So what’s more important this weekend?

Hey everyone, I’m currently interning at the H-T for the football and basketball seasons and I’ll look to put as much stuff up here as I can. It’s getting to be that busy time of year coming up, with football season in full swing and Hoosier Hysteria just around the corner, so we should have a pretty eventful few months.

It’s looking like a rather important weekend for IU’s football and basketball teams. For one, the football squad will face off against Illinois on Saturday and will look to go 4-0 for the first time since 1990. It’s far from a must win if the Hoosiers are to earn that 13th game this year and play in a bowl game, but it’s most definitely a winnable conference game, something IU doesn’t encounter every weekend in the Big Ten. If you look at the schedule (and aren’t overly optimistic), IU needs to win three of these four games to get to the magic number of six wins to be bowl eligible: vs. Illinois, vs. Minnesota, vs. Ball State and at Northwestern.

This team can do that, and winning Saturday against a mediocre Illinois team will be a big step towards the Hoosiers’ first bowl game since 1993. We’ll find out soon enough.

On the other hand, Kelvin Sampson and his staff will host hot recruit Tyler Zeller this weekend on his official visit. Zeller, a Washington, Ind. native, visited North Carolina last weekend and plans to visit Purdue and Notre Dame before making a decision. But he will be in Bloomington this weekend, and if the Hoosiers are able to land him it would give IU a top recruiting class in the nation for 2008. With Devin Ebanks, Bud Mackey, Matt Roth and Tom Prichard all verbally committed as members of that class, Sampson could fill out his starting line-up with the standout Zeller.

So, my question to you is: Who’s got more at stake this weekend, the IU football team or the IU basketball team? Is a win against Illinois more important to the Hoosier athletic program than signing a player like Zeller? What are your thoughts?


  1. Gotta go with football. Get to 4-0, with Ball State late in the season (a likely win), and you only have to get one more victory to be bowl eligible.

    And Tyler won’t verbal this weekend, so we won’t know the effects of his visit until later on this fall.

  2. Its obviously football. We need this win. With that said, having a good atmosphere will help the team and impress Zeller.

  3. What is more important, an actual game or recruiting? It is so sad and unfortunate that anyone would ask that question.

  4. No question about it, Illinois is coming over expecting a huge win so they can stomp IU in recruiting. Illinois is sky high for this contest because it can be a payback from a serious loss IU gave them last year in Champaign. The IU fans need to turn out for this game. Go big RED! Let’s protect our field with a great victory!

  5. I am shocked and pleased. Five comments including mine that say the football game is a bigger deal than a basketball recruit.

  6. Zeller, beyond a shadow of a doubt. One game in football contrasted with securing Zeller for a few years (up to 120-plus games). The issue with IU football is seeking a single bowl invitation. The 2007/ 2008 basketball recruiting classes, on the other hand, offer the very real possibility of additional banners in the Hall.

    In addition, all devout IU fans know that to maintain/grow excellence in our basketball program we must sign the top Indiana high school players. There is no more important player in America for IU than Tyler Zeller.

  7. Are you kidding me?? Recruiting visit vs. a HUGE Big Ten football game for IU and thier quest to play 13. Please tell me this atricle was written as a joke.

  8. The end result of Zeller’s visit could prove to be bigger, but game (and a possible victory) is bigger than the visit itself.


    And as soon as we can get ALL IU Fans to feel that way, things will be alright.
    Yes, I hope we get Zeller. That would be awesome. BUT, a win this week can propel this team to a possible bowl game and even better things down the road.
    A good football team drawing 45.000 plus to each game means tons more to the athletic program than any one basketball recruit.

  10. Zeller for 120+ games? Please. If Zeller plays to his abilities and his expectations in college, he will play 2 years, if your lucky.

    This game for IU Football is huge. Last time IU started the season 4-0, was 1990, 17 years ago. An 4-0 start could set the tone for the rest of the season, and for the next 3 games after.

    Iowa is not that good this year, and Minnesota is horrible. A win on Saturday could give IU the confidence to win at Iowa, and back home against Minnesota. Then they go to Michigan State.

