21 comments

  1. Great commentary Andy…you said what needed to be said and you saidit in a very professional, elegant way. Many, the majority, support Coach KW and his staff, but the Hoosier’s defense deserves the ‘deep thought’ mentioned. The stat points/Northwestern offensive plays is very telling, even more so than the 600+ yards.

  2. I hope the athletics department doesn’t expect fans to show up and watch this every single week. At least last year IU was competitive at home.

  3. Great job guys. Love the post game thoughts after each game.

    We were there yesterday, and it appeared there were fewer players dressed for the game than usual. Or maybe I was just mistaken?

    Did you notice?

  4. At 6:20 p (ET) six of the eight highlighted “Recent Comments On The Scoop” were spam. From their tone, you can tell they even find ‘the controls’ amusing. Something was posted last week about cleaning it up and its actually gotten worse. Clearly, no one is monitoring and anyone can turn the blog and its readers to their ‘profit’ purposes.

  5. As a casual college football observier it seems to me that if a team is basically being slaughtered week in and week out, year in an year out, and is not really competative, then maybe division 2 or 3 would be a better alternative. The coach that passed away 2 or 3 seasons ago seemed to be making some headway, but since then it has been all regressive. Most teams in the Big 10 with IU on their schdule consider their game with IU a slam dunk. Don’t get me wrong, I would live to see IU winning but the fact is you have to face the truth. They are atrocious.

  6. Greg K, as a practical matter, you are probably right in that our football program is more DII caliber than DI. But, we Hoosiers have a lot of pride not to mention a high tolerance for frustration!

    Seriously, our poor showing is the consequence of a number of factors including, principally, chronic under investment. As an institution, until recently, we never took football seriously. We thought of ourselves as a basketball school. So, we hired second tier coaches, paid them third tier salaries and got fourth tier performance. Similarly, our facilities were not even close to our competition. We have now come to the realization, albeit late, that our basketball program is not what it used to be and, even if it was, it would not come close to generating the kind of revenue that a good football program drives. So, we are now making the right investments in football as we should have been doing all along.

    Are we too late? Perhaps. IU is taking a huge risk with the new facilities and coaching staff. We are hoping to attract and retain more competitive athletes who will be coached more effectively. Will the risk pay off? We hope so. But, we also realistically understand that we are 4-7 years away from being consistantly competitive in our league. This is not a situation that can ne turned around in a season or two. Bear with us!!!

  7. Maybe some of the guys on the beat can shed some light onto this, but I’m wondering how you guys interpret the “co-defensive coordinators” and how that is working? IU’s defensive woes are far too great to be looking for a magic bullet solution, but when there is a lot of confusion in a system, you often find that there is a lack of clarity around who is in charge.

    Ekeler and Mallory, as individuals, seem like very stand-up, take personal responsibility type guys. However, even with best of intentions, there may be some grey area about who owns this mess that is keeping them from improving.

  8. I will say though, that after marinating on this game the last couple of days, I’m still completely baffled by the depths of despair our defense has sunk to the last few weeks. In all my years of watching college football, I’ve never seen anything like this. In the 4th quarter, they showed a shot of the defense on the sideline huddling up and I’d never seen such a sad sight. Those kids were in agony experiencing getting run over like that.

    I knew this year was going to be rough even with Wilson’s “win now” talk. Defensively, we were terrible last year and we lost a few guys to graduation without any really good underclassmen waiting in the wings. A recipe for disaster.

    While there is almost nothing on defense to work with, the good news is that we have guys like Roberson, Houston and Roberts (not much mention of him post-game, but he showed some great flashes too) to build around for next year. I particularly like Roberson as he seems like a stand-up kid with a great attitude and if Wilson is going to get these team back on track, he needs leaders and personalities like Roberson to step up.

    Rebuilding this football team is going to take time. I’m not saying whether or not Kevin Wilson is the guy to do it (I sure HOPE he is though!), but this was going to be a tough chore for anyone. The recruiting class coming in next year looks to have some defensive hope, but it will take at least another year for those guys to contribute in a meaningful way. Maybe Wilson can hit up the juco ranks to fill out our defense for next year? This is how Bill Snyder ended up becoming competitive with K-State in the interim again.

