, but went to the stratosphere with good, and a few great players. We had two blips this year against Wis and OSU. Injuries took their toll and we played in some tough weather, but this is the Big Ten and we have to expect conditions like that in future seasons. Losing Coleman was a bigger dagger than I would have anticipated.

    The only real consistent criticism I have with IU’s potent offense was their consistency executing in the red zone and, specifically, inside the 10. I wish I had stats on this, so maybe they might prove me wrong, but maybe if we punch in a few of those red zone opportunities vs OSU, MSU, Navy, Mizzou and, of course, Minn (the Play!), we’re talking about Kevin Wilson coach of the year candidate in the Big Ten, even with our flag football defense. Not saying we would have necessarily won all of those games, but we could have pulled out a few of them.

    DEFENSE: AQUEOUS LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY: What to say about the defense that hasn’t been said and doesn’t involved words that would make Andrew Dice Clay and Richard Pryor blush? Is there anything positive to be said? I have no data to back this up, because by looking at data, you’d see nothing positive about them. This is just my eyeball assessment that most of you will probably disagree with. However, I do see some talent out there. I’m not saying this team will turn into MSU or Alabama over night, but we have enough size, speed and toughness to be better then bottom 5. Andy said the word “egregious” in reference to our defensive effort versus Purdue. I agree.

    Ok, here’s my unemotional attempt at evenhandedly saying why I think it is time for Doug Mallory to go. Firstly, leading with all the qualifiers: IU family, great guy, youth of players, patience and I have a black friend, so I can tell these racist jokes (wait a second!). But, our defense, even by our low standards, has actually managed to regress during Wilson’s tenure. More disturbingly, this year, our defense seemed to play worse as the season went along.

    Turning around the IU defense is going to take a really special person. D-Mal is just not that guy. I hope he can go somewhere else and do very well, but we need someone that is fearless in taking what everyone in the national media, down to the people tailgating in the parking lot (when the games are happening) views as the punchline to a horrible joke.

    Establishing a culture is less about Xs and Os. It is a special trait that guys like Hep had, and guys like D-Mal doen’t. This is not the job for a nice guy. It is the job for someone who has to stand tall in front of their peers, media (not you fellas) and their own fan base who are always laughing at them and convince kids who are 18 – 23 years old that they not only can do this, they WILL do this. There will be some bumps and that new D-Coord has to stand at a podium with the presence and confidence that he has answers and things are and will change around here.

    Andy, I disagree that Wilson should wait two weeks. This is one of those moments that might define and changes Wilson’s fortunes and attempts to turn IU football around. If Wilson intends on making a change at all, it has to be now. Wilson has to show that he’s determined to do whatever is necessary to win at IU. Your family’s ties to Indiana Football, your personality and even relationship to the head coach (let’s assume they really like each other—I have no idea) don’t matter. What matters is that even if a nuclear bomb went off in Bloomington, there is NO excuse for being the man in charge of a defense that ranks 121 of 123 in all of college football.

    COACH WILSON: Wilson has to take all emotion out of this and make a sober and decisive decision. If he does decide to keep him (which I think is a mistake), he needs to come out right away (like today) and say D-Mal is my guy and here is exactly why. No Coach Wilson speak. Be really friggin specific, because almost every single person that follows IU football has lost faith.

    Ok, speaking of Wilson. Like all sports discussions, it comes with the territory that after a disappointing season, people’s immediate reaction is “Fire _____.” Now, serious people don’t believe that Glass is even thinking about this, but this is just a retort to the galley of legitimately frustrated fans.

    Wilson still has a LOT to prove. While there were great things about this season to point to as improvement, the bad is still pretty bad. However, turning around a program that isn’t just terrible in our conference, but in the history of the entire game, is not going to happen overnight.

    Some examples of coaches and the length of time it took them to get to where they are, might be instructive:

    Gary Pinkle – Mizzou

    Didn’t take over a program with nearly the bottom that IU is in, but he muddled around that .500 mark for 6 years before breaking out. Benefits: a couple of seasons barely qualifying for a bowl. That was probably enough to keep the fan base placated.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Pinkel

    Gary Barnett – Northwestern

    Barnett binged and purged. NW’s program was in the same shape as ours is now when he took over. They were awful for 3 years, but in year 4 they broke out and went to the Rose Bowl. That was a miracle. Next year, almost as good at 9 – 3. Then they dropped off and stunk the next 2 years before he left for the Colorado job.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Barnett

    Point is, the jury is still out on whether Wilson can pull this off or not. What we do know is, you cannot fire a guy after year 3 (barring scandal). Wilson needs some time to build not just his team, but his culture in his image. I think how he handles this Mallory/Defense situation now, in the off-season, through Spring practice and next year will go really far in determining whether he can do this or not. Now is definitely NOT the time to even think about making any head coaching changes.

