Hoosiers trying to channel anger into positive results #iufb

He didn’t lay into his team after Saturday’s fourth-quarter collapse, nor did he start Monday morning’s team meeting by ranting or screaming. Indiana coach Kevin Wilson didn’t have to do any of those things because he could sense his Hoosiers are learning their latest lesson on their own.

IU linebacker Marcus Oliver admitted there’s been a lot of anger inside the Indiana locker room during the last couple days, but that can be a good thing. The Hoosiers are mad at themselves for throwing away a 25-point second-half lead in a 55-52 loss to Rutgers and they’re trying to channel their frustrations into something positive.

So instead of compounding his players’ anger with his own brand of fire, Wilson left a brooding bunch of Hoosiers with a challenge on Monday.

Wilson has appreciated how his players have responded from failure within games this season, like their ability to rebound from a missed assignment or come back from a bad throw or a dropped pass. But now, Wilson told his team, it’s time to show that the Hoosiers can handle success.

“How are we able to handle good plays?” IU quarterback Nate Sudfeld said, repeating his coach’s message. “Are we able to come back or just be excited about the play we just made? It’s a good opportunity for us to learn from and we’re real excited to be able to get this taste out of our mouths.”

There were plenty of good moments for nearly three full quarters Saturday. By the time IU had built its 52-27 lead with five minutes remaining in the third period, the Hoosiers had stopped the Scarlet Knights on seven of their 11 possessions. Offensively, they had recorded 26 plays of 10 yards or more and saw its passing offense rejuvenated by Sudfeld’s return from an ankle injury.

But 20 minutes of IU’s worst football of the season allowed many of the positive developments to be forgotten. The Hoosiers stopped making plays and they lost for the third consecutive week — this one in the most embarrassing possible fashion. Entering Saturday, teams were 0-121 this season when trailing by 25 or more points, according to ESPN.

After the game, some players went out to eat with their parents, while others went home to mute the outside noise of a town bemoaning an inexcusable loss. Since returning to the football facility for the last two days’ worth of work, the Hoosiers are trying to keep morale from sinking. No one’s quitting, no one’s sulking and the Hoosiers seem genuinely focused on keeping their season on an upward trajectory.

“To me there were some signs that there’s a lot of fight in this team,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of buy-in. Again, we missed some tackles, missed some plays. Gotta call it better and gotta execute offense better, but the way those kids came out and battled and fought, again, it’s very, very encouraging.

“That’s why after the game I wasn’t blowing those guys up. We gotta keep getting better, it starts with me. I gotta call a better game, gotta manage games better. Staff’s gotta do better. Kids gotta keep doing better, but that’s a great group of people working hard, and I think we’re pretty close, and I’m not trying to justify anything.”

Wilson has moved through the last couple days feeling a bit of regret, wishing he would’ve gone for it with five minutes to play and IU facing fourth-and-four at its own 31. It was a situation that came after a holding call on second down against Dimitric Camiel forced Indiana into a second-and-17 at the 18. Sudfeld completed a pass to Ricky Jones for a 16-yard gain on the next play before Devine Redding was stopped for a three-yard loss rushing an inside handoff on third down.

It would’ve been unconventional to hold back the punt team on his own side of the field, and Wilson knows he would’ve taken heat had IU not converted the fourth-down attempt. But Wilson also recognized that his team needed a jolt of energy with the clock ticking down and Rutgers set to take the ball. In hindsight, Wilson said Monday, it was a gamble he should’ve attempted.

“I saw Coach (Bob) Stoops do that several times where a piece of paper says punt, and he’s like, ‘Man, I’m not stopping them. You gotta get the first down,'” Wilson said. “You’re doing it in situations that don’t make sense, but you (have to) get a feel for the flow of the game. The way that game was flowing, we needed an offensive play and taking the foot off the gas there I think was a very poor choice on my part.”

It was a reflective moment from Wilson, who has clung tightly to his oft-used mantra of moving forward and playing the next play. Indiana reviewed film of its Saturday evening meltdown and noted the good plays, while internalizing the bad ones.

Now, the team is looking forward as part of a process that IU hopes will lead to more consistent production on Saturday at No. 7 Michigan State.

