Indiana looks incomplete in 24-14 loss at Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. — To Kevin Wilson, the last six days constituted Indiana’s best practice week of the season.

Too bad it led into this team’s worst performance to date.

Against another beatable opponent, IU failed to play consistent and competitive football in Saturday’s 24-14 loss to Northwestern at Ryan Field.

Little went smoothly for the Hoosiers (3-4, 1-3), who did themselves no favors on both sides of the ball. For the first time this season, Indiana’s defense looked like its unit of old. It slept through the first half, burying a struggling offense with a 21-point halftime deficit that would not be overcome.

“Offense? Same story,” Wilson said. “Can’t run it and can’t score points. So, poorly-coached.”

At least for a time, and as recently as early Saturday morning, Wilson thought this day would be different than the previous two weeks. Those, too, ended in losses.

He pushed his team through the practice week, appreciating the energy he saw from both offense and defense as they approached the weekend trip to suburban Chicago.

Because of the 11 a.m. Central kickoff time, Wilson had the team wake for a 6:30 walkthrough on Saturday morning, when he once again saw his players bouncing around, looking prepared and feeling loose.

“(But at game time) the offense was a little bit off and the defense was caught a little flat-footed,” Wilson said.

A glance at the box score shows a game that was fairly close. That was not the case.

Disregard those numbers — Northwestern’s 408-403 edge in total yards, IU’s 4.7-4.6 edge in yards per play, even quarterback Richard Lagow’s 319 passing yards. Indiana played as poorly as it has all season, and now looks at the final five games of the season wondering if it will develop the kind of consistent offense that is necessary to cross the six-win threshold.

Faced with similar scenarios last season, the Hoosiers showed toughness and resolve down the stretch to qualify for their first bowl since 2007. They’ll need to do the same this fall.

“As seniors and leaders, we are going to make sure that it happens,” senior receiver Mitchell Paige said.

A lot needs to happen first, including significant development along a once-great offensive line. For the first time since Sept. 10, Indiana had All-American Dan Feeney in its starting lineup, but his presence alone couldn’t supply the cure IU needed.

IU missed blocks with alarming regularity, while freshman left tackle Coy Cronk had his worst game of the season — underscored by a fourth-quarter drive that saw him flagged for holding and also deemed responsible for a third-down sack of Lagow.

For his part, Lagow held a good deal of blame for IU’s loss, too. He missed open receivers, underthrowing several passes.

“There were about 10 he over-threw, (too),” Wilson said. “He was just off today.”

Lagow completed 35 of his 59 passes, but lacked the sharpness required to go on the road and lead Indiana to a win.

“It needs to be a lot better,” Lagow said of his play. “First half, I wasn’t very good. I didn’t come out ready to play, and then it hurt the team. I need to do better.”

The Hoosiers didn’t score their first touchdown until the 2:49 mark of the third quarter, when receiver Nick Westbrook came around on a sweep and found the end zone from three yards out. A failed two-point try kept Indiana’s locked Indiana into a 24-12.

IU played from behind all day after Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson sliced through Indiana’s defense with three first-half touchdowns.

Thorson led the Wildcats 70 yards in three minutes on the day’s opening drive, capping the series with a 17-yard scoring throw to Solomon Vault.

On Northwestern’s second possession, Thorson hit Austin Carr, the Big Ten’s leading receiver, for a 34-yard touchdown that built the Wildcats’ lead to 14-0. Thorson made it a 21-3 advantage to open the second quarter, when he found Macan Wilson for a 32-yard score.

Indiana’s defense finally found its legs in the third quarter, a period when it held the Wildcats to only 25 yards of offense.

But Indiana’s offense couldn’t take advantage of the timing and a little good fortune, including a Ricky Jones punt block that gave the Hoosiers the ball at their own 48 midway through the third quarter.

The offense kicked the opportunity, turning the ball over on downs in a 1:10 of game time.

“We get a blocked punt and get nothing out of it – with some runs, then tried a crossing route that didn’t work,” Wilson said. “Tried a long field goal. Took a sack when in scoring range that hurt us.”

It all added up to another meek performance against another beatable opponent — an opportunity this Indiana may come to regret.

