BTN analysts share their thoughts on Hoosiers

The Big Ten Network crew made their annual visit to Indiana’s fall camp on Monday, stopping in Bloomington for the first stop on their current 14-city conference tour.

Thoughts from Howard Griffith and Gerry DiNardo follow:

On the quarterback competition:
DiNardo: “I think it’s an issue of style. If you’re going to pick the quarterback that runs the ball better, it might be different than who you pick if you want to have someone who throws the ball better. I don’t think it’s all cut and dry who the best quarterback is. I think they have to decide, first of all, if they want to have a quarterback that can run the ball and then they can pick a quarterback out of the three. I saw some different styles out there.”

Griffith: “I came into this thinking (Brandon) Dawkins would probably be ahead of the other guys and when I saw it, it really isn’t that way. I think this is very close. The freshman is definitely gonna be in the mix. Ultimately, it’s gonna come down to who’s able to move the team and who’s gonna take care of the ball. I think the biggest thing is they have to establish the running game. Ultimately, it’s gonna be the style that they’re able to move the football with. I think they’ll have some help because now this offensive line isn’t as banged up as it was last year. They’re returning all these guys.”

DiNardo: “I just don’t know if they can run the ball well enough without a running threat at quarterback. I just don’t think they’re big enough or physical enough in the East to block some of the defensive lines. You give the quarterback the opportunity to run and install the option, it changes the whole perspective of the defense. It’ll be interesting who they pick. It’ll tell us a lot about the style of offense as well.”

On the running backs:
Griffith: “There are some guys there. They have some players. You talk about (Morgan) Ellison and he’s physical at the point of attack. You talk about these zone schemes, so it’s really about being able to set the defense and see if you can make the cutback run. They have some guys back there. I don’t necessarily know if they have a guy back there who will just take over this year. I don’t think so. I think it’s gonna be a combination, a running back by committee.”

DiNardo: “The offense is ahead of the defense. I thought they ran the ball really well today. Part of that is they have a very young defense. So it may look a little bit different in eight or nine days. But if they can run the ball during the season the way they ran it today, that’s a good enough run game — and it’ll be better than last year’s.”

On the defense:
Griffith: “I don’t know if they have a dominant pass rusher at this particular moment. It looks like they’ll have to be creative to do some things to be able to get to the quarterback to cause some pressure. That doesn’t concern me (with) Tom Allen and what he’s been able to do. You could argue that he had bigger names last year on this defense. He may have more athletic guys on this defense now, but we just have not seen them play as much. I think they’ll be OK and they’ll just have to rush the passer in myriad different ways. But not having that one guy that can go out and get to the quarterback is a little troubling.”

DiNardo: “In defending the run, I think they’ll have some issues there. But again, Tom Allen can scheme. They’re gonna have to add some extra guys to the box. They’re not just gonna be able to hold up on their own. Remember what Tom Allen said at media days about his offense. He wants tempo changes for his offense. He doesn’t always want to go 100 miles per hour with the spread offense so he can put an inexperienced defense back on the field after 45 seconds of the clock. The defense is gonna develop. They’re gonna have to add people to the box and be creative, but they need help from their offense.”

On the depth of the team:
Griffith: “Particularly if you look at it from the offensive side, the receiver position, any of these guys can step up and make plays for you. I think it becomes more of a competition. Nobody takes a back seat because they believe there’s one superstar on the team that they’re gonna try to force the ball to. So from a defensive standpoint, you’re gonna have to guard the entire field because you don’t know where that football is gonna go, at least early. So I think that may be a benefit for them to be able to spread the ball around. The one question I would have would be at the tight end spot. I don’t know that they have the big time tight end yet. He hasn’t emerged yet. But they got to be able to find that guy.”

DiNardo: “Tom Allen said they’re deeper on the offensive line (than at any point) since he’s been here. That’s a really good sign. I think they’re gonna have to run the ball, control the clock some and protect the defense. I don’t think they can go without running the option. I do think they’ll wind up picking the quarterback that runs the ball better, especially if there’s not a big difference in the three throwing abilities.”

102 comments

  1. WOW!!! The Big 10 commentators did not have a very good impression of the current team. Both commentators talked about Indiana losing ground to Purdue. They where very polite in saying that Indiana football team had no standout players (consistent talent/players) this year and that the Offensive line was not big enough to run the ball in the BIG 10 East. Overall this visit by the Big Ten network left me with more question than answer, about the upcoming year.

    1. DiNardo is forever trying, unsuccessfully, to resurrect his career as a coach. He had some decent years at Vandy raising them to 500. He was a total failure at LSU! He was a total failure at IU! What does he “really” say: 1) IU will have to have a decent running game including the QB to be successful (we all knew that); 2) he thinks that our O line is not good enough, that our RB’s are not good enough (Allen likes them); 3) he does not “know” a standout D rusher on IU’s team (I agree we need one to emerge early in the year). Griffith sees some good players and some holes. Purdue is much improved, but they beat IU by 7 at Purdue when IU did not have their #1 QB and Purdue was on a roll. We will see them this season in B-Town!

  2. “I just don’t know if they can run the ball well enough without a running threat at quarterback. I just don’t think they’re big enough or physical enough in the East to block some of the defensive lines”.

    “I don’t necessarily know if they have a guy back there (running back) who will just take over this year. I don’t think so”.

    “I don’t know if they have a dominant pass rusher at this particular moment”.

    “In defending the run, I think they’ll have some issues there”.

