Allen believes in a breakthrough

From his second-floor office that overlooks the field at Memorial Stadium, Tom Allen can see the future.

Right now, there’s a massive pile of dirt where the scoreboard once stood just beyond the South end zone. The dirt represents the initial phase of a construction project that will result in a new wellness facility and front door to Indiana’s athletics campus.

The Indiana coach wants his program to represent an open door through which IU fans will relish walking.

Eventually, Allen sees a packed stadium, a winning Hoosier team and a brand of football that makes those around the state proud to hold a connection to IU. As a native Hoosier himself, Allen wants those around the state to share that vision.

So as he enters his first full season leading Indiana’s program, the pressure Allen feels is not to win games — he sees victories through those office windows, too — but to deliver a product of which fellow Hoosiers can feel proud.

“This is home to me,” Allen told The Herald-Times on Monday. “I know so many people, so many high school coaches, so many families, so many people that I know and have known for so long are tied into the state and Indiana University.

“I don’t sit here and feel like, ‘Oh man, we have to win right now.’ To me, I expect us to win. I believe that we are doing things that are going to put us in position to keep climbing. I just feel the weight of wanting to just do something special for my home state.”

With spring practice in the rearview mirror and fall camp still three months away, Allen has time to catch his breath and let his mind recalibrate.

He’s officially served as IU coach for five months, juggling a bowl game, recruiting and assembling a revamped offensive coaching staff in that time.

In between those functions, he’s also fulfilled various speaking engagements around the state, taking the time to spread his mission statement with fellow Hoosiers.

“I just left a classroom,” Allen said. “I spoke to a business class and we were talking about some of these things. To me, when you believe so strongly in what you’re saying, and I believe in the vision of what we want to build here and the way we want to do it and the way we do things (success will follow).

“I believe so strongly in that. I want to go out and talk to people. I want to get the word out and I want them to see how much this means to me, how much I care about it, how excited I am about what we’re doing. To me, it just gives me a chance to share that vision with our fans.”

There are plans to share his thoughts with his players, too.

When Allen arrived last spring, he conducted individual meetings with every player on Indiana’s defense. The conversations had nothing to do with football. Instead, Allen asked his players to tell them about their families, their faith and the things that were important to them.

This spring and summer, Allen will be sitting down with each of his offensive players to continue to build deeper relationships with those on the other side of the ball.

Last year, that kind of outreach was among the reasons the Hoosiers felt comfortable buying into Allen’s philosophies, and by extension, hit the ground running.

“When I first got here there was no confidence (among the IU defensive players),” Allen said. “There was no trust. There was none of that. So it has to be built. It can be built. I think that’s the difference. It can be created. That’s where you have to keep staying true to who you are and stay focused on the process of the little things. That’s how you create the breakthrough.”

This is, after all, the year of “breakthrough.” That one word has become a mantra for Allen and his staff as they attempt to elevate Indiana’s standing in the Big Ten East.

It won’t be easy — not with a schedule that includes a season opener against Ohio State, a non-conference road trip to Virginia and a difficult mid-season stretch at Penn State, home against Michigan and at Michigan State.

But Allen chooses only to deal in positivity at a place that, historically, has only experienced favorable results in fits and spurts.

He believes the breakthrough is coming. Through the windows of his office, he can see it, too.

“I just want to see us put a product on the field that people come and support faithfully and they feel good about thae product that’s out there competing for championships,” Allen said. “Every Saturday is that expectation, every year, that we’re going to be in the hunt. I believe we can do that. I believe we will.”


  1. Excellent read and is positively optimistic which he should be. The table is set. He may have great success. Several coaches have tried. I remember Sam Wyche had the IU logo slanted forward on helmets to illustrate a positive attitude of moving forward and Cam Cameron with the oval logo on black helmets. I must say I am inspired by T. Allen than those two examples. Then, Lee Corso took a picture at half time with the team under the scoreboard as IU led OSU 7 to 6 at half for the first time in 25 years. Lee’s team did win a Holiday Bowl against an undefeated Brigham Young. (brings into question some of the non power conference teams that are not the major independents undefeated or with one loss being over ranked. They would usually have a few more losses in a major conference. Same goes for basketball).

    1. IU finished 4th in the Big Ten the year they beat BYU. A couple years later BYU beat 6th place finisher, Michigan, and were named national champion.

      There is a legitimate argument to be made that IU played in the national championship game that year.