40 comments

  1. lots of excuses will be made about this game, like the last two (OSU, NE) loses, but the truth lies within the QB position…although the Defensive started out slow, they really showed up in the second half of the game!!! the game was not lost in the first half, the IU Offensive had several, yes, several chances to win this game in the second half….But poor/inconsistent QB play led to this defeat…..the major question on offensive is have the players lost all hope in the QB position or this team??? from the reaction of a couple of players (wide receivers shaking of their heads after and inaccurate/missed pass attempt) the moral of this team could be in jeopardy

  2. I very rarely comment on the football team but, after this terrible performance I can’t help but say what I feel. As IU79 states, the offense was horrible but, I feel that there are a couple of reasons other than the poor play of Lagow today. First of all it is quite apparent that IU’s inability to run the ball has been a major factor in the poor offensive showing thus far. Now I realize that the offensive line has been disrupted by the absence of Cammiel for the rest of the season and Feeney’s absence up until today but, this line was ranked at the start of the season as the team’s strength due to it’s depth and the All-American Feeney. Well, the backups that have played due to Feeney and Cammiel’s absence are obviously not nearly as good as expected! I personally think that Wilson’s play calling in the last 4 games has been incredibly pathetic! His insistence to continually run the ball when they are averaging around 2 yards a carry is putting them in terrible position. His continually trying to run the ball against Ohio St. in the first half when they were losing yards on almost every run was excruciating to watch. He has gotten into the habit of trying to run the ball down opposing team’s throats when there is no success at all. In some of those games they have executed the run better in the second half when the opponent is expecting the pass when we are down by 2 or 3 td’s. The first half against Ohio St. made me almost turn off the TV? I understand that you can’t pass on every play but, when you continue to lose yards almost every time you run, you have to throw! Three and outs are wearing the defense down and it is such a shame because the defense has played pretty well this year except for the first half today. The play of the defense in the second half was great, to bad the offensive play calling was so poor. Wilson has to start using his head and try and let the offense lose a bit instead of butting its head against a wall!
    It is incredibly frustrating to watch 3 and outs over and over and over again when trying to do something we can’t do. Wilson’s offensive philosophy over the last 3 year’s has been great when he has had 2 All-Americans in the line but now that we are deficient in that area, it is time for him to wise up and change his course of action. I think Wilson has done a great job of building the program by some really good recruiting over the last 3 years or so but, he needs to see the handwriting on the wall and understand that this offensive line in it’s current state is not capable of running down the opponents throat as in the last 3 years!
    One other thing about what appears to be a very unorganized offense, 3 timeouts in the first half when we either ran out of time on the play clock while attempting to signal in a different play call or we had the wrong package on the field to run the play that was signaled in? We burned all 3 first half time outs because of this and the first time out in the second half. This has happened continually all year long, we burn time outs in every half of play because of this. When this happens over and over again it seems like a lack of preparation? Can a team be prepared to play and this continue to happen over and over again? I don’t see this happening on the teams that we play, it just doesn’t? We seem to be VERY confused offensively this season. I realize we have a new quarterback but, what do we do in practice to prepare ourselves for a game?

  3. Give the offense to Tom Allen too. He ‘ll get them to play above their talent level. Keep John’s and KW controlling the offense and we’ll be watching more of the same- mistakes, poor play, missed throws, missed blocks, dropped passes and dropped opportunity.

  4. Both sides of the ball the past two weeks came out flat in the 1st quarter or later. I wish the coaches hadn’t changed Lagow’s passing as he was more accurate throwing passes in JC. He put the ball on the receivers and with the change in throwing motion has created problems for Lagow. As a high school coach I didn’t change throwing motions unless it was creating poor passes. Now with the change in passing motion it has created problems. Just look at the historyofthe NFL and all kinds of throwing motions existed with excellent QBs. Both INTs were freak plays that caused the INTs – a great one handed catch against our WR and one came from bouncing out of the hands of our WR [the pass should have been thrown more to the center of the field]. The OL isn’t as good as last year and I agree coach Wilson is too focused on the running game. Start running pass plays that are short passes to replace some of the running plays. Also use more screen plays for the RBs to slow down the rush and make it easier for the OL. Our OL is the worse part of the offense. Wr are dropping too many passes to go along with inconsistent throws.