    “I don’t know that they have the big time tight end yet. He hasn’t emerged yet”.

    I’m so disappointed with the unwarranted and overly negative coverage and comments. I am not a so-called expert, but I have much hope for this team. Along with the speed and strength coaches, we will undoubtedly be better this year, at QB, at Running Back, and along the OL. We will be fine at DL and in the Defensive Backfield. We do have some questions at TE and at LB, but with Roof’s eligibility approved, and the return of Willis, and quality, but yet unproven depth, I think we’ll be fine at LB. I also believe that the uncertainty at TE will sort itself out. I believe this will be a GOOD IU Football team. Our biggest challenge, is not any unknown issue with our own team, but rather being placed in the toughest football division in college football.

    1. raybo,
      Before you get too bent out of shape over the comments, remember where most of them came from, Gerry DiNardo. The same guy who had 3 forgettable seasons in Bloomington. Why he was ever hired in the first place is still a mystery to me. You have a coach fired because won only 6 games in his last coaching gig. Did I say where? Oh Yeah, LSU. If you can’t win at LSU, you can’t coach.

      btw, Can’t let you get away with the comment about the B1G East being the toughest division in college football. As much I hate to admit it, the B1G east isn’t even close the the SEC west and the SEC east is fast closing in on the second toughest. I’m born and raised B1G, but you have to see the SEC west to believe it. The concentration of football talent in the SEC west is second only to the NFL.

      1. Talent may be more concentrated and prevalent in the SEC, but pure talent is relative to how it’s utilized and developed. And if it’s so concentrated in the SEC, then it will also cancel itself out and beat itself up by going against each other on a regular basis.

        I know it’s apples and oranges, but did Bob Knight always have the most talent at a Final Four? Yet, he won it all in 3 of the 5 trips once at college basketball’s premier destination.

        IU doesn’t need to be better than even a middle road SEC team at this moment in time. They need to prove they belong in the Big Ten. They need to upset many long held conceptions about IU Football. You must embrace being under the radar and relegated to the category of “chopped liver.” Opportunity will one day knock at the door for IU Football….Reminds me of an old line from one of my favorite old-time movies, “Best of Times,” staring Robin Williams as Jack Dundee. *(spoiler alert).

        Wife(speaking to Jack Dundee after the big game): “You weren’t lucky. You were due.”

        And when IU is finally due, I would not want to be one in the way of the stars aligning. Consistent dominance is overrated and oversold. Names are forgotten. All records are one day put to bed and given a proper funeral. IU Football has all the winning in the world in front of them. There is something freeing in never being known as a “has been.” IU Football is a “will be” and they are due.

        1. I really like my last paragraph above….I would suggest posting it in the IU Football locker room. Maybe one of the more inspirational things I’ve ever written on this fart tunnel known as Scoop. Hate to brag…but it’s good stuff.

  3. I never did hold DiNardo’s football prowess in high regard. If he hadn’t played for Ara we would not even know his name. Griffith himself is questionable talent evaluator. They’ll do a much better job of assessment with the top programs in the conference. But who the hell can’t. High profile jobs without much credible qualifications for holding them.

  4. Raybo333, I agree with you. Rather disappointed in the B10 Network’s assessment of IU, but like you I am optimistic! I prefer to look at it this way…last season IU was able to compete in many games but fell short. IU fell short due to an inconsistent running game, an inaccurate QB, & an offense that had to work with a number of injuries. I know it’s a BIG if, but if IU can run the ball, control possessions and occasionally punch the ball downfield to its WRs I truly believe they can sneak up on a team or two. IU doesn’t have defensive experience like Tegray Scales , Chris Covington or Greg Gooch but I am confident that they’ll have a competent defense. Nile Sykes can play. I think the LBs will surprise folks. DBs will be strong. Very encouraged to hear good things from RB Stevie Scott; & that WRs Westbrook & Hale are healthy. Last year after Ramsey got injured Lagow couldn’t press the defense as a runner. This year I think all 3 of IU’s QBs can offer that option threat. B10 crew never speak well of IU. They’d rather gush over the OSU, PSU, MSUs & Michigan’s than lower echelon teams like IU. That takes no talent on their part. It’s easy to cheer on those teams. Long suffering IU fans deserve better. I’m optimistic about this IU team! Go Hoosiers!!

      1. Yes. I should have clarified that. I like Ramsey a lot. But to be consistent , IU lost a lot when Ramsey went down. He didn’t have the arm strength or zip that Lagow possessed but I will take accuracy over zip any day. Ramsey was a threat to run whereas Lagow wasn’t. That hurt the offense.

  5. DeNardo, Griffith, and others like them; where will we be this week? OK, so we will go eat here, have a drink and, and play a round of golf on these days and visit him or her. Great that sounds good to me. I’ll meet you here to evaluate this or that football team. Ok. We will use last year, and past history while taking a fairly quick glance at practice. Then, come up with an analysis report to turn in. Sounds good. What time are we going to meet for dinner? OK, I’ll meet you there with the others. And tee time is what time tomorrow? Great gig if you can get it!

  6. Their comments are disappointing but hardly surprising. IU has no known stars on this roster. What we do have is a lot of young talent whose best performances are hopefully still in front of them. They’re really going to have to play together, as a cohesive unit, if they’re going to upset any of the Big Ten East opponents.

    As for the value and impact of the new S&C coaching, my guess is that rather than allowing IU to leap-frog over other Big Ten teams, the new S&C program will allow us to catch up with all the other Big Ten East teams. I doubt we’ve suddenly surpassed anyone in the conference, but instead are now on the same level. That’s probably a big improvement, but I don’t think we can count on that pushing us past any other Big Ten East powerhouses.