  2. Some have opined that U. Oregon’s outlandish fb uniforms were a significant factor in drawing talent (to a state with a significantly lesser population than Indiana). Makes sense if 1) playing sports is supposed to be fun and 2) one’s idea of fun is looking like a spaceman. I’m not sure I’d want to look look like a spaceman; but my point is that when it comes to college sports, a lot of people seem to forget that “sport” is indeed supposed to be “fun.” Example 1: RM Knight insisting on sticking with short shorts when all the others were turning to the longer versions. Example 2: Posters here giving Tre Roberson grief for transferring to Ill. State where he got to be a starter for a winning team and make the playoffs. He’s signed a short term contract with the Vikings that will probably at least get him into camp this fall (as a cornerback); I can’t imagine that hanging on at IU would have positioned him any better.

  3. I love Allen’s enthusiasm and vision for IU Football. His positive energy just jumps off the page (or screen). And given how IU’s defense improved last season, his methods and philosophy appear to be very effective in improving his player’s performance. Now, if he can just translate that into recruiting a greater number of bigger, faster and better football players, we could have something special here. The new “Wellness Facility” should help improve recruiting, but there is no substitute for fans filling Memorial Stadium for every home game and supporting Coach Allen’s effort to achieve a breakthrough.

    As for Oregon’s success, Phil Knight’s unprecedented personal financial support (hundreds of millions) of Oregon Athletics, which funded the construction of world class athletic facilities and funded a national recruiting program, is why the Ducks became a force in college football (and now basketball). According to Sports Illustrated, entering the Football team’s locker facilities is like entering the world best luxury health spa. Imagine a 17 or 18 year-old from a disadvantaged family seeing such luxury for the first time and the impression that would make! Phil Knight’s money allowed Oregon to buy a nationally successful athletic program. It’s certainly not the climate in that part of Oregon, or the quality of education offered by the University (it’s not terrible, but it’s not Stanford-quality academics, either). Good for him and good for Oregon, but the reason for their success is nothing more than big money.

  4. We’ll see if IU’s Big 10 East win-loss record “jumps off the page.”

    If the portrayal of giddy “enthusiasm” could equal success on the biggest stages of college athletics, then our last basketball coach wouldn’t be currently unemployed. I hope this new football coach isn’t just more of the same. Fred seems to be very gullible to gaudy book covers rather than depth of message and quiet confidence.

  5. H4H, coach Allen has shown what his approach did for the lousy defense he took over in just one year. This staff is loaded with SEC coaches on offense and the defensive staff that helped create the turnaround last year.

    Po, look at the tape of players coming here in 2017 instead of their ratings. They are big and fast and far more talented than they were rated. I hope they come in and prove how good they are. The recruited Punter is already punting over 50 yard punts and Australian punters have done well over here IE OSU’s punter along with others. When a former NFL DB turned HS coach called Tronti the best QB in Florida and probably even better than that you can bet he is good.

    The 2017 class has huge size DL [2 of them with another in prep school this year] and OL [3] , speed off the ends, with a big RB and a speedy RB, a big fast WR and smaller Slot receiver that is very fast along with very good Safety flip from USC and two Corner with size/speed and a couple of ILB. We will have to wait and see how good they will be but they look good on tape.

    Coach Allen and his coaches motivate players the right way. DeBord doesn’t have long check offs when in no huddle so they don’t have to take timeouts as the clock runs down. The offensive staff has an OC with B1G, NFL, and SEC experience so he knows how to call plays without losing games. I hope IU does start slow and then come back in the second half the way TN did last year but it is better than losing games.

    We don’t know how well the 2017 team will play but the players are buying in and think they will win games. It is nice to have a coach from Indiana that loves this job and feels blessed to show up every day for the job.

  6. Not sure why Harv has a Jones about Fred Glass. I don’t remember IU being this solid across the whole athletic department in…forever.

  7. Really, Chet?
    A couple bottom-feeder bowls(both losses).
    No NCAA tournament two of the last three years….Sweet 16 ceiling the last nine years while the rest of the Midwest(Conference Midwest Elite) has 23 Elite 8 appearances and numerous Final Fours.
    Baseball- Nobody cares. It doesn’t pay the bills. Slumping.

    Archie Miller may be the turnaround….but it’s only because Glass was in a corner of no return. Fred could simply no longer hold onto his job if he held onto the guy who hired him (Crean).

    Basketball is the only pathway to make IU Athletics relevant again. Archie has an enormous amount of ground to reclaim due to Crean’s disastrous abandonment of the state of Indiana. I was hoping McRobbie would have told the ‘Odd Couple’ of Fred and Tommy to depart in the same manner they arrived- as a set.

    IU Basketball has never been so mismanaged as in the last nine years. Tinkering with football follies will not help gain back that ground.

  8. Yeah, because there are only two sports at IU and they are relatively successful.

    IU put the first team in the College World Series from the Big Ten since 1987.

  9. Yeah, ’cause Fred was forced into hiring Archie Miller…..he totally wanted to hire another cheerleader who could hire him, because if a circle has logic, it comes back around and hits you in the head over and over and over and over again. Like a tennis ball in a dryer.