    The defense was flat the first half and looking like last year’s defense. The second half defense was great and I hope both sides of the ball can start the ball game this week doing well from the first play to the final play.

  5. I also wonder if Lagow has a shoulder injury as he doesn’t usually under throw deep passes. Overall his completion % was good this game at 62% with the drops and passes not on target.

  6. Have to admit I missed watching the game live as I was at my Uncle’s 100th birthday celebration in South Bend. 1 of his gifts was a Notre Dame rocking chair. Boy is he cussing Kelly and Swarbuck. Get this, he ‘toasted” a thank you to all of us in attendance with a small iced glass of good bourbon. Which he said he had not drank in 5 or 6 years. What a guy!

    Consistently in Spring & Fall camp we heard the DL was winning more often than the OL. Injuries and now as very often happens with a Frosh season starter LT Coy Cronk is making Frosh mistakes. Fatigue gets to them 1st. I’m no QB coach but I suspect lots of emphasis this past week was placed on correcting Lagow’s overthrows of past games. He is still involved with mechanics on the QB learning curve. That expresses to me clearly why the insistence to run the ball + YPC against OSU was 2.5, Huskers 2.9 and NW 3.1. As the lower tier conference schedule develops the run game will become a bigger part of the offensive strategy to win. Good to see Redding receive multiple passes, Patrick to get his 1st receptions and Hale getting more targets. I thought Devonte Williams was a + in the run game. Satisfying to see Allen make such positive adjustments at halftime. Really very surprised we saw no ZD. Now so as to be in agreement with many of you the whole coaching staff has an extraordinary amount to chew on in preparing the weeks practice plan.

  7. MikeC, good post, and I agree with most of what you wrote, accept the following comment; “I think Wilson has done a great job of building the program by some really good recruiting over the last 3 years or so….” He’s done a better job than his predecessor, but that’s not saying much and it’s obviously not good enough. If Wilson had done “a great job,” IU would not be 3-5 right now and at risk of producing it’s sixth consecutive losing season. As a Hall-of-Fame NFL coach once said, “You are what your record says you are.”

  8. At Indiana because it is Indiana he has done a very good job of recruiting. The previous 20 seasons brfore Wilson proves it.

  9. I wonder how Texas is feeling about forcing Mack Brown into retirement?

    Considering how much greater the financial resources of UT are compared to that of Alabama I wonder what kind of kings ransom they offered Saban and how much Alabama how to cough up in response. Every dollar Alabama football brings in may go directly into Saban’s bank account.

  10. I’ve been an apologist for IU football for many years because I and others recognized that the fundamental issue historically has been institutional underinvestment in the program. That’s no longer true, thankfully, and we are starting to witness significant progress. That said, this game against Northwestern was a set back. This is a game we should and could have won and I believe we lost primarily due to inadequate coaching particularly on offense. All too frequently, we appeared disorganized with miscommunication and poor coordination between QB and oline. We just didn’t seem to be on the same page for most of the game. The commentators said this several times and they were right. In fairness, our coach has done a great job building the program but he is not a game day coach which I think we recognized when we hired him. However, I would have anticipated that by now with six seasons under his belt, he would have made more progress in organization and play calling. That’s been disappointing.

  11. “Disorganized” only describes how the IUO looked on TV. I was at the game and it was much worse than “disorganized.” Not to mention that the whole team looked plain old flat and unenthusiastic. The apparent “comeback” in the second half was an illusion; Fitzgerald has a reputation for going into turtle mode to protect a lead. The only time the IUO showed some signs of life is when they went hurry-up. For my two cents worth, the lousy 4th down conversion rate is the result of weird play calling, a/k/a “offensive genius Kevin Wilson outsmarting himself” (e.g., not running Devine Redding at Duke in overtime). Somebody needs to tell Wilson to figure out who are his best players, what it is that they do best, and then run the plays that let ’em do it. When things are not working, simplify back to basics. DO NOT ADD ANOTHER TWIST, IDEA, WRINKLE, INNOVATION!