There in East Lansing, the Hoosiers are aiming to play fast, play hungry and play angry.

“We’re sitting here 4-3,” Wilson said. “I kind of like it, because we’re 4 and 3 and we’re mad.”

34 comments

  1. I agree with a lot that is said in this article. I agree that this team is different than in team’s past. I agree that there is still the potential for this team to right the ship and win one or a couple of “shocking” games.

    BUT.

    I’m just worn out. I can’t help it any longer. There is only so much suffering a fan can endure. I’ve watched, listened to or attended every IU football game since I got on campus in 1995. I know there are many of you folks that have been around and endured this crap longer. Well, at least you got the Mallory years as panacea. My pallet cleanser was Antwaan Randle El, but even that was tempered by what has now become an ingrained culture at IU: no defense.

    I can’t stand that when we went up 52-27, the moment we crossed the 50 point threshold, I still felt like we could lose. And we did. I can’t stand that Indiana seemingly invents new ways to lose football games. I remember being in the bush for 6 days a couple years ago and found a way to get a replay of the Indiana/Minn game a couple years ago when we fumbled away a win. I remember thinking at the time, “Of course that just happened.”

    We had one glimmer of hope in the past 20 years. Coach Hep came and it seemed like we were close to turning the corner. Then the universe must have seen its impending implosion and had to destroy him.

    Re: Kevin Wilson. Seeing all the gloating dopes that come in here who “knew from the beginning” that he couldn’t save IU Football is like predicting the sun will come up tomorrow. It took a LOT of courage to take this job. People have been and continue to say that it is impossible to save Indiana Football. Our fans say it more than the general public (they just says, “Who?”). KW faced an immovable object, yet still went to his tool shed and pulled out a crowbar and hammer. He took the job knowing the odds were stacked against anyone in that position.

    I think he has done a lot of things right to get us there. He’s been flawed, but he’s also grown, too. For me, he’s been a great figure to root for in this fight. He has demonstrated a lot of courage.

    But the losing. It just continues as if it swings on the pendulum at the bottom of the grandfather clock. And it is the way we lose. The “Huh? That just happened?” losses that stack one, on top of the other, on top of the other. Our bowl hopes in the last few years have been dashed by Navy, Virginia…and Bowling Effin’ Green! The Big Ten just treats us like a malnourished prison roommate.

    Indiana Football is like a delayed flight. It is snowing outside and you hear someone come over the PA and say, “We’re going to be a little delayed…20 min.” Then you look at the board and that 20 min becomes an hour, then an hour and 15 min, then 2 hrs. By that time, you stick it out justifying the time you’ve already wasted sitting there that if you just stick it out a little longer, you’ll eventually get on that flight home. If you cut your losses, you have a warm bed or a place where you can go and have a little fun. Yet you sit there 24 hours later, neck stiff, eyes bloodshot and the only breakfast you can stomach is a double-shot of whiskey and a dull hammer to the skull.

    I can’t say whether I’m going to bother watching the MSU game on Sat. I acknowledge that I’m still at the airport waiting for my flight home. But I am spent. As a fan, I just can’t stand it anymore.

    I do wish CKW or Glass would just acknowledge and speak plainly about the problem and then give laser like focus to the solution. All the crap Glass has done to “help the gameday experience” aside from actually putting something on the field that is worth watching, has been a complete and utter waste of resources and time. And, like all things dreamed up by sports marketing departments, it reeks of artifice. College Football is one of the last bastions of authenticity left in America. Yet, our betters think if we shoot fireworks, have the Lone Ranger (who?) rip off our basketball tradition, etc., we’ll get people to stop drinking beer and having fun outside the stadium and drink “soda pop” inside the stadium while we stink up the place.

    I don’t have a solution anymore because I’m not a football coach and it isn’t my job. But I know when something stinks and that smell is still coming from Memorial Stadium.

    With that said, I’m still hoping we can turn things around. I like this team and think they are better than this. But it doesn’t matter what I think, the scoreboard is the true measure of success. And by that brutally honest measure, Indiana Football is still a total joke.

