Allen focused on staying the course

When it was all over last fall, Tom Allen sat down and asked himself the question.

His first season as Indiana football coach ended with a 5-7 record, unmet objectives and a sense of unfulfillment. It was a lot to work through, a lot to digest.

So as Allen dove into the offseason, the question lingered on his mind.

Why did IU not break through? Coming to terms with the disappointment took time.

“I really struggled with that at first,” Allen said.

To find the answers, Allen dug in and examined everything. He pored over film, dissecting plays and how they developed. He looked closely at all three phases of his team and, in some cases, even re-evaluated staff.

Since arriving at IU as defensive coordinator in early 2016, Allen has walked a line between realist and dreamer. He’s transformed Indiana’s defense into a platoon recognized among the nation’s best. He’s invited and embraced high expectations for what this oft-middling Big Ten football program can one day become.

And although Allen is disappointed by Indiana’s inability to meet each of its goals, qualify for the postseason and attain widespread relevance last season, his belief has never been stronger.

“I like where we are in our program and how we’re recruiting and the direction we’re going, how we’re building it, the kinds of kids that we’re attracting here and the development of those guys,” Allen said in an interview with The Herald-Times on Thursday. “I think that last season caused me to make some changes to things I felt like needed to be changed in order for us to ultimately reach that goal.”

Allen’s first 17 months on the job have proved instructive. He’s both learned about himself and tweaked his approach, all while fortifying his vision of an IU football program that competes at a high level once it learns how to finish.

Reflecting upon his initial campaign this offseason, Allen recognized aspects of the job that were more difficult than he imagined when he accepted the position in December 2016. He also felt reassurance, identifying areas that came more naturally to him than he first thought.

The hard parts — maximizing his time and delegating responsibilities — have been at the focus of Allen’s offseason.

For example, Allen has learned to say “no” more often. He’s being more selective about the community speaking engagements to which he commits his time. It’s nothing personal, he simply wishes to maximize his hours breaking down film.

Speaking of film, Allen and his assistants have had plenty to watch. In recent weeks, Allen has tried to delegate more responsibilities to his support staffers, breaking down tape of each Indiana opponent and their spring games.

Spring games? Yes, spring games, too.

“I never used to feel this way about them, but I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a lot of value in watching them, because it’s the foundation for what they do,” Allen explained. “Everyone says, ‘Well, yeah, you don’t want to show anything in the spring game.’ Well, you gotta do something. You gotta play ball. Yeah, it’s probably not going to be anything that you haven’t already shown, but I think it gives you a great identity of what that program believes in, offensively and defensively.”

Allen has also been soothed by the parts of the job that have felt natural to him, things such as juggling defensive coordinator and head coach duties within games and handling a staff.

“Being the head coach at Ben Davis — even though it was high school — I used the same principles then that I do here to lead this program and it seems pretty natural,” Allen said. “I was nervous about that just because it was the first time doing that (at this level). How you manage people, how you treat people, it’s really no different. There’s just more of them. Your principles don’t change.”

Even so, Allen was not averse to making a staff change where he saw a need.

That was in the weight room, where Allen replaced strength and conditioning coach Keith Caton with former IU fullback David Ballou. Allen hopes that transaction will bring more speed and explosiveness to the roster. Already Ballou, along with athletic performance coach Dr. Matt Rhea, has brought a new analytical approach to training and performance.

The early results on the field this spring were promising.

“I felt like we were just not meeting the standards that I had set for what I wanted us to be in that area,” Allen said. “We made a pretty significant change and I feel like we’ve already seen strong benefits of that.

“The future will tell, for sure, but I just really feel like in our type of program, we have to do a great job evaluating and a great job developing, and I didn’t like the way we were developing guys in that area.”

For Allen, the end goals are threefold: clinching a winning season, prevailing in a bowl game and, ultimately, winning the Big Ten.

And, yes, Allen knows what you’re probably thinking.

“That’s what I want us to be, to be competing for and winning the Big Ten East,” he said. “I know people will say, ‘Well, that ain’t ever gonna happen. Just try and get to a bowl game.’ That’s not me. I’m not just shooting for the bare bottom line and the lowest possible thing. I feel so strongly that we can do it here if we stay the course.”

The Hoosiers will be a younger group this fall, especially on defense, where they lost eight senior starters to graduation. With that youth should come more athleticism and depth, key components to building the type of Big Ten team Allen covets.

Although last season included its share of disappointment, the start of the offseason brought intrigue, as Allen and his staff signed a recruiting class ranked inside the top 50 by both Rivals (No. 45) and 247 Sports (No. 48).

Ultimately, that promise must manifest on the field before most observers can, understandably, allow themselves to fully share Allen’s vision.

In the meantime, the coach has shaken the disappointment from last season’s shortcomings, building belief within his program that his Hoosiers are on the right course.

As has been his approach since first joining the program, Allen met with each player on the team two weeks ago to talk. Not about their football performance, but about life. He wanted to understand where they are in their personal pursuits, how they’re families are doing and, yes, how they think this year’s team is shaping up.

“There’s definitely a lot of confidence and a lot of excitement about the direction we’re going,” Allen said. “They feel it and see it, too, which reaffirms it in my mind.”

He is both hopeful and confident, and with his second season fast approaching, Allen, a devoutly religious man, points to a passage from Galatians 6:9 as a guiding light.

“We can do it here if we stay the course and stay true to who we are,” he said. “‘Don’t get weary in doing what is right.’ It’s a biblical principle. ‘If you do not quit, you will reap a harvest.’ I believe in that. It’s my job to keep that vision alive.”

88 comments

  1. A lot of on the job training that will benefit T.A. in the at IU or elsewhere if things don’t work out as T.A. is in a win win both career and financially. Pride, ego, feelings etc is another issue whether he is successful at IU or not.

  2. OH NO! The article referred to T.A. as “a devoutly religious man.” That’s going to make some people uncomfortable, and I wonder how long it will take the religious bigots (or should I call them “secularists”) to begin criticizing him because he site passages from the bible and expresses his faith in public?

    On a more relevant note, I think the article describes the process of introspection that every first-time head coach must go through after their first year on the job, especially if they failed to achieve their goals in that first year. But without an experienced expert as their immediate boss (i.e., Barry Alvarez) to provide feedback and perspective, it takes more work and time for a new head coach to identify their strengths and weaknesses and then develop plans to improve performance. It’s not “On-the-Job-Training,” it’s more like On-the-Job-Discovery, and it takes time and a lot of mental effort. It’s obvious T.A. is not afraid to make changes, but let’s hope he’s also honest with himself, not too loyal to his assistant coaches, and is a fast learner. I really like this man and am pulling for him to achieve all the goals he has established for IU Football.

