Allen hands off defensive coordinator duties to Wommack

Tom Allen is adjusting his approach to coaching Indiana’s football team.

The second-year head coach will no longer juggle defensive coordinator duties, announcing on Thursday that he is delegating that role to linebackers coach Kane Wommack. It’s a move that Allen has discussed as a possibility during the past month, citing his desire to become a better overall manager of IU’s program.

Allen, who came to Indiana as a defensive coordinator in 2016 and held onto that position even after his promotion to head coach at the end of that season, will still remain involved in the defense. But Wommack will take over the playcalling and structural organization of the unit, allowing Allen to take a more well-rounded approach to guiding the Hoosiers.

“Now that I’ve done it for a couple years, I feel like I understand the time demands,” Allen said after IU’s season-ending loss to Purdue on Nov. 24. “There’s no question about it, as I’ve talked about — even last year saying there’s going to come a time when I need to do that so I can be the head coach of the team. A big part of that is recruiting. The amount of film and time it takes to be the head coach and the DC is really, really changing (with) he amount of film you have to watch during a game week.

“I think as I continue to grow as a head coach, to be able to coach the coaches, coach the players, be able to be involved in all three phases, there’s no question that’s something that I’m thinking about, for sure.”

Now that Allen has made his decision, Wommack will step back into a familiar role.

Prior to joining IU’s staff this past January, the 31-year-old served as defensive coordinator at South Alabama (2016-17) and Eastern Illinois (2014-15). Wommack’s familiarity with Allen dates to their days at Ole Miss, where Allen worked as the linebackers coach under defensive coordinator Dave Wommack, Kane’s father. Kane Wommack was a graduate assistant on that staff during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

In addition to overseeing the defense, Wommack will continue to coach the linebackers.

“Without question, Kane Wommack is ready for this opportunity,” Allen said in a statement. “I have tremendous confidence in him and his understanding of our entire defense, from the front to the back.”

While serving as coordinator at South Alabama, Wommack helped lead a marked turnaround for the Jaguars’ defense. During Wommack’s first season in 2016, South Alabama was the fifth-most improved scoring defense in the country, allowing 10.3 fewer points per game. South Alabama also had the No. 9 passing defense (174.6 yards per game) nationally.

Indiana lost eight defensive starters after the 2017 season and, with a younger group, finished 2018 ranked 86th nationally in total defense (423.8 ypg).

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead our defense alongside Mark Hagen, Brandon Shelby and Kasey Teegardin,” Wommack said in a statement. “Working for a passionate leader in Coach Allen motivates our coaches and players daily to unlock their greatest individual potentials. Collectively our defense will function as a highly-efficient unit, emboldened to take on the challenges of the Big Ten. Our players are fierce and disciplined competitors, and I am honored and extremely psyched to be their defensive coordinator. My family and I appreciate Coach Allen and Fred Glass entrusting me with this tremendous opportunity.”

80 comments

  1. I love that coach Allen has been willing to make changes in the coaching staff to make IUFB better. Even if every changes hasn’t worked out, not every one ever does, he doesn’t just sit pat hoping things will get better. As brownbomber said – it is a selfless act to give up the role he loves to become a better HC.

  2. I really, really, really hope Coach Allen is successful. Seems like a nice guy and would be great to see a nice guy succeed.

  3. Is Wommack getting a big increase in his compensation, or his reward just an elevated title? One would assume he’s going to get a big raise!

    This change makes sense and is an indication that T.A. is aware of the need to evolve. It also implies that he’s pulling back on his former position that DeBord would be the “head coach of the offense.” As I tell my subordinates, “if your performance is exceeding expectations, you can do things your way. But if your performance is not meeting expectations, then you’ll do things my way.” T.A.’s first and most important priority will be to select a starting quarterback who can lead the offense to scoring more than three touchdowns per game against Big Ten teams. And that quarterback is not Ramsey.

    It’s time for IU’s offense to turn the page and light it up.

  4. Po, I agree it is time for IU to turn the page offensively and start scoring in the high 30s and 40s or more. having a better QB will go a long way to making this happen. If DeBord is back he better show he can call a wide open offense that can score. I truly believe DeBord was limited by Ramsey’s talent but I worry that the second half offense played so poorly. I hope coach Allen takes a hard look at the second half failures and makes decisions to change that problem.