    Allen has orchestrated one of the single greatest turnarounds in defense I ever saw. There were no freshmen defensive equivalents of Cody Zeller coming in. He took the same group that ended up with the same tread marks Mitch McGary had on his forehead post Zeller matchups, and made them one of the Big Ten’s best units. They might have been even better if their QB on the other side of the ball wasn’t so intent on throwing the ball to the other team and putting their backs to the wall deep in their own territory.

    Allen is fluff? Wow. That’s rich.

  10. My previous post should say ” I hope IU doesn’t start slow then come back…”

    The concern about coach Allen is a joke based on how he has turned around defenses every college he has coached at. He made a great hire as OC and the way players played in the Spring Game shows how well they may play in 2017. I am very encouraged about this coming season but still have some concerns. How well will the OL play and how physical can they be, how healthy will our RBs be during the year, and how will our QB play as we have some outstanding receivers including our TEs.

    Does anyone have thoughts on which incoming freshmen, if any, will play this coming season? There are several DL players I could see playing this year especially if we need speed from the outside rusher. The best thing is this team has enough depth now it is hard to see where freshmen will play this year but one or more could sneak in.

  11. v, I know nothing other than how I evaluate what I read. With that I target 3 Frosh who can make opportunities for themselves this season. 1st is Bryant, based on team need for a different type of edge rusher and how physically developed(ala like Marcelino Ball)he already is. #2 is Fitzgerald, again physically developed like Ball + a little bigger. No one presently on the roster can play Ball’s position as good as Ball. Fitzgerald can get the chance particularly if Ball’s responsibilities are expanded into ST return game or situational time in the offense and why would they not be expanded as he is a playmaker. 3rd is Ellison, as this type of RB is an Ohio specialty. Size, power, speed blended differently than anyone else in Hart’s group. “Jordan Howard 2.0” were Deland McCullough’s words. He’ll have to show he can stay healthy but so does the rest of the room. His early opportunities will have much to do with how fast Hart wants to develop them. 2 Wildcards could be ATH Burgess and OL Knight as both held offers from lots of good FB programs. Because OL is thinner than DB’s Knight could be the 1st of the 2 to play..

  12. vesuvius 13 – why do you think this 2017 recruiting class is so good?? 247 sports rated this class 13th in the BIG 10, only slightly ahead of Purdue?? Beside who do we give credit too for this recruiting class (Tom Allen or Kevin Wilson)? I will give Tom Allen credit, for keeping this recruiting class together. yes, this recruiting class like any/all recruiting class has potential. From your previous message i see that you are very high on the QB Nick Tronti?? I am also encourage about the upcoming season, but i still have a lot of concerns. Not worried about the Offensive line and much as i am worried about the QB play or position. On paper the projected starter) on this IU football team could compete with 3/4 of the BIG 10, but that would still put IU third or fourth in the BIG 10 east.

  13. ^^^Uh-oh, somebody on Scoop sniffed some reality glue….

    We may have just lost one of the best offensive minds in the game(because we all know OSU hires slouches), but everything is going to be just hunky-dory because our defense looked like Michigan stopping Alabama in a ‘spring game?’

    The only way back to national sports relevance for Indiana U.(for that matter, for the state of Indiana), is via the pretty round orange ball that goes through a cylinder.

    Here’s how the state of Indiana’s national relevance in sports once played out:

    1. Indiana Basketball(the lore of our high school hysteria, Bird, Robertson, Cripsus Attucks, Knight/5 banners in Bloomington)
    2. The Indy 500(“The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”)
    3. Notre Dame Football
    4. Colts/Manning
    5. Indiana Pacers
    6. Mark Spitz’s 8 Gold Medals ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    742. IU Football

    Last 20 years?

    1. Butler Basketball/Brad Stevens
    2. Indy 500
    3. Notre Dame Football
    4. Notre Dame Basketball (far more successful in March than IU over the last 10 years)
    5. Wetting our Hoosier beds over a couple overrated NBA guys who donned the candy stripes while playing for Bozo. ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    275. Hoosier Basketball (falling like the Hindenburg due to (a) destroyed single class h.s. tournament coupled with (b) the defeatism surrounding the IU Basketball program in claims that it could no longer be “elite”…and the delusional replacement of such vanished lore in attempting to become OSU/Michigan/ND football).

  14. If Allen is half as successful in Football as Crean was in basketball, Allen will retire from IU as the University’s greatest football coach ever. Gee, if the Hoosier Nation just had half the expectations and passion for football that we do for basketball, IU might not have the second-to-lowest Athletic Department budget in the Big Ten. Maybe not in my lifetime, but eventually some Football coach is going to turn IU into a winning program, in spite of so many apathetic fans.