  2. Too bad the team didn’t learn that valuable lesson after almost blowing the Wake Forest game. Too bad that valuable lesson was learned at the expense of a bowl-game-canceling, fan-support-crushing, loss on Homecoming weekend. I mean, what were the coaches talking to the players about after the Wake Forest game? What were the players thinking after narrowly escaping with the win? Was no one on the team aware that the players relaxed and started celebrating too early in that game too? Were the players and coaches that excited about beating a smaller, younger Wake Forest team on the road? I mean, WTF were the players and coaches thinking after that Wake Forest game? Too bad this “valuable” lesson was learned two weeks too late.

  3. DD, I feel your pain. I sincerely appreciate your comments in #1 above. And while I don’t think I qualify as one of those “gloating dopes that come in here who “knew from the beginning” that he couldn’t save IU Football,” I did question the wisdom of hiring a man without previous successful head-coaching experience. From day one, I thought the best model to replace Lynch was the one used to hire Hep. Someone who viewed the job and the compensation package IU offered as a major career promotion. Someone who had proven he could lead a team to winning seasons. I always thought Hep was the ideal hire for IU at the time. I also thought Mallory was an excellent hire back at that time for all the same reasons. I liked Wilson, and still do. I think he’s done a lot of good things. But it seems to me that expecting a man to learn how to be a head coach in The Big Ten Conference is too much to ask of anyone. A person, no matter how smart, just isn’t going to have the time to learn from all the mistakes they are bound to make while trying to build a winner in The Big Ten, especially at IU, with such a terrible football tradition. IU needs a head coach with a reputation, at least within the region, that allows him to improve recruiting immediately, from the very first recruiting class! I believe Wilson’s lack of head coaching experience and his focus on Offense, allowed him to accept the recommendation of Mallory as his Defensive Coordinator. That was a huge mistake, compounded by keeping Mallory after his second season. Perhaps if Knorr had been Wilson’s original DC, we would not be lamenting Saturday’s devastating loss. Certainly, IU’s problems have not resulted from poor offensive production, not even in Wilson’s first year! So it’s not really Wilson’s fault. And the only question that remains is whether to give him more time or terminate him with a generous severance package.

    I suggest the answer to those questions should be based on the availability of an obvious upgrade, as in the opportunity to hire a man with previous successful head-coaching experience. Use Arizona’s hiring of Rich Rodriquez as a example. That was a huge coup for Arizona. Arizona’s new AD at the time recognized the unique opportunity to hire a proven head coach in Rich Rodriquez. He fired Mike Stoops midway through the 2011 season, less than a year after Stoops lead Arizona to three consecutive winning seasons and winning two out of three consecutive bowl games. And that was in spite of Stoops having transformed a losing Arizona program into a team that defeated a half dozen top-10 ranked teams in his first five years as head coach. It seemed harsh and unfair at the time, but that decision has since proven to be a huge boost to Arizona’s Football program. Rodriquez is a winner.

    So how about IU hiring Brady Hoke? Would he take the job? Well, if you give him a compensation package that is competitive within the Big Ten, I’d say you have a better-than-50/50 chance of getting him to accept an offer from IU. Hoke grew up in Ohio and played football at Ball State. His coaching background is on Defense. He succeeded Lynch and transformed Ball Sate into a winning program, producing a winning record in the MAC in his fourth season. In his fifth and sixth season, he lead BSU to two consecutive bowl games and went 12 – 1 in 2008. At San Diego State, he lead his team to a record of 9 – 4 in his second season and a victory in the Poinsettia Bowl. In his first three season at Michigan, he produced three winning seasons and three bowl games, but was doomed by the extremely high expectations of Michigan’s fan base. Hoke would, in my opinion, be an upgrade for IU. If Glass can come up with the money for him and a good staff, my guess is that he’d have a chance of signing Hoke to a long term contract.

  4. To finish my last post, if IU can’t find a man that would be an obvious upgrade, or if they can’t afford to pay an experienced and proven winner, they should give Wilson more time, as in a one or two-year contract extension. But unfortunately, with a rookie QB starting next years, and half of the O-line graduating, the 2016 season is likely to be worse than 2015. And I’m not sure Wilson can improve recruiting after five consecutive losing seasons. The next recruiting class will be IU Football’s canary-in-the-cole-mine.