    Realistically, a win Saturday could send this team from a 5-2, 4-3 start to a very real possibility of getting to major road wins and being 7-0 when Penn State comes to town.

  11. Jason, that was a pretty stupid comment. Zeller is a big recruit, but this football game is huge. With that said, I want a football win AND a Zeller commit. GO IU

  12. This is absurd… Tyler Zeller gives IU a chance to compete for a National Championship. The football game this week may give us a chance to make a bowl game down the road, but if not it will just be classified as another football team let-down, and another mediocre season.

    I’m not trying to be pessimistic, but come on, IU basketball is a NATIONAL CONTENDER! How in the world is another IU-UI football game more important than a top 20 center who, regardless of how many years he stays, could help us raise another banner?? And those of you who call this a HUGE BIG TEN game are out of your minds. I’m not a rocket scientist, but I’m pretty sure this game will not have any influence on who wins the big ten this year.

  13. Zeller’s impact could be huge for the Hoosiers…but he isn’t a two-year player. I don’t see Zeller having an NBA future…unless NBA general managers forget the words “Robert Swift” sometime soon.

  14. The football game, of course. IU hasn’t been to a bowl game in 13 years, and there are only 12 chances in a particular season to win a game. Tyler Zeller apparently is a fine player and justifiably is IU’s top recruiting target, but if he goes elsewhere, IU can replace him with someone else, if not in this year’s class then next year. If you lose a recruit, you get a chance to fix it by finding another recruit. If you lose a game, the opportunity for that win is gone forever.

  15. It is a huge Big Ten game for IU. Conference wins are important, not only for your overall record, but for your chance at a bowl game, and the recruiting oppurtunities it gives you in the future. Tyler Zeller will not commit to IU this weekend, and after the way the school snubbed is brother, saying he was not good enough to play college basketball, I would think Zeller is a long shot at best anyway.

    Steve – Success breeds success. If the IU team has success this week, and can breed more success for this season, and bring in recruits to succeed in the future. I doubt it will determin the Big Ten champion, but I don’t think there is a clear cut power house in the Big Ten right now. Ohio State is not as good as advertised. Wisconsin is not. Penn State may be, we will find out after Michigan this week. Iowa is not a good team. The Big Ten is between Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin right now, though there is not one clear favorite, so you never know what this game means.

  16. Zeller is a NBA prospect. 6′-11″ 220lb power forward who moves, shots and can dribble. He is a 5 star player, Top 20 player in the nation, will start as a freshman with the loss of DJ White. He will be a major contender on a team that will be a Sweet 16 or Elite 8 team. I don’t see him as 1 and done, but 2 and out is a very real possibility, especially after Sampson gets him disciplened better in his play.

  17. Mike P, I understand that success breeds success, and I understand that this may be a big game for IU football and its fans, but if you’re gonna talk about overall importance for Indiana University, there is absolutely no way this one game is more important than landing a top 20 basketball recruit. I doubt many people outside of Indiana and Illinois are even going to get coverage of the game. Don’t get me wrong, I love Indiana, and I hope they win on Saturday, but this shouldn’t even be a question. I mean maybe some of you are just hardcore football fans or something, but if you can’t see the difference between one game and the possibility of landing an elite recruit, then something is wrong.

    The basketball team has really been on the cusp the last few years, but in the next couple of years, IU has a chance to take it to another level and be a top 5 fixture with the type of talent Kelvin has been recruiting. And John M, I doubt there is an easy replacement for a 7’0 center who can do it all.

  18. I understand what you are talking about. I don’t see us getting Tyler Zeller, since we already have Ebanks, who is also a forward and is a higher ranked player, and Zeller is not a center, he is a forward, he is not strong enough to play the lane in the Big Ten.

    You need to look at it like this. If you can get these wins in football, get the recruits to make this a winning program, the impact for the future, for both the football team, and all of the Athletics department is far more important than one recruit.

  19. Actually Mike P, Ebanks is more of a perimeter player who can shoot the three and make jump shots, so he would be more of a 3 or small forwrd if you will. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Zeller play or at least seen some kind of video of him, but his moves around the basket are awesome and he could play the 4 or 5 no doubt. And you might remember a guy named Jared Jeffries who had an almost identical body to Zeller’s only wasn’t quite as tall, but I think he played the post pretty well during his couple of years at IU.