  3. There are those who are “devout”….There are those who are acts and overkill artists; devoted to trivializing faith and making it into twitter graffiti.
    If your level of competence grows in question alongside an insecurity as you build walls and refuse to be genuinely approachable and forthright(e.g. “refusing to own your losses as well as your successes”)…? Then the biblical blow turns as hollow and trivial as the rest of your act.

    I couldn’t own the faith spew from the basketball coach who walked on bottled water because he could never own the imperfectness and sins of man. He walks as if he is supreme….as he seeks every witch and villain in the mirror of his own model of perfection. That’s not faith of any sort…It’s only holier-than-thou vomit.

  4. Po: well put. Your mention of Alvarez made me curious: his 1st 3 years at Wisconsin his teams went 1-10; 5-6; and 5-6 before his team’s amazing breakout of 10-1 in year 4. His teams’ records the next 4 years: 7-4-1; 4-5-2; 8-5; and 8-5. It was a different time and under different circumstances, but I think it’s demonstrative of how Tom Allen deserves a real shot at establishing his program. Coach TA is a good man and one would be hard pressed to find another coach who has his passion for IU and the state of Indiana. Looking at Alvarez’s record at Wisconsin also gives some perspective for what a successful program at IU can look like. IU is in a very difficult division with the likes of OSU, PSU, Mich, and MSU. And IU shares the state’s borders with two other D1 programs; Wisc: none.

    I admire TA’s vision and goal for a league championship. The realist in me in me places IU in a position to be a very capable team that can routinely finish a solid 8-5 or 7-6, with the occasional team that catches fire and pulls out a 9, 10, or 11 win year. I like to think TA can take IU there and hope I am one of many Hoosier fans that are rallying behind him with support. Yeah, he will have some hiccups along the way and make his share of mistakes. Who doesn’t? I think IU football is positioned for success and Tom Allen strikes me as quite capable of leading a successful program. Go Hoosiers!

  5. Okie, if IU’s Trustees/President, Glass and the Hoosier Nation give him the support (attendance, budget, facilities, etc.,) he needs, there is no reason why IU, under T.A. can’t eventually produce winning seasons on a regular basis while catching lightening in a bottle (67 Hoosiers) once in a while. But that’s a big if, and getting steadfast support from IU, Glass and the Hoosier fan base has been a challenge over the years. I just hope T.A. learns quickly and produces that breakthrough sooner rather than later. While Glass may be patient and give T.A. more time than many ADs would give a new head coach, the football universe is not at all patient, and it will quickly reinforce the narrative about IU Football being a perpetual loser and write T.A. off pretty if progress is not made. Once that begins to happen, recruiting declines, the talent level drops, and the next thing you know, the team goes 1 – 10 again. Hiring a man who has never been a head coach and must progress through the learning curve without a lot of help may be cost effective for a limited budget program, but it has its risks too.

  6. Most football coaches are religious types. That’s fine. I don’t really care about anyone’s religion as long as they don’t try to cram it down my throat.

    Too many people feel the need to force their religion on others. My experience has been that, more often than not, they are more interested in my wallet than my soul.

  7. IU has given what they consider an earned (on the job training not discovery opportunity) if we are going to get technical. T.A. is learning as a first time head coach of a major league university (yes, IU is major league even in football). I like the idea of him being IU’S HEAD FOOTBALL COACH in relationship to IU football tradition and the state of where program has pretty much always been. T.A. has excellent solid success in his defensive college coaching jobs. T.A. has average success as head coach at B.D. H.S. by its standards which may or may not be relevant. Overall; good guy, good coaching background on defense, and high quality standards. T.A. and staff seem to be doing a tad bit better than holding serve in recruiting. = how many wins and loses. Everything on all the IU football blogs, media, etc are simply no more than repeats from the past in some form or another. It is definitely an on the job training experience for T.A. as he discovered who he is long ago. Yes, he and everyone learns and discovers things about themselves all the time. It is called life long learning. T.A. as defensive coordinator at IU was not on the job training because his background, expertise, qualifications were already there. It is not the same as head coach of major university. So, it is for T.A. on the job training. So far he is holding serve. Not bad for IU playing one game below 500 ball for first year as head coach at IU.

    1. Let’s not forget both Bill Snyder and Barry Alvarez had no college head coaching experience either. Appears their on the job training worked out pretty well after a few bad season to start.

        1. Agreed, everybody has to start someplace. Just saying there shouldn’t be a knock on TA due to lack of college HC experience. Many others have done so successfully.

          Truth be known the in the last 50 plus years arguably the biggest success IU has enjoyed using experienced head coaches, all have been former Miami of Ohio HCs. Including what Hep was in the process of building in that equation.

  8. Recruiting is the key. IU must get at least 3×4 star recruits in each recruiting cycle to reach Coach Allen’s goals! That is 3 out of 23-27 each year. B-Town and IU are great to sell! Identify talent, build relationships, focus all out on these 3 talented players, and close the deal. IU now has some solid success in developing players for the NFL.

    1. Few recruits care how beautiful is Bloomington, or any other town/campus for that matter. “What’s in it for me?” is the bottom line, and that’s the norm for anyone making the biggest career decision of his life. How beautiful the campus looks in the rear-view mirror on draft day is the real question.

  9. .500 OVERALL records are a mirage.
    Until IU Football posts .500 and higher records against conference opponents, everything else is merely Kool-aid drinking. If you expect the best out of yourself (whether in the mirror, your peers, or your god), you must also be honest with the measurements.
    IU Football will belong in this conference when they don’t need 3 or 4 softer non-conference opponents to paint a pretty picture over the same old canvas of being inferior against the pride of the Big Ten(and the “pride” is often really nothing to overly brag against some of the best in the nation).
    No such standards of “best” or improvement measures to be “better” would fly or survive on any earth or cloud in the world of basketball.