  5. I was one of those who took a wait and see attitude when KW was hired. It wasn’t asking much to upgrade from Lynch, and I believe most fans simply hoped he would make our team respectable, no more and no less. Ultimately I think he has not removed the hapless loser reputation that IU football has deservedly earned. By that measure alone I must ask how much longer the administration should wait before it makes a move — a move that appears inevitable. It can be better than it is, but it won’t happen without taking bold steps to show everyone that a new era awaits.

  6. DD #1 comment is on the money in so many ways. Podunker you bring up some good points. I still think IU is a program that has to give Coach Wilson all seven years to get things going. It is hard to do with a loss like Rutgers but they hurt so much because he has us playing OSU, PSU, UM, ect tough now while beating PSU in 2013 and Missouri in 2014. Since he has fans dreaming of winning seasons maybe he needs more time just as VT did with Beamer. It is hard to watch a coach grow into a head coach while coaching a B1G team but I see Coach Wilson do that. It has taken him time to find the right coaches and to learn how to be a head coach instead of a OC. I think if IU stays with Wilson we will turn things around but as I said in an earlier post Coach Wilson needs to answer a few hard questions about how he plans to fix a few of the problems his teams have shown or if he is just locked into what he does. I know as a high school coach I had to adjust my plans every year based on the players I had and I think college coaches need to do the same now and then just as Coach Ferentz has this year.

  7. Agree with everything Double Down said. You can only take so much of this crap and Saturday’s clown rodeo against Rutgers was the straw that broke the monkey’s back. I’m completely checked out as far as this season goes. Bring on basketball.

  8. I’d like to add something here as well.

    When they first hired Kevin Wilson I remember being a bit disappointed. I thought the hire was made entirely too quick and I was under the impression IU was going to make more of an effort ($$ wise) to bring in more of a ‘big’er name coach. I realize that’s a difficult thing for IU to do, but I figure if we spend enough money we could’ve nabbed someone like that.

    Wilson had no head coaching experience at the college level and the one year he was the HC of a high school team, they lost every single game. Fred Glass really needs to sit down and think about what kind of effort it’s going to take to bring in a more qualified coach than that. At this point, if we need to spend big bucks on a coach ($4-5 million a year) to turn this god forsaken nightmare of a program around, then just do it already.

  9. I do like the Brady Hoke idea! As far as the investment is concerned, a major reason IU is in the shape we are in is a direct result of chronic underinvestment in the program over several decades. We just didn’t keep up and the competition bar kept getting higher and we are now in a situation where even a significant investment will at best, lead to a program that is at the mid level of B1G.

    As for CKW, again, this is not about the man. He is fundamentally a good guy and a guy who knows a lot about developing an offense and a good recruiter. What he is not is a head coach and I’m not convinced that investing 2 more years will see him get there.

  10. This has been asked ad nauseam but just who are these ‘big name’ coaches that IU should have gotten? If there is a qualified ‘big name’ coach out there he is coaching at a ‘big name’ football school and getting paid ‘big name’ money already.

    The only coaches that might have fallen into that category and might have been available have a closet full of skeletons (Mike Leach or Bobby Petrino, for example). Is that the road you want to go down?

    Just saying IU should have paid the money to hire a big name football coach when there aren’t any available says less than nothing. If you are going to make a statement like that at least toss out a name or two.

  11. It doesn’t have to be a ” Big name coach “. It has to be a coach with a proven track record as a HEAD COACH. Mark Hudspeth from Louisiana-Lafayette has that. Although his first year at the program was tarnished by the actions of an assistant before Hudspeth got there, he has proved he can turn a program around. Also the notion that you have to break the bank to get a winning coach is nonsense. Hudspeth is currently making about $750,000 a year.

  12. Chet, I just gave you the name of such a coach. Brady Hoke is probably going to coach again, somewhere. There are others. And RAM makes a good point. It does not have to be a “Big Name Coach,” just a head coach that has proven that he can produce winning seasons. Even better if he has proven he can transform a losing program into a winning program. Even better if he has a recent history in the Midwest. Jerry Kill was not a “Big Name Coach” when he was hired at Minn, but he was a head coach that lead different programs to winning seasons. He’s doing a great job for the Gophers.

