Hoosier Morning

1. HOOSIERS HQ
Practice can’t start soon enough for a youthful Indiana basketball squad, Dustin writes.

The IU women’s soccer team suffered it first loss of the season, 3-1 at Ohio State, Thursday, we reported.

2. IT’S INDIANA
A new class of IU freshmen basketball players are trying to live up to the standards set by their predecessors, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star writes.

New faces, but not new expectations for the 2013-14 Hoosiers, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.

Indiana comes in No. 9 in a ranking of college basketball’s best current programs (just behind Syracuse), Andy Glockner of SI.com writes.

IU target Goodluck Okonoboh’s trips to Ohio State and UNLV highlight a busy weekend of visits, including James Blackmon to Michigan, Jeff Borzello of CBSsports.com writes.

3. BIG TEN COUNTRY
Michigan State landed its point guard of the future in Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Thursday, Diamond Leung of MLive.com writes.

First-year Wisconsin football coach Gary Andersen is impressed with both Ohio State quarterbacks he might see on Saturday, Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal writes.

4. ONE FOR THE ROAD
In honor of Mariano Rivera’s farewell to Yankee Stadium Thursday night, “Enter Sandman” from Metallica.

24 comments

  1. So much for the vaunted and difficult-to-defend Navy offense. Western Kentucky held Navy to 7 points and dominated them today. Western Kentucky, for the love of Pete! That puts IU’s loss to Navy, and specifically IU’s defense, in perspective.

    And did anyone see Northern Illinois deliver that absolute beat down to Purdue today? Wow.

    How does this stuff happen? How do teams like Western Kentucky and Northern Illinois produce football teams that are clearly superior to some or any Big Ten football teams? (That’s a rhetorical question). Neither of those schools have the athletic budgets, the football facilities, the campus, or the academic reputation to compete with a Big Ten school. So how then do they produce arguably superior football programs? Northern Illinois is no flash in the pan. They’ve been good for a while now. Western Kentucky hire Bobby Petrino. He may be an adulterer and a bad husband, but he’s obviously a good football coach (people running universities in Kentucky don’t seem to care about their college coaches having extramarital affairs. ‘Just win baby’).

    Hey, at least Illinois beat Miami of Ohio today.

  2. Podunker,

    I have tried to figure that out as well, and I have no answer. Indiana, being a Big 10 team seems to be a logical choice over Northern Illinois or any other lower conference team, but I have no idea. Maybe Clarion has an answer. He has a good football mind.

    Maybe the players have negativity in their head about Indiana, and effects their performance. Maybe the always feel like they are walking on egg shells, because of all the struggling.

  3. Ron-

    And you have quickly answered Kerplunker’s inquiry. The “I care about football” window closes very quickly in Indiana. As soon as the leaves begin to shed their green and turn to eye-popping hues of golds and reds and oranges thus marks the sound of the round ball hitting the maple. It’s the beat of our heart. It still defines our long excellence and what put tiny Indiana on the national map from a game that flows from our earliest blood a Hinkle gym. The fans immediately turn to the old staple.

    Outside of ND(a private school followed by a small cluster of weirdos from “The Region” that has a somewhat overblown long and storied football tradition because its ties to the Catholic religion), football struggles to say relevant in the passions a state so tied to the lore and legendary players that have defined and sustained a national recognition its basketball history.

    Football at IU will struggle to be anything more than that gravel road off the main thoroughfare. Is it such a horrible thing to be great at something. What else do we have as our world stage? The Colts? The Indy 500? Corn?

    Why do we have to apologize and be so damn politically correct and make both so equal our love? Love honestly what you love…And if it be basketball for all its illogical flaws in the economics of such a one-track love, then so be it. It’s not done so bad by us thus far. It’s taken us from Milan to Hollywood and French Lick garbage truck to the Boston Garden. Yet, we bitch that the pigskin flies so ghastly and wobbly under the frolic a fall night. Why can’t we just accept it’s merely the fill of dark and the fill of the time before the main attraction soon to rejuvenate the heart our true delight.