    I get the biblical stuff…It’s fine. But “stay the course” and “true to who we are” is a nearly frightening proposition as it pertains to historical interpretations of IU Football. Most fans believe we need to throw that old playbook out with the morning trash. We need program shock treatment and the shaking out of lazy standards of success built on a magical .500 run of cupcakes, 2-6 conference records, and a trip to the Vlasic’s Sweet Gherkins Bowl.
    Such lazy standards of success in basketball would never fly. Until the mirages of success for IU football leap from “staying on an inferior course” and into reality of strength against the best in our conference, it’s just more of the same old Kool-Aid. IU Football fans have had “faith” in improvement for far to long. We haven’t had a ‘First Coming’ for the fan base…We have only seen a team eternally inept as the “collection plate” still passes year after year to the ticket holders and the donors. I guess that’s why any proclamations of “being the best you can be” in relation to a faith is the sort of thing that could come across as insulting to an IU Football fan. IU Football fans have been bamboozled for decades and sold measures of improvement that are weak examples. God knows when we are selling deceptions or selling genuine truth….And so do most IU Football fans who understand .500 built on 2-6 conference records is the hellacious truth behind any preaching or mirages.

  10. That was fun!

    Chet, I don’t like anyone trying to cram their religion/faith down my throat any more than anyone else, but I never got the impression that our former BB coach was trying to do that. And I have no problem with those who publicly acknowledge their faith. That’s as American as it gets! There’s a difference between publicly expressing one’s faith and trying to convert people to one’s faith. I have no problem with the former, but a big problem with the latter, and tend to get very aggressive with people who are arrogant enough to assume I need to be converted to their religion. But at the same time, I get pretty aggressive with people who are intolerant of those who express their faith. Intolerance can easily and quickly become a cancer. And by the way Chet, did you ever get the impression that our former BB coach was trying to convert anyone to his religion or get their money…..for anything? As I recall, he had plenty of money, raised a lot more for people in need, and gave a lot of his away to charities; hence my confusion about why a few (disturbed) people were so intolerant and continued to attack him for expressing his faith once in a while.

    1. I never had an opinion one way or another about CTC and his expression of faith. He never seemed to be trying to fleece the rubes like a Joel Osteen so I couldn’t care less.

      By the same token I’ve known a couple people I referred to as ‘evangelical atheists’ who were nearly as obnoxious as evangelical Christians.

      Believe whatever you want as long as it doesn’t harm anyone and it stays out of my face.

        1. When I hear people saying religion in government or schools is a good thing I agree with the recurring meme showing the cat asking, “Would that be all religions or just yours?”

  11. Coach Allen knows IU needs to beat B1G teams and it may take another year to have more players recruited by this staff to know if they are bringing in the right players to win against the B1G. I think they have brought in very good players IE Penix, Fitzgerald, Burgess, Head, Whop, Ellison, Ball, etc. We will see this next season how well the coaches can develop them. 2018 will be about an offense with experince and a defense with inexperience along with inexperienced kicker. I hope the new S&C really make a difference on how well the players can hold up and play a whole game.

    1. V13,
      Like you and many others I am hopeful the new S&C program is as cutting edge as advertised. I know you have said in the past you believe it to be so. If it is, it should certainly be noticeable by the ’19 season, but I am hopeful to see meaningful results for this year. I am not sure how much of an overall effect on the field to expect. Will it have the effect of jumping a player’s level from say a 3 star to a 4? I think this is the question on most everyone’s mind and why there is caution in expectations.

      Not to be counting my chickens before the eggs hatch, but the question in my mind is if it is successful how do we keep Ballou and company at home for a couple years? It is obvious for IU FB to get out of its perpetual rut something out of the box will be necessary. Holding on to a strategic advantage such as a revolutionary S&C program could be the magic ticket long suffering IU FB fans have been awaiting. Kind of like being a cubbies fan waiting for a miracle that finally appeared.

      I know some might pan the idea of the S&C program creating such an effect. However, we need to remember there has been a long sporting history of revolutionary concepts doing exactly as I suggest. If the Cubs and the Red Socks curses can be broken, why can’t IU become successful in football? I don’t know, does Theo (the baseball miracle worker) Epstein have any college football magic we might borrow? Chicago ain’t that far away to ask.

  12. v13, T.A. has until the 2019 season to produce a winning season. After that, whether he keeps his job or not, he’ll be a lame duck coach. Recruiting will begin to decline, attendance at home games will decline, and the old narrative about IU Football will be reinforced. He may not get fired right then, but the program will begin to back slide and his days will be numbered. Forget about the duration of his contract, the reality is that a new coach has three years to break through and produce a winning season. The only exception would be if T.A.’s teams finish 6 – 6 in the regular season and go to bowl games. That would allow him to continue building momentum. On the flip side, if T.A. produces a winning season in 2018, next year’s recruiting class could be the best ever for IU Football, his contract could get extended, and the excitement and optimism about the program will mushroom. He seems like a very good man, and I’m pulling for him to become IU’s most successful football coach ever.

    1. Po,
      Unfortunately, I think you are probably right about TA having until ’19. If so, it will once again prove why IU will never be successful in FB. Such logic would have fired Frank Beamer at the end of his 3rd year. It took him until his 7th year to turn VT around. Turning IU FB around is a considerably larger job than fixing VT. Truth be known proportionally to Va Tech, TA would need 10 – 20 years to turn IU around at best.

      1. A couple things.

        Frank Beamer took over a winning program yet was still given more time. The Hokies had a pretty good year the season before his arrival as I recall.

        Another. Coach is so far ahead of Wilson’s results it is laughable. His one season is equal to Wilson’s best year. We didn’t have to suffer through any one win seasons.

        Coach Allen isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

        1. Chet,
          You are correct; VT had several good years prior to Beamer taking over. The years were so good they resulted in NCAA sanctions, which explain the good years and why VT was so patient with Beamer. The 7 years it took for him to turn it around were pretty miserable for VT, but their patience was rewarded with a great program afterwards.

          I like to use Kansas State as a better comparison as they are the historically closest program in proximity to IU futility prior to Bill Snyder coming to KSU. Before their major breakout season, Snyder went 1-10, 5-6, 7-4, and 5-6. At IU the regression back to 5-6 would have gotten him fired. I think TA is probably the best opportunity for IU since Hep of turning the program around.

          Big question is will Hoosier Nation stick with him with maximum support through the inevitable thick and thin process. It would be easy if TA has a breakout year in ’18 or ’19, but what if it is a Beamer like 2-9, 3-8, 6-4-1, 6-5, 5-6, and 2-8 before the 9-3 on the way to long term success? As bad as IU FB has historically been coming off major sanctions is not exactly a bad comparison for how much patience should be afforded an incoming coach. .