  7. What the next two seasons will tell IU Football fans is whether promoting a DC to the position of head coach is a winning strategy for a historically weak football program like IU. It will tell us whether Glass was right in hiring a really good but relatively unknown DC, with no head coaching experience. Or it will tell us that in the future, IU will need to hire men who have proven themselves as a head coach in building a winning football program. I’m hoping T.A.’s passion, character and commitment will be enough to attract the talent necessary to allow IU to produce a winning season. As I see it, T.A. has the 2018 and 2019 season to break through. After that, all the good will and optimism bestowed on him will begin to evaporate and the old negative narrative about IU Football will return in full force.

    1. Po,
      I see only two problems with your solution should TA fail and IU want to hire a coach who has, “proven themselves as a head coach in building a winning football program.” First, please tell me what coach with such qualifications would come to IU? More than likely they would be a hot commodity for another, more attractive position. Secondly, do you actually see IU anteing up enough cash to actually get them here? 2 or 3 million ain’t going to get the caliber of coach needed for such a task, it will take a good bit more and with a lot of guarantees.

      1. And what if the “big name” doesn’t get it done in your timetable for Tom Allen(only 2-3 years)? What then?

        We did flush 30 million dollars down the crapper for a basketball coach who could never get us past a Sweet 16(even in a season with a #1 nationally ranked team). We’ve already given a “big name” with “big tongue” 10 seasons and a bulldozer bucket of gold bullion to “breakthrough” to a Final Four in our other “major” sport. Did it work?

        I like the way our programs are headed. Bigger intelligence, bigger belief, bigger heart, and bigger genuineness is the pathway to success. A “bigger name” will just come in and drain the cash reserves once again…”Oh, well …I tried. Jesus, himself, couldn’t turnaround that dud of a program. I’m heading back to Notre Dame richer and wiser.”

      2. It’s kinda of like the definition of insanity. Keep doing the same things that don’t work over and over again expecting a different result. I believe that could also be defined as IUFB as well.

        1. The definition of insanity is actually being an IU Football fan….Scoop is already a funny farm. Hell, we even have an SEC expert who flew northward over the cuckoo’s nest during mating season.

    2. Not a bad summary. My bet is on Coach Allen! In one year his defense went from weak to good! Last year he started with no QB. An unheralded red-shirt freshman almost led IU to a bowl, before injuries benched him. IU now has 3 good starting QB’s, each better than any QB on the team last year. Westbrook, Hale and Whop are among the top 10 B1G WR. You add Scott and Walker (the new redshirt rule) to Morgan and Gest and I like our RB’s. I think this O line is going to be very good (Martin to the pros after this season and Cronk next). Go IU beat PSU and Purdue at home and “Breakthrough”!

  8. I didn’t view any of the comments from Howard Griffith and Gerry DiNardo as very damning. Considering we have a coach just entering his full second season, it’s no surprise to see some question marks in particular areas. But analysts are all alike(very much like a typical Podunker post)…They are all over the place to cover their butts from, heaven forbid, ever being wrong about any assessment(particularly ‘overall’ assessments). And their true lack of study/expertise on the topic is easily evident in some of their habits…
    They say things like “they have some guys over there”…because they don’t honestly know the names nor have they studied the team enough to give us something more definitive in an opinion(not that it would be anywhere closer to being correct with more known details). They also add many “buts” to sentences to always leave a door slightly ajar to cover the remote possibility of being wrong(“remote” with a full dose of sarcasm). If opinions were doors ….analysts are specialists in building revolving ones.

    I’m not afraid to be wrong because nobody is paying me to be right. And who in the hell needs an ego to always be right on a silly blog? The names on this blog are not names you’ll find on a football team roster, sports journalism association, media guide, phonebook, etc, etc.

    IU Football is getting better. Tom Allen appears to be a committed man who loves coaching the game(see how I used “appears” to leave my opinion door open?). I think this new momentum all starts with the coach and Allen may just possess the “it factor” that gets Indiana Football off the floor(a.k.a. “breakthrough”).

    There are some dynamics at the qb position which aren’t typical of the past. There is size along with athleticism. There is true running potential. It will make for a more entertaining team to watch.

  9. Phil Dickens…?
    Did he write “A Christmas Football Carol?” I mean, we are the ‘Tiny Tim’ of the BigTen always on one crutch.
    Once in a ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ we go to the ‘Extra Lump of Coal Bowl.’

    1. Damn…I just had a visual of ‘Tiny Tim’ in a chrome IU football helmet. The weight shifts…The crutch snaps as Tim tumbles hard. Mother fumbles the flaming bread pudding…Bob Cratchit on fire. Children screaming….
      Now that was disturbing.

  10. BTN commentators are basing their observations off how things were last year and what the defense lost this year. For example Dinardo sees our RBs doing better and the OL opening holes as the defense is in trouble this year. He doesn’t see the OL as much improved or our RBs faster than before. I understand as they don’t want to project good things and IU has a 4 or 5 win season like usual. They won’t know and we won’t know about this team until they play other teams. We hope and have some evidence that improvement and experience last year will pay off this year. We believe our defensive coaches will have another good defense on the field but the commentators don’t see that. They ignore the defense was bad with the players we lost until coach Allen and crew showed up. They took a very bad defense and made it good so I have no doubt the defense will be good this year.

