Wilson frustrated by fans leaving early, asks for more support

Kevin Wilson has a message for Indiana football fans.

Buy better coolers.

“Those tailgates are still there,” Wilson said. “If you buy a good enough cooler, stuff will stay cold for you. Let’s ride out the second half, man. Let’s play ball.”

Ahead of Saturday’s home game against Wake Forest, Wilson voiced his frustration Monday with IU fans who continue to leave football games before they’re over.

Wilson’s comments come after Indiana’s Sept. 10 home opener, during which he watched large chunks of the announced crowd of 41,374 leave the game during halftime and again midway through the second half. It was the same scene Wilson has witnessed across each of his six seasons as IU coach, and it’s a pattern he hopes to reverse as his Hoosiers inch closer to the meat of their schedule.

“We have a great slate of games this year,” Wilson said. “Wake’s coming in and five Big Ten games. I just think we have a beautiful stadium, got a great setup around here and I just think our team’s working hard to be competitive.

The waning fan support during the Ball State game two weeks ago was particularly disappointing to Wilson, who said his team missed the external energy as it struggled to put away the Cardinals late in the 30-20 win.

“We played the first three quarters good,” Wilson said. “I don’t know if we had a lull. I think we probably played like our fans and just left in the fourth quarter, it looked like.”

While making his pointed comments, Wilson didn’t ignore the fan base’s most obvious defense.

At best, his teams have been uneven. As a whole, they haven’t been very good, especially defensively. Historically, too, no Football Bowl Subdivision team has lost more games than Indiana.

That’s no way to build an ethusiastic fan base.

But, Wilson said, Indiana’s program continues to show that it is capable of playing competitive football against the heavyweights of the Big Ten East. On the way to their first bowl appearance since 2007, the Hoosiers took four teams ranked inside the top 15 to the wire last fall. They’re also off to a 2-0 start this year, and the Ball State win saw IU hold its opponent scoreless until late in the third quarter.

“Our last six games, we’ve won four and lost two (including one in) double overtime, so why don’t we hang around for four quarters and see what happens, have a lot of fun and make this an exciting atmosphere,” Wilson said.

The attendance figures that are released by Indiana and other schools around the country reflect the number of tickets sold, not the precise amount of people walking through the turnstiles.

So there were fewer butts in the seats on Sept 10. than the announced attendance of 41,374 indicates.

And there were far fewer late in the second half as Ball State attempted a comeback.

Last season, across its seven home games, IU reported an average attendance of 44,314. Home games against Ohio State and Michigan helped the bottom line by bringing scores of opposing fans to Bloomington, but Memorial Stadium was still only filled to 83 percent capacity for the year.

“Terry Hoeppner said it years ago: fans help you win games,” Wilson said. “I’d love to have our fans come help us. I think, together, that’s our house. They’re a part of us. It’s not my house. It’s not my team’s house. It’s our house. That’s our fans’ place. You walk into Assembly Hall, there’s an advantage. It’s a real advantage.

“I actually think (Memorial Stadium) is very loud. Our fans are very much on top of you. When I go through some of the places I’ve ever played that were loud — Marshall, Oklahoma State — some of those places that are small and they’re right on top of you, you can feel the fans.”

Beyond mediocre results on the field in recent years, Indiana is also fighting external factors. Construction on State Road 37 is a headache and the convenience, low costs and draw of watching high definition television are all good enough reasons to stay home.

But plenty of fans do show up to Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoons, and Wilson is asking those who do to stick around a little longer.

Especially this week against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent.

“I encourage our fans to stay with us and stay behind us all the way down the stretch,” Wilson said, “because it has a chance to be a stretch game.”

And a lot of Indiana’s upcoming games do, too.

46 comments

  1. At the start of the 4th, the game looked like a solid win with too many pts for Ball State to mount a comeback. Everyone was leaving to get out in front of the 37 road construction on the way home. I don’t think this is a good example of what to expect for the rest of the year. But we do need to find some 4th quarter traditions to keep fans at the games. What Wisconsin did with the song, Jump Around, was genius. We need something similar. But the best cure for poor fan support is wining football. Once they win on Saturday, the fans will show up for MSU. Once we beat, MSU, and I think we have a very good shot given that they are coming off 2 games against ranked teams, then the stadium will be full. It’s also a nice change of pace to have a coach pissed off about poor support rather than one that has to apologize for poor play.