  13. As long as things are above board and has stable integrity T.A. should have six or seven years to build IU football program. What has IU and fans got to lose? Nothing because there just isn’t that much (history and tradition to lose). However, IU football has a lot to gain and so does T.A.

    1. t, you made the point perfect. What does IU have to lose? Po had concerns about declining attendance. I understand, but IU has pathetic overall attendance except for specific games. Half the crowd leaves before the game is over. Why not give TA as much time as he needs to turn it around? As long as he is doing as you suggested and working hard at it, give him time. IU FB is not a one
      to three (20?) season turnaround project.

  14. Guys, each of you made good points above. But I did not say that T.A. would “get fired” if he does not produce a winning season by the end of 2019. What I said was that he’d become a lame duck head coach and his ability to recruit the talent necessary to produce a winning season would decline, the fan support and optimism about the program would decline, attendance and football revenue would decline, and the effort required to achieve a “break through” season would become far more difficult. In fact, I doubt IU would fire T.A. after only three seasons. Unless he produces a couple disastrous seasons in a row (i.e., 1-10, etc.), he’s not likely to get fired by IU after only three seasons. That’s the benefit of coaching a program surrounded by such low expectations! A losing football season is no big deal to Hoosier fans. It’s the same old, same old, and we’re all quite accustomed to losing in football. Our only real expectation is that the football team does not embarrass us, either on or off the field. But three losing regular seasons in a row, and T.A.’s days would be numbered nonetheless. He’d probably keep his job for another year or two, but his ability to recruit the players and keep or attract the assistant coaches necessary to achieve a winning season would be greatly diminished because the old negative narrative about IU Football will have been reinforced. In order to transform an organization from a perpetual loser into a winner, it has to have some major impetus. And the longer the program has been a loser, the greater the impetus required to transform it. T.A., no matter how great a guy he is, does not have the reputation or history of winning as a head coach necessary to provide that impetus. There are a lot of great guys in charge of college football programs. The best players want to play for a great guy who is a proven winner. IU’s facilities, while improved, would not provide that impetus. And IU fan support certainly would not provide that impetus. So what exactly would provide the impetus necessary to transform IU Football into a winner after what would be 12 consecutive losing seasons?

    Referencing Frank Beamer’s early years at V.T. to support IU having patience is not appropriate. IU Football is at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to the V.T. program that Beamer took over in 1987. V.T. had gone to six consecutive bowl games before Beamer was hired, so V.T. Football had a history of winning. And Beamer was a proven winner before arriving at V.T., having established a record of 42-23-2 (.642 win %) at Murray State. He didn’t go through OJT at V.T.! He already knew how to be a head coach and how to build a winning program. Furthermore, Beamer took over a program that had just been severely penalized by the NCAA, significantly reducing the number of scholarships V.T. could offer for a period of three seasons (V.T. was limited to 17 scholarships in 1989). So, I’m sure V.T.’s “tolerance” was baked into the cake when Beamer signed his first contract, kind of like the understanding in affect when Tom Crean took over IU BB. You may think that good things come to those who wait, but I’ll suggest that in today’s world of college football, its only the things left behind by those who hustle. If T.A. does not lead IU to a break through season by the end of 2019, he never will, and by 2021 IU will begin the same old cycle all over again.

    Go Hoosiers in 2018!

    1. Po,
      I don’t disagree with the VT references being a little bit of a stretch, but the KSU references are definitely not. Until Bill Snyder arrived KSU’s history was every bit as bad as IU. Snyder was not a prior head coach but a OC. It took him some time but he did eventually turn the program around. Only difference is I suspect it is a lot easy to do this in the B12 as opposed to the B1G East.

  15. think, great post, and I agree with your reference to KSU and Bill Snyder. I’ve argued in the past that if KSU could do it, IU can do it.

    Look, I’m not saying T.A. can’t or won’t do it. I certainly want him to do it. And I’ve been very impressed with this most recent recruiting class and the fact that he has pulled in three experienced graduate transfers. That’s HUGE! And the best move he’s made, in my humble opinion, is getting an experienced, previously successful, highly athletic dual-threat quarterback. That could be the difference-maker in 2018. Assuming Dawkins stays healthy, I predict he will produce a lot more touchdowns in 2018 than we scored last year, taking pressure off our younger but more athletic defense. Dawkins gave some of the best defenses in the country fits while at Arizona, and Arizona never had a defense half as good as IU’s defense will be in 2018. So I’m hoping T.A. breaks through sooner rather than later, and I think we’ll have as good a chance as ever to do it this season.

    1. Po,
      Funny you should mention Dawkins being a highly athletic dual-threat quarterback (not just Dawkins but the QB stable being developed). I seem to recall a few years ago IU have another highly athletic dual-threat quarterback who gave defenses fits. Sad thing was Randle El just didn’t have many pieces around him, especially on defense. Not saying Dawkins is or isn’t as good. Just saying imagine what could happen if this young defense can hold serve and the offense regains some of the effectiveness missing the last couple years.

  16. thinkaboutit, what you think about is what many of are hoping for this season. If the defense can play like they have the past two years and Dawkins plays like he did in Arizona making the offense more dangerous then who knows what can happen this year. I just see how coach Allen is working hard to make 2018 a special year and getting players to buying into it. The graduate players should make weak positions stronger to help balance the team. The team will be young but with having more athletic players on the field in positions where young players can excel they could out play people’s expectations.

    1. V13,
      You pretty much sum up the situation. I can understand the negativity of the naysayers as we have been disappointed so many times. I believe the key question remains, will Hoosier Nation give a maximum effort over the next 2 -5 years. The team is young but does have more athletic players. TA will have to keep this level of recruiting not only sustained, but on an increasing pace to maintain a competitive level. He and his staff cannot do this alone, Hoosier Nation has got to finally step up and buy in all the way regardless whatever disappoint may come. How can you get the players to fully buy in if Hoosier Nation does not?

      That means there has to be rabid support both in the stadium and out. Can’t be a half empty stadium after half and IU still in the game. You may still lose but don’t think those kids your recruiting fail to notice. An established program might be able to get away with it, but not one trying to establish itself. Every aspect of the program has to go above and beyond if a successful outcome is desired.

      Hoosier Nation is the most indispensable part of the equation. Not reinventing the wheel here, this is what ever successful program out there does one way or the other. Only thing is, most of them figured it out a lot sooner than IU and Hoosier Nation.