  12. Clarion- a toast to your centurion Uncle.

    Such a disappointing game, yet again. Seems like Coach Wilson continues to benefit from one of college football’s longest leashes and least-demanding contracts: basically a 10-year plan to win 8 games or finish .500 in the division. Maybe 15 years at the current rate, who knows.

    I can’t even bring myself to watch the IU games anymore. The Browns will be in the Super Bowl before we have back to back winning seasons.

  13. I’m not trying to bash Wilson, but I just can’t agree that “Wilson has done a great job” at any aspect of his job as IU’s head coach until he produces a winning season. We say he has improved certain aspects of the program (i.e., recruiting), but what have we got to show for it after five and a half seasons with Wilson in charge? Lynch produced five wins during his last year as IU’s coach. Wilson produced six wins last year and got us to a minor bowl game, but he still did not produce a winning season. The best thing Wilson has done since he took the job was to hire Allen to be the DC.

    Wilson has gotten the support and investment he’s requested from Glass. Facilities have been and will continue to be improved. Coaching compensation has been increased significantly so that Wilson can attract and keep the best assistant coaches. Wilson’s compensation was doubled and his contract extended. And although he can still produce a winning season this year, we’ve yet to see that increased support and investment result in a winning season. I don’t care how bad IU’s football program was before Wilson arrived, how many years does it take for a good coach to turn the program around and produce a winning season?

    And if Wilson is such an offensive guru, why have so many people who watched the game say that IU’s offense looked like the keystone cops during Saturday’s loss to Northwestern?

  14. Concisely put, Podunker. There is a precedent out there for the time it takes to turn around large-conference bottom dweller programs that have great resources, and I assure you, Wilson is running behind.

  15. You guys are right. I’m for the days of old, Cam, Gerry, Bill and the last 2 seasons of Mallory when he couldn’t even fill all the allotted scholarships. IU FB at its best being blitzkrieg by 85% of the conference. My kind of entertainment. + your posts.

  16. While I have considerable issues with the game day coaching, Wilson’s record at this point isn’t significantly different than Frank Beamer’s first half dozen years at Virginia Tech. One big difference, the Hokies were 10-1 and won a bowl game the year before Beamer arrived. Bill Dooley was handing over a solid program.

    Beamer went 2-9 with the team he was handed. He had one winning season in his first 6 years (6-5) and in the sixth year they won 2 games.

    This was at Virginia Tech, not Indiana. The Hokies fill their roster, year after year, with players from within the state of Virginia. That’s not reasonable for the Hoosiers.

  17. I did not expect IU to win eight regular season games this season. Would have been nice, but I didn’t expect that to happen. Six regular season wins and a trip to another bowl game was a reasonable expectation and will be a sign of sustained progress. Less than six regular season wins suggests that last year was a minor fluke and that IU Football has not progressed. Regardless, the 2017 season, Wilson’s seventh at IU, must be his break-out season, in which his team wins at least seven regular season games. If that does not happen, I doubt Wilson will ever produce a winning season at IU. There is a cost associated with producing losing season after losing season. Coaches are given a certain amount of time to turn a program around. If it does not happen after seven seasons, there will be too much doubt about Wilson’s ability to make it happen, recruiting will decline, the fans will lose interest as the old, tired narrative about IU football is reinforced. There’s a lot to like about Wilson. I hope he wins six this year and reaches a new level of success in 2017.

  18. I’ve said this till I’m blue in the face, but it will take IU up to 10 years to get to a point of consistency. IU football is a work in progress. For those expecting it to change within 2-4 years must’ve lived under under rock or Hep’s rock. Just look at how long the team has struggled before Wilson and after Mallory. IU did the right think by keeping Wilson long term. Burning through coaches will just set the team and recruiting back.

    I guess I don’t understand why people are disgruntled. It’s not like it’s Alabama where they simply re-load every year. It’s Indiana. It takes years to finally get the recruiting classes to where you want it.

    Mariner Tom,

    How can Wilson run behind when the program has been a joke for over 30 years? Wilson has done nothing but improve the program. Last I knew Bill Lynch was coaching D-3 football. The other coaches are no longer coaching or a part of a vicious coaching cycle ( Hired and Fired).