    And i doubt the outcome of this game will impact the future of indiana basketball recruiting in any way. I think they’ve done pretty well so far with a sub-par football team.

  20. I have watched him play. Jefferies was far stronger than Zeller.

    The outcome of this game has nothing to do with basketball recruiting. It does have to do with the department. The more they win, the more people fill the stands, the more donors give, the more money the Athletics department makes that supports the other sports, and new basketball arena’s.

    One recruit for a top program is not the end all. A conference win for a rebuilding program that is in limbo over who will coach it in the future, the quality of recruits it can draw, and the fan attedence means far more. From a finacial stand point, and should mean more from a fan stand point.

  21. Both are huge, and I want both a win and Zeller to commit, but in the end, there is only one option of the two that I can have an impact on, and that is the game.

    Am I going to run into Tyler Zeller this weekend? Probably not, though if I did see him or had a chance to meet him, I would tell him how much we want him here. But that’s probably not going to happen. Therefore, there is little I or any other fan can really do to conciously sway him for IU. Sampson and the team will do what they can. But for the football team, ALL IU fans have the opportunity to make a big difference by creating a home-field advantage. Hep said it himself, crowds help win games.

  22. The football game is most important for Indiana University athletics and future football fans. An exciting football atmosphere on Saturday, which includes a win, would greatly influence a young recruit who is investigating several top campuses. Kick the Illini and secure Zeller. Do both and the question is moot. In answer to the meaningless question………win the game!

  23. That’s funny Mike P, according to, Jared Jeffries is 6’11 240lbs, and this will be his 5th year in the NBA, which means 5 years of working out, which means as a college sophomore, he couldn’t have been more than 200-220lbs. Zeller, who this year will be a high school senior is already listed at 6’11 220, and i’m assuming since you saw him play you know that he is ripped. So I guess I’m having a hard time understand how Jeffries was much stronger… hmmm…

    Anyways, it’s sad, but more people probably go to basketball games than football games, and from a financial standpoint, (i don’t have a balance sheet in front of me) i can almost guarentee that the basketball program probably brings in at least double what the football team does in a year. It’s not that I don’t want football to succeed, it’s just that basketball has priority in Bloomington over football, and thats pretty much how it’s always been and should be, which is why this weekend is definately much bigger for recruiting.

  24. and if i’m not mistaken, didn’t we lose the football game vs. UCONN last year when Eric Gordon was here for his recruiting trip? so again i’m not sure what football games have to do with basketball recruiting and i doubt that when we win this weekend it will have an impact on whether or not we sign zeller.

  25. Weight does not determine strength. Jefferies is a stronger player, and Zeller is far from what I call ripped. I watched Jefferies shove around bigger players with ease, something I have not seen Zeller do. That is one of his negatives on every scouting report, they all agree with me, Zeller is not strong enough!

    Also, the average attandance at Memorial stadium is just over 32 thousand, almost double what the Hall holds. It take 14 basketball games to match the football attendance. What is sad is the 20,000 empty seats (again more than the Hall can hold) that are there every weekend. The finacial impact that could be made by continueing the upswing and filling The Rock every home game is far greater than what the basketball program can bring in (removing the boosters money of course).

    The kids who are playing, sweating, bleeding and working their asses off for “The Glory of Ol’ IU” are far more important to any true IU fan.

    After IU gets this win this weekend, come November when Zeller does not commit to IU, this win will be bigger!!!

  26. Has NOTHING to do with basketball recruiting.

    I will say it again! The finacial impact a winning football program has is far greater than ANY basketball program can generate.

    The win has everything to do with football recruiting.

  27. Jeez… Where do I begin?? First of all, Zeller probably has about 2% body fat on his frame, and as far as 6’11 220lbs players go, he is ripped. And his post game is excellent. Check out this picture…
    And the knock on Jeffries was that he was too lanky coming into college, so ummm yea not sure what you are talking about with the stronger player comment, but anywho…

    The comment about more people going to baskebtall games than football games was an exaggeration. My point was, that you don’t see too many empty seats at assembly hall. They pack the house every game.