  17. think, I’m not optimistic the Hoosier Nation will step up and increase its support for IU’s Football until IU produces a winning season. There are simply too many people who haven given up on, or who have never bought into supporting IU football. After years and years of losing, there are simply too many people who refuse to allow their hopes to be elevated or to invest any additional support (i.e., attending home games, etc.) to the program until IU produces a winning season. The season after Hep died, when Lynch lead IU to a bowl game, the Hoosier Nation provided support (remember the atmosphere at that Purdue game and that game-winning field goal?), partly due to their emotions surrounding the death of such a popular coach. But since then, support from the Hoosier nation has been dismal. Do you remember back in 2014 when Wilson’s team went on the road to beat 18th ranked Missouri by putting together a late TD drive. That was the first time in 27 years that IU had defeated a team ranked in the top 20. The next game was IU’s Big Ten opener at home against Maryland, and IU lost 37 – 15 in front of 44,000 fans. The problem was that the week before the Missouri game, IU lost to Bowling Green! Instead of being excited by IU’s win over Missouri and filling all the seats for the Big Ten opener, a large portion of the Hoosier Nation wrote the Missouri win off as a fluke or an anomaly. You see, the loss to Bowling Green reinforced the narrative and as to the extent that many fense-sitting Hoosier fans thought of it, that loss to Bowling Green ended IU’s season. Wilson was disgusted by the lack of support at home against Maryland and said as much to a TV reporter before or after the game.

    No, I’m afraid T.A. is going to have to produce some major upsets and a winning season before the Hoosier Nation is going to demonstrate increased support for his football program. Too many of them have been pounded into submission over too many years/decades of losing, and they simply refuse to invest their time, money or emotional energy to actively support the program until it proves it has been become a winner.

  18. Po, I agree that IU needs to produce some upsets to get the people excited about coming to the games. IU has had some full stadium big games recently but the team has come close but end with a loss. Change a couple of those games against UM, OSU, or MSU and follow with wins against other teams we should beat; you would see fans filling the stadium. I also agree this needs to happen in the next two years if things are really going to change for IUFB.

  19. IU simply has lousy game day fans, starting with the students. I was at IU from ’88 to ’94 when IU had some really good Mallory-lead teams. Regardless of the halftime score, the student section routinely cleared out, with easily a third to a half of the students not returning after halftime. As a PacNW native who grew up in a football state, I simply never understood that mentality. And again, IU had competitive, good teams. I had hoped that perhaps the rise of the Colts would’ve had a trickle down effect and inspired better IU and Indiana football fandom, but that apparently hasn’t been the case.

    The students of today become the alums of tomorrow. I have no idea how the mindset of IU students will ever change. It’s a stark contrast to the mindset of Wisc students (based on personal anecdotes from friends), who traditionally stay until the end. And who did so before Wisc became perennially good.

    Yes, there is plenty to be said that consistently good teams will put fannies in the seats. But the cultural mindset of the IU student body needs to undergo some fundamental change with respect to football. I fail to see how waiting another 2 hours to get to their precious partying makes much of a difference, but apparently it does for the IU students.

    I’ve only been to Big10 football games at IU, PU, and OSU. So I can’t speak to how IU’s football fans compare across the league as a whole, nor how the student fan bases compare. It seems to me that IU’s football leadership needs to make a concentrated effort to work with IU’s student leadership towards generating some real student enthusiasm for football. It’s no magic bullet, but it strikes me as a worthwhile component in creating a cultural shift about IU football in general. If the University’s own students don’t care about football, how can the general populace be expected to become excited over Indiana U football?

    1. Okie,
      Citing the Mallory era is precisely the best evidence of the total culpability of Hoosier Nation in IU’s continual FB woes. Mallory put some great teams on the field which should have been the building blocks for sustained program success. Yet the embarrassing lack of support during those years is a prime example of why IU FB has struggle so mightily.

      Love your bringing up Wisky, while back I wrote at length regarding the differences between Madison and Bloomington. Both are similar in philosophical leanings which makes them great for comparison. I refer to Madison as the smart progressives and Bloomington as the rather stupid progressives. Camp Randal seats nearly 90k packed full of cash for the university and the city. Memorial doesn’t seat nearly as many and most of the time you are luck to get it half full.

      Guess which FB program makes a heck of a lot more in revenue than IU BB will come close to making and it’s supposed to be the richest in the country?

  20. The are many factors in the lack of fan support for IUFB. WS has a football tradition as a school while Indiana has always been seen as a basketball state. The Colts coming has changed some things. ND and PU [when they have good teams] have fans that stay to the end of the game so some Indiana communities don’t bail in the middle of a game. I will point out that UM and Iowa games I have attended the fans stayed in the stadium so there is reason to think better teams will keep the students in their seats. Even as successful as NW has been lately they don’t fill their stadium so it isn’t just any IU problem.

  21. Okie, great post, and I agree with everything your posted above.

    I’ve been to every Big Ten football stadium except Rutgers, Maryland and Penn State. With the exception of Northwestern at times, IU’s game-day fan support has been the worst of all of them. I’ve heard Rutgers has been bad of late, but don’t know how it compares to IU. The problem is not just because many of the students leave at half time to party and don’t come back to watch the second half, but because a lot of the “adult” fans either don’t show up in the first place or do the same thing as the students. It’s really pathetic.

    I attended an IU game on a beautiful fall day a few years ago with my brother-in-law. IU was playing a good Big Ten opponent. My brother-in-law was an All American at Tennessee and played five years in the NFL. He a Volunteers’ season ticket-holder. Just before kick-off, he looked around Memorial Stadium and said, “this crowd is a joke! I can’t believe all the empty seats.”

    As I posted on this site years ago, my youngest daughter, who attended IU and went to most IU football games while she was at IU, told me of numerous students she knew who would brag that they had never entered Memorial Stadium and were committed to never watching an IU home game in person. As if that was some counter-culture badge of honor. She also said that many of those students were drunk at a tailgate party across the street before the games even started. While binge drinking is not unique to IU, it seemed to be a lot more important than watching their school team play a football game.

    IU’s dismal fan support is a big problem, and I suspect that it’s going to take a winning season to wake the Hoosier Nation out of its chronic malaise.