  11. My response to a few of the above posts:

    think;
    IU did it with Pont, Corso, Mallory, DiNardo and Hep. It worked relatively well with four of those five coaches. Then under Glass, IU seems to have given up on trying to hire an experienced head coach. Given the improvement in facilities, I’m confident a coach of a mid-major program would see the IU job as a step up in his career and a major increase in compensation. Coaching in the Big Ten is itself a major advancement for a football or basketball coach. We may have to increase compensation to hire such a coach, but that is not to say that we have to pay a compensation package in excess of the Big Ten’s midpoint. And regardless, we’ll have to increase coaching compensation anyway if T.A. leads IU to break through. One way or the other, IU will have to pay a competitive wage if it wants to get or retain a proven head coach. I suggest Iu embrace Arizona’s football coaching strategy. Both Rich Rod and the current head coach were cast-offs from bigger, more prominent programs (Michigan and Texas A&M). One school’s disappointment is another school’s savior. It’s all relative to expectations.

    HC, you’ll continue to hear that same rant until IU produces a winning season. The fact is that the strategy of hiring successful Coordinators to become IU’s head coach has not produced a winning season for a decade! So yes, why continue doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? If the Hoosier Nation cared one tenth as much about football as it does about basketball (like most Power-5 Conference schools), Glass would have been run out of town by now for his failure to hire a coach who could win. Glass has kept his job because of the Hoosier Nation’s chronically low expectations and apathy regarding football.

    1. Wilson provided bowl seasons…and .500 records. Had he won the bowl(if a kicker makes a simple kick barely more than an extra point), it’s technically a winning season. He did move the culture of the place and had he not been nitpicked for some minor indiscretions(he wasn’t beating his wife…He was ribbing some players about being ‘soft’), nobody can predict where he would have taken the program. He placed two very highly talented running backs into the NFL. He made IU Football exciting and far from blasé with some faster pace and inventive/dynamic offense. He had just brought in a very good defensive coordinator….Could Wilson and Allen have made a lot of noise in the BigTen East if they had they stayed together? It’s very possible.

      Wilson was fired…It wasn’t a failed experiment. He made the turn with IU Football. Peers were respecting IU Football for the first time in decades. We were putting up points….The recruiting cycle can take natural dips and Wilson was, coincidentally, fired during a slight dip in talent and some untimely injuries at key positions. He was not a failure at IU. Whatever you may think of OSU, they don’t hire dummies or failures.

    2. Po,
      I would not consider Corso’s tenure, as much fun as he was, relatively successful. 2 winning seasons in 10 years is not successful and DiNardo was a disaster. As for the other 3 who were relatively successful, all 3 have one thing in common, Miami of Ohio. Pont, Mallory, and Hoeppner represent the most success IUFB has enjoyed in the last 50 years. I’m giving Hep the benefit of the doubt in that had his time not been cut short, I believe he would have been quite successful. All three came through the Miami of Ohio program at one time or another.

      Problem is waiting for Miami of Ohio to create another successful head coach for IU to poach before someone else does.

  12. Poltergeist at Memorial…? It wouldn’t surprise me if the whole place was stoned. It’s not like there hasn’t been an ominous dark cloud building for a very long time…

  13. He was fun and knowledgeable with a decent background. He had an upset win against Iowa. However, it is not even close to realistic to give him benefit of doubt for success or failure. Simply, it will just never be known.

  14. Beating the dead Wilson horse is ridiculous at this point. He had plenty of time and, in his most successful year, he won exactly one more game than Coach Allen did in his debut season. We haven’t experienced any one or two win season’s with Coach Allen.

    I believe it was Bill Parcells who said, “You are what your record says you are.”

    That applies to Coach Wilson, too. His record was nothing to marvel at. He did a lot of good things. Winning seasons wasn’t among them.

    1. Come on, Chet. Wilson inherited a far worse situation than Allen. Allen inherited a team ready to go to a bowl….
      Wilson inherited a scrubber for a toilet bowl. He took a program from beyond ridicule and built an offense that challenged some of the best teams in the conference. And though they didn’t win most of those conference games, the mere fact we were challenging the best teams of the conference was a stunning turnaround.

      Allen was still riding some of that momentum after the abrupt firing of Wilson.

      You are rewriting history, my friend. There was exciting football with Kevin Wilson. Questionable play calling but talent levels not typical of Hoosier Football(especially at running back).

      Allen is a fine man….but the jury is still out on what he can build on his own.

  15. Corso produced IU’s first Bowl-game victory, beating BYU, a top-ten ranked team in the nation at the time, in the Holiday Bowl. He also produced victories over a top rated Univ. of Washington Huskies team. Keep in mind I said “relatively.” Corso’s problem was his non-conference schedules. He played highly ranked powerhouses like Nebraska and LSU, which beat the hell out of his outmanned squads, and when the Big Ten season began, IU’s players were so beat up they could not stay with conference opponents.

    It does not have to be a coach from Miami of Ohio. It could be one of dozens of mid-major programs across the country. Or, like Arizona, it could be a relatively successful coach who got fired from a more prominent football program with higher expectations. Yes, those men command more money than a Coordinator getting his first head coaching job, but if, as Rich Rod did at Arizona, the new coach leads IU to four consecutive winning seasons and four consecutive bowl games in his first four seasons as the coach, the increased compensation would be a non-issue. In five out of the six seasons Rich Rod coached Arizona, he produced a winning record and lead his team to bowl games. I’d sign IU up for that right now, no questions asked.