  5. I’m a bit surprised that we’ve not heard about IU getting any graduate transfers, and I’m wondering if T.A. and staff are less interested in recruiting grad transfers this season, or if the pickings are relatively slim this year? There are about 70 players that have announced they will be grad-transfers, including two from IU. And assuming we still need depth on the Offensive and Defensive lines, and now need at least two Linebackers, you’d think IU would be motivated to get a few experienced and mature guys. I mean, it’s almost guaranteed that the right grad transfers will get significant playing time at IU. I saw where Petibone is transferring from Alabama. Wow, what a pick-up that would be for IU’s offensive line!

  6. Positive news a new, young D Coordinator. Only better news would be the announcement of a new, young OC. I suspect Coach Inge will be receiving lots of personal ST’s instruction and mentoring now Allen is the full-time HC of the staff. I’m staying tuned for further changes.

  7. Let’s hope Wommack is the guy. TA needed to put someone in charge. Kickoff coverage 4th worst in country. Needs to be corrected. While Ramsey may have arm strength limitations, he did drop some nice 30-40 yard dimes last season. In my opinion, the play calling was incongruent. Calling 5 yard pass plays over the middle on 3rd down and 12, numerous times, isn’t about arm strength its about Debord.

    1. After breaking down film of games I could find on youtube the dump off passes were on Ramsey while open receivers in the middle of the field were passed up. Ramsey seems to be more concerned about getting rid of the ball than getting it to the right receivers. Ramsey also bailed out of the pocket destroying OL blocks instead of stepping up in the pocket finding open receivers. Yes he completed 35 yd passes but the problem is how slow his passes get to the receivers allowing DBs time to break on the ball. IU needs an upgrade at QB to start winning more games. My biggest concern about DeBord was the way the offense came out and didn’t score as well in the second half. I agree we need a new OC but if Ramsey is the QB again the offense will still be limited.

  8. Agree OC needs to go. Let’s put it this way. Wilson ran similar plays but out of different formations with very quick tempo. Current OC ran the same sets which were slow to develop. The change needs to be made or all of this good vibe will be for not. Please do the right thing IU football.

  9. On paper Wommack looks like a good choice. Now, let’s find a solid ST coach. That usually means an up and comer. Unless you are Frank Beamer most ST coaches are early in their careers.

    Who were the OC’s in the Big 12 a few years ago when there were all those ridiculous games ending 58-52?

  10. Pretty solid showing for Purdue. It’s already 2 minutes into the second quarter and they are only down 42-7.

    Brohm is doing a totally lights out job of coaching this team.

    1. Auburn has seven touchdowns on six possessions. Thier quarterback is averaging 35 yards a reception. Very businesslike.

      Purdue players are talking trash and getting called for personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

      1. Make that 8 touchdowns in 7 possessions.

        Record setting day already for the Boils. No teams has allowed this many points (56) in a single half in bowl history.

        Kudos to the Boils coaching staff for their preparation.

        1. Purdue already held the mantle for the worst blowout in the past five years with their 58-14 loss to Oklahoma State in 2012.

          Since it’s 63-7 in the third quarter that will likely fall.

          Another record. Auburn has already scored the most points for an SEC team in bowl game history.

          Purdue is rewriting college football records today. The Boils will be all over the record books when this is over.

  11. Wonderful to see Purdue getting its ass kicked. Wonder how Purdue’s A.D. and Trustees are feeling about giving Brohm all that money in his contract extension? Ouch!

  12. Let’s state the obvious- IU would fare worse. Auburn dominating line play on both sides of the ball. Big athletes better than little athletes.

    1. Maybe. I doubt it. I doubt Purdue will find the locker room after the game.

      This game isn’t nearly as close as the score makes it look.

      1. Chet- you really think Peyton Ramsey and the Dink and Dunk Express would keep up with Auburn today? Really? Personally, I don’t like seeing any Big Ten team losing to a SEC team- especially not in a beat down like today. Not good for the image of the league. Purdue beat Ohio State easily and now get’s whipped bad by a 7-5 Auburn team? Ugly.

        1. Oh no. I don’t think for a second IU is a match for Auburn. I never said anything like that.

          I also don’t believe that IU would have rewritten the college football record book today as Purdue did.

          Saying they rewrote records for ineptitude isn’t a figure of speech. They actually did.

          1. This is the kind of score you might expect from an Alabama vs. Southwest Missouri State game.

            As far as the Big Ten, going into today they were the only conference with a perfect 2-0 record this bowl season.

            This reflects only on Purdue.

          1. Purdue got worse the last third of the season. They came within 2 points at Iowa of losing 5 of their last 6 games.

            Then they had this record setting performance against a 7-5 team today.

            They have lots of momentum headed into next year. Just not the good kind.