  2. It’s a real conundrum. Chicken and the egg. Soft non-conference schedule combined with brutal conference division. Offer more challenging non-conference opponents to create more fan buzz preceding games against OSU, MSU, Nebraska, etc? Pick your poison. You want more fans staying in those early season games….then pick better opponents. You pick better opponents and sure enough getting to a .500 record and a peanut bowl becomes increasingly unlikely.
    And you’ve also made a strategy change of sorts. More balanced attack football…less big plays…less of the gunslinger mentality(v13 describes it as more of a reluctance to “open things up”).
    The conundrum continues…The experiment continues. When all else fails just say things were decimated…Blame the fans….or blame Kelvin Sampson. Dakich was still blaming Sampson today. Never look in the mirror.

  3. Attendance problems are an age old issue for IUFB that only top opponents and big wins will take care of. There have just been too many years where there was little reason to stay until the final whistle of an IU football game and it will take a number of years to change that mentality. Of course coach only has the team up to .500 and it will take more wins than that to get people excited.

    Last year’s UM game is an example of what is needed for fans to stay the entire game. The opponent was a national brand that brought fans down for the game. IU made the game very competitive matching UM score for score. At the end the stands were full and both crowds were loudly cheering their teams on. One side would start a cheer and the other side would start their own cheer. It was the first game [I don’t get to many games] I saw that IU fans really got into the game to the point of responding to UM’s fans starting up the ‘Big Blue’ cheer. I know there have been other games like this but not ones I have attended.

  4. At a school that traditionally loses, it makes sense to have a tradition of leaving at halftime. There’s just no point building a tradition around watching your team lose. But I agree with KW’s goal. Last year they played exciting football, now they want to play winning football. There’s no doubt the talent level has increased. We just sent 4 guys to the NFL and this year’s team is better. We again have guys among the league leaders in passing, receiving and rushing but this time we also have guys leading in defense. Now the fans need to shift from coming out just to watch to coming out to cheer them on to a win. And if this is now the biggest problem with IU football, what a great year we are going to have.

  5. Beat a major conference powerhouse, especially Mich, OSU or Wisconsin. We’ve beat weak MSU and Iowa teams over the years so those don’t count. Tall task, but that will get people’s attention.

  6. BSU dominated us from late in 3rd quarter onward. We hung on for dear life against a MAC team. That should be Wilson’s salient concern heading forward.
    But Seahawk is correct. Decades of bad football requires multiple shock treatments to wake the patient up who has long left heartbreak for the safety of indifference. Fans hold programs more accountable than anything else. The strange thing about IU football is that it serves to protect some very poor coaches. Empty seats serve as no believable protest….nor offer any repercussions when the leaders of our gridiron product(AD and head coach) experience this IU “norm” win or lose. Complaining about the present condition of empty seats sorta rings hollow. They come to IU knowing that history. They get paid a huge hunk of cash while knowing it will never be conditional upon the excitement in the theater. It feels insincere because it’s merely another layer of indifference adding security to any coach whether the next Bear Bryant or barely noticeable.
    What coach would ever take an IU Football job and promise to bring a product worthy of filling seats? What coach would ever willingly surrender a large portion of a bonus or yearly salary because of failing to bring such inspiration? The only “cooler” is you, Mr. Wilson. You are the cooler no different than those who have preceded you. You take your money. You’ll run with your money while never having to sell a seat in the house. Empty seats at Memorial are as counterintuitive as full seats in Assembly. Neither is indicative of the quality offered to the consumer, positive or negative trajectory, or the health of the respective programs.
    A zombie stuck on the history of where a meal is found fills Assembly in the same fashion it avoids Memorial.

  7. Or….
    You must betray the fools mirror as a poor coach because of empty seats in Memorial….in the same fashion you must betray the fools mirror as a good coach because of full seats in Assembly. The first must be avoided in deteriorating the ego as much as the latter serving in reflection to satisfy it.

  8. It is a cultural creature because it is generational and it will take more than a couple of years for fans to break old habits. Not winning certainly keeps some fans away but the last game proved a 30-0 lead does not keep them there through the end of the game. Yes winning is a criteria to the stimulus needed but the AD may need to intercede with some either/or options for fans who exit early. With the focus on season ticket holders. Possibly some promotion initiated after halftime and incrementally increasing through the 4th quarter. What, I don’t know but something to break the habit. I don’t think winning alone will make it happen as soon as many think and certainly not overnight.

  9. Columbus, OH population = 822, 553
    Bloomington, IN population = 80,000(appox. 40,000+ students included in this total).
    South Bend, IN population = 101,168 residents. Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 318,586 and Combined Statistical Area of 721,296.

