Hoosier Morning

1. HOOSIERS HQ

The Indiana defensive line went back to its old habits, which didn’t translate well on Saturday, I wrote.

Indiana is hoping for a better second act, Andy wrote.

2. INDIANA FOOTBALL

Kevin Wilson wasn’t pleased with the lack of energy on Saturday, the Indy Star’s Terry Hutchens writes.

Fred Glass sent out a letter to fans encouraging them to arrive early because of construction on the 45/46 bypass, the Indy Star’s Terry Hutchens wrote.

New coach, same old IU, Justin Albers of the Indiana Daily Student writes.

Kevin Wilson said his players acted like they were at a golf match on Saturday, Inside Indiana’s Zach Osterman writes (subscription only).

Other than getting better energy, Wilson doesn’t see the need for any major changes this week, Mike Pegram of Rivals.com writes (subscription only).

4. VIRGINIA

Virginia expects Indiana to remember its brutal loss in 2009 in Charlottesville, Jay Jenkins of the Charlottesville Daily Progress writes.

Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco owes much of his development to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, Jerry Radcliffe of the Charlottesville Daily Progress writes.

Rocco is comfortable in a pro-style offense, Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch writes.

Tailback Kevin Parks had a memorable debut, Doug Doughty of the Roanoke Times writes.

 

12 comments

  1. Some really good observations in several of the posts and some, the usual and expected junk.

    In a post, JPat noticed that KW eyes immediately went to something that felt like an obvious (but generally ignored)undercurrent through the entire game; IU playing very passively, without enthusiasm …sort of going through passionless motions.

    With an empty chest cavity. The Heartless Hoosiers.

    I do not at all understand comments prior to the game about this being a ‘probable’ win because… ‘this was, [after all], a MAC team.’ I have followed college football, for 40 years and have never known the MAC to be anything but a totally competitive, talented, football oriented, punch-in-the-mouth conference preemptively second to none. Beginning with Miami (O), Ohio U., Toledo, Northern Illinois (especially during the Mallory years) made their reputation bloodying the nose of the Big Ten. At Miami (O)beating the Big Ten became a tradition that turned several MAC coaches into ‘large school’ legends…Woody Hayes, Weeb Ewbanks, Bo Schembechler, Ara Parseghian, Brady Hoke (at Ball State), John Pont, coach Bill Mallory (father)(you can add other similar non- MAC but schools like Cincinnati, (Davis now at ND)… One could go on and on and wonder how the Big Ten managed to break even with the MAC. Yet, the blogs last week filled with comments that saw the Ball State game as ‘win column’ scheduling.

    Ball State has not been a pushover for several years; yet, some even approached this game with the attitude of “apologizing (to Cardinal fans) for the ‘beat-down’ we were about to give the ‘poor, over matched’ Cardinals. Where do we get the nerve or the arrogance to go into a game with such overconfidence and arrogance? Could that attitude be contagious and transmitted to our players, most of whom probably approached it ‘knowing’ the Ball State players likely were ‘not really Big Ten level’. Is there a chance we will ever get over those attitudes and delusions? Whether we do or not will determine whether we Hoosiers have a chance of ever becoming a worthy competitive adversary against the Big Ten rivals and the MAC and other opponents, year in and year out. We Hoosier fans need to get real and not show our football ignorance with a big dose of humility.

    By the way, the same is true of basketball. While we do have a great history (mostly the result of two genius coaches, Branch Mc Cracken and Bob Knight) and tradition, we forget that winning is not a birth right. Only three years ago I remember reacting on this same blog to a senseless discussion of whether it was even ‘logical’ to expect Butler University to ever compete with the Hoosiers or if it was even worth discussing why a high school recruit would even consider Butler to an offer from Indiana. Same issues involved ignorance, arrogance and a total lack of humility.

    The attitude even infects and threatens our lofty place in soccer. A report I read in the last two weeks seemed to dismiss St. Louis after we beat them, while marveling at our tie with Notre Dame. Why belittle St. Louis? For nearly two decades soccer power was measured in terms of our competitiveness with St. Louis (who spanked us much more often than lost to us) under the great Harry Keough (something like ten national titles) and, later, his son Ty; that is…until we got lucky and got Jerry Yeagley from that national super power Cortland State (it’s in NY) as our coach (and, who in turn set the table for Todd.

    In every case, it took a tremendous effort, great teaching and coaching (does anyone remember Bob Knight being booed when he coached his first IU team with a center named Don Nord?), patience, lots of hard work, a school of coaching emphasizing solid fundamentals, and the recruitment of kids who were not necessarily ‘top Rivals, ESPN or Mickey Mouse Top 100’ but had solid skills, intelligence, integrity, ambition and great humility.

    That is where we are now in football and, hopefully, basketball. Can we replace our impatience, ignorance, an attitude of entitlement and arrogance in order to win? Are we fans willing to invest the time, effort patience and sacrifice it takes to learn how to win?

    My old man used to insist that the first rule of sports is to respect the game and respect the opponent. When we do win, do we have the humility to keep ourselves a program to be admired for its worthy enterprise getting there? More than anything…do we respect the game?