  22. PO- right indeed about the countercultural badge of honor thing. But have to disagree that winning will change anything. NU has won something like 26 or 27 games in the last three years, and has several B1G titles and a Rose Bowl in our generation, but that hasn’t increased NU attendance at all (lower than IUFB’s!). I don’t know what it is that will take IUFB out the chronic malaise, but it will take more than a couple of winning seasons.

    Also, you may be right that if there’s no breakout by 2019 then the downward spiral may very well set in, and TA may not get fired even at the end of a losing 2109 campaign, but Glass did extend Wilson’ contract without such a breakthrough so Glass may be inclined to give TA a longer chance to pull it off than he would get at most other programs. In that case, the non-pressure of low expectations may be just what the doctor ordered.

    1. Davis,
      I’m going to use your good posting as a springboard to raise an issue with Po & V13. Po is blaming the IU counter-cultural badge of honor thing. It may be true but there is no less a counter-cultural thing in Madison than there is in Bloomington. Which is why I said they are the smart counter-culture whereas the Bloomington counter-culture is quite stupid. Most counter-cultures have pipe dreams which require cash to achieve. Guess which group has figured out how to fund those pipe dreams?

      V13 believed the better support was due to Wisky’s FB tradition. Maybe of late, but if you go back and look at the history its not so good. Since Alvarez they have done quite well, but before it was hit and miss at best throughout a history as long as IU’s. Couple bright spots in the 60’s and 80’s but a lot of years similar to IU. Strangely enough, those bright spots in the 60’s and 80’s were nearly at the same time as IU.

  23. thinker- I took PO’s use of the term counter-culture in the sense of contrary to the conventional attitude that students normally wish their alma mater to do well in sports, not in the sense of hippie/existentialist/nihilist counterculture (although there’s plenty of that on most campuses; so much so that it’s actually become the status quo and hardly “counter” at all to the university establishment). I heard comments similar to the ones PO reports from frat rats to dorm worms to GDIs. Your comment about funding pipe-dreams is seems to mean that you think the hippies in Madison wanted a winning FB team and cared enough to do something about it. The hippies in Bloomington, and almost everybody else there, just don’t care. Put another way, not caring about IUFB is the status quo.

    1. Davis,
      Using the term pipe dream was just to make a point. The fact is, I don’t think the folks in Madison cared that much about having a winning football team for the sake of winning. It was more about how much money can we make for the university and the town. Everyone needs to do the local economic impact math of how much a filled stadium of nearly 90k produces on 6 Saturdays versus an arena of nearly 18k filled 16 or 18 times a year. You could add in a half filled/ half sized stadium next door and still not have as much economic impact as the folks in Madison receive.

  24. davis was correct in his interpretation of my use of the term “counter-culture badge of honor” in the above post. With the exception of our U.S. Military Academies, I’m guessing every university has their share of “hippies” on campus, just like IU. Those types may never care about their University’s college sports teams, and that’s fine. But the kids my daughter referred to were not hippies, just students who cared more about getting and staying drunk on football Saturdays than about watching IU play football. And one look at the parking lot across the street from Memorial Stadium on a football Saturday, and it was obvious that there were more students tail-gating than there were students inside Memorial Stadium.

    Bloomington, Indiana/Monroe County has a fraction of the population of Madison, WI, so it’s no surprise that Wisconsin will get a lot more people to attend their home football games. Even back in the late 70’s when my friends and I would drive up to Madison to watch IU beat bad Wisconsin teams, the local fans and students would fill Camp Randall Stadium. And the economy in Monroe County was not great when my daughter attended IU, and in relative terms, it still isn’t. I’m guessing a lot of residents of a County with a poverty rate of 24% have a hard time justifying buying football tickets and paying for parking while living on tight budgets. But that does not explain why so many Hoosier fans living in Indianapolis, Evansville, Columbus, etc. don’t attend IU home football games. I know road construction between Indy and Bloomington is a mess right now, but still, is it too much to expect people to drive two hours to see IU play a quality Big Ten opponent? I guess it is if you expect IU to lose.

    Someone questioned the impact that the Colts have had on IU Football. I have to assume that overall, while the Colts have increased interest in football throughout the state, they have had a negative impact on attendance at IU Football home games. If you’re a football fan, would you rather watch IU play (and probably lose) or watch the Colts play?

    In order to get more students and more Hoosier fans living in Indy, Evansville and Columbus to attend IU home football games, IU is going to have to field winning football teams, and a lot more frequently than just once every 12 years. Until they do, the negative narrative, hyper-low expectations and general malaise that has been a part of the Hoosier Nation for decades will remain in affect.

  25. Talking “passages” and how “devout” one lives their life may become more popular as the breakthrough seasons look more and more elusive…And who do we think might be responsible for such misguided uses of faith to appear untouchable and conceal shortcomings(personal & program as a whole)? Maybe…..?

  26. How many of you were fortunate enough to experience the production that was Leon Varjian in Bloomington before he became a legend in Madison? If you don’t know about Leon you are missing a good piece of IU and Bloomington folklore.

  27. Didn’t know about him. I do recall a flamingo and liberty head in frozen lake but didn’t draw any connection to him. I suppose there could be a parallel between what he represented and perception of past IU football tradition. Leon Varijan could be a good fun read as in a book… Not only all the funny things he represented but I think it would be really interesting to learn about the other side of him as well. (educator, teacher of the year, what may be referred to his serious achievements and what he represented) and then maybe it is best that he best be remembered for his funny folklore. There is quite a bit of information on him via Google.

  28. I just drop in once in a while. My take on Allen is that he over-promised and under-performed. Not good for any person/any job. IU recruited better but was still 20 points behind the division average. The Hoosiers can balance the playing field with graduating players who are not quite ready for the NFL. I hope IU’s QB, DT and C grad transfers all start this year. Let IU= Last Chance U for grad transfers. These are not character-issued castoffs or Juco wannabe’s, but former starters and college graduates who just want one more shot. IU offered and missed on most of these kids as high school seniors, now win them over as grad transfers that have proven talent on and off the field. Let Ohio State and Penn State talk about next man up. IU should be next man transferred in.

    1. Coach Allen admitted people didn’t take the word “breakthrough” for 2017 the way he intended. He explained what he meant by breakthrough to the team but that didn’t get out to the public and many thought it meant a better season in 2017. Coach has said he learned from that mistake which is why I think this season’s word is “Finish”. IU’s recruiting isn’t rated as high as most of the B1G but so isn’t NW’s but they routinely have 8 or more wins and play top teams tough like IU does. The improvement in IU recruiting just gives us a chance to be better and hopefully win some games IU isn’t expected to win.