    I’m sure there are a few schools packing their stadiums with 60,000 plus without large feeder cities, but more often than not it is simply a numbers game. I’ve always wondered how full an IU Football stadium would be if the campus was located in Indy. Bloomington has always been a bit of a Shangri-La hideaway in the southern limestone hills.

  10. …or a Shamballa of sorts.
    I mean, doesn’t the Dalai Lama make it sort of a second home? It’s a peaceful rather pacifist town…..Football is a violent, bloodthirsty sport. It is not for flower children….or Breaking Away Little Five folk-singing bongers hanging out at the quarry. Though finally removed, we had to be the only college football program in the country that put a playground at the back of an end zone. 300 pound hulks with jacked up testosterone on overload while spitting out teeth is not congruous with the back of an end zone game of daycare tag.
    The experiment continues….

  11. Recent footage of a trip down Hwy. 37 en route to a Hoosier football game …..Can’t let the construction get you down.

  12. I’m not very sympathetic to the excuses for low attendance and early withdrawal from Memorial Stadium offered up by some IU fans. When I attended IUB in the late 70’s, IU Football was hardly a powerhouse, but I remember numerous games where there were more than 50,000 people in the stadium. Furthermore, I’ve attended a few games in Memorial Stadium that were packed. Besides, I attended an IU-Wisconsin game in Madison when Wisconsin was terrible and there were still 70,000 people in attendance to witness IU beat the Badgers. Yes, the tradition of losing is a major factor, but Wilson has begun to turn that around and is putting a better “product” on the field, so the fragile optimism should be reflected in higher attendance. We’re not playing any FCS schools at home this season, so the competition has improved and that excuse has been eliminated. Bloomington is a relatively small town, but the population of Monroe County and the surrounding communities is more than enough to fill the humble capacity of Memorial Stadium. The bottom line is that several generations of Hoosiers have been conditioned to believe IU Football has always been and will always be a loser, and they are too apathetic to try to change that. I’ve posted it in The Scoop before, but the Hoosier Nation will get the football program we deserve. If we want a better football program, we must support the football program. And the most obvious way to do that is to attend home football games. You can’t say, “well, I’ll start attending football games when IU starts winning more (or beating higher quality teams). It does not work that way. Low home-game attendance affects recruiting, which decreases the chance of getting the players needed to win more games and beat higher quality competition. In the short term, or until IU starts producing winning seasons on a regular basis, I believe Glass should offer the least desirable seats in Memorial Stadium for a bargain basement price of $4.00. Call it IU’s “loss-leader strategy.” Or, he could sell the combination of a ticket and a bus ride to and from Memorial Stadium from surrounding communities like Indy, Evansville, Columbus, and Terre Haute for $15 to $20 per person. Make them party buses and eliminate the hassle of driving, paying for parking, etc. Furthermore, I’d have an incentive program where, by showing and getting your ticket stub hole-punched in the fourth quarter of a game, you get your choice of a free hot dog, soda, or popcorn. The point is, find ways to fill the seats and keep people in the stadium through more of the second half. When IU starts winning on a regular basis and defeating higher quality competition, the problem will take care of itself and the need for such incentives will diminish as organic demand for tickets increases. It’s not rocket science, but one way or the other, IU must increase home-game attendance if it ever wants to produce a competitive football program.

  13. That FCS quarterback from North Dakota State looked like Johnny Unitas….compared to Thumbelina Cutler.

    Surprised there was no mention of Jordan Howard in Hoosier Morning. Howard was a rare bright spot of positive yardage in a very ugly night for the Bears. Hoosiers doing well in the NFL also fuels recruiting(as well as their ample coverage in local press). If I were Wilson, I’d be pissed that my whiny comments about attendance get better coverage than a “Sleeper Sweetness” brewing in the Windy City.

  14. Shangri-La/Shamballa hideaway…. makes me really miss ol’ Bloomington. Wish it could have been an “end up” kinda place for me rather than a “passing through.” Woulda been a darned nice place to raise son #1, who is due for me in December.

    The attendance issues really aren’t going to be solved through some marketing promotion, sorry to say Clarion. Any fan of the Seattle Mariners will tell you its a true fool’s errand. The M’s have fielded a putrid team for a decade and a half (longest streak w/o playoffs in 4 major sports). Rather than hire the right leadership in the front office, they convinced themselves they could “market” their way out of a losing culture with all sorts of gimmicky promotion nights, ticket deals, bobble heads, etc. Yet as the team continued to lose, the attendance continued to suffer. Worst 10-year drop in attendance in the MLB.