  16. FYI, the reason you hire a proven head coach is that he inspires confidence in a greater number of more talented players who want to play for a winning program. This is not rocket science, but Glass seems to think he knows a better way. The truth is, Glass is just cheap and risk averse when it comes to football. His lack of confidence in his ability to help build a winning football program is disconcerting.

      1. Why do those who have already made a lot of money as a head coach need anything to prove at Indiana. If you have your magnificence to prove, take the Indiana job on a baseline salary. If you turn it around, you get a 10 million bonus at the end of year 5. If you have been found to have been guilty of recruiting violations or anything to harm the reputation of Indiana, you forfeit the bonus.

  17. Last year, DiNardo and BTN thought IU would take a step back because of a lack of playmakers and an undersized offensive line. I was angry and didn’t think they knew anything about the team. We had an experienced QB, two 1,000 yard receivers and almost all starters returning on defense. Last year was going to be the ‘break through’. In the end, they were right. So this year, I hope the team outperforms expectations. And I’m just trying to keep my expectations in check.

  18. HC, my thought process is sound and I’ve been consistent on this point. Obviously, there’s at least one Big Ten football coach who agrees with me.

    Glass defines risk in terms of expense; or money. In other words, he can tolerate losing seasons because IU Football’s coaching compensation expense is the lowest or second lowest in the Big Ten. I think Glass defines success as “not over-spending the football budget.” Risk to Glass would be to bet on the come, spend more money to hire a proven coach and still have weak attendance and losing seasons. It’s as if he does not believe its possible for IU to win at football, so why risk spending more money?

    Glass is a competent bean-counter who creates self-fulfilling prophecies and who celebrates finally bringing IU’s athletic facilities up to par. As if those new/improved football facilities will give IU an advantage over the competition. They’re very nice, and I’m glad IU has built them, but all they represent is that IU is finally catching up with the other schools in the Big Ten.

    But back to my original point. I really want T.A. to be successful and produce that break through season. As I see it, he has two more seasons to do it. If he doesn’t, the program will begin to backslide, recruiting will decline, attendance will decline, and the old pessimistic narrative (IU will never be good in football) will return with a vengeance. IF that unfortunate scenario occurs, IU will have failed to produce a winning season with Glass as the A.D., and therefore he should depart IU at the same time his football coach does.

  19. I thought Glass should have departed when Crean was fired…I mean, he was basically hired by Crean. Waiting for a notoriously bad football program to fail is like waiting to exhale…Why hold your breath now when you weren’t willing to hold it for 9 seasons of never getting past a Sweet 16…while 10 other programs from the Midwest achieved a collective 25 Elite Eights or higher over the same time span?

    This sounds more like getting tough on Glass now that your favorite bad coach is gone. We finally have a quality basketball teacher at Assembly Hall. Fred will go as the basketball program goes….That’s why he had to finally exhale and make a change. Too much heat was upon his doorstep. It would take some very pathetic seasons at Memorial for that heat to return. Romeo is here! Bozo has left town.

  20. OK, so, if Coach Allen wins 6 games and squeaks the team into a bowl game and wins it will you guys give him credit for achieving something Wilson never did or will you, two seasons removed from the Hoosiers and with his star apparently fading at OSU, give the credit to Wilson ‘because of what he built here’?

    Wilson improved the program but he never won anything. He took the Hoosiers from ‘really bad’ to ‘not very good’. I suppose it has always been about expectations but who doesn’t expect that the Hoosiers will do better in their second year under Coach Allen than they did in their 5th year under Coach Wilson? How is that reasonable? Five years in Coach Wilson had everything in place that was ever going to be in place.

    Quit pretending he achieved more than he did. He had plenty of time to produce a winner. He never did. He will never be confused with Bear Bryant as a coach. As far as what he actually accomplished he was a less charming (and far less successful) Lee Corso.

    1. I always considered Corso more goofy than charming and typified the very image the IUFB reputation W/L lowered to. For his tenure in Bloomington I considered him the Soupy Sales of collegiate football. Pretty low, pretty sad.

      1. All true. That being said, Corso’s teams played among the toughest non conference schedules in the nation and took on, and beat, a top ten team in a bowl game.

        Coach Wilson never approached such rarified air.

        Corso may have been a clown but he was far more successful than Wilson.

          1. Which was still more success than Wilson. What was his highlight?

            Corso’s teams played brutal non conference opponents while Wilson’s played the standard Little Sister’s of the Poor schedule. Yet Corso left with a higher winning percentage than Wilson.

            You were what your record says you were.

    2. Have your opinion, Chet. I still believe Wilson brought some backbone that was never present at Memorial Stadium. He didn’t allow reporters to berate the program. He knew how to relate to players while building a mindset to be proud of the jersey.
      Time will tell with Allen….His mountain is also a very high one to climb.

      Bryant? Never have to worry a coach of that level ever taking the IU job. Everything you’ve ever proved in excellence can come crumbling down t very fast at Indiana. Jesus as HC at Indiana couldn’t out-recruit the neighboring/nearby pedigree(geographically and within the conference).

      You vilified Wilson…I get it. Stick to your guns….Fall on your sword. I will still believe he changed a lot of perceptions and brought some offensive excitement and some damn fine running backs to Indiana.