    1. I’ll buy most of that. The elevation of achievement for IUFB is going to happen cause it has already started. Credit Coach Wilson with vanquishing the milquetoast culture in and close to the program. The stage is now well set for Coach Allen and staff to take that new mold and refine it into a consistent success. Allen is the perfect model to navigate this. As I posted the other day, the future of IU athletics has never been brighter. FB, BB(M&W), Hard B, soccer lead the way.

    2. It’s a helluva note, isn’t It? I’ve been attending games for close to 50 years and, while the product on the field might vary, the apathy of the fan base has been consistent. Maybe a couple winning seasons in a row could change that.

      Winning cures a lot of ills.

      1. JPat is certainly a Scooper who should be allowed to give himself a ‘pat’ on the back for religiously attending games and supporting the IU Football product.

        I have a hunch that the money he’s spent to take his family to Memorial (and on the road) obliterates the ‘butts-in-seats’ dollars of all other Scoop contributors combined. I’m going with that hunch.

        JPat never targeted the ‘apathetic’ fan base…..He fought in the trenches and only offered a welcoming hand to find the light amongst the darkness. While others grew more and more cynical, JPat stood for dignity and kindness.

        Hope you’re doing great, JPat. I remain skeptical of IU Football. But this year, I think I’ll go to a game or simple honor of the way you have always cherished IU.

  15. PO- No argument about the big $$$$$$ dropped on the Oregon program, but I still think fun matters. NU is building (or maybe has finished building) a $260,000,000.00 “jaw dropping” (according to coach Fitzgerald, who just signed a ten-year extension- sum unknown ’cause NU is private) facility on the shore of Lake Michigan; a fresh-water beach has got to be a better place to unwind after two-a-days than the ecoli laced quarries of Monroe County. And for other student-athletes as well. Which brings us to Fred Glass as AD. In 2016 IU was 41 in overall (Director’s Cup) standing- a big fall off from a couple of years ago, but still not too shabby.

  16. Off-topic a bit…Well, maybe not so much as we talk about the risky dollars thrown at sports in the ever-changing theater of how its delivered and who is demanding it.

    Wow….A lot of axes dropped @ ESPN on Wednesday…and talk of many more to come. Didn’t Scoop once often provide links to Dana O’Neil’s ESPN stuff? I seem to remember a hokey piece from her about Indiana hoops….Sorta like Nancy Drew meets driving down dusty gravel back roads…looking for the ghost of Damon Bailey hunched over in some small town watering hole to talk backboards on barns and Gene Hackman investigating a round ball game of stall.

    Anyway….There’s always organic farming. How do strawberries do in Connecticut?

  17. Also…..My dad went all over the Pacific during WW II. Saw many islands…He also went to Brazil…through the Panama Canal….and spent a good share of time in San Diego.

    He always claimed there was no other place in the world that could rival the soft sand on the beaches and dunes of Lake Michigan’s southeastern and eastern shoreline. There is still beauty and nice beach to be found along Lake Michigan’s vast stretch extending from the corner of NW Indiana’s National Park Lakeshore to the Upper Peninsula….but it’s a travesty so much of the southeastern shoreline was not protected. The sheer amount of sand/dunes in terms of ground depth and mileage in its south to north expanse truly makes it a ‘fresh water wonder of the world.’
    As you stand along the eastern shore looking westward, it could just as easily pose as another ocean cliff to set sail….The sunsets are incredible. And what beauty its clean waters and rolling blanched white dunes did the first inhabiting Native Americans canoe and explore its shorelines in such pristine, untouched marvel of a first view..?

      1. He’s gone now….but he was in the Navy. He had many stories…But he usually only talked when there was an invitation to the topic. He joined the Navy(exited high school without graduating…He was an All-State football player with promises to play at Michigan or Purdue. He loved architecture). Wonderful Navy pictures as well…I have a shot of him riding donkeys(huge smile on his face) with his Navy buddies down the streets of what I believe was Rio….Ask him about girls during these trips on ‘liberty?’ Never details …Just a little grin and casual chuckle as his eyes would light up.
        He was lucky. He was at the Solomon Islands. He talked of how they deployed hundreds of Marines off his ship in amphibious craft to take those islands. He told me that from his ship offshore he could hear the screams of many being tortured…

        But he was a man always looking forward(so different from this stagnant soul).
        He always loved telling the tale of going up the Shanghai River in communist China….and of how beautiful San Diego was back then. He always dreamed of taking my mom there….and making new roots. I think that was one of his few regrets. He wanted to make my mom a queen of all things…He wanted the sun and ocean for her.

    1. I always loved the sand along the Panhandle when I lived in Pensacola. Most sand is crushed shells, etc., but the sand there was from crushed quartz washed down the rivers from the Appalachian mountains. Almost snow white and very fine.