    Indiana basketball is #1 in Bloomington. I don’t know what else to say. Thus the recuiting of Tyler Zeller is much more important than any individual game.

  28. Mike P,

    I too am a huge IU Football fan, but let’s face it: Not many people are.

    We will always be a basketball school. We may win on Saturday, or we may lose. It is not going to affect many people’s day no matter what happens.

    However, Zeller committing here would have a huge effect. Therefore, I believe it is more important.

  29. Kudos to Zak for creating quite a debate in response to his first post. Please don’t do it again. There are plenty of pointless conversations for Hoosier Nation over on Peegs.

    The two are completely independent of each other. Yes, some will say that a cool football game helps basketball recruiting, and maybe in the grand scheme if we were a power or just better and had an impressive crowd, it could help. That being said, these two are not related. It’s completely possible to get both, or to lose both. Why torture ourselves with the discussion? Those who choose Zeller are basically flipping the bird to the football team before an important game and those who choose football are accused of not loyally protecting the “crown jewel” of IU athletics. Additionally, there is little to nothing we can do about any of it, especially Zeller.

    However, I do think it’s somewhat telling that some people say Zeller is definitely more important; that apathy has contributed greatly to our traditionally floundering football program.

    Cheers to a 4-0 start and winning over Tyler Zeller! Go Hoosiers!

  30. Well I think it’s safe to say we’ve got a pretty good debate going here. It’s good to see this kind of response to the question. I didn’t mean to offend anyone by asking a question that compares a game to a recruiting visit, but I honestly believe it’s a fair one. It’s two ends of the spectrum: a win now that will help us earn a trip to a bowl, or a good recruiting visit that could help our basketball program for years to come.

    To those two scoffed at the idea of comparing the two, I offer you this: Last year around this time, Eric Gordon was visiting the Indiana campus and meeting Coach Sampson while he was still verbally committed to Illinois. Is it ridiculous then to compare that recruiting visit with IU’s game that weekend (I think it was either the game at Ball State or home vs. Southern Illinois)? There’s no doubt that Gordon’s visit that weekend played a major role in him changing his mind and deciding to attend Indiana. Then, without a doubt, you have to say Gordon’s visit, because of its influence down the road, was vastly more important. Granted, Zeller is not quite Eric Gordon, but I’m simply trying to make the point that a recruiting visit can be more important than a game.

    Like many of you have argued, Tyler Zeller could have a major impact on the Indiana basketball program and possibly help raise Big Ten, if not Final Four, banners during his time here. At the same time, a Big Ten win for Indiana is huge this season, especially at home against a winnable foe. 4-0 for IU football? That’s unheard of for as long as I’ve been around. There’s no doubt in my mind that a win Saturday would be huge for the team’s goal of “Playing 13.”

    It’s an intriguing debate, and if you’re an IU fan, you obviously want both. I’ll be interested to continue reading your responses.

  31. Mike P:

    Ebanks really won’t affect if we get Zeller. Zeller obviously is interested and if he doesn’t come to IU, it isn’t because of Ebanks. Ebanks is a SF/Wing and Zeller is a post. Is he a “true banger-type”? No. But he is a post player.

    To everybody else:

    Getting Zeller and beating Illinois are BOTH important. Lets just worry about supporting IU instead of worrying about what is more important. By the way, there is NO reason not to have a big crowd this weekend. Anyone who can go to the game, should go. If we are as passionate and as good of fans as we claim to be, we should be able to support both the basketball team and an exciting football team. Support the Hoosiers!!!

  32. Legit question…..yes…but I am with IU Jimmy. Let’s support both sports and hope one feeds off the other. You did seem to open the proverbial can of worms Zak. Good job!

  33. FOOTBALL!!

    The most important thing is the guys already at IU playing their sport whatever it is. I’ll worry about TZ when/if he gets here. There are plenty of very good players that would love to play at IU. We got a coach that is supposed to be good at what he does. Terry H said let’s play 13, and right now THAT is the most important thing.

  34. Bill (and others)–

    Who said anything about “not supporting both sports”?