        1. It was during the so-called “scandal” that got him fired….You people talk about rushes to judgment in the Urban Meyer case? No, there was no rush to judgment aimed at Wilson.
          It’s very difficult to retrieve old Scoop posts since the changeover to HSR. I used to be quite good at finding the old wreckage, but it’s nearly impossible now. Sue me if my memory fails me, but I believe to have some recollection of a ton of judgment(at minimum…bordering on “vilification”) during the coach’s firing …I seem to remember a Supreme Court Scoop Justice named Chet fully explaining the guilt of Wilson.

          1. You are so dishonest.

            You can’t support any of your arguments so you deal out vague assertions and innuendo.

            You should be ashamed.

    3. I’m still bitter with Glass over the Wilson firing. You’re right, he will never be confused for Bear Bryant but by IU football standards, he should have received a lifetime contract and not shown the door for doing what every coach in America does.

      I am a TA fan and I think his leash should be pretty long. I’m talking at least four or five more years before his job is ever in question. I’m willing to sacrifice a couple more bad years here and there to let it all play out for TA. He’s a leader of men, has good recruiting ties, and is an Indiana guy. I’ll let it all play out before I crown him a good head coach but my money is on his success.

          1. Sadly, that is probably true. Wilson’s only fault was he couldn’t adapt to the new realities of college football. Appears if Meyer gets sacked at OSU, he went to work for another HC who couldn’t either.

          2. I won’t judge Wilson but he did, indeed, leave the coffers better than most IU coaches.

            That doesn’t make him Dabo Sweeney or Chip Kelly. It just means he wasn’t Bill Lynch.

  21. How soon we forget! Corso got fired by IU, coached a year at Northern IL and then was hired as the head coach of the Orlando Renegades in the USFL. He was not a great college coach, but he was not Soupy Sales.

    You can say that Wilson left T.A. in good shape, and in relative terms that’s true. But as I see it, T.A. saved Wilson’s job and made it possible for Wilson to get that new contract the year before he got fired. If not for T.A. coming in and transforming a terrible IU defense into a good defense in the course of one season, Wilson would not have had gone 6-6, gone to a bowl game, and therefore would not have had his contract extended. Wilson can’t even spell the word defense, and after two terrible defensive coordinators in his four seasons at IU, he finally hired a good one! In fact, while T.A.’s defense was improving greatly, Wilson’s offense began to taper off a bit.

    We can look back and debate which IU coach was good and which coach was not, but when it comes to IU Football’s past, you have to take a broader look and realize that all these guys were working in less-than-ideal circumstances. They were hampered by sub-par facilities, low funding, and support that amounted to nothing more than lip-service from IU’s Administration. That’s why Mallory was IU’s best football coach, ever! He did more with less on the basis of his character, commitment, mental toughness and experience. And look how IU’s Administration treated him at the end and who they replaced him with! The morons running IU at that time should have been fired for gross incompetence or administrative malpractice, and they should have been blackballed from running a major university again.

    Yes Chet. If T.A. wins six games, goes to a bowl game and wins it, than I will not only conclude that T.A. is a better coach than Wilson was, but I’ll write letters to Glass demanding that T.A. be given a new contract with a significant increase in compensation. As hard as it has been to do at IU for the last decade or so, if T.A.’s team breaks through in either of the next two seasons, he should be recognized and rewarded for accomplishing something very special and what few others have been able to do. But knowing Glass, he’ll probably wait and see if any other schools try to lure T.A. away and then attempt to match their offers.

    1. Po,
      Whether we like it or not, IU athletics all boils back to the trustees placed in office to run the university. The priorities they choose are then filtered down through McRobbie to Glass. I’ve had an interesting question on my mind since the recent election of a new trustee. Was the state of IUFB even an issue in the election?

      I’m looking at much longer perspective into the future of college athletics. It has been brewing for several years now and at some point is likely to come to a decision. That being, will college athletes be paid for their services? If it is determined they should be paid, exactly where will that money come from? Better yet, where is all the money from the TV contracts going and will the gravy train continue?

      On the FB team alone there are 110 roster spots, that equates out to a lot of money if you have to pay them on top of all the other expenses. That’s just football, what about the other sports? Where’s the money going to come from? A great number of colleges have figured this one out, the football program is a revenue center. IU unfortunately, has never, and continues to not figure this one out. Can’t pay for everything you may be required to in the future off the basketball program alone.

    2. Po, excellent point.

      Many want to credit Wilson for Coach Allen’s relative success but the fact is it was Allen who brought a seismic change to IU football under Wilson’s tenure.

      I am not discrediting the improvement under Wilson. I just think it has been blown out of proportion. The team just got to be less bad.

      1. The last time Po made an “excellent point” was during a visit to a pencil sharpener at a summer art/drawing class in 2004. The stick figures were amazing….

  22. Let’s see….? Arriving after the Bill Lynch era vs. the state of the program when Allen came in? Inheriting a program losing to Wisconsin 83 – 7 vs inheriting a team that was taking Michigan and OSU through four quarters? Let’s see …? The difference of coming in fully unknown and with no roster in place of your design/coaching vs. working as the DC for one full season before you get the head job(ironically, after the firing of the guy who brought you in to make the program, hopefully, stronger on the other side of the ball)?
    Allen is not at IU without Wilson….Our team was already getting stronger defensively in Wilson’s final season because he brought him in. That, in itself, shows you the vast difference in where the programs were when each was handed the reins. Hell, Allen even had a season to absorb some of Wilson’s offensive schemes/strategies while being the DC. He had a season to understand where recruiting stood and guys who were on the radar. He had a season to develop his defense before getting the head coaching job.
    One coach was thrown into quicksand(Wilson) while another was handed the ball in stride with a decent amount of momentum and a year of working as DC under his belt. It was Wilson’s judgment and hope to make IU even more legit on both sides of the ball by bringing in Allen. If you like Allen, how can you not see we were already getting better because Wilson brought him in?