      I like your take on the grad transfers and hope they play like we envision they will. On other news, Hunter Johnson is transfering and reported to want to move closer to home. IU’s advantage is DeBord and Sheridan recruited him for TN before he changed his mind and chose Clemson. IU, PU, and NW are the schools likely to get him but it is still early in the process since he just now has announced his transfer.

      1. Coach Allen admitted people didn’t take the word “breakthrough” for 2017 the way he intended.

        Huh…? “Breakthrough” was taken differently than the way intended? Only IU can have more meanings lost in translation than a Bill Murray flick….”Win Today!”…? Actually, we were talking about 10 more seasons of losing but with a winning attitude!…”We’re Back!”…..? Um….That was actually meant to mean we’re back to admitting Bob Knight was sort of a choking hazard. …”Hoosier Rising!”….? Well, that one was the fault of the IU Geological Society ….when they claimed the state of Indiana was 7 centimeters higher with regard to sea level during the Crean era. It’s not Crean’s fault that the fan base took it the wrong way. Tom fully explained the lost interpretation in his last ESPN appearance.

        IU fans..? They are so damn exacting and literal…I’m tellin’ you. Next thing you know, they’re gonna be saying that “It’s a process” should be signs of measurable improvement before they die. Breakthrough = Force for IU Football to get through a wall of Charmin while speeding out of the Memorial tunnel…..while touching the “Rock.” Did we explain that it’s not really a rock….? Consult Kyrie Irving….Nothing that chunky comes from a flat earth.

  29. Interesting perspective. I remember a few years ago either during Meyer era or shortly thereafter Utah (solid program except not playing in big ten or southeast conference) had older players on team.

  30. The older players playing for Utah and/or BYU tend to result from the Mormon missions those men take when they are younger. They suspend their on-campus education and football career for a year or more and then return to campus after they complete their missionary work.

  31. Hunter Johnon announced he will transfer and is looking to get closer to home.

    I put this in a reply but decided to add it to the end of this string of comments. IU has the advantage of DeBord and Sheridan recruiting him to TN before he switched to Clemson. Imagine if he came to IU giving the QB room a 5 star and two 4 stars together along with a starting B1G QB from last year.

    1. I have no problem with IU becoming transfer U, if they come in and contribute. Getting quality experienced talent is good no matter how you come by it. Experienced transfers are a great help especially if you are trying to change the course of a long term bottom of the football universe’s fortunes.

    1. t,
      I know a lot of folks want to see Reese Taylor get a shot at QB, but his height is a significant handicap. No doubt he is a fantastic athlete and IU was very fortunate to get him. I don’t see him in the role as a QB but I would love to see IU use him the way the Pittsburgh Steelers used Randal El. I could see him giving DCs a lot of sleepless nights in a role which would play to his strengths. Don’t forget Pittsburgh had Randal El throw it periodically just to keep the defenses honest. Could see him in a game breaker role, especially the highly mobile QBs now being assembled. Has the potential to force defenses to pick their poison.

    2. t, ESPN isn’t the end all on rankings and other sites had Penix at 4 star. I don’t go by ESPN’s numbers as they don’t have scouts at camps looking a players in person the way other sites do. The ratings don’t tell the whole story though just look at Mayfield Baker who was a walk-on. The only real measure is when they are on the field in games and I hope IU has picked good ones that will pan out.

  32. According to the news, Hunter Johnson won’t be transferring to IU. As I said a while back, you watch the Clemson Spring game and the announcers are talking about four or five HS All American QBs competing for playing time. You know that one or two of those guys are going to transfer ever year.

  33. These Indiana high school top rated qbs. I understand them wanting to go big. Peters to Michigan and Mich gets a highly rated transfer. Where does that leave Peters? Hunter to Clemson and now looking for a new home. It is great for IU to have a stable of legitimate qbs which the position though is still not proven where it has to be but is better from where it was.

  34. Po, the news isn’t accurate and Rival has checked in with others and found out IU is in play and Hunter went to Clemson due to the faith of the coach which could be why he may come to IU along with other connections at IU. I wouldn’t hold my breath on him coming to IU but they do have a chance to get him with the connections he has at IU. I am sure he will have a number of schools that want him so who knows where he will go.

  35. I honestly don’t think IU has even a 1 in 5 chance of landing HJ. He is a big time pro-style QB. That does not fit Allen’s offensive model. He wants to showcase his arm which is damn reliable. I hate to say it but he’ll most likely be a PUker.

  36. V. I understand that espn is not the only rating system. Bottom line, IU fb has at least what are identifiable qbs. (positive: improvement is being made at qb position) (negative: qb position was so bad that it leaves much room for improvement). Though it is true performance in games is the real measure, the ability or potential to get there has to be recruited.

  37. I agree with HC and for the reasons he referenced, and both of the two news sites I accessed said Northwestern is the leading candidate for where he will transfer to.

  38. That would be excellent on both sides. Northwestern, great coach and school. H.J. excellent qb. Fitzgerald is maintaining and has fb program going in a really positive direction. Fitzgerald and staff seem like a really really good place to play if you are a serious team player.

  39. I am not saying HJ will come to IU but early predictions on where he will transfer are not valid in my opinion. One article was written by a Purdue site writer. I don’t except HJ will come to IU but will be excited if he chooses the Hoosiers as it will help convince other top players to sign with IU. If he goes else where I think IU is now in good shape at the QB spot.

      1. HC,
        I think you are probably right on your assessment. I think the entire offense is being built to support mobile QBs. Unless HJ has that ability or the line is a lot better, your right, won’t be a very good fit.

      2. He was recruited to Clemson that has dual threat QBs and thought Hunter and he could fit with IU. I know he says NW but it IU coaches can get him to visit it could change his mind. As I said before, if he doesn’t come IU is in better shape at QB now but adding Hunter would be an improvement in the QB room.

  40. T.A. has made it pretty clear that his offenses going forward are going to rely on deal threat quarterbacks. He’s explained why he wants it that way in several recent articles. Basically, according to T.A. , an offense with a dual threat QB is much more difficult to defend. So unless this transfer from Clemson has been hiding his running ability, I doubt T.A. will invest time or energy to recruit him to IU.