    Where do you people come up with this crap? You sound like the retarded in-bred Kaintuck fans whining about things that were never said/implied.

    I hope like crazy we go to a Bowl game. But, to me, getting Zeller would put us one step closer to hanging another banner.

    Get your panties out of your crack. Nobody implied we shouldn’t support football.

  35. Uhhhhhh…….Laffy, there are A LOT of IU “fans” who won’t support football. And I’ve seen a lot of stupid posts about IU football on this site. So I apologize if I seem defensive of the football team. Lets get zeller and beat the Illini. GO IU

  36. Zak, no offense taken here. I’d nearly always encourage lively debate (after all, I hope we are all most proud of the fact that IU exists and is most predominantly known as being a world-class academic institution), although I dont know if this debate has been useful. Despite the fact Laffy can’t argue his own point without name calling, how uneducated Kentuckyan is that? Just kidding…but really. I didnt–nor did most others–say this was one or the other, it was basically saying that it’s an unfair, unnecessary and pointless discussion. I hope we all want IU football to be 4-0, make the bowl and try to sustain success. I hope we all want IU basketball to continue and expand upon its status as one of the top programs in the country.

    I’d agree with IU Jimmy, why cant we hope for/support/pray for/wish/however you want to put it for both? Zak is correct in pointing out that Eric Gordon’s weekend in Bloomington last season was important. And, that fact actually only strengthens my argument. Whether it was a close win at Ball State or a disappointing home loss in front of 30K-ish at home, neither was an astounding game worthy of wooing a top basketball recruit. Thus, I hope that Coach Sampson, the team and everyone else are great hosts for Tyler Zeller AND I hope we win the football game (unless Tyler is going to leave if football wins, haha). It’s not my inability to pick which I think is more imporant; it’s the fact that we can hope for both and they are completely independent. It’s not a case where one helps the other, or we can only have one, or we must have one to get the other….we can have none, one or both….so Go Hoosiers!

  37. I agree, Chris. At the least, we’ve proved the devotion of some Hoosier fans who have nothing better to do than debate it. Enjoy your internship, Zak. Chris and his fellow IU sports reporters have the best jobs in the state.

    P.S.- I’ve lurked on Peegs for years and here since its beginning and am usually don’t comment myself; my first 3 posts come from your question, Zak….despite my somewhat opposition to it.

    Here’s hoping for a great crowd Saturday, a big win, and Zeller realizing every southern Indiana Mr. Basketball should be in Bloomington…..oustide of the fact that it’s an easy choice over UNC, Purdont and ND.

  38. Ummmmmmmm……………..there wouldn’t have been any name-calling if people wouldn’t have cried about the question being a “joke” and “sad” and somebody’s point “stupid.”

  39. What happened to Mike P? I guess he got tired of me owning him in this debate…

    Indiana basketball is more important than Indiana football will ever be. That’s not to say that Indiana football isn’t important, it just doesn’t even compare to the history and tradition of the bball program. The school should do everything in its power to get Zeller to sign. They could set him up with some sweet freshmen chicks in the Teter dorms or something. Or maybe take him to a playboy party at one of the frats… Whatever the case, the point remains. This is IU Basketball’s weekend!!

  40. This is aimed at the other Steve. You know, the one who thought more people went to basketball games than footballl games.
    How is that possible to compare?
    The worst football crowd I’ve ever seen. IU-Illinois late in Dinardo’s first year was 20,000. That’s more than Assembly Hall even holds!
    Basketball has about 20 home games @ 17,000 per game.
    Football has 6 or 7 @ 30-35,000 per game.
    How are you supposed to compare that?
    Why can’t we be like Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin etc and care and SUPPORT both sports.
    SI named IU and #1 college sports town a couple years ago.
    That was totally bogus because of so many folks who care ONLY about basketball. A true sports campus would support men’s AND women’s b-ball, football, baseball etc.

  41. Actually Steve, I have been very busy, my boss actually expects me to do me job every so often. I am not saying Zeller isn’t a good player. I just believe for the importance of Indiana Universtiy Football program, this weekend is far more important for their future than the a visit from one kid who is going to play at UNC anyway.