  4. While I agree most of us would take basketball over football, it’s not a crime to see Hoosier Football break out. Its a hard sell. When the coach is begging fans to come watch the game, you have problems. I continue to believe Wilson is making progress, but I have came to the point where until Hoosier Football is competitive, it’s more or less going to be fair weather fan base.

    It’s like the Cubs. We always say next year. It gets old. I get it. Hoosier Football fans are beyond tired. I realize the team is young, and still has plenty of room to improve, but it just gets old. Excuse after excuse.

  5. And like the Cubs, IU football will need to do something bold (and smart) to turn its fortunes around and get the fans’ enthusiasm back. But here we go again, back to that “Chicken or the egg” debate. Is IU football weak because of the lack of fan support, or is fan support weak because IU football has been bad for so long? Every time I read a post in September, where an IU fan is asking “Is it basketball season yet,” I think the answer might be the former rather than the latter.

    Having a strong basketball program and a strong football program are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they should compliment each other in creating the perception that the school has a strong athletic program and in generating ample revenue. Take Louisville for example. Or how about Florida, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, UCLA and Michigan State (to name just a few).

  6. I agree. Their is no excuse. One day I hope. Hopefully my prediction of 5 winds this year will come to fruition. At least it continues Wilson’s momentum concerning wins.

  7. Even before the snap PUke was going to have no chance today. I made easy money on that, the books were begging to give it away. As far as the Navy WKU game there are just some games you do not get up for.

  8. HC, you are 100% correct. And some of us called that from 2,000 miles away when the news was first announced. It really begs the question, “what was Ekeler thinking?” I mean, apparently he had job security in Bloomington. He had a chance to make a major contribution to a program that could be on the rise. Instead, he chose to move his family to LA (increasingly becoming the Newark of the west with sunshine) and take a lateral move with a program that was clearly in decline. And last night, it was the defense that faltered against ASU. Ouch.

    I can just hear Ekeler’s wife asking him, “tell me again why you accepted the job at USC? Was it because you had problems with Mallory, or you didn’t like Bloomington (what’s not to like from a man from Kansas?), or was it your ego that drove you to take the job with another ‘storied’ football program? So where will be moving next January?”

    ASU is not one of the better teams in the PAC 12. USC is going to get crushed this year when they play the top teams in their conference. And the LA media is already peeling the flesh off of Kiffin’s bones. People in Knoxville are celebrating as if Tenn just won the BCS Championship. What was Ekeler thinking?

  9. I am guessing his ego or the drive to his goal makes him a fortune hunter. It was not even a lateral move as he is only the LB coach of the Trojans and had been co-DC with Mallory. I do believe he had an honest difference of opinion with Wilson about how fast the offense plays which of course exposes the D to less rest and more plays. But I think it would take a bigger reason than that to make that dumb move. Do not pull up short on ASU under Todd Graham. I do believe he is 1 of those young coaches(like Bob Stoops and Urban Meyer were)who roared into town 10-12 years ago. He’ll cause Rich Rod some sleepless nights for being in the same state.

  10. Re Ekeler…always had the feeling that the Ekeler exit may not have been self-initiated but a pre-cursor to a foreseen change. Perhaps, they may have found an elegant way of making the explanation public. I admit, this is pure speculation on my part, but it was the only explanation that followed any logic.

    I think CKW has understood all along is that the only way the project works in the long run is if the defense can carry at least a part of its weight and may have made that a clear issue…when, miraculously, the USC job pops up.

    Either way…CKW seems too smart and focused on doing what needs to be done to reach his goals at IU. It would be silly for anyone to even consider that CKW may not understand the relationship between offense, defense and winning.

  11. Tsao, I too believe CKW is a smart man. But you may be placing too high of a value on his intelligence. I seriously doubt Ekeler’s departure was a result of some subtle or overt manipulation on CKW’s part.