  41. You’d think HJ’s story would be a cautionary tail for a lot of highly rated QBs coming out of HS. Go to a National Powerhouse program like Clemson, where you’re surrounded by 5-star recruits, and another one arriving the next summer, and you risk not playing. Go to a school like IU, where you’ll be, at worst, the starter in your second year, and you’ll get the game experience necessary to get noticed by NFL teams. Ironically, given his “pro-style” skills, HJ may be more likely to play in the NFL than the other QBs in Clemson’s Quarterback room.

    I guess it’s the stars in young mens’ eyes that keep them from thinking that way. Their egos get stroked and they get caught up in the thought of staring on a Powerhouse team, playing in front of huge crowds and leading their team to National Championships. Most of them don’t realize that there a three or four guys already on the team that are as good if not better than they are, and more coming in behind them. I guess I’m too practical in my old age, but if you’re as good as they say HJ is, you’d think you’d choose a school where there is a high probability that you’re going to be the starter within a year of arriving on campus. I hope this turns out better for HJ than it did for a former 5-star QB from the state of Indiana.

    1. One of my kids was only recruited by a single D1 school but he was in the starting lineup the minute he hit campus. There’s something to be said for that.

  42. This is from Sammy at Hoosier Huddle:
    Written by Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)

    The big news surrounding college football this week is the announcement that Clemson backup quarterback Hunter Johnson will be playing out the rest of his career elsewhere. According to Matt Weaver of Peegs.com the Hoosiers have a shot at landing the former Brownsburg H.S.(Indiana) signal caller.

    “Sources have told Peegs.com that Johnson developed a very good relationship with Coach DeBord and Coach Sheridan, and that is one factor that is working in Indiana’s favor.

    Another positive factor for IU is the relationship that Johnson and his family have with Indiana strength and conditioning coach Dave Ballou. Coach Ballou was the strength coach at Avon H.S. when Johnson’s older brother Cole played for the Orioles, and sources tell Peegs.com that the Johnson family thinks highly of Coach Ballou and the job he did working with their son.”

    Additionally Peegs.com has heard that, “A head coach at an Indiana high school has also informed Peegs.com that Indiana is expected to be squarely in the mix for Johnson whenever he makes a decision on where he plans to continue his college football career.”

    Johnson played in seven games last season completing 21 of 27 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson also played well in the 2018 spring game for the Tigers where he completed 8 of 14 passes for 85 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for a score.

    Johnson would have to sit out a year, but would have three years of eligibility left starting in 2019. After this season, the Hoosier QB competition will once again be wide open.

    With many connection and his relationship with the coaches at IU there is a shot he could choose IU as this article points out. I don’ t make stuff up, or exaggerates as someone here thinks, but read a number of sites for info along talking to other people.

    1. If he should become a Hoosier it makes what we thought not long ago as a wealth of riches at quarterback before injuries and transfers set in become somewhat laughable in comparison.

  43. Interesting stuff with HJ. If it plays out well for IU, QB room could get crowded. Don’t be surprised to see some transfers out if it does. If he does come, the team will benefit greatly even if he can’t play. Correct me if I am wrong but shouldn’t he be able to play on the scout team? If so, it would certainly challenge the defense much more in practice.

  44. NO BRAINER for IU fb if opportunity to get this caliber of qb even if offense has to be altered to suit qb from a small to somewhat larger scheme degree. Plus IU has been so malnurished (starved at qb) that IU fans don’t even know what a healthy stable of qbs look like. Improved yes, but nothing great. Due to lacking at qb much improvement is needed to get to above average. Right now, the needle has been moved in a positive direction whether HJ comes or not. However, if HJ would come to IU then IU would be solidly healthy at qb and if there is RESPECT for program then Penix and others should be willing to stay and work hard and wait there opportunity for whatever that might be… as other qbs have done at other schools rather than going to IU to play qb. (they set on the bench or play sparingly when they could have started at IU at QB or transfer to a smaller level of a football program. Yes, there are smaller level of fb programs than IU.

  45. v13, no one suggested or implied that you were making anything up. And I appreciate you posting that piece from Hoosier Huddle. I guess it boils down to which “source” one wants to believe, but honestly, I think they’re all just speculating. Maybe HJ can run and therefore fits Allen’s profile. Maybe HJ is so good a passer that Allen would make an exception. But based on T.A.’s comments in a recent Indy Star article, he definitely wants his offense lead by a quarterback with a strong, accurate arm who can also run. Maybe HJ fits that mold and we just don’t realize it because of the label that was placed on him (i.e., “pro-style”

    But I’d have to speculate that if HJ transfers to IU this summer, one of the guys currently in the QB room would would probably transfer out after the season. Going into the fall, we have four quarterbacks. Two are true freshman (Penix and Taylor), one is a grad-transfer, and one will be a redshirt sophomore (academically a Junior). Going into 2019 without HJ transferring in, IU would lose Dawkins, but still have three highly rated dual-threat quarterbacks competing for playing time. I’d have to guess Penix would be the likely starter going into the 2019 season. But if HJ does transfer to IU, we’ll again have four quality QBs on the roster for the start of 2019, and two of the four guys won’t get any playing time. The only way it begins to make sense is if Reese Taylor is converted to another position and never starts playing QB. Then the QB room at the start of 2019 would not be so crowded.

  46. Po, Taylor has said it wants to play CB but coach Allen has said he would have a series of plays at QB. If HJ comes then I wouold anticipate Taylor full time at CB. Taylor realizes his chance to play after college won’t be at QB hence his desire to play CB. HJ coming in wouldn’t impact the 2018 season but would 2019 when Penix is a soph or red-shirt Frosh with Ramsey a Junior. It would give IU a better balanced QB room starting in 2018 through foever I hope. With all the connection with IU’s coaching staff I would hope we have a great chance to bring in HJ.

  47. Currently, IU has a much better situation at qb partlly due to how bad it was before. These qbs though solidly rated, they are not really highly rated.

  48. At this moment I wouldn’t call it a slew of qbs by major league (including big ten)standards…More like getting up to average from poor with some potential. Some places this level wouldn’t be that exciting because they have already been at this level or are currently better than this level. However, it is a little exciting for IU because at least there are a couple true identifiable qbs on the roster now. I have seen this song and dance before only to see the qbs weren’t that much of a difference maker. This excitement is partly due to a starved for solid winning football season….Somewhat like Purdue experienced last year. 7 wins including bowl win or Minnesota type record in recent years, and that is what average kinda looks like in big recently. Then you have those aboveand the others fighting it out with the below average where IU fb is.

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