    A lot of “mid-major” coaches would love the opportunity to make what IU is paying Wilson. And if IU can up that compensation package to somewhere north of $2 million per year, which is still below the mid-point for Big Ten head coaches, Glass would have a bunch of candidates with head coaching experience to choose from. And remember, every year, a lot of head coaches change jobs. Coaches like Rich Rodriquez and Brady Hoke, who got fired by Michigan because they did not meet the extremely high standards of the Michigan faithful, might be great hires for IU. One program’s “trash” is another program’s “treasure.” It’s too late now, but I know for a fact that Phil Fulmer, a year after being fired by Tennessee, was interested in coaching again. And who knows, Charlie Strong may suddenly be available as early as December!

    We, as fans, have to drop this notion (or stigma) that somehow, IU is not worthy of a good football coach, or that having a competitive football program is impossible. It is not. There is nothing inherently wrong with IU. There’s nothing wrong with Bloomington, the IU campus, the football facilities, etc. There are significant obstacles to overcome, for sure. The football tradition is terrible. IU Football suffers from a decades-long legacy of neglect and mismanagement. The majority of IU students and alumni have lost (or never possessed) a passion and faith for IU football. But those challenges can be overcome with leadership and investment. We’re not asking a new coach to come in and lead IU to the National Championship in four years, like they do at USC, Michigan, Florida, Alabama, Texas and etc. We’re just asking a coach to come in and make IU a competitive Big Ten program. Competitive as in producing a winning season and a bowl game every other year or so. It’s not impossible! Pont did it, Mallory did it, and I believe Hep would have done it had he lived. But those three men all had previous head-coaching experience. Those three men had all proven that they could lead a program to produce winning seasons. And as for money, if IU just increased attendance at home games by 10,000 people per game, the increased revenue would more than make up for the increased compensation expense. Ultimately, what we need is University-level leadership that grows a pair and establishes and pursues a bold vision for IU Athletics. What we’ve had for far too long are “administrators” that are good at minimizing financial and political risk.

  13. Brady Hoke proved that he couldn’t win in the B1G backed with the recruiting prowess of a school with one of the richest and deepest histories in college football. The program also reaps the financial benefits of 120k paying customers per home game.

    I’ll bet him and the rest of Indiana’s fan base are incredibly enthusiastic about him coming in and getting abused by Urban Meyer again, as well as his former employer. It would be hard for Hoke to pass up that opportunity knowing he’ll be backed by the 18k fans at Memorial Stadium who, I’m convinced, are just paid extras in what they were told is casting for Breaking Away 2.

    You guys are priceless. If you’re going to be delusional about getting a new coach, at least pick someone with a shred of ability to coach in the B1G.

  14. Good/Great Current Head Coaches that were once assistant coaches. Criteria: previously an assistant, they took over a major program to be a head coach in their first gig. There are way too many to list if you go beyond current to historical:

    Jumbo Fischer (FSU)
    Marc Helfrich (Oregon)
    Mark Dantoni (MSU)
    Jim McElwain (Florida)
    Les Miles (LSU)
    Dan Mullen (Miss St)
    Kyle Whittingham (Utah)

    Narduzzi (Pitt) – too early to tell, but so far, Pitt looking pretty good.

    Anyway, it is rather ridiculous to say that we need to find someone with Head Coaching experience only. That kind of retread attitude is what got us the incredible tenure of Gerry Dinardo.

    This meme that Glass just didn’t want to pay for top talent is insane. Firstly, Indiana doesn’t have the money to pay top dollar and coaches that command top dollar go to job openings that are more desirable than Indiana. Indiana could pick Mark Cuban’s wallet next time he has too many shots at Kilroy’s (when he’s in town to watch basketball) and put up a job posting saying the next coach will get 10 million a year. IU will maybe get a few extra candidates. No top coaches who have already done the leg work in their careers will take a giant leap back and coach at one of the worst jobs in all of college football. This is historically proven. Almost ALL programs that were once crap were built by previously unknown coaches or assistants that had a lot of prove and figured out a way to make the mess they inherited better than when they left it.