  18. Sweet 16’s for IU Basketball were like Rose Bowls for Tom Crean …..but it’s a disgrace to the potential of the candy stripes based on the high school talent in this state alone.
    IU Football has already overachieved compared to the squandering of 9 years and roster talent that never lived up to its promise and projections.

    Budgets without banners and bowls….Yippee. It sounds like a family inheritance with zero ambition. All things will follow winning. The best pathway to winning and consistent national relevance is via basketball.

  19. IU79, I think the 2017 class will be a very good class based on how they played not how they are rated. The reason has to do with some names from previous classes Coleman, Spriggs, Feeney, Howard, Ball, Cronk, etc as none were ranked abouve being a middle level player yet turned into all conference or all-american players. I know from my time coaching talented players how the recruiting services work. They do a good job on the top players but don’t have the resources for the other players to really rate them. It is also based on kids going to the right events to get rated high IE Tronti wouldn’t go to anything but team events because he focused on his team As a result many players get rated lower than their talent shows. Fryfogle was a recruit for Ole Miss but flipped to IU, Burgess was a USC recruit that flipped to IU, Crider flipped from VA to IU, Burnam fro TN to IU, Harris from IA to IU etc. Most of this class came from coach Allen and his staff as not many came from coaches on Wilson’s staff.

    The other factor that I look at is the total rating the team gets. A recruiter pointed out that you may be ranked last in a conference but only 4 points from being in the top 4 so there is virtually no difference in the classes. I really hope this class has several play makers at each level because coaching makes a difference and they can elevate the level of play of the team. It may turn out that this class is just like previous classes good but not great enough to get IU over the hump.

    Chet, when I was stationed in Pensacola, FL I loved the white sandy beaches too. They were as fine grained as sugar and wonderful beaches.

  20. There it is! Extremely high expectations for basketball and very little tolerance for a basketball coach that does not lead IU to final fours. But for football, eh, virtually no expectations. That mentality is IU Athletics’ problem in a nutshell, and The Hoosier Nation owns it, all by ourselves! Can you imagine if IU Football had won two Big Ten Football Championships in a period of four years? There’d be so many people jumping on the band-wagon that both axels would snap from the weight. They’d have built a bigger-than-life statue of the coach and placed it right next to the USS Indiana’s anti-aircraft guns. They’d name Memorial Stadium’s field after that coach!

    I actually know people, both young and old (my age) who have told me, “it would not bother me a bit if IU did not have a football program.” Then I respond, “well, we’d be kicked out of the Big Ten Conference if we dropped football, and as a result, we’d lose so much revenue that we’d have to shut down a lot of other varsity athletic programs.” Like so many other apathetic Hoosier fans, they were clueless about the importance of football revenue to a university’s ability to field other, competitive athletic programs. But what bothered me most when I heard such comments was how it just seemed so defeatist. One of my old college buddies was one of the people who made a similar statement, and I responded, “when did you become such a wimp?”

  21. HC, do you think Wilson’s continuing efforts in “vanquishing the milquetoast culture in and close to the (football) program” is what got him fired? I don’t think he did anything that a thousand other HS and college coaches have not been doing for since the sport was invented, but it seemed to run afoul of IU’s sensitive, risk-averse and politically correct AD. Or am I missing something?

    And if that effort is what got Wilson fired, is IU Football at risk of falling back into that “milquetoast culture” again? I mean the next time some player feels his complaint about being injured gets a sideways glance from Allen, is Glass going to call in his favorite law firm to investigate potential insensitivity?

    1. Adrian Peterson can whip his kid with a stick and it’s spun as ‘cultural’ misguidance in understanding appropriate methods of discipline…..but it’s a federal crime for a college football coach to have allegedly made vague off-the-cuff macho verbal remarks implying ‘softness’ of behind in a kid that has been medically cleared to play?
      Not implying any support for the latter, but how bizarre is the choice of what becomes ‘forgivable’ and what becomes ‘monstrous’ when dollars talk. Indiana Football does not make the world go ’round. Easy target(as was Sampson once the national media Establishment made Knight into the biggest monster in college sports).

  22. very little tolerance for a basketball coach that does not lead IU to final fours

    nor even sniff an Elite 8 appearance.

    An Elite 8 trip? Inevitably even more elusive for Tom Crean than going to a Final Four as a guest analyst for ESPN. A trip to the Elite 8: A level of March achievement done 23 times by 8 different Midwestern college basketball programs over the last seven seasons (2011-2017).

    Final Four? Don’t flatter yourself while tripping out the door. Crean didn’t sniff what was done 23 times by multiple programs all within a tank of gas from Bloomington. And many of those programs did it with Indiana kids who were never fervently recruited by the Indiana Hoosiers.