  2. Nice post. I typed one up and deleted it where I asked the question, “Could our players have been over confident?”
    I deleted it because it was just so crazy. How could an IU football player be over confident? But, suppose they were? We put together a nice scoring drive the first time we touch the ball and then…Ball State punches us in the neck. Now, they have all the confidence. Those guys in the trenches decide they can kick our guys butts…and then the wheels fell off.
    I know…crazy.

  3. Tsao, love you man…I really do and I don’t care if you want to sit back and type away. I will write it again and you can spin it as arrogance if you want…IU SHOULD ALWAYS BEAT DOWN BALL STATE…just in case you need it again…IU SHOULD ALWAYS BEAT DOWN BALL STATE!!!

    For the “beat down” comment I made: Anyone who reads me knows I get darn excited and I truly felt with the excitement and posts by people like you and PO with national and local media singing the new staffs prasises and all. I thought it would be different out of the gate but I was wrong. I will still yell like hell for our Hoosiers this weekend vs Virginny!

  4. Tsao; I agree, great post.

    J Pat; I agree with your assertion that IU should always beat Ball State. Not detracting from how competitive MAC teams are, but given the resources involved, no Big Ten team should ever lose to a MAC team.

    A few years ago, I was watching Arizona play New Mexico in Tucson. Arizona had a new, highly touted head coach (Stoops, who was the D-Coordinator from Oklahoma) and a great recruiting class. New Mexico came in and beat Arizona on their home field. Wow, the sports-crazy fans of Arizona just set about demoloshing Stoops and his staff. They were really angry and felt the school had been humiliated by an inferior team. To lose to the lowly New Mexico team was unforgivable.

    Making a long story short, the next year Arizona went to its first bowl game in years and beat a top-20 ranked BYU team. They have not had a losing season since and have gone to a bowl game eery year. It takes time.

  5. Going into Saturday’s game, Indiana was 26-5 (.839) against MAC opponents since 1950. The Big Ten Conference was 262-40-4 (.856) vs. the MAC since 1950. Going by those numbers, a game against a MAC team and particularly one that went 4-8 the previous year should be a probable win. Of course, the players can’t afford to look at that way.

  6. Wow..That was a fabulous post from Tsao on Scoop’s Hoosier Morning. Should be featured in HT’s paper. Exceptional. The “what have you done for me lately” attitude has taken over most opinions these days. Of course, Tsao is immune to false arrogance and thus cannot have the same loss of insight and understanding its beginnings. I will try anyway…The only debate to counter or give a bit of false justification to those thoughts, why fans have grown to expect immediate results(fans other than Tsao), is the amount of mixed messages to go along with ample hypocrisy our methods of hire and fire before the next king our court. There is also a ton of money thrown at coaches without the thickest of resumes. Fans may equate the pay, along with the numerous marketing campaigns and empty catchphrases painted on billboards and plastered on signs around campus, as the gumption next to the name of the new guy in town. The fans are sold the same shallow messages that a new man at the helm is a miracle worker replacing the old miracle worker that lost his miracle hair gel. Bring back Alford!! There will never be a low-key approach because administrations need butts in seats and pumping up hopes beyond rational reasoning soon fuels the lack of patience to come. We want our teams to explode onto the scene no different the instant explosion a coach’s checking account after the first deposit our hopes paid in cash his fat contract. Maybe there needs to be less selling singular recruits and changes at the helm as “saviors” for a broken past. Can the press bear the blame for some of this? Maybe the past wasn’t so broken. Maybe we should stop calling banners “dusty” and our great traditions “washed up.” Could it be that administrators allow themselves to be played like puppets by the impatient fans and the papers wanting to sell stories? They become reactionary. They fear empty seats and allow it to be more about marketing than substance and perseverance. Now we hear the fans that screamed for the new regime selling arguments that plead for long patience. They wear their reversible shirts to become defenders and react to save the hide almost as quickly they wanted to wield the ax the last head that rolled. What gives them the right to say “enough is enough” when it comes to defending or criticizing or editorializing? It does look a bit ridiculous when coming from expert voices that only view the workings a team from cheap seats high above the field, or a big screen TV a favorite Bloomington bar, can just as quickly claim the last savior meant well but it was obvious he wasn’t deserving the same timeframe they’re now allowing(with true conviction?) the new catchphrase deliverer of promises. Could it be a reasonable idea to tone down the drunken rhetoric that immediately follows the guy put on the bus? Our wounds do seem to heal far faster than we care his humiliation a career that may have been unjustly stymied…. “Who cares?! Belch him out of town! The trigger should have been pulled long ago on that loser!”
    And maybe it’s time for a little humility that says to earn your keep before you grab a microphone and blow a horn into the thick air of mass-marketing men into magicians. Don’t sell only rhetoric if you want nothing other than fair-weather fans buying the seats an exaggerated price their future impatience. Nah…that would be boring. We need heroes. We need guillotines. We need acid indigestion. There are plenty of reasons that fans act so violated by one loss on the scoreboard of one game a long season. It’s fed to them like mustard from the pump for the three hotdogs just devoured from the concession stand.

    Maybe the honest cheer got on the bus many years ago with the silent man that never played our hearts like a toy violin.

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