  9. Double Down,
    Good question. I don’t necessarily think there’s grey area about who owns the mess because it appears that they both do. Is there some subconscious issue there? I don’t think so. Play-calling confusion? That might be more of a possibility, but that’s not the impression I’m getting. Definitely something we should delve into more.
    I get a bit of a laugh out of this Division II or Division III discussion, because I’m not sure everyone gets how the divisions are actually done. For instance, the MAC (Ball State, Northern Illinois, Miami (Ohio) is still in Division I-A (AKA, the FBS), not Division II. There’s an argument to be made that that’s where the Indiana football program belongs, but it would be absolutely insane for IU to drop down to the MAC because the amount of revenue sharing IU gets from just being part of the Big Ten makes it beyond worth it for IU to be a part of it, whether the Hoosiers are getting crushed by the rest of the teams in the league or not. Between gate receipts and TV revenue-sharing money (mostly the latter) IU gets most of what it needs to keep the athletic department in the black no matter how bad the team plays. Even filling half of Memorial Stadium, they’re still in decent shape as a department. Drop down to the MAC and it isn’t close. IU would have to cut half a dozen sports minimum.
    And after the MAC and the other mid-major conferences (WAC, Conference USA, etc.) there is a whole other 100-plus school division called the Football Championship Subdivision (Division I-AA) before you even get to Division II. That’s Indiana State’s division, and Evansville’s and Southern Illinois, and Delaware and James Madison. Those schools play Division I basketball but have just 63 scholarships instead of 85. Division II schools (which include the University of Indianapolis, St. Josephs and the University of Southern Indiana) don’t have a lot of scholarships at all, and nowhere near 63. Division III schools (like Depauw and Wabash) don’t have scholarships at all. With few exceptions, the difference between an Indiana athlete and a D-II or D-III athlete is startlingly obvious. Is IU a MAC-level team? Probably. Are there I-AA teams that could get IU on the right day? Probably. But D-II and D-III are part of a completely different universe.

  10. Dustin, thanks for posting that. Folks on here insist on calling FCS teams Division II. FCS teams (formerly Division 1AA), when they play DII schools usually beat them something like 56-7. The worst guy on our roster would be a Division II All America.

  11. Dustin,

    The football scholarship situation is a funny deal. I don’t feel that the NCAA has done a very good job of informing ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN or the BTN, on how to discuss the situation on TV. By the way, the discussion only includes football. For other sports it is a simple D-I, D-II and D-III.

    Anyway, the way I understand the situation:

    FBS – 85 scholarship players, maximum of 25 signed per year. There are no partial scholarhsips in football.

    FCS – 63 scholarships but there can be partial scholarships. There can be no more than 85 players on scholarship, partial and full combined.

    Division II – As I understand it, has a limit of 36 scholarships. These scholarships can be full or partial.

    Division III – No athletic scholarships.

    Your remarks concerning IU joining the MAC or whatever conference are exactly correct. The budget differences between B10 schools versus MAC schools is unbelieveable, even before the advent of the BTN.

    Football is a very big deal. It took the IU administration a long time to get into the mix financially. Now, over time, we’ll see what happens.

  12. That’s exactly it, Jay. I wasn’t sure about the Division II scholarship limit (my manual is Division I only) and I know Division III does not have scholarships. But obviously, you’re right about the partials.
    This argument happens more on comments on my actual stories on the H-T site. It’s a different crowd there. There’s a notion that football at Indiana is somehow a money pit and that if they just got rid of it there would be more money for basketball or other sports or, I guess, the English department. I guess it is hard to understand that a team could be really bad and still fund most of an athletic department just by existing. But that’s the case.

  13. Dustin, Chet and Jay…my bad! I was not suggesting that IU should drop down to FCS. I understand the distinctions and doing so would be virtually impossible to say nothing of disasterous! I was just trying to make a point that, at this time, we are not playing at a B10/BCS level (at least not on defense). I was responding to a post from someone who is evidently not an alum or fan, but who was questioning why we seem to be beating our heads against a wall and I was trying to put my response in the historical context of chronic under investment that we are only now trying to turn around. I should have been more precise in my choice of words.

  14. This string about the differences between the levels of college football overlooks the elephant in the room. The NCAA has no say in determining the national champion of college football. Last year, Auburn was the BCS champion, not the NCAA champion. Go to the NCAA web site in late December this year and all you will see is stuff about the Football Championship Series game. Last year’s “NCAA Division I Football Champion” was Eastern Washington. That’s why it was mind-boggling last year to listen to talking heads on TV blabber about whether USC would be “stripped of its 2004 NCAA football championship” when the Reggie Bush scandal broke. The NCAA could declare Bush ineligible and declare that USC forefeited some regualr season wins in 2004 and all of 2005, but no way could the NCAA take away a BCS championship. PLAYOFFS NOW!

  15. iufan23…you have nothing to apologize for. Your point that IU is now reaping the consequences of dozens of years of funding its football program on the very cheap, and underpaying its football coaching staffs is accurate and now haunts us. Even now we see posts from fans who question whether head coaches should be paid high 6, or 7 digit salaries; or assistants be paid mid to high 6 digit salaries. That was (and those postings continue to be) the source of embarrassment. I admire AD Glass for taking IU kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, for responding to the discomfort of most rational IU fans and alumni with an attitude that we are somehow less than a Big Ten university and program.

    After the unfortunate death of Coach Hoeppner, this plague victimized us again by insisting we remain a ‘low-budget’ operation. Only they could be happy with the appointment of a coach who had already shown his qualifications were far short of a Big Ten program and, perhaps, better fit to lead a midsize high school program. That’s not on Lynch- he was what he was-, that was on Greenspan and his bean counting.

    This will continue to be a tough year. But, it will be rewarding if IU takes it on itself to end the embarrassment of trying to compete on the cheap.

    Hopefully, the shame rained on us and now evident reduces serves as motivation to end the lack of vision involved in the leadership of our program and drive those who continue to demean the Hoosier program from our blogs and our reality.

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