  15. Well let’s see. Jimbo Fisher followed Bobby Bowden. Mark Helfritch followed Chip Kelly and Les Miles after a stint at OK State, followed Nick Saban at LSU. Assistant coaches or not why wouldn’t you do well at those programs? Does that always work? Of course not. Will Muschamp was a great coordinator at Texas and Auburn and things didn’t work out for him at Florida. How about Charlie Weis ? Great assistant but not so good at being a head coach. Head coaching experience is a good indicator especially if its successful experience unless you want to gamble on an unproven commodity. Where does that get you? I guess we’ll wait and see.

  16. In other words, there is no correlation to success between being a highly rated assistant versus a head coach at a smaller/less prestigious school. There’s no logic or objective data to back that claim.

    There are very few good college coaches with longevity. Just by it’s nature. About as darwinian as it gets.

    There is also no objective data to demonstrate which type of college coach can turn around the worst program in the history of college football. No one has been able to do it for IU yet.

  17. DD, and to think I said nice things about your earlier post. Just a few comments in response. Hoke did win at Michigan, he just did not win enough. Rodriquez also won at Michigan, just not enough. Their standards are very high up there in Ann Arbor. Rodriquez is doing a great job with AZ in the PAC 12, and was getting paid only slightly more than IU pays Wilson when he took the AZ job.

    You wrote in #15, “Good/Great Current Head Coaches that were once assistant coaches. Criteria: previously an assistant, they took over a major program to be a head coach in their first gig.” Maybe you mis-spoke, but you’re information is half wrong. Mark Dantoni (MSU) was the head coach at Cincinatti for three years before taking the MSU job. Jim McElwain (Florida) was the head coach at Colorado State for three years before taking the Florida job. Les Miles was the head coach at Oklahoma State for four years before ascending to LSU. The others, such as Jimbo Fischer, Marc Helfrich, and Whittingham, had the benefit of inheriting the head coaching job from their former boss and immediate predecessor (i.e., Whittingham – Meyers, Fisher – Bowden, Helfrich – Kelly) and took over already successful programs after years of OJT provided by their mentors. And you just watch, Helfrich may be in trouble if he doesn’t pull the Ducks out of their nose dive.

    But if you don’t like my example of Hoke, how about IU trying to emulate Duke’s hiring of Cutcliffe. Duke was about as bad off as a college football program can be before David Cutcliffe took that job. Before that, his head coaching experience included a seven year stint at Ole Miss, where he accumulated a record of 44-29 and lead Ole Miss to five bowl games in seven seasons, including a 10 – 3 record in 2003. He was fired by Ole Miss after going 4-7 in 2004, and deemed “not good enough to coach in the SEC.” At Duke, he has transformed that Basketball School’s football program into a winner, going to bowl games in the last three seasons and almost certainly headed to another one this year.

    Some times, people learn invaluable lessons from their failures. Some times, getting fired from your dream job motivates you like never before, and makes you appreciate the next opportunity all the more. Regardless, either Wilson is going to learn from his failures very quickly, or IU is going to need a new head coach who possesses head coaching experience and great leadership skills.

    And either Glass could not or was unwilling to spend more money at the time Wilson was hired, not sure which, but his justification for Wilson’s deal was well documented in the media at the time. But I know that back then, IU was paying off severance packages to a former BB coach and Lynch, which totaled more than a million dollars in one year. I’m not saying IU can match what OSU pays Meyer, but they can afford to pay a lot more than they’re paying Wilson and his staff now. Wilson’s compensation package ranks 13th out of 14 in the Big Ten Conference. If IU ever wants to hire a new head coach, or retain one that has transformed IU into a winner, they’ll have to do a lot better than that.

  18. KW is not the solution. He is good for college football but not as a head coach in the B1G. You have to be a cut above to get young men to follow. Those kids got talent. If IU wants bowl games hire a dynamic leader.

  19. IU and Michigan play comparable schedules. Michigan will have a slightly better non-conference schedule because of television. Conference is a wash. Overall, not much difference.

    Gotta agree that if Hoke couldn’t be successful enough to last with all the advantages of the Big House and its tradition it’s pretty unlikely he could pull a rabbit out of a hat in Bloomington.

  20. I didn’t have enough space to outline each coaching tree branches, but maybe my brevity lead to confusion. Point being each of those coaches were assistants at major schools, took head coaching jobs (some directly, others smaller gigs and moved up) and are now very successful for major programs).