    This year is the closest they’ve been to the playoffs since 2001…yet last night against Toronto, another contender, they couldn’t even come close to packing the house, because they opened the home stand dropping 2 out of 3 to the Astros in typical lackluster fashion, showing the fans that it’s same ol’, same ol’ once again.

    Here you have Seattle, one of America’s most booming, fast-growing towns…plenty of people there to pack a stadium and then some…but no one wants to watch perennial losers. The solution to the Mariner problem and the Hoosier problem is to follow the lead of the KC Royals from last year, the Gonzaga formula, the Butler formula…blast your way into the public consciousness through results; infect everyone around you with a breathtaking electric out-of-nowhere surge.

  15. Seahawks, congrats on child #1 coming soon. Life’s going to change quite a bit for you in a few months. All the best to you and your family.

    Unfortunately for IU Football, it can’t draft the football players it needs to transition from a losing program to a winning program, so the KC Royals examples is like comparing apples and grapes. And comparing football programs to basketball programs is not relevant either. Two or three really high quality basketball players can change the fortunes of a basketball team within one year. In football, you need dozens of really good players every year, for several years in a row.

    And I’m not suggesting Glass deploy marketing gimmicks, I’m suggesting he find ways to fill the stadium. Filling the stadium with even mildly interested Hoosier fans will improve performance on the field, improve IU’s image when games are televised, and contribute to better recruiting by portraying a better image to visitors. When I was a young boy living in Bloomington, I was a member of the Bloomington Boys Club. In 1966, IU had an absolutely terrible football team. But IU gave (or sold at very low prices) thousands of tickets per home game to under-privileged children (and one parent) associated with Boys Clubs all over southern Indiana. There were thousands of boys that got to watch IU play that would otherwise never have been able to attend a game live in Memorial Stadium. Normally, the dog wags the tail. But sometimes, the tail needs to wag the dog. Glass needs to find a way to fill Memorial Stadium. With a capacity of 53,000 people, we’re only talking about getting 10,000 to 12,000 more people per home game (on average) into the stadium.

  16. As for the Bears, it is almost immoral how the McCaskey family runs that once proud franchise. Walter Peyton must be spinning in his grave. The Bears are not a joke, they’re a punchline. How perfect was it that after the Bears cut Robbie Gold to save money, his replacement missed a relatively short field goal on his home field. And he almost missed an extra point.

    Why does anyone buy Bears season tickets these days? Unless a person enjoys wasting time, getting frustrated and being humiliated, why would anyone attend a home game in Soldier Field? The McCaskey family is not trying to produce a winning team for their fans, so why should Chicago fans support the McCaskey family by buying tickets or attending games at Soldier Field?

    Mrs. McCaskey is reported to be worth about $1.4 billion. But she could double her net worth by selling the Bears to a person (or group) that does not need the team’s revenue as a source of income for their extended family. If she loves Chicago, she should sell The Bears to someone who wants to build a winner for the millions of Bears fans around the country. And the first thing the new owner should do is to announce that unless the Chicago politicians work with him to build a new, world-class, 100,000 seat stadium, he/she will move the Bears to the suburbs and build his own stadium. Just use the formula the Cubs deployed a few years ago.

  17. Thanks for the well-wishes, Podunker.

    Unfortunately I think we’re at odds about the whole attendance thing. I just can’t see how filling the stands with retirees, underprivileged children etc. is going to translate into player performance.

    As for comparing sports, I think the comparison is valid; the Royals collected bargain-priced talent for years, suffered as a bottom feeder, but then broke through in a major way. Not through buying free agents but through talent evaluation, mostly. There are many examples as well from the football world of teams storming the scene and creating a culture by virtue of a single, out-of-nowhere season. My favorite example for an IU analogy is the Oregon State Beavers. As bad as IU, or worse, for the better part of 3 decades. Dennis Erickson comes in in 1999 and in TWO years (unlike the current Wilson 10-year plan) has them 11-1 and playing in (and winning) the Fiesta Bowl. Since then, they’ve been to 9 bowl games, won 6 of them. Beat teams like a #5 Notre Dame team, Missou and Pitt, came very close to beating Texas . Now, they sell out all their games (albeit at smaller Reser Stadium) and have a rabid football culture that culminates every year in the “Civil War” against the Ducks.