    Elite 8 Appearances (2011-2017):

    Conference Midwest Elite: 23
    Indiana Hoosiers under Tom Crean: 0

    Sweet 16’s shall forever be cherished as Crean’s Rose Bowls.
    Just one final note: A Sweet 16 appearance is four victories away from a National Championship. How pathetic they became so relished during the ‘Era of Apology’ at IU Basketball.

  23. PO, the people that don’t care if IU has a football program don’t really understand how it benefits the athletic program and endowments for the school. Those people are the problem with the football program but many came from HS without a football team or one that never had a very good team. Southern Indiana isn’t a hotbed of football talent so it is no surprise many don’t care about the OUFB program. The team isn’t going to slip back to “milquetoast culture” with Allen as the coach. Players will run through a wall with a coach that truly cares about them and if you notice the offers in the coming classes are going after higher rated players. Many recruits coming in to visit are very impressed with IU and its coaches. We now have facilities that look like B1G facilities so when players come in they see there is a commitment to the program. The coach most like Allen was Terry Hoeppner and his teams didn’t play like “milquetoast”. Wilson is just a throwback coach that hasn’t adjusted to the athletes of today as you don’t have to berate players to get them to play hard. I appreciate that he changed the culture of IU football but we often wondered if he hadn’t reached his ceiling at 6-6. Coach Allen gives IU a chance to rise about that level and bring in better players in the next few years. I hope like another HS coach that went through the college ranks before becoming a HC at a Power 5 team. Briles went through many of the same steps Allen has and turned out to be [only on the field] a top HC. Of course we don’t want the same results for off the field but the way Allen has handled the problem players so far it isn’t a concern [4 gone already for their actions].

  24. Southern Indiana isn’t a hotbed of football talent so it is no s

    I beg your pardon…..Jay Cutler? Rex Grossman?

    V13- I hope you don’t eat your words…I think you’re selling Wilson quite a bit short. He made IU football belong in the conference. Maybe the record and mediocre bowls can be sold as “ceilings,” but I began to see an IU football team that didn’t look like an IU football team. I saw competitiveness against the best in the conference. Some of those games may have even been tossed/lost due to Wilson’s unconventional methods and refusal to change to more risk averse football even in close contests. I don’t blame him for that. It was new territory….and stunningly quick transformation from a product simply dreadful to watch to one that was quite fun.
    I hope you’re right about the ‘improved’ future, but I wouldn’t jump too quickly in believing Allen can easily recapture that vibe. OSU doesn’t hire slouches. And unless you were present to see the sort of ‘berating’ that took place, it’s all speculation. It’s my understanding that Wilson never played anyone that wasn’t well beyond medically cleared. Question marks on pushing amateur athletes too hard surrounds all of sports(from junior high school to college)…Our own Hoosier basketball program had many wondering if that sort of pushing contributed to the many repeated knee injuries of certain “hard-to-replace” talents.

  25. And manipulating an athlete to play when not fully healthy can be just as easily achieved via a sundae with cherry on top ….than the spouting of some once in a blue moon, politically incorrect, macho locker room gibes. The former may be even more dangerous.

  26. Po, v13, I believe I know what got Wilson in trouble. It was something more personal than being hard on players. So no I don’t think anything to do with his tough guy demeanor got him into an exit situation. In fact I’d be totally shocked if that was not 1 of the paramount reasons AD Glass hired him. Glass evaluated coaches such as Lynch and staff as good people and fair x’s & o’s instructors but not near demanding enough for his image needed to challenge in the B1G. He knew he needed a culture change in IUFB and it began as soon as Coach Wilson hit town with Glass’s blessing and urging. If you’ll remember back, it was after the conclusion of the 2nd season well into prep for the 3rd Wilson became a little more amiable outside the locker room.
    Now speaking out of the other side of my mouth I do not believe AD Glass would have pulled the trigger if he had not had an Allen in the wings. For 1 thing he knew exactly how very high Wilson(and knew how very good an evaluator of men Wilson is)thought of Allen after his 1st phone call to him in Florida. Every outfit I ever worked for, with, or running my own company makes contingency plans for lots of scenarios. Glass makes contingency preparations too.
    Also I don’t agree Wilson reached his ceiling at IU as he had recruiting on a an incline.
    2 more cents added to the thread. Bring 2$ if you want a cup of(non-Starbucks)coffee.

  27. H4H, notice I said “maybe” when talking about Allen and talking about Wilson I said “we wondered if”. Wilson is a good OC [although he called some bad plays especially in the Red Zone] that selected some players that were better than rated. Allen showed last year he could take the same players and make them play much better that previous DC.
    I am not guaranteeing success with Allen and supported Wilson when he was here.