          2. Nope- no way. Purdue has a lot of MAC level talent, a few decent players and 1 stud in Rondale Moore. Ohio State just didn’t take the Purdue game seriously and it bit them. But watch out if Purdue gets David Bell. They already got another 4 star speed guy. If they get Bell, they are going to be a mismatch nightmare. IU NEEDS to close on Bell. Not a lot of game breaking spead in the IU receiving corp. RT maybe, Philyor when he’s healthy. Bell would be huge.

          3. Today was the worst case scenario for Purdue recruiting. They will lose some recruiting battles because of the world class egg they laid today.

  13. As happy as I was with the beatdown of Purdue I am still reminded that they got an extra 15 practices in while our Hoosiers were at home watching bowl games instead of playing in one.

    If for a second anyone thinks that IU has the ability to match the speed of Auburn they are gravely mistaken. This years OL would have been thoroughly dominated by the AU DL. Ramsey, or whomever we played at QB would have spent a good deal of the afternoon flat on their back or routinely running for their life against that front four.

    As for TA relinquishing the DC duties to Wommack I will take that as a positive. Successful coaches delegate to their assistants, and let them do the coaching of the players, while the head coach manages the team. TA will still have input into the style of defense they will play, but Wommack will be responsible for deciding what formations will best counter an opponents offense, and make sure they are in the proper gaps, and coverage.

    In a few months it will be spring practice, and four months after that will be preseason camp, so we will have a lot to chew on and digest as football coaching experts, because who knows better than us how to fix the problems of IU football.

    1. If that is what 15 extra practices will get you, I’ll pass.

      Sure, Purdue was completely outmanned.

      That didn’t cause Purdue to get called unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, personal fouls at critical times, procedure penalties on third and short, and Blough throwing the ball 5 yards short of receivers 10 yards away. Those throws wouldn’t have connected if Auburn was in the locker room.

      Purdue was BAD by any measure yesterday. They likely couldn’t have beaten Rutgers. Anything more than huddling was beyond them. Auburn could have easily scored 100.

      All the announcers covering yesterday’s game made a point of the fluke nature of the OSU game and how it was way outside the norms of either team. The stars all aligned for Purdue and OSU couldn’t get out of it’s own way. Those were the commentators words, not mine.

      David Blough showed scouts how he plays when the defense is big and fast. He went from a top 20 quarterback prospect to an undrafted free agent hopeful. He left a lot of money on the field yesterday.

      This game made the record books in several statistical categories. All of them bad for Purdue.

      I don’t know what they did during those 15 extra practices but they probably don’t want to ever do that again.

      1. Those 15 extra practices benefit the younger players. It’s equivalent to having another spring practice. Coaches get extra time to work with the younger players to improve
        technique/fundamentals. IU could use all the extra practice time they can get, but that requires them to be bowl eligible. Wait until next year, IU’s usual mantra.

        1. Purdue got significantly worse after mid November and looked like they dropped acid for their bowl game.

          Another 15 practices and they might have forgotten how to walk.

  14. Okay gang, read the preceding 30 or so postings with a mixture of amusement, nausea, and excitement. First off, this was by all appearances an excellent choice for DC. Remember TA comes from the same D coaching tree when he served under Wommack’s father, an outstanding DC. TA benefited mightily from his experience coaching under the elder Wommack. I don’t think for a minute Kane Wommack hasn’t been taught the same lessons as TA regarding how to play defense, this is an exciting development.

    As for the nausea, the continuing vendetta against the current OC is rather sickening. It can only come from a few sources, those who do so are either intellectually dishonest, uninformed or functionally football ignorant. You cannot continue to make such charges in light of the 1st half of the PSU game. What happened with the DeBord offense with MP at the controls was too blatant to ignore honestly. That leaves for the naysayers either you didn’t see the game or you didn’t know what you were seeing.

    Did want to mention one thing which even V13 has alluded to regarding the second half offensive woes this year with a question. Exactly what can you do to adjust when the opponent has figured out how easy it is to contain a PR at QB? With PR’s inability to put the ball downfield as needed, what exactly are you going to do to get the defense out of 8, 9, or 10 men in the box??? The simple answer is there is literally nothing you can do, and I don’t care who the OC is, without downfield capability your offense has been rendered one dimensional. Just ask Georgia Tech what happens when you can’t throw the ball properly and/or have a one dimensional offense, Minnesota beat the fire out of them.