    Oh sure, there are people on this blog who will immediately begin the “But it’s different here!” cries. But it really ain’t. It took a good coach who coached up a team of 2 and 3 star talent to play the season of a lifetime. IU had a similar team – the 2007 bunch, was it? – who could have won 9 or 10. Unfortunately they had the wrong coach and gave away a few games that could have been the difference maker between a ho-hum bowl game and a national coming-out party.

  18. Very wonderful news! Wish I could have been the first on Scoop to congratulate you and your wife, Seahawk. You can now call me Uncle Harv.
    I was drowning in making chicken fajitas with peppers and onions…. and homemade tomatillo/serrano sauces….. and salsas…and guacamole.
    Hope all goes well. Are Lamaze classes still the rave? The weird breathing exercises….? Seems like yesterday. The time will fly….but they will be spectacular years you’ll forever cherish.

  19. Tom we are not talking about the same thing. IU has the right leadership in the front office and on the field. Product improvement is and has been taking place on game day. Attendance is up for the past 3 years compared to a handful of years prior. What I’m talking about is what Wilson was highlighting; keeping fans engaged and in their seats the whole game. That is precisely where some kinda edict from the AD’s office to change old habits or some promotion to encourage not leaving the game is worth trying.

  20. SeaHawk Tom, congratulations on the coming birth of your son. Improving attendance and producing winning team is a complicated problem that doesn’t always relate to other situations. I agree getting an experienced coach like coach Erickson would have turned IU around quicker but those coaches didn’t want to come to IU. I think IU got the next best thing by hiring coach Wilson as they got a good OC that had to learn being a HC on the job. To make matters worse, he was given poor advice on making Mallory his DC a decision that impacted the team for 5 years despite Mallory being DC for only 3 years. The DC job is now corrected and we will see the impact it has on IU’s success rate.

  21. I think this will be Wilson’s signature year and next year should be better. The recipe is a high scoring offense that doesn’t turn the ball over and an opportunistic defense that can create turnovers. In addition, we also have a 270 lb halfback and 230 lb stud running back that haven’t taken the field yet. They give us the ability to play ball control offense. This is going to be big boy football and allow us to increase our unacceptable 3rd down efficiency. In years past, I was hopeful that they could compete, now I’m confident they can win.

  22. Northwestern had a “out-of-nowhere” 10-3 season last year. They proceeded to get their butts handed to them by Tennessee in a 45-6 shellacking at one of those New Year’s Day bowls.

    Despite the loss, Northwestern’s second 10-win campaign in the last four years marked a return to upper echelon of the college football world(courtesy: Northwestern Athletics official site).

    Northwestern only put 34,000 in Ryan Stadium in a “Family Weekend” game against Penn St. Though beating Standford(home opener) and Wisconsin on the road, they had two rather telling scores in losses against Iowa(40-10) and Michigan(38-0).

    Does anyone believe Northwestern is in the “upper echelon” of the college football world? Sometimes it’s just all so foolish. Even getting to a New Year’s Day bowl can be built on extreme falsehoods. And even in the backdrop of what many IU fans would likely claim as program-changing wins(Stanford, Nebraska, and @ Wisconsin), Northwestern can only 3/4 fill a small stadium on a “Family Weekend.”

    There are certain fan bases that simply don’t care …or are smart enough to not buy into the rhetoric or mirages. We choose our targets for our failures and construct our kings for our supposed “breakout” successes. There are huge talent disparities. All cry to claim they are something they are not. I’m sort of tired of the rhetoric. Beat somebody….then beat another somebody. Do it quietly. Do it without the singing of the same old whiny song….nor with stupid claims you have “broken out of something” and now “belong.” If Wilson could get us to a 10 win season, it would get so much goofier around here than at Northwestern….We will have stunned the world in the same fashion our Lord Crean gets treated for dropping a ping pong ball in Bucket #1 of his Bozo Circus banners for some Sweet 16’s.

  23. Frustrated with IU football fans? That’s like telling the Bubonic plague that you’re frustrated with a cold. 40 years of weak farts football while other BIG programs have taken enough massive scoring dumps in Memorial to stink up five nearby states…? You’re frustrated? There are not enough sweet smelling roses in 40 years of Pasadena parades to erase the stench of Hoosier football. Perfume it up with some wins over “somebody,” Wilson….Walk quietly and carry a big plunger. Proceed to take plunger and do this to Harbaugh’s face while in Ann Arbor on 11/19(0:33 mark).
    Harbaugh reminds me a bit of Jim Carey…Takers?