    Let me see if I can clarify this for you.

    If IU can perform well in this game, that would only leave them needing 2 more wins out of the next 8 to be bowl elligible. A win on Saturday, will also put them 4-0, and probably start getting voting for top 25 consideration (not in the top 25, but on the “others recieving votes” list). This will make recruits look to IU as a possibility for their future. Since a football player has to be 3 years removed from High School to persue a carrer in the NFL, wins that get them Top 25 consideration and better shots at a bowl are HUGE. It will allow them to recruit better players, and increase on the momentum of the upward swing, since we have them for 3 years, it can help to build a winning tradition. As that increases, the wins will increase, as wins increase, the crowd will increase, as the crowd increases, profits made by the athletic department will increase. That helps support the updated facilities, that keep drawing top recruits in ALL SPORTS.

    To the basketball side. IU will be a contender with or without Tyler Zeller. The stands in Assembly hall will be sold out with or without Tyler Zeller. If he is as good as you believe, then he will be a 1 and done, IU will continue to grow and win and be a contender regardless of his choice. While I think he is very good, he is not a Greg Oden, a Josh Roberts, or even a Tyle Hansbrough(sp?) in terms of his ability. You also got to consider what IU will lose before he gets here. There will be no Eric Gordon, D.J. White, Lance Stemler, or A.J. Ratliff here to play with Zeller. While good talent is comming in, you don’t win National Championships with 3 or 4 freshman starters. You win them with Junior and Senior leadership. Something this years team has that next year they will be lacking.

    Basketball is king at IU. I will not deny that. However, since Basketball is king, it will continue to grow, it will continue to prosper, and will continue to compete at a high level no matter what one player decides to do. The overall effect on the program is at a minimum. The effect that a win this weekend gets, what it could mean to a struggling program trying to build an identity as a place for top the top high school football players to look at is major. There is far more at stake for the football team when there is still room to stuff 20,000 more people in the stands to build the fan base.

    Steve – before you come back with something like “I guess he got tired of me owning him in this debate”, think again. You couldn’t own a wet paper bag in a boxing contest!

  42. First of all, “other steve” if you take a look a few posts back, i told your boy Mike P that i was exaggerating and my point is that IU Basketball is the center of IU sports, and probably sold out more games last year than IU football has the last decade. But moving on, IU being the #1 sports town is not bogus. The title of this blog, if i can read correctly, is “so what’s more important this weekend?” I am saying that recruiting Tyler Zeller is more important this weekend than a win for IU football against a mediocre illinois. It’s an opinion. and obviously by saying stuff like “they are both equally important,” you have formed no opinion on the topic of this blog.

    I care about IU football, and I would be saying the opposite if IU basketball was playing some mediocre team in basketball, and the football team had a top 20 recruit in town.

    And to my buddy Mike P, let me see if i can clarify this for you… I doubt a win against Illinois will boost Indiana’s chances of making the top 25 or being considered. They haven’t exactly played any powerhouses yet (Akron, Indiana State etc…) Give me a win over Penn State or Wisconsin and we can talk top 25. And I mean who will even see this game? People who live in Indiana and Illinois and thats probably about it. So i doubt this game will lhave any real affect on recruiting for football at all.

    On the other hand, the chance of signing a top 20 recruit should get everyone in hoosier nation pumped… what if a top 20 football player came to bloomington for a visit and wanted to catch the IU-Northwestern (mediocre big ten basketball team) game? are you saying that one game is more important than signing recruits?? you are out of your mind. you build a program around athletes, and i’d say when they come to town, you better make an impression. wake up dude.

  43. Steve – Listen, the question asked is this: “Who’s got more at stake this weekend, the IU football team or the IU basketball team?”

    You actually already destroyed your argument about Zeller with this quote in your first post (# 13): “IU basketball is a NATIONAL CONTENDER”, yes IU is a already a national contender in Basketball. Are we a national contender because of Luke Zeller? No we are not, and why is that? He isn’t even here yet. Will Zeller be important to this team if, and that is a BIG IF, we get him? Of course he will. The fact remains that we are a contender with or without him. The basketball team has very little at stake, they will still be a national contender, with or without him? PERIOD!