    1. Ben, theoretically you are correct and I wish I were wrong. However, had Wilson not secured Tom Allen, IU, now in its 6th season under Wilson, would likely be 0-7 heading into this week’s game with Maryland. In all of those wins, including the opener at lowly FIU, the defense won the game. As for recruiting, go look at what Petrino is doing at the ‘Ville, Stoops at KY. If Purdue gets a top hire, it will get even worse. He can’t seemingly build on his own successes. With what Sudfeld, Coleman and Howard accomplished, most programs would have capitalized. Redding should still be a backup. Instead, he’s the featured back. It’s not ‘time’ that improves a program, it’s about ability and progress. If you are satisfied with 4,5 or 6 wins a year (at best)
      then you will likely be pleased for the next few years.

  19. Petrino is a really successful football coach who has brought a scandal to every school that has hired him. It’s his second stop at Louisville. It would be akin to IU hiring Sampson again.

  20. It actually is a “time” thing as society tells you today that you must have it now. Everything takes time to do it the right way and not cheating your way to the top. 5-6 wins a year is a start. Must be consistent before making the bug jump.

    Last I saw Wilson has made ability and progress. Though maybe Bill Lynch is your man for “ability and progress”. Let me know how that goes. Wait.. He was fired.

  21. What a revelation. Good HC’s hire good assistants to make their programs better. Wow what a novel theory. I predict it will be the rage in coaching with a long, long future.

  22. “If Purdue gets a top hire…”

    Yes, because there’s an excellent chance that will happen. I’m thinking Saban or Meyer are most likely. They’ve been very consistent in bringing in quality football coaches. Well, not in my lifetime and not in this plane of reality but…otherwise…usually. I’m sure that other Big Ten schools are dreading what’s going to happen to the balance of power once the Boils get that “top hire”.

    I’ll bet they can buy out Bill Lynch’s contract.

  23. Ben, I appreciate your comments, but recent history refutes your hypothesis. Unless you give the credit to Lynch, Hep achieved the level of reasonable success that we’re talking about and that Hoosier fans desire in three seasons as IU’s head coach, going 7 – 6 in 2007. You can claim that Lynch coached IU through the entire 2007 season, or that IU’s players were motivated by Hep’s death, but Hep built that team. And I believe that had he not died, Hep would have lead that 2007 team to an even better record than 7 – 6. Lynch could not hold a candle to Hep’s in game coaching ability. Losing Hep was a tragedy and a huge blow to IU’s football program, but he proved that a skilled and experienced head coach could produce a winning season in much less than seven seasons, let alone ten! You say Wilson has done nothing but improve the program. I’ll counter by asking you what constitutes improvement? How do you measure improvement in the program if not by wins, or winning seasons? After that winning season in 2007, Lynch went 3 – 9, 4 – 8, and 5 – 7, improving IU’s record every year. He was” improving the program,” but he still got fired with two years remaining on his contract. In his first five seasons as IU’s head coach, Wilson’s overall record is 20 – 41 (32.7%) and 8 – 32 (20%). Lynch’s overall record in four seasons at IU was 19 – 30 (38.7%) and he was 6 – 26 (18.7%) in the Big Ten. I guess you could argue that we’re not seeing the lopsided blowouts we witnessed under Lynch, but otherwise, comparing their two records, I’m not seeing much difference. And if you measure IU’s cost per win, you could argue that Lynch provided better value and R.O.I.

    Look, there’s no question that Wilson is a better coach for IU than Lynch was. But that’s not the relevant question. The question we must ask is, “can IU do better with another head coach?” And let me throw this question out to my friends on the Scoop. How many seasons does IU give any head football coach to produce a winning season before they make a change? How many consecutive losing seasons should IU accumulate before Glass decides a change needs to be made? I’m being sincere, and would really like to read some responses.

  24. HC, according to your sarcastic logic, you’re saying that Wilson was not a good head coach during his first five years at IU, or until this year, when he hired Allen.

    Chonnie, you nailed it when you wrote, “It’s not ‘time’ that improves a program, it’s about ability ……” I would only alter that slightly by saying it’s about ability and money. You spend the money, you get the ability, and then the wins usually follow.