    The 2017 team is bought into improving and playing better. Notice in the bowl game and in the Spring Game there weren’t timeouts trying to get a play in. The Spring game showed that players are playing hard and the offense is adding plays for TEs and RBs that we didn’t see with Wilson. Check down routes for the QBs if receivers weren’t open and throw to the check down receiver TE or RB. Also notice how coach Allen is kicking players off the team for infractions [too bad we don’t hear what they did]. Allen is tough about infractions and not excusing players for their infractions. Coach Allen wants a team that follows the rules if they break major rules they are gone from the team. Then other players know why they were excused from the team and makes they work hard not to break the rules.

    Coach Gruden believes in this staff and thinks they can improve the team so we will have to wait and see if IU can do that with these coaches. The offensive staff has three coaches with SEC experience, Coach Hiller has a good record at the schools he coach, and Coach Hart has great playing experience and a good record of coaching 1,000 yd rushers in his coaching career. Coach Heard has put several receivers into the NFL drafted in the 1st or 2nd rounds and Coach Debord has coached a National Championship team as the OC with TN he had them averaging 36 points. Yes I know they had different level of players than IU but I am talking about DeBord’s experience. There are many reasons to think the 2017 team can be better than the past two years but we will have to wait and see how they do.

  28. V13- For decades, IU Football was the lonely castaway of college football unbeknownst and forgotten by all. From above a most distant star in the blackest sky above endless oceans in resignation came a gift of the sea; a steady deep-thinking friend with the salty spit to put to bed and curse forever our innermost demons.
    And then the sea just as prophetically took him back.

    But you’re still da man….when it comes to Hoosier Football.

  29. HC, do tell! What got Wilson in trouble? Your opinion on that issue is welcome. You don’t need to state it as a fact, just your belief. But I’d be interested to read it.

    Honestly, and I will expound on this theme a bit more in another string, but I don’t think Wilson has a lot of respect for Glass. I don’t think Crean has any respect for Glass. I don’t think these tenured Head Coaches see Glass as an effective AD, or as a person who is capable of “leading” an Athletic program. If you read between the lines, they both imply that there was not a lot of high level collaboration between the AD’s staff and their respective programs. If on of these guys had said that, you could write it off as sour grapes of a disgruntled coach who got terminated. But when two head coaches are intimating the same thing, you have to wonder.

    Let’s put it this way. I don’t think Wilson is the least bit upset about leaving IU. In fact, I think he’s relieved to be away from Glass. If that’s true, that should concern IU fans, regardless of what they thought about Wilson as a coach. As a CEO I reported to once told me, “the only employees we ever want to leave this company are the ones we terminate. Otherwise, when an employee leaves by their choice, we should consider that a failure and a loss.”

    1. I think you meant ‘thread’.

      What is a “tenured head coach”?

      While I realize there are exceptions I just don’t think there was much fan support for either guy. Of the two, Wilson probably had more support. CTC was a dead man walking since January. I’d say Glass supported both men longer than the fan base did.

      I don’t have any idea what they thought of Glass. As a general rule, if you don’t like your boss it’s not your boss’s problem. None of us on here knows what the dynamics actually were.

      As a fan and alumnus, I like both new head coaches. I didn’t call for Wilson’s firing and I supported CTC until it made no sense to continue to do so. I think we have upgraded but we won’t know until we do.

  30. Thus far IU football this time of year looks optimistic to go along with its traditional history. 2017 SEASON; IU football record thus far, UNDEFEATED.

  31. RE: Why Wilson was fired: “Tough guy demeanor” is not the same as hounding student-athletes into playing hurt. When I played high school fb (forty years ago, eegads!) a coach could get away with making a kid (initials GH, but I remember his name to this day) run wind sprints with a broken arm because “that bone doesn’t support weight, you run!” Times have changed, guys.

    “Risk-averse?” “Ignoring clear warning signs and thus very possibly setting back a program (that can ill-afford to be set back at all) ten years” might be another way of putting it. I agree that having Allen in the wings was a factor in firing Wilson, and not only ’cause Allen had done such a good job is such a short time; Allen appears to be just the kind of “inspirational” coach to unruffle the feathers stirred up by the “tough guy.” Don’t underestimate how Glass played this. KW got his extension while he was being investigated. But, of course, he was fired “for cause,” so the University didn’t have to pay out the extended contract.

    Of course, if IUFB had been 8-3 instead of 6-6 last year, maybe Glass would have been more “risk-comfortable.”

    1. I think you’re on target.

      My high school coach was quite a dick, too. At practice once a teammate blew out his knee. Coach decided he was slacking and simply moved the scrimmage downfield as the player was writhing in pain. The player got attended to after practice. He would never be able to play again.

      Adolph Rupp was once king of basketball. He was also a horrible excuse for a human being.