  24. Thanks for the well-wishes!

    Northwestern has been in and out of nowhere for the last 20 years. Up and down like a hyperactive kid on a trampoline. They manage to win because they get good coaches that get the max out of their lower-caliber athletes. It’s a cycle that has extreme highs and lows, because there is never a top-5 recruiting class of 4 and 5 star athletes to pad the fall once those wily, well-coached seniors leave for their careers in medicine and finance.

    No way, in my mind, that you can make a good comparison to IU football based on the Northwestern example. In contrast with Northwestern, which gets the most out of lesser athletes, we (at least until recently) have superior athletes but fall painfully short of developing them. The list of Hoosiers who have been successful or highly-touted in the NFL over the last 20 years looks a lot, lot better than the list of Wildcats in the NFL, both past and present. On paper you’d think that the Hoosiers were the better of the two college programs, but as we know that is light years from the truth.

    On the subject of attendance, NW’s sucks because they’re an academic school in a big city consumed by other sports passions. Bloomington, in contrast, has nothing to do around it but hike in Brown County, go to an occasional show at the IU auditorium, and watch sports. And more sports. Its a town that is flooded with red sweater-wearing middle-aged townies who flock to sports bars every weekend; frisbee-throwing frat bros who for 9 months of the year are looking for any reason to not go to class and to engage in tribal displays of their school logo and school pride. It is a town dying to diversify its sports identity, having grown tired of putting all their eggs in the Tom Crean basket. They are also a bit damaged psychologically, however, as one would expect from someone who has listened to a broken record play for twenty or thirty years by an incompetent team of DJ’s incapable of moving the needle past the scratches by bringing in the right leadership. Winning will change that.

    The idea that great football wouldn’t pack the stadium in this sports-starved country paradise is about as realistic to me as saying that bbq pork-topped mac and cheese wouldn’t be very popular at a hipster bar.

  25. 123, A lot to believe in what you posted. The D has to make it happen in your scenario. I have confidence in Allen to make it so.
    On the topic of Allen I fear the big $ wolves will be sniffing heavily for his DC services if IU’s season is successful. The more success the higher the probability. Of the bunch ND worries me most as it is still Indiana and they could throw $800k+ his way out of cash flow receipts. Kelly is not shy about making HR changes if he needs to save his job.

  26. I think you’re starving for an easy conclusion…..Whether or not the privileged classes doing 4-year Bloomington daycare as social media campus zombies with their faces permanently adhered to the screens of their i-Phone mommy’s breast….. will remain as hungry is the challenge for all sports.
    All that being said, if we could get Crean to join his brother-in-law at Michigan, I’d have enough faith in my alma mater to even hunger for Hoosier football. I’d even stay to get my ticket hole-punched for a 4th quarter package of Skittles.

    Here’s Harbaugh in a nutshell.

  27. Seahawk- You’re quite the football expert. I’m critical of Wilson…but I like the guy. I like him even more because v13, an unwavering believer in Wilson, is the most straight-shooting and sincere guy I’ve ever read on Scoop. Love your take, but v13 is Indiana humble and Indiana true…..and he da man. Wilson is our Bobby Knight of Hoosier Football. I’m smellin’ dem Pasadena roses.

  28. I’m not expert, Harvard. I have more emotions than facts when it comes to football.

    I don’t know much about this 123 guy but I do like his confidence and directness. I’ve always felt that Clarion seems to have the most expertise on the Scoop when it comes to football. He seems to know the game in and out and can speak about everything from coaching drills to administrative matters with clarity. Only thing is that his spin is always militantly optimistic…making it hard to evaluate if his assessment of the team’s direction is indeed realistic or just rose colored glasses. His current narrative of the progress of the Wilson years sounds quite similar to how he saw the direction of the program under Lynch.

  29. I hope this is the year that IU knocks off some of the ‘big boys’ and wake up IU fans.

    HC, don’t worry about Coach Allen leaving as he loves being back home and building IU’s program up. Our 2017 commits, if they stay committed to IU, are better defensive players that will make our defense even better than this year.

    H4H, thanks for the props. IU needs to knock off a couple of the big boys and if he cuts loose on offense then there is a chance to win some of the big games. I hope the three missing players, due to injuries, get on the field this week or next along with Feeney getting back on the field. This is the season to knock off a couple of ‘big boys’ and get the fans that are not in the stadium to get excited and get to the games.

    Seahawk Tom, it is good to see your postings on the ‘improved board’ as many haven’t seemed to make it back. IU has gotten the most out of 3 and 2 star offensive players over the past few years. Defensively IU has failed until Tom Allen got here.