    Since this is a battle of opinion, you can keep yours, I will keep mine. The battle of facts are simple. IU basketball will sell out ball games no matter if we get Zeller or not. We will continue to be a national contender rather we get Zeller or not.

    The IU Football team is playing it’s first conference game of the year. They are putting an undefeated record on the line. They are trying to build momentum, trying to get the wins to earn a bowl trip, trying to increase the fan base and attendance, and trying to build on recruiting.

    The football team has more at stake.

    Oh, and you don’t seem to understand how real recruiting happens, especially in D1 football. Kids don’t see many of anyone games, the see wins, loses, bowl trips and highlights of the team from different games.

    I am done with you, you killed your own argument before you even got going, you don’t understand recruiting, it is something you have to go through to understand. You don’t understand the question, as in you couldn’t even quote it properly. This isn’t who has more at stake to the fans, it is which program has more at stake.

    Hope you never try politics……

  44. Football.

    A win this weekend can go a long way toward putting Indiana back on the football map. Attendance at football has been pitiful at IU for years. A big start to the season can help attendance the rest of the year.

    Who said IU Football is trying to replace IU basketball in the hearts of Hoosiers? It won’t, and it doesn’t need to. But IU basketball needs IU Football badly.

    Let me see if I can try to put this in perspective. IU last made it to a bowl game in 1993. Since then (1994-2006), average attendance at Memorial Stadium is a hair under 35,000 per game. That means over 1.3 millions seats have been empty in the 77 games played at home during those 13 years. I’m not sure what the ticket prices were back in the 90s, but if you assume an average of about $26 per ticket, that’s about $35 million in lost revenue.

    $35 million would go a long way toward building the replacement for Assembly Hall. Imagine what that would do for basketball recruiting. One might also even argue that IU could have afforded to hire a big name coach in 2001 instead of Mike Davis.

    But, look at what Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan bring in from football revenue. It’s tens of millions more PER YEAR than Indiana. According to the Office of Postsecondary Education website (, in 2006 IU brought in $15,389,777 from football, and $10,310,412 from basketball. In contrast, OSU brought in $60,773,537, and $12,080,021. Other football revenue numbers: Illinois 19,066,406 ; Purdue 22,192,457; Iowa 31,810,059; Michigan State 33,585,383; Wisconsin 34,277,690; Penn State 40,555,791; Michigan 50,365,537. In fact the only teams that bring in the same amount of football revenue as IU are Northwestern and Minnesota.

    IU is leaving way too much money on the table because they don’t have a full stadium. Ohio State and Wisconsin’s resurgence in basketball is due, I believe, to the new facilities they’ve been able to build due to football dollars.

    Zeller would be a great get for IU, and I really hope it happens.

    So let’s compromise. Everyone go to the game Saturday, and help impress Zeller, who will be watching.

  45. yea mike p i’m pretty sure at the top of the page the headline of this blog says “so what’s more important this weekend?” i’m not sure if you can comprehend that since you don’t really understand anything about sports.

    whatever u were babbling about at the begining of your argument is completely moronic. yes i said IU is a national contender, but to remain a national contender for years to come, doenst the team have to recruit the best players possibe? i mean i’m pretty sure thats how college sports work. and by signing zeller that gives indiana a pretty good chance of remaining a national contender. do i have to spell everything out for you? and how can you say iu will be a contender in basketball even if we dont sign zeller? what do you have a magiical looking glass that sees into the future? i’m pretty sure the better the talent the better the chance we have to be contenders.

    you act like this is the rose bowl or something dude. Trying to secure the future of our top sports program is more important than any one game. you have to be retarted not to see that.

    and yes the top recruits visit the school they are planning on attending, especially if you are a top 20 talent. i guess if u were trying to say you’ve been through the process you must have sucked and they didnt want u to come visit. you just have no idea what you’re talking about. you should stick to whatever work your boss wants you to do, because you keep responding to my messages and getting your face owned. peace.