  25. Podunker,

    I just came home after seeing many many patients today. I’m tired but I’ll agree had Hep lived the program would’ve improved year by year. That’s just something we’ll never know but it appears it was trending in the right direction.

    Lynch was improving the program?! What a joke! Lynch could beat down the FCS teams but after that it was over. Getting blowed out to embarrassment isn’t improvement. Wilson had his ass handed to him as well, but do you see us getting blowed out now? Wilson stayed the coarse and thus attracted better coaches.

    Look, you’re entitled to your opinion. Again, if Lynch is your guy then I suggest you write Fred Glass and demand a change.

    Indiana has fired coaches quickly before Wilson and quite honestly the results were laughable. I don’t know what the majic number is but what does IU have to lose by giving him extra rope? Burning through coaches hasn’t worked. If you can’t see the product slowly improving then I guess I’ll resign from the human race. (Sarcastic)

  26. Lynch also gave a scholarship to anyone who played high school football. I remember the days where it was a celebration to get a handfull of 3 star players under Lynch. Seems we’ve left those days behind but I sense some are grasping to get those “good ol’days” from the Lynch years back.

  27. Po, The logic was not mine it was connie’s. Even as I was formulating what I was going to say before I hit submit for the above I was also able to paraphrase the narrative of your retort. I think you’d be more pleased if D. Mallory had been kept.

  28. Ben, if you don’t mind, would you tell me again what you do? I know it’s in health care and you’ve traveled a bit but I don’t recall the details. Thanks.

  29. All I know is Maryland is a must win game. IU cannot afford to go backward. 6-6 is required just to keep up in recruiting. IU’s best players have generally been their highest rated recruits. Maybe they aren’t getting the 4 star players but the 3.5 and above can develop into those skill levels. Right now we have only 3 recruits at the 3.5 rating or above. That is not enough to compete in the B1G East. IU needs to win at least 6 and win a bowl game or they drop back down to Purdue level recruiting. Maryland and Rutgers have signed top classes for next year. IU needs to win and recruit better just to keep up. Games are won or lost on signing day.

  30. Ben, bless you for the work you do. I spent the first 22 years of my career working with people just like you, providing amongst many other products, medical equipment, devices and supplies to clinicians involved with IV drug delivery. Products involved in delivering Chemo was a significant portion of what we provided.

    Perhaps you were very tired, or maybe you don’t have the perspective about my posts on Scoop, but I was being completely sarcastic when referencing Lynch. I was way out front criticizing IU’s Administration when they gave him a contract after the 2007 season, and I was very active in directly and continuously calling for his termination every year thereafter, until Glass finally fired him. He was/is a good, decent and nice man, and I give him credit for doing a good job in 2007, but he was never qualified to be a head coach in the Big Ten. His tenure as IU’s head coach was a disaster. But, with tongue in cheek, my point was that if you look at his record for the three seasons after 2007, he improved every season. Three wins in 2008, 4 wins in 2009, and 5 wins in 2010. Yes, his recruiting was terrible, and yes we Hoosier fans suffered the humiliation of terrible blow-out losses (that beatdown by Wisconsin is hard to forget), but on paper, you could make the argument that Lynch was improving the program after taking it over after tragic circumstances. We agree that Wilson has improved recruiting and avoided those humiliating blow-outs. And there’s no doubt that Wilson is a much better coach than Lynch. But so what? That’s not saying very much. The better questions are: 1) Is Wilson is good enough to lead IU to a winning season? 2) Is Wilson the best coach IU can get? 3) Can IU hire a coach that can improve upon what Wilson has built, and lead IU Football to another level? And lastly, 4) how many years should Wilson be given to produce a winning season?

    I agree that it is counter-productive and stupid for a school like IU to switch out head coaches every four years or so. But there has to be a limit to how long a coach remains employed without producing a winning season! How long should that be for a head coach at IU? If not seven years, then how many more years does IU give Wilson?