    Tom Allen has shown IU had the athletes to be a good defense instead of the barn burner defenses. It is so nice to look at the NCAA stats and see IU in the upper level instead of the bottom of the heap. Coach Wilson was mislead about Mallory being the DC which lead to his firing and leading to a hurry hire. After two years it was clear the DC couldn’t do the job and I am so glad Allen was hired and accepted the job.

    It is time to open up the offense and trust Lagow to get the job done. If there is more passing then the talent at receiver will show up along with opening up the running game as defense have to spread out to cover the passing games. It is also time to get the big boys in the RB room to hit the field especially in short yardage situations. I would like to see them on the field even more but short yardage and red zone would be fine.

  30. Tom, In evaluating your post I agree I was in the positive column for BL. The organization and staff he assembled was the best since DM. + he was very well thought off by Indiana HS coaches. But his down fall ultimately was the recruiting he could not elevate(although his son was a fair recruiter). That was why they were keen on RSing as many Frosh and Soph. as possible. With 2-3 more years to run that philosophy who knows. But he is in no way on Wilson’s level.
    On the topic of my FB prowess, yes I know some about the workings on the field, the offices and evaluating players and coaches. When you are as old as I am you see and experience a lot and when it comes to IU FB that has been mostly negative, so in contrast it becomes easy to recognize right and positive. But when it comes to X’s, O’s and real coaching, v13 has me by so much I’m embarrassed of the mention.
    By the way being militantly optimistic(aggressive)became a mainstay when I quit working for the other man. I found if I rewarded extraordinarily high for good work through strong accountability then all I had to do was hang those carrots out in front of the 1’s who wanted to produce. The others weeded themselves out. I see it as Wilson is doing much the same at IU. Good Luck being DAD.

  31. Who is already more impressed with Lagow than anything seen from Sudfeld? Personally, I think the young man is way more poised. But Cameron is champing at the bit…Cameron chases Lagow all around the sideline to act as the rite-of-passage mentor to the JC transfer/starter. Don’t you hate that sort of condescension? Wilson has already proven to me that he won’t succumb to politics…He jacked Mallory out of town….He’s stuck with the QB proving his poise and ability one game at a time. Those old IU names always want a piece of the action.
    This is why I make the Knight comparison when speaking of Wilson’s persona. It doesn’t appear Wilson gives a rat’s ass about who runs a Yacht Club. He’s sorta like Quint(played by Robert Shaw) in the movie’ Jaws’….And maybe that damn Great White is Hoosier Football forever returning to scare the hell out of us, roll its eyes back into the blackness, devour our hearts, and take us 6 barrels down to the bottom.

  32. Vesuvius, Clarion, Harvard, thanks for the words. I hope one day we will see Goff, Tsao, JPat, Chet and even GFDave back in the House.

    Love the image of Wilson as the Great White.

  33. Top to bottom, there’s no way IU has had better athletes on their football roster compared to Northwestern for many years. Northwestern has not been OSU, MI, or MSU, but they’ve generally had much better athletes on their football team compared to IU. It may no longer be the case, but perhaps until recently, IU’s talent has been inferior to Northwestern’s talent for a very long time.

  34. I would also love the return of NoMendacity, Punjab, Double Down, Toe Jam & Earl, and Steve in Ottawa.

    NoMendacity, Punjab and DD were wonderful Scoop contributors. Punjab very sincere….NoMendacity full of electricity and spunk. DD possessed great wit and remained forever a non-apologist(a very proud Hoosier from California who demand more out of scheduling with a refusal to lower a bar for the Indiana standard).

    You had it a bit messed up, Seahawk. The shark is Hoosier Football….Wilson is Quint heading out into the unknown….where fate calls and destiny wants to put some points back onto the board.

  35. I believe IU wins the following:

    1. Wake Forest
    2. Nebraska
    3. Northwestern
    4. Penn State
    5. Rutgers
    6. Purdue

    I believe we lose a game we shouldn’t (Maryland) and take Michigan State to the wire and have at least a chance to win. Last year I predicted 6-6 except losing to Western Kentucky and beating Iowa. The year before I thought we’d be 5-7 and we ended up 4-6. I thought we’d beat Bowling Green, lose to Missouri and beat Rutgers. The last 2 years I’ve called 19 of 24 games correctly or 79%. This year’s team has a much improved defense and an offense that should have the ability to play ball control. Wilson’s offense gets too predictable with running plays overwhelmingly to the tight end side. Putting a big back in space (Camion Patrick) should really open up the offense and using their H- back (Tyler Natee) in some 2 back sets should improve 3rd down efficiency- which it better because right now they are terrible. Lagow has trouble with touch passes- the bubble screens that IU has lived on for the past few years. He tends to throw to the back’s inside shoulder instead of leading him on the outside. The result is lost momentum with short or no gain. Put the ball in front of Camion Patrick and he’ll put on a show. This could be a 9 win team. Should be at least a 7 win team as long as Lagow stays healthy. Win some games, the fans will show up and stick around. Lose and well there’s always basketball season….