    Being highly intelligent does dot necessarily make a person a good manager/boss/leader. I’m not saying CKW’s not a good manager/boss, but some times, really smart people make really bad managers/leaders. I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt, I’m still a fan of Wilson’s, but objectively examining it from all sides, I can’t help but remember that he was still an assistant coach at the age of 50, and that was not because he lacked intelligence.

    And if Wilson elects to go for it on 4th and 1 from his own 34 yard line again, I reserve the right to change my opinion about his intelligence.

  12. I would be interested in knowing after the 1st 8 weeks of working for him what Ekeler really thought of Kiffin.

  13. Jay Gregg, thanks for the link. It provided an interesting perspective and insight from a man who can relate to Kiffin’ predicament. My guess is that we will not see Kiffin getting any head coaching jobs for a few more years. He’ll have to do time in a successful program as an offensive coordinator before getting another chance. He’s a bit toxic after getting fired from Oakland, quitting TN, and now being fired from his dream job at USC.

    But I find it very interesting that I’ve been criticized and attacked on this blog for suggesting that if IU’s defense does not show significant improvement this year, Mallory should be fired at the end of the year (his third year on the job). Juxtapose my opinion on Mallory’s job performance against USC’s intolerance of Kiffin. Kiffin had a winning record during his time as head coach at USC (I think it was a .615 winning percentage). Kiffin inherited a program devastated by NCAA sanctions that limited football scholarships and was banned from post season play for a while. And still, four games into this season, USC fires Kiffin. How could they justify that, given his short tenure and the circumstances that Kiffin inherited upon taking over at USC? Because they are committed to having a winning football program. Because USC’s athletic identity is tied to football. Because the USC alumni will not tolerate a mediocre football program. Because at USC, football funds all the other varsity sorts programs. Because Pat Haden understands that losing can become a bad habit or something resembling an infectious disease, neither of which are tolerable to a winning organization. Because USC has the money to pay Kiffin his full severance without scratching the surface of their cash reserves (which ironically was established in large part because of their football program).

    It did not take Pat Haden and USC’s President more than three and a third football seasons to determine if their head football coach had the program pointed in the right direction. The NCAA penalties notwithstanding, they’d seen enough and decided it was time to make a change. And had it not been for the NCAA penalties to USC’s football program, Kiffin would not have survived 24 hours beyond his team’s loss to a very mediocre Georgia Tech team in last winter’s bowl game.

    Two old saying come to mind. “You’ll continue to get what you’re willing to tolerate.” Clearly losing football games is something USC will not tolerate. And “Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left behind by those who hustle.” My guess is that three years from now, Kiffin’s replacement will have USC football entrenched as one of the top three football programs in the country and playing for national championships every two or three years.

  14. The secret formula must be the helmets? See where Arizona State has ‘flaming’ helmets for the Notre Dame game.

    (been 4 days of bb practice and
    4 days till Hoosier Hysteria)

  15. Thanks Jay Gregg. Did you also read the accompanying linked article by Cowherd? Both were a single mans opinion but interesting reads non the less. I have to assume the alumni were killing Haden with pressure.

  16. HC, yes I did read the Cowherd article. I found both articles interesting. I wonder what the temperature in Austin is these days?

  17. HC, attendance at USC home games was down by an average of 20,000 fans per game so far this season. Season tickets sales were down, alumni contributions were way down too. That was all Haden needed.

  18. “Being highly intelligent does dot necessarily make a person a good manager/boss/leader. I’m not saying CKW’s not a good manager/boss, but some times, really smart people make really bad managers/leaders. I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt, I’m still a fan of Wilson’s, but objectively examining it from all sides, I can’t help but remember that he was still an assistant coach at the age of 50, and that was not because he lacked intelligence.
    And if Wilson elects to go for it on 4th and 1 from his own 34 yard line again, I reserve the right to change my opinion about his intelligence.”

    Podunker, after reading the above, I have not changed my opinion about your intelligence one iota. And, breaking it down to its component parts is really one of the most entertaining moments one could ask for on a fall day.

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