      My Marine Drill Instructor was tougher on his charges than those guys ever were but he knew our true value came AFTER he was done with us. Best motivator I’ve ever seen but he’d pull an injured guy off his parade field or obstacle course and get them to the infirmary immediately. Of course he’d be saying something to the effect that he didn’t want his parade field to have litter on it.

  32. I’ll bet a $ to a donut if edge rushers cause trouble for IU’s O DeBord will not have RB’s and TE’s out in pass routes but in blocking whether caused by OL injuries or not. I repeat Wilson put 3 TE’s from OU in NFL. Catching passes was why he went after ex-BB players like Fuchs. Playing for Wilson got Bolser attention for NFL opportunity. We’ll see.

    1. That’s all true but you don’t really need to release the TE on every play. You do need to establish the threat to release the TE. We didn’t do that last season and that allowed the edge rushers to tee off on every play and the corners to abandon the flat if the RB doesn’t release. A few passes into vacated areas and everybody has to read and react.

      Considering how fond CKW was of misdirection he often made things a little too easy on the outside defenders.

    1. Opponent game planning was just as I would have done upon, seeing a Frosh LT. Challenge with an edge rusher. Then pick up the pace as the RT and RG go down. Same thing happened in ’15’ to a lesser degree. Creating slim opportunities for receiving patterns vs. blocking responsibilities. Edge rushing is the bomb in the B1G and featured heavily against injured OL’s. Ask Ted Bolser about catching passes in a Wilson offense + Corsaro would concur.

  33. Wilson’s offense attacked the outside defense but not the middle if the defense. It made throws for the QB tougher especially in the deep middle as the LBs and Safeties didn’t have any other threat to cover. There are other ways to handle the edge rusher than never using a TE or RB over the middle. Quick passes, especially to WR either quick screens or inside release called many names like tunnel screens or ND screens. IU failed often on the tunnel screens because they didn’t threaten LB drops making them clear out. IU was good about RB side screens to take advatage of the edge rush but you need a variety of screens if that is the way you are going to attack the edge rush. I am sure with his experience Coach DeBord has ways to control the edge rush other than eliminating the TEs in pass routes.

    Chet, Semper Fi marine my DIs were much tougher than football coaches but they knew mom and dad were long gone and not looking over what we were going through. Also we knew and the DIs knew we were likely to be in combat and boot camp was our training for that future. Thankfully football isn’t like that and there are other ways to motivate football players.

    1. Naval Aviator. Back in the day Aviation Officer Candidate School included just under 4 months of Marine Corps TLC along with aviation academics in Pensacola. It was a team affair. Survival, weapons, and portions of hand to hand combat training were taught by Army Ranger ‘snake eaters’. Quite an experience for this Hoosier.

      I just recently learned they did away with it in the 2008. All Navy officer candidate programs were consolidated to Newport and all training is by Navy personnel.

      Pity. I don’t see how it could be the same. The Corps has always held a special place for me.

    2. 1st time I’ve ever witnessed anyone trying to convince whomever that Kevin Wilson doesn’t know how to create mismatches with his offense. Sorry Mark it was unconvincing. No arguing against the #’s his offenses have put up for years whether with very good teams or a little below average or against very good teams or below average. We’re going to find out if DeBord can do the same with talent considered to be developed above average. My hopes are cautiously positive.

  34. Thanks Po.
    Chet I did my intelligence training in Pensacola and many mornings [as in every morning] ran on the old Navy runways [they were from WWII that the Navy used. It was a good job for me in the Marines as I got to read all the secrets we collected from around the world. I learned a long time ago anything that went through the air is easy to intercept and copy [which is everything we use today].

    I hope the motivation that coach Allen and his staff provides makes very good change on winning games and not just playing close to the best teams. I know if you could coach college players like Marine Corps boot camp we would be national champions but football isn’t like combat so coches should treat players like I and others were treated at boot camp.

    1. I was sleepy and tired writing my last post as it should finish with “but football isn’t like combat so coaches shouldn’t treat players…”

  35. V13,
    I did a stint in OPS at Naval Base Norfolk which was also OPS for the 4th Naval District. The Russian compound that was shut down a year or so ago was in a direct line between the base and the FTS transmission tower. It was understood that all of our long distance calls were likely monitored. You can have some real fun with that.

  36. Chet we could see Soviet “fishing trawlers” off the coast where I was stationed in Guam and Homestead Florida. They didn’t catch fish but had plenty of antenna to capture signals from our transmitters while our big array of antennas were copying every signal we could pull in from the ether. Homestead was interesting because we were listening to the SR71 pilots flying over Cuba as Cuba was trying to shoot them down. There were many things for this young Hoosier Marine to learn as we collected all kinds of signals from everyone and I mean everyone.

Comments are closed.