    Stop, Chet…Just stop. If Allen arrives at IU with no offense and the conditions present when Wilson came to town? Do you honestly think he’d even have 3 wins in two seasons?
    Hell, Allen even inherits a better overall brighter outlook for all of IU Sports. People will attend football games with a full dose of excitement and anticipation for what looks to be a big uptick at Assembly. We have Final Fours on the brain rather than defeatism and tempering hopes surrendered to Sweet 16 ceilings.
    I believe Allen to be the last person to trivialize the man who brought him to IU. They sort of washed up together…..

  23. “My heart breaks for (Wilson). I never expected for this to happen. However, he believed in me and gave me a chance: be the head coach of the defense and change the culture on that side of the ball.”(courtesy: SBNation)

    If you believe Indiana Football is in better shape because of Allen, then it’s Wilson who gave you that momentum. What momentum did Kevin inherit? Anyone? I seem to remember most on this blog(and likely most IU fans) contending Bill Lynch to possibly be the worst coach the game has ever known…(and, certainly, the worst motivator). The program was a clown perched aside a bull’s-eye at a carnival water dunking game when Wilson arrived…Just ask Jack Trudeau.

  24. Those who think Tom Allen will be lured away …epitomize the mindset and defeatism of what got IU to its horrific football reputation in the first place.

    My God, you sound like some insecure spouse brainwashed into deep levels of insecurity and low self-esteem…”He’ll leave me….He’ll leave me.”\

    You’re not married to Marlon Brando shortly after he made ‘On the Waterfront.’ It’s IU Football…We don’t get prom dates that easy.
    It will take some amount of time before anyone notices we actually ‘act’ like we belong in the same films/stage as the rest of the conference.
    And the BigTen is not the SEC…Correct? We’ve been reminded that a few times by the new Scoop resident expert on our conference’s chopped liver status compared to ‘Southern’ football. So, please tell me who will lure Tom Allen even if he makes a ‘Lump of Coal Bowl’…? Ball State?

    This is why I liked Wilson…He wanted nothing to do with the insecurities and the whining demonstrated in many of the posts above. He didn’t defeat the process before it could even begin. He made no excuses against Indiana. He made no villain out of the fans. He embraced the program without tempering anything. He simply brought his ‘rocket science’ playbook to a Lincoln Log assembly line and proceeded to change manufacturing processes while injecting penicillin into the sick “Why me?..Nobody loves me….He’ll leave me” syphilis on the brain.

    1. It’s pretty funny how someone with a worse record than Lee Corso while playing a much weaker schedule how somehow been transformed into Nick Saban.

      You crack me up.

    2. It’s always blabber when you have your own sets of beliefs, opinions, perspectives on the past different than those aligned with your own piece of carved stone.

      No, there is some fire behind the smoke. We may never know what it was but, at the core, player safety appears to play a key role. Good for Fred Glass. We don’t need to be a part of that.

      Regarding “things aren’t how they used to be”. No, they’re not. We know a lot more about things like brain injuries than we used to. If you went to your doctor and he wanted to use leaches would you be OK with that because “that’s how they used to do things”? From all available evidence, Fred Glass made this move for player safety. I’m pretty confident he discussed these issues with neurologists. Unless you are a neuorologist, or have discussed this issue with the same, your opinion on how to treat players with head injuries really doesn’t bear much weight compared to those who have had this conversation.

      We may have dodged a major bullet due to Fred Glass’ diligence. We may never know. I am happy to err on the side of a 19 year old kid not leaving IU with a lifelong traumatic brain injury.

      Maybe it’s not full vilification, but it’s certainly a mouthful of blabber and full support of the AD’s decision without really knowing the facts…As I said…Some are complaining of a rush to judgment about Urban Meyer’s knowledge(or lack thereof to address spousal abuse sincerely and quickly) or implication regarding OSU’s recent headlines?

      Here’s the difference: OSU simply has too much to lose. They can’t afford a villain. They have a very large rug to sweep real villains under.

      1. They may have. We don’t know. At least he’s a happy, hopping janitor.

        And what’s with vilifying a janitor…? Do you enjoy going into filthy restaurant bathrooms? Hell, I think most janitors could do an equal job as most our head coaches in football. Losing is losing. No national attention is no national attention. Maybe we should try a janitor who’s a football junkie…? We have absolutely nothing to lose in a conference that will never compare to the SEC anyway(that one is for shrinkaboutit).

        1. Speaking of abusive relationships….? I’m getting very tired of BigTen abuse. We all want to be better and do better…but there is a point when comparing your chopped liver kids to the neighbors superior ‘Southern’ variety begins to sound like more of a festering illness than a constructive and healthy home.

          1. You also keep promoting a narrative that he’s fallen from grace at OSU….Constantly diminishing him. Why? Is that going to make Allen win anymore games? Yes, he’s Kevin Vilson to you.

            We all have our villains…Just don’t know why it’s so hard for you to recognize any level of bias or prejudices in the mirror based on your own likes or dislikes. Your posts feel like drive-bys. They often seem to wish failure upon him.

  25. In 1978, Corso’s IU team started the season losing at LSU (by 7), beating Washington at home, and then getting blown out by Nebraska. All three teams were ranked in the top 15. At the end of the season, IU lost to OSU by 3 points and then to Purdue by 13 points. Both OSU and Purdue were ranked in the top 20 at the time. When was the last time IU played three non-conference games against teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation?