  46. Please Steve, the title of the article is what you said. I will give you that. The question that Zak asked is “Who’s got more at stake this weekend, the IU football team or the IU basketball team?” Is a win against Illinois more important to the Hoosier athletic program than signing a player like Zeller?. It is a two part question.

    I don’t understand anything about sports? That is laughable.

    Do you know how recruiting works?
    Do you realize that Sampson has had contact with Zeller, by mail, by phone, in person at his home, and at AAU basketball games by now? This is one of many trips he will take. They will continue to talk to Zeller up till national signing day, that is the day that is important. He has already made it clear he will not make his decision till the November signing day. You act like IU will only be able to compete if they get Zeller?

    Sorry, I can’t put the importance of 1 guy who is not here as more important than the athletes that already bleed cream and crimson.

    Last thing, before you think you have owned me again, go to school somewhere, learn proper punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. It will make it easier to read your arguments.

  47. LOL ok einstein, sorry i didn’t punctuate for you. I didn’t kno we were in english class. I mean this is a blog right? i actually laugh out loud when i read the things you write. ever think about stand up comedy? cause i mean the sports thing really isn’t working for ya.

    And I would say that a trip to the actual campus you might be attending is a little more important than any phone call or letter. How can you compare meeting with the president of the University, getting to know the current players, seeing the campus, and getting a feel for college life, to phone calls and emails? And I’m not saying they can only compete if they get zeller, i’m saying if they get zeller it will make them alot better and give them a really good chance to win a national title in the future.

    oh and if we’re pointing out punctuation, since you are obviously working for the grammar police, at the end of your first paragraph, in the second to last sentence, you have a question mark followed by a period, which is tottally a gramma no no. And I’m pretty sure “You act like IU will only be able to compete if they get Zeller?” is not a question, rather a statement, so I’m not sure why you have a question mark there big dog.

  48. It was supposed to be “you think” not “you act”, wrote the worng words. This has actually been you best comeback Steve.

    I am not comparing what has been done to the visit. Hate to tell you this, a two day visit gives you NO IDEA what campus life is like. You have meetings with coaches, players, the University brass, being shuffled here, shuffled there, reporters trying to talk to you, people wanting to shake your hands and try to talk you in to the program instead of just letting you enjoy what is campus. It is a very hectic process, and honestly is not much fun at all.

    I have enjoyed this back and forth with you. You are strong in your convictions. We have went back and forth on this subject in the neighborhood of 20+ post. It is clear that you will not change my mind, I will not change yours.

    I have a meeting now. I will return later with more thoughts.

  49. Steve,

    There is no hard feelings. You have some good points. I feel you love of IU basketball clouds your over all picture, as I am sure my love of the game of football clouds mine.

    I tried to sperate them in my arguments, and look at the impact for both teams. Even trying to do that, I can’t see where a National contender, that sells out home games, gets national press and TV time on a consitant basis has more at stake over the trip of one player, top 20 player or not. Though I do see where the National Title hopes of the program will have a better outlook with him, I just don’t feel that our shot at a title hinges on getting Zeller. My personal opinion of him, and his play in AAU ball.

    Also, something else, the IU football team has 7 possible highly rated recruits coming to the game, 2 of them are making official visits. There is another group of possible 2009 recruits that will be here also. A good win tomorrow can help swing those recruits.

    Hopefully you will be at THE ROCK tomorrow to root on the Hoosiers and to cheer for Kelvin Sampson and Tyler Zeller when they walk out to the sidelines sometime towards the end of the 1st quarter.

  50. Hey Zak,

    I don’t think any topic has created this kind of debate among readers in the Scoop before. You set the bar high for yourself buddy. What are you going to do for a follow up?

  51. Mike P,

    I think you’re right. I had no idea it’d get this kind of response, but I think it’s great. If I can give you guys something to debate about all day instead of doing work, then I’m doing a pretty good job.

    I just posted my second one and I’m anxious to see what you guys think on that issue. Maybe we’ll have even more posts this time. Maybe if the blog keeps working out it will convince Doug and Chris to give me a job next year. (Hint)

    Take care,

  52. Steve,

    Since your Mr. IU Basketball. You should get it on Zak’s newest blog. This should be right up your alley!!!

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