    Guess what? Indiana is a small gig. A stepping stone is what we should strive to become, although we’re not even that right now.

    Arizona is a bad comparison. That school has had a really good football program and fan base support that’s filled their stadium since the beginning. In fact, before the mid/late 80’s, football was superior to basketball. I was at the game where a lower ranked Arizona beat the #1 Washington Huskies and ended their national title hopes (they would have beaten Miami on the road too if their kicker didn’t miss a 20-something yd FG at the end). Their desert swarm defense will always be a thing of legend.

    People in Tucson are not satisfied with Rich Rod. Upgrade from that maniac Stoops, but even he took them to some good bowl games. Rich Rod is doing ok, but the vibe in Tucson is wait and see. They have the same problem that’s plagued all his teams (and Indiana fans would relate): all offense and no defense.

  21. Have held my tongue during the last 4+ days of emotional hilarity. I do not believe Coach Wilson will be fired anytime soon nor should he be. But sanity always emerges to civil the rants as DD demonstrates by establishing some hard to argue facts(like RR in Tucson)and Chet’s opinion of a Hoke tenure at IU I have no disagreement. I also think there are numerous coaches in less illustrious conferences available/qualified to move up. The MAC has about 6 or 7. But I think back to 2 CFB hires and 1 NFL firing, even though they are a small sample offering, but they are big, all 3 wrong and all close enough to Bloomington to be to be remembered. Zook at Illinois, Danny Hope at PUke and the Cleveland Browns firing Bill Belichick.

  22. It’s an interesting thing about Belichik. It’s hard to argue with his success. At the same time he was never considered a great coach until Tom Brady took over the quarterback position in New England. He’s never even made the playoffs as head coach without Shady Tom as his quarterback. The year Brady was hurt Matt Cassel did a yeoman-like job but they didn’t make the playoffs. I guess it’s one of those ‘chicken or the egg’ things.

    Who knows if he’d have ever been a success in Cleveland? It’s a tough place to win.

  23. DD- emotionally with your opening post, but college FB as “the last bastion of authenticity?” Really? Really? Coaches making millions while players are used up and spit out when no longer needed? Boosters providing whores and who knows what else for teens (completely unbeknownst to the aforesaid millionaire coaches, of course)? Media myth spinners making heroes out of jocks (Manti Te’o and his ghost girlfriend, e.g.)? Grown men’s careers hanging on successfully begging seventeen year-olds to “Pick us, please! Please, please, we’ll make all your dreams come true!” Sometimes I feel plain old unclean just watching college football on TV, and given that my loyalty is to old IU, I must be a real schizoid to dirty my soul for such a lousy program. The only reason most of the excesses of college football have not surfaced at IU is because it’s just not worth pimping out one’s values for the sorry lot that is IUFB.

  24. Yeah, it’s pretty sad but true.

    On the other hand, since we’re already neck deep in it anyway, I sure would like it if we could win some of those football games. God help me.

  25. Crooked is not artifice.

    And all of college football isn’t crooked.

    And IUFB isn’t crappy because they refuse to cheat, it is crappy because IU’s athletic department is/was incompetent.

  26. I guess if you want to see an athletic department and fan base that has sold its soul you don’t have to look any farther than just down the road. Louisville fans must have to hold their noses whenever they read about their football and basketball coaches.

    I was pretty impressed when, with Pitino’s escapades still fresh on everyone’s minds, they reached into the gutter and pulled out Petrino. Not many institutions would go down that road.

  27. With many decades as a college sports fan that hire came as close to me as shock as any I recall made by someone I considered 1 of the 4 best AD’s in the country. Jurich as far as I’m concerned out savvied himself. My little Sister, Brother-in-law and 3 Nephews live just outside L’ville and they are negative for the FB program future. MY middle Nephew works for the ADepartment.

  28. Petrino as your head coach is like mountain weather. Don’t worry, if you don’t like it it will most likely quickly change.

  29. A sure footed thought for certain.

    How is the weather on the SWestern slope of Colorado this time of year?

  30. It’s very nice. Sixties and usually sunny during the day, 30’s at night. Snow on the surrounding peaks but the aspens and cottonwoods are still ablaze with color. Wolfcreek Pass, the nearest skiing area, got 20 inches of snow last night.

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