    A FRUSTRATED INDIANA FAN: with all this being said, I’m pretty exhausted after another Indiana football season that, in my qualitative view, was pretty disappointing. I should no longer be shocked, but we seem to invent new ways to lose football games. I wouldn’t be surprised if next year, we were tied with Ohio State with 1 sec left, they attempt a 57 yd FG, Shane Wynn catches it in the end zone, runs 94 yards to the inevitable score when he is tackled by Steve Bartman from the sidelines ending regulation and losing in overtime.

    Basically, in all the experiences I have with spots, nothing compares to the feeling of being an IU football fan. I understand the sparse crowds, I understand the negativity and I understand the lack of hope. IU football is why I don’t believe in Karma. I’m just super tired of it, but I’m still hanging in there with the few of us left that just foolishly refuse to give up hope that “someday” it’ll get better.

    Anyway, go Hoosiers and, like always, let’s hope next year brings better fortunes.

  8. I agree with Double Down that the season was disappointing, but also feel that KW is moving things in the right direction. This is not schizophrenia- Wilson is building hopes with his slow but reasonable improvement of the program, and we all know that had IU a merely mediocre defense this season, we would be celebrating a winning season.

    Meanwhile, I get nervouser and nervouser as each minute passes without learning that Mallory has been fired.

  9. Thanks DD. Great insights into the IU coaching dynamics.

    I don’t think people understand the importance of “presence” as a head coaching skill. Interacting with media, boosters, alumni, faculty, etc. That skill is learned and honed. If you don’t learn it, you end up with “We couldn’t do diddly poo….Playoffs? Playoffs?” or, “They were who we thought they were.”

  10. Double Down,

    I have also felt all season that our defensive talent looks better than in past seasons. Not necessarily good, but better than 121 of 123. So, talent slowly improving yet defense actually regressing in Wilson’s tenure so far. Is there any reality in which NOT axing Mallory is defensible?

  11. Sorry to digress a bit here(though we are on the topic of incompetent coaches)…May I just go off-topic and express what a crappy coach the Bears hired in Tressman?

    The brainiac football coach…the fartsie-smartsie clipboard guy with his 1000 different offensive quick-hit schemes…the calm demeanor..the ‘Monsters of the Midway’ attempting to reinvent themselves into Jeopardy contestants…the politically correct and well-adjusted dweeb that never raise his voice to a microphone…the man that wears British Sterling and never loses his Mr. Cool vibe on the sideline…

    SEND THE SOFT EGOTISTICAL SPINELESS PIECE OF JELLO BACK TO WHATEVER CANADIAN ARENA FARM LEAGUE THEY FOUND HIS SORRY ARSE….PLEASE, BEARS. WHY BEARS?

    I’ve watched a lot of Bears football in my lifetime, but this man is gutless and butt-covering as they come. Pure Establishment nincompoop soft. What a shame to have a team representing the big shoulders of Chicago to have such a weak coach that puts zero confidence in his personnel. Appalling how he just handed that game to the Vikings and can’t even own up to it. Send him out West to groom Harbaugh’s Shih Tzu or to do standard deviation calculations for Pete Carroll’s hemorrhoid treatments during his cheating years at USC…Whatever these intelligent losers do…Just please get him out of Chicago… Send him off with the kids in high school that join band and started internet companies…I DON’T CARE! Just get the twerp away from Chicago football…and Sayers…and Butkus…and Sweetness..and McMahon..and Ditka….and Dent..and winners. He is putting skirts on a legendary franchise. He is not in their league and he does not deserve to stand on the sideline of such company.

  12. No wonder Tsao left. Just listen to that garbage and spineless chat above. I always believed those that do their darndest to see someone axed from a job likely didn’t have much a pot to piss in regarding their own endeavors. Certainly not worthy to be called Indiana fans.

    Don’t really think they are Indiana fans. Just meddlers with inheritances and nothing better to do than play head coach..or head administrator…likely wearing Harry Potter costumes over pantyhose while throwing their bravado and manly demands of how “real men” make manly and accountable decisions in life.

    Give it up, nameless shoe salesmen. You’re all beginning to remind me of Tom Crean. All blow. No backbone. Interfering with God’s job and those that wear a bigger shoe size than you.

  13. This is a participation board. You’re under no such contract to be here as well. The above are opinions, and I enjoyed reading them. If you are that closed minded, the door is open to leave. Don’t you love living in a free country?