  36. I stand corrected on the shark analogy.

    Podunker, where are you getting your information that NW has had superior talent to IU? I’m going by NFL players and the relative successes of such players. Current count: IU 9, NW 6. Sure, that’s not a huge difference. But we have all-pros, super bowl heroes and promising high draft picks amongst ours. Theirs are not nearly as accomplished.

    Other Scoopers who I miss: Juan Blanco, The New Coke, 4guards, GooFy Dave (GF Dave’s alter-ego), and IUfanPurduePhD. They all played their unique role in on this great, long-running stage we call the Scoop.

  37. It’s all good, Seahawk.

    It was just for schnitzels and giggles….Wilson came to IU with all the attention of Quint at the town gathering of a terrified Amity Island…(more terrified of their island losing dollars than the destructive predator representing the complete randomness of selection). The movie is a wonderful metaphor of all things in life…It plays to mock men of strong will(or maybe the naivety that will must hold to survive) when caught in the grips of a destiny, at some subliminal level, they may be captaining themselves to seek. For Quint, that mocking of destiny seeks to smile back into the teeth of a predator; a war between owning a last laugh or becoming a morsel to feed the ocean of a darker fate(one avoided as a crew member of the Indianapolis in WWII). We only own our brief moments here….The shark mimics the motor of life and death….and the narcissistic trappings of emotion, will, and ego(the real predator).

  38. RE: NU, Evanston, attendance. NU won ten games last year, but still averaged lower attendance (about 31k/game) than did IUFB. The are five million people in Cook County alone, and another couple of million in the other contiguous counties (including the Region). Winning (admittedly sporadically, but three conf. titles in the past twenty years is better than a lot of Big Ten programs) has not filled Dyche Stadium and it won’t fill Memorial- maybe add a few thousand to the count, but not consistently fill the place. It really hurts for me to write that, but the culture is just not there. It would take decades of IUFB being legit heavyweight contenders to change things.

  39. Winning (admittedly sporadically, but three conf. titles in the past twenty years is better than a lot of Big Ten programs) has not filled Dyche Stadium and it won’t fill Memorial- maybe add a few thousand to the count, but not consistently fill the place. It really hurts for me to write that, but the culture is just not there. It would take decades of IUFB being legit heavyweight contenders to change things.

    And the big TV networks feed on finding the sites where the football hysteria/culture does exist(e.g. Notre Dame. OSU, Michigan, almost any SCC school). When NBC or ABC bring their cameras, their product is only as good as their advertisers perceive the excitement levels to remain tuned in. Even when there is a very sizable crowd at Memorial, the atmosphere is often far too Shambhala(ish)/pedestrian. There is a passivity that, sadly, almost conveys a fake level of manufactured excitement. Would the fans ever be as rabidly fanatical or as hungered in spontaneous huge eruptions of full investment in the game at Memorial anymore than ‘dead’ Dyche Stadium at Northwestern?

    Could a big name head coaching hire change that culture? Probably not.
    Then again, Assembly has become a more passive scene as well. I fear that soft scheduling atop the mediocre results at every March Madness…(and maybe even much of that “manufactured” excitement that comes with hysterical clapping from a coach rather than a fan juiced up on a game against an elite program or border rivalry) is usurping the place of the sincere energy that used to rock the rafters in honest Hoosier hysteria.
    Natural energy and pride once married to national relevance in hoops has all but faded from Assembly while we attempt to bring Frankenstein’s monster to life at Memorial.

  40. I attended 3 OOC IUBB games last season and there was nothing about the fans in the stands being underwhelming. In very fact much like it has been for decades.

  41. Yeah…You’re probably right, Clarion. Matter of fact, I bet you’re spot on. It’s always been a rockin’ place. It’s a guaranteed atmosphere of approval.. Every coach in the country would have to be off his nut to not desire such an audience of perceived validation. And there also lies the danger.

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