    As 123 points out above, there is definitely a significant cost involved in keeping a coach on too long. It’s called an opportunity cost. Hypothetically, every year coaches become available. Some of these men have proven track records and experience in turning bad programs into winners. And some of them would love the opportunity to coach in a premier conference like the Big Ten again. If IU has a coach that has not produced a winning season after a minimum of five seasons, I want IU to be opportunistic and looking for an opportunity to upgrade its coaching staff. I want Glass to do for the head coaching position what Wilson did for his Defensive Coordinator, look for the opportunity to upgrade the talent if the desired results are not being achieved.

    No one knows for sure, but a number of high quality, experienced head coaches could be available within the next two years. These include Charlie Strong, Cliff Kingsbury, Mark Helfrich, Clay Helton, Gus Malzahn, and Rich Rodriquez. Could IU ever hire Les Miles? How about the up and comers at mid-major colleges like P.J. Fleck (W MI) Neal Brown (Troy), Mike Bobo (Colorado State), or Trent Miles (Georgia State)? Or how about a top assistant coach like Lane Tiffin, Mike Sanford (ND), or Lincoln Riley (OK) ? Or how about Tom Allen after the 2017 season?

    I hope this question becomes moot very soon! I hope IU wins six games this season, goes to another bowl game and then has its break-out season in 2017. I hope Wilson retires after many years of service at IU. But if he does not produce a winning season after 2017, his seventh at IU, then I think it will be time for Glass to find a coach who can take IU football to the next level. Otherwise, IU will be at risk of descending into another deep hole that takes years to climb out of.

  31. You tossed out a lot of names but one character I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole is Lane Kiffen. First, he has sucked at every head coaching job he’s ever had (and he’s had a few for a guy his age) and second, if he did do a good job he’d drop IU the second he thought he could get a better deal somewhere else. Those two things have been consistent throughout his career. I don’t know if he’d even be any good as an OC without the vastly superior talent he gets to work with at Alabama.

    1. Chet, I agree. Coaching retreads aren’t the answer. Even for a younger guy, I consider him a retread. Essentially, KW is a bandag tire…. only as a long time assistant. While superior recruiting at FBS level will be an unknown, I have found that guys doing more with less and winning at their peer level is a very good indicator of future success. Urban Meyer took 4 years to go from Bowling Green to national titles at Florida….similar situation with Jim Tressel at Youngstown State. I like Klieman at North Dakota State…btb national FCS championships.

  32. Time will tell but, in the most optimistic light, I compare him to Frank Beamer. It was just a commitment that VT made and it paid off. Who knows if it will pay off with Wilson but I DO know that, if we replace him, we have committed to three year of train wreck status. Personally, I’m more comfortable with flirting with bowl game seasons than accepting three to four years of being hoorible and hoping we will then be where we are today.

  33. Chet also the positive that helped Beamer so much begins with the initials BF. Wilson of course, for how ever long, has near the same in TA. The future of IUFB now builds even brighter because of the D. + a positive vibe for ST’s just as Beamers teams always displayed.

  34. On that note, I had assumed for years that Bud Foster would take over the reins when Beamer retired. He must not have wanted the job. I can’t imagine that he was passed over and stayed in Blacksburg if he had any interest in being a head coach.

  35. Guys, since when does making a coaching change doom a football team to many years of losing? That’s ridiculous. Leaving an ineffective coach in charge of a declining program (like IU did with Lynch) is what dooms a team to years of losing seasons. A really good coach can turn a losing program around in short order. As supporting evidence of that claim, I give you Washington State. Before Leach, they were at the very bottom of the PAC-12. Now WSU is a very good team! Good coaches can turn bad programs around fast, especially if they have experience doing that. Wilson has worked hard to get IU to a level approaching respectability, but has not produced a winning season. IU may need another coach some day that can get them over the hump. But producing 7 or 8 consecutive losing seasons is going to make hiring the right guy a lot more difficult, if not impossible. Timing is critical, and so is hiring the right guy. Both require money. If, as some Scoopers claim, IU has the money to compete for the best coaching talent, than it should not be difficult to hire the guy that could take us to the next level. Hep was a great example of that type of coach, and I believe he had IU Football poised to begin winning. Then he died, and IU gave Lynch a five year contract.

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