  14. With the soaring offense and sinking defense, IU needs to renew contracts and put buyouts in Wilson and his offensive staff. As for the Defensive staff, cut them loose and let the new DC decide if he wants to keep any of them. There has to be an assistant coach at MSU that would like to be a DC someday. MSU’s defense has been solid for years. Pluck one of their coaches and make our defense average (a very minimal request compared to other team’s fans).

  15. Ben, your experiencing tribalism at its finest. Those who see their fandom with Indiana in these terms seek tribal rituals which affirm their sacred truths. If that fails, hunting down and slaying a common enemy of another tribe is panacea. Hence all the weighted arguments that “obviously” point to the superiority of the Indiana born and bread and the relentless obsession with putting down “outsiders.”

    Tribalism is ridiculous and obviously discriminatory. It hampers critical thinking and reasoned discussion. Giving Steve Alford, Mitch McGary and Doug Mallory a pass on their failures, while harping on every single bit of minutiae from outsiders like Tom Crean might seem hypocritical to you and me, but entirely logical when you realize the thought process and worldview behind it. I take no offense, because I’m an outsider, and understand his need to make me feel unwelcomed. I need to atone for the sin of not being born and bred in the great state. But I don’t see things this way, so I’m a heretic.

    Being a nomad and from family of way too many varieties of ethnic backgrounds gives me advantages as a free agent, but also some weaknesses as well. I don’t naturally identify with much. Harvard may sees my perspective as spineless for this reason. However, for someone who hasn’t missed a single IU football game since 1995 (on radio, TV or in person), I think claiming I’m not a loyal fan is probably misplaced.

    Personally, I enjoy the interaction. I hope that others who were previously overwhelmed feel that there can be some more substantive discourse around Indiana sports here. We can have strong opinions and passionate disagreements because, as they say, iron sharpens iron. But this tribalism stuff is weak sauce. I think most people around here are bored with it.

  16. Double Down; very well articulated. I just simplify it by attributing it to “Tom Crean Derangement Syndrome,” or TCDR for short. How else to explain continually harping about a man who is a proven winner while attacking people who want to see a man who has demonstrated incompetence terminated?

  17. Wow…You decided to dig my #13 out of Price’s rhinestone linings and post it after all…Sorta nullifies #14 by way of hypocritical messages.

    Oh well, we all have our tribal alliances and I’m royally pissed that the Bears have a stoneless coach that has cost them a shot at the postseason.

    Nice post, Double D. Wish I had the brain size to match your cup size. Interesting and rather self-serving attitude to steal the handle that many on this blog have casually used through the years to refer to the one and only Dustin Doparik. Appears to be a manifestation of a certain underlying envy/inferiority. Maybe more of a private joke your belief that the people the run this humble Hoosier blogging site aren’t really worthy to any comparisons your own opinion of yourself.

    And the melting pot/outsider garbage? Rather ridiculous and weak. Simply because you’re a vagabond doesn’t make you a god of natural gene pool selection. Kentuckians also tend to get around. You can travel the world and still be inclined to mate in very small circles(it’s a common theme in privileged and closed societies).

  18. If Crean is a proven winner, then he needs to prove it in an NCAA tournament. He got to one Final Four with one of the best players to enter the NBA in the last 20 years.

    Davis got to a championship game. Oh, we’ve come so far by bringing in the man with the snake oil and cyber-Bible duties. Davis(unlike Crean)also proved he was very capable to make adjustments at halftime that could give his team the necessary hope and plans to erase a 17 point deficit and defeat a #1 Duke team to get to his Final Four.

    Crean’s halftime adjustments against Syracuse at a Sweet 16? I’m envisioning clapping, blaming, praying, dazed looks at clipboards, and blowing up Oladipo’s “going home” party balloons.

    Creek gets shoved off the team and now he ranks as one of the top 3-pt shooters in the nation. That’s all you need to know about Cutthroat Crean. He’s only as loyal his next higher ranked recruit he can sell his BS…BS that only lives courtesy the man he chases and can’t buy a Brooklyn handshake.

    Unfortunately, the only villain Mallory can chase around to manufacture excuses is the 25 years of nobody giving a sh___ about IU football while Bobby was hanging banners.

    Now we suddenly give a rat’s ass…and two years isn’t enough for the defensive coordinator. Now we care about football because…? Well, here’s your “because” you like so much, Mr. Crean. Because, if we’re all to be brutally honest, the luster of IU basketball is fading fast. And even with a couple Sweet 16 appearances achieved by way of an All-American Indiana center(the quality of which far and few between even in a state rich in talent) that made Crean look far better the coach than the reality a man that is growing embarrassment to our liberal and progressive institution.