    The following season, a last-second pass and missed tacked cost IU the win over 10th ranked Michigan at Michigan. In spite of that heartbreaking loss, IU went on to beat unbeaten and 6th ranked BYU in the Holiday bowl to finish the season 8-4.

    Corso was no joke. He just scheduled far too many highly-ranked non-conference teams for his own good.

    1. I was at the Michigan game in Ann Arbor. Anthony Carter caught the winning touchdown. The play before the Michigan player could not get out of bounds and the Wolverines had no time outs remaining. The player tossed the ball out of bounds to stop the clock. While that is against the rules the rule was, at the time, somewhat vague. After a long discussion the officials let the play stand.

      The next play Carter scored.

      During the off season the rule was clarified and, moving forward, that little trick would have been penalized including a clock runoff which would have ended the game.

      The rule is referred to as the ‘Michigan rule’.

  26. I just hope all who have such impeccable standards for 100% pure, holier-than-thou, behavior understand that most sick deeds and corruption never make a headline. Greed protects greed…Power and nepotism shields most in the loop of upper structures/bureaucracies. It’s not that we shouldn’t condemn and punish the low hanging fruit, but whatever happened to the “buck stops here” mentality.
    Who is responsible for ultimately hiring bad coaches and bad people? It seems we keep harping on the records and performance(and, when apparent, the low moral fiber) of those who have passed through the revolving door. Who brings them in? How much repeated failure in basketball & football are you willing to accept before you begin to look at those with the real power living their impeccable lives behind the curtains of zero scrutiny? Doesn’t the AD fail when his hires fail(especially some at the helm for 6-10 years in major sports)?

    I see much misplaced judgment, vilification, and accountability failing to fall on the shoulders of those truly making the decisions. How many mulligans do they get?

  27. Chet, I remember listening to that Michigan game in my room on campus. Several things in my room got broken that day, including my door and my hand. We was robbed!

    1. A good friend (to this day) bought our tickets at the ticket office on Friday and drove to Ann Arbor with no preparation. We had a great time with a bunch of good natured Michigan fans.

      In the wee hours the bars closed and we had no place to stay in single digit weather.

      We found an unlocked door on a dorm and snuck in. Security caught us and was giving us the boot when a girl who was studying took pity on us and let us sleep in her dorm room.

      When we went to the game it turned out our tickets we on the third row at the 50 yard line…in the Big House.

      Good times.

  28. Bob Knight was robbed against Wooden/Walton at a Final Four….He proceeded to win three national championships and countless BigTen titles.

    IU Football holds its glory in one bad call @ Michigan under Lee Corset when the pyramids were being built? Pick yourself off the floor, soldier!

  29. WOW!!! This being the 87th summer post on this blog (though many repeats) IU has become known as a Football school surpassing IU men’s basketball and IU ladies basketball recent growth. 87 posts arguing over who was the greatest football coach of all time leading the IU football Hoosiers which none even had a 500 winning percentage career record at IU. That has to be near the top in the nation. Perspective and perceptions; I knew the IU football Hoosiers could do it. Congratulations to the IU Football Scoop.

  30. v13- You da man. You don’t call fellow bloggers names. You don’t have meltdowns. You don’t spew arrogance. You don’t give little anecdotes to prove you’re cool.

    I just wanted to say “hat’s off” to v13…He is, by far, the best of the best when it comes to being a true IU football fan. Class act.

  31. Ironically, IU’s best football coach, at least in the modern era, was a man hired away from a mid-major (NIU) and who had previously been fired by a Power-5 Conference school (Colorado) with exceedingly high expectations for their football program. Imagine that! IU hired a head coach with a record of success as a head coach, and he went on to lead IU to unprecedented success, winning seasons, bowl games, wins over MI and OSU in the same year, and players who were drafted high up in the NFL. Sounds like a good strategy.

  32. Just a question…Is there any evidence of either OSU or Michigan having rather down years during the time period when we had the best coach in IU’s football history? Were any other BigTen teams having success against them?

    Just curious…..

  33. One of the best moves if not the best move K.W. did while at IU was to bring T.A. on board. In IU’s current situation regarding football T.A. is the man for the job to capitalize and further progress IU football.

  34. It’s sort of ironic, isn’t it?

    I like all the talent at qb…but it’s sort of a double-edged sword. Great to have the depth. Not so sure if a qb controversy is the best thing for a program needing all the intangibles it can get. And “leadership” is a very important intangible when going against top Big Ten East squads with more talent and more experience.
    Heard an interview with Allen today and it sounds like it’s all still up for grabs….Does it matter to receivers and backs…and linemen if they don’t get enough reps with a particular qb? Does timing get affected? Will the uncertainty at the position cause a delay in an offense firing on all cylinders? Or, is Allen acting like all three have a shot…but already committed months ago to putting the experienced Dawkins into the opening starring role?
    Continuity could suffer if they’re all equally appealing and decisions are coin flips on who to play.

  35. And to think there were claims this Yacht Club was going out of style faster than Price’s wardrobe. But may we take this opportunity to express our longing for those members dearly departed, banned, or lost at sea?

    In Memoriam:

    No Mendacity
    4guards
    Puke is the Worst
    Punjab
    Tsao Tsu Gonzalez
    Rico Chet
    coachv
    Husky Tom
    Desi Arnaz

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