  19. Havard,

    Did you eat some rancid turkey and now you’re extra crabby? Because I put two D’s in my name, you’ve cooked up yet another conspiracy where I chose it because of my own insecurity and narcissism? Of which, of course, I chose to express said lack of security by using the Ds in Dustin’s actual name with my fake name. Yet Dustin and I get along just fine and happen to think he does a swell job around here. Even by your modus operandi of starting with a conclusion and searching for evidence, it took a stretch of a Von Hayesian proportions to get there.

    The reason we care about football, sir, is because of reasons that have nothing to do with the state of Indiana (ESTABLISHMENT!) or Tom Crean. College football is about a 109 yd return with time expired as Auburn beats its hated rival and knocks them out of the national championship. It is about having a disappointing season, yet playing your rival in the last regular season game and taking their #3 ranking to the brink and going for 2 on the last play (OSU/Mich). Freud once said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Well, we love football because we love football. Being that we care about our Indiana Hoosiers, we’d love to have a some moments like that inside Memorial Stadium someday as well. The closest in this history of my fandom being Antwaan Randel El bring us back from 28 down to beat Illinois in overtime in 1998 or 99. Yet, of course, you find some way to validate your conclusion that Tom Crean sucks by carpet bombing yet another thread that has nothing to do with basketball.

    Lastly, just to make a point about Internet nomenclature: we are not bloggers. We are commenters. The journalists who run this site write for THEIR blog and have allowed us to comment on the stories and blog posts that they write. They are the bloggers. You can easily become a blogger, too. You’d have to chose a domain like tomcreanmademymothercrywithhisclapping.com or something, and then you can write stories to your heart’s content as a blogger. But, when you “Post a Comment” here on the Scoop, you are a commenter, not a blogger.

    Also, Kentuckians get around? When did Jenkins and Brother Jed fix that broken down 1972 dodge truck that’s been sitting on cinder blocks in their front yard?

  20. No D’s he’s fishing to see what type of things will get reactions from you. Basically you’ve made some really good posts, so now he’s going to poke and prod to see what your weaknesses are.

  21. Lifted from a comment on another site: “[A]rticle on Doug Mallory that is posted over on the Peegs Premium Football board. It was written back on Oct. 30th and gives some really good statistical data on Mallory’s defenses at LSU, New Mexico and Indiana. The conclusion of the article is that Mallory’s defenses ALWAYS get worse the longer he’s at a program.” Can anyone shed light on this article?

  22. Big basketball game tonight. Nobody cares.

    Basketball in full swing. Mallory job secure.

  23. davis,

    Mallory was co-DC at LSU for 1 year(2008)after Bo left for the Huskers. The Tiger D lost many players from Bo’s last year when they were “07” NC. Although it is LSU and they reload every year. As far as NM, Mallory was the DC “09”-“10” with 9 players leaving from the “08” D with 2 of them going to the NFL before he stepped on the field. Recruiting suffered with the “09” HC change. Also the locker room environment at NM was a shambles with all of HC Mike Locksley personal shortcomings. If you recall he had been Zook’s OC and heavy duty recruiter. Head coaching must have swelled his head bigger than he could fit though a door. Knowing the history of his DC experience and that our 7 loses this year were to teams with a combined record of 65-18 makes me feel good about Mallory being co-DC at IU next year.

  24. Come on HC, our guys can’t even wrap up a player. Have you been watching at all? Only a fool would bring this man back. For whatever reason the fundamentals of defense isn’t connecting with the kids. Mallory had had 3 years. Yet to make a jump. I’ll let you figure it out, cause I sure in the hell can’t.

  25. HC- here are some more facts re: the IUD under Mallory-

    2011- 458.7 yds./game

    2012- 463.5 yds./game

    2013- 527.9 yds/game

    If that trend makes you “feel good” about Mallory returning I guess you’ll be just tickled if IU gives up 600 ypg in 2014.

    Another fact is that the above results can’t be the result of high-caliber players leaving the program (if anything, the consensus seems to be that the talent is slowly getting better). It’s also a fact that although IU’s schedule was one of the toughest in the nation, it’s not likely to get much softer in 2014 (Mizzou again in Columbia and swapping Illinois at home for a trip to Iowa City).

  26. I agree that blaming D-Mal for the downticks at LSU and UNM were not warranted. He had some tough situations to deal with there.

  27. Double Down- Fair enough re: Mallory’s situation at LSU and UNM. But the recent trend speaks for itself, and I’m getting really, really anxious Googling “Doug Mallory fired” every couple of hours and getting no good news. Can it really be that Wilson can’t see the 800 pound gorilla in the locker room?

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