    As for the amusement, what could be better than it coming at ole PU’s expense? Remember this, Auburn team was a very bad team by Auburn standards. They finished 5th in the SEC west and that won’t happen often without there being a new coach at AU if it does. TA does know what it is like to play Auburn from his SEC experience, and young Wommack definitely has a pretty good idea as his father was a very good SEC DC. I suspect this Auburn team could have done what they did to PU to all but about 3 or 4 B1G teams.

    I am told when Joe Moorhead went from PSU’s OC to HC at Mississippi State this year, the biggest adjustment he had to make was for the increased speed of the game. He had to throw out a large portion of his playbook due to slow developing plays being toast against SEC speed. Things he could get away with at PSU, couldn’t even do against Kentucky let alone the upper echelons of the conference’s west division. Whether or not any of the contenders has enough speed to stay with Alabama this year remains to be seen. If they don’t, you will see Alabama with yet another national championship. Remember there are two, possibly, three other teams in the SEC who could do the same thing as Alabama if they didn’t have to get past Alabama or the SEC west to get into the championship series.

    1. …and yet IU beat the SEC West champ, Missouri, not so long ago with an eventual 4-8 (1-7) Big Ten team.

      I guess that’s why they play the games.

      1. Chet,
        You are off on that a little bit, Missouri is in the SEC east which at that time was much, much weaker than the SEC west. Can’t remember who the west champ was that year but Missouri took quite a beat down in the SEC championship game.

    1. You are absolutely correct Cali. The SEC is a brutal football conference and the SEC west is the closest thing to the NFL in college football. Also why the SEC west is such a huge pipeline to the NFL. Unless you see it up close and personal, there’s no way to understand the difference. I grew up thinking there was nothing better than the B1G until I spent several decades seeing the SEC up close. The football culture in SEC country is akin to what Hoosier HS Hysteria was in it’s golden years.

  15. Think about it- Your posts are actually tiresome. The OC should have had the insight to put Penix in from the start. Can you just try to make a point a little quicker instead of your senseless rambling. Appreciate it. You wouldn’t know football if one hit you upside the head.

    1. You know there is a funny but true axiom of debate, when you don’t have the facts to support your position attack the opponent personally. As I said, to continue the vendetta against DeBord one must be intellectually dishonest, didn’t see the PSU game, or didn’t know what they were seeing in football game. As for Penix not being in sooner, there are many questions as to why not. As for you, by your claim to football knowledge by disparaging mine, you have removed the option of not knowing what you’re seeing on the football field. So which is it regarding your vendetta against DeBord? Did you not see the PSU game or are you intellectually dishonest?

      1. Think- I just watched the Penn State game again. Penn State rushed 4 and didn’t blitz. They had soft coverage on our receivers. They were willing to give up yards as long as they didn’t get burned for long plays. Nothing DeBord did was unique. Same vanilla offense. Penix definitely has a cannon for an arm. The big thing that jumped out was the officiating. Big Ten officials slant their calls- hard to watch these games and come to any other conclusion.

        1. 123,
          You just made my whole point about the change from PR to MP. With Penix in the game, PSU had to loosen up their defense considerably to cover the WHOLE field on the defensive side of the ball. They could not play 8, 9, or 10 men at or near the line of scrimmage as most defenses did against PR. That’s how Scott was able to gash their D for the big TD run.

          Had PSU been able to maintain the standard approach used against PR this year, Scott would have been hard pressed to get that big of a run against PSU. It’s not that OCs do anything that unique, other than some with the gimmick offenses, it is the personnel you are able to put on the field. If your QB (PR) cannot be a threat to the D anywhere on the field, you just made their D’s job a whole lot easier and your OC’s job much tougher.

          1. A few points- IU only had 1 touchdown with MP at QB and that was a long run by Ronnie Walker. Scott had a long run for a score too but Ramsey was at QB. So that kind of shoots down your argument that the score was due to Penix. Plus IU had cannon-armed Richard Legow the year before and did worse in the run game. Purdue in 2017 had a better offense than IU with much less talent. Their leading receiver was a kid with no other D1 offers that has been benched this year. Their qb was bad, their line was bad and the running backs and receivers were not explosive. The difference was the play calling. Compare that with the IU offense- defenses knew exactly what to expect and had no trouble shutting it down. Innovative, creative or unexpected are words never used to describe a DeBord offense.

  16. I think we can all agree that in 2019, DeBord will not have any excuses! He will have three quarterbacks; one with two year’s of experience as a starter and two with really good arm-talent. He’ll also have experienced running backs and receivers. He either demonstrates that he can lead a productive offense, or he’ll have to be replaced.

    But we also have to discuss the fact that IU’s defense took a huge step backward in 2018. No matter who the DC is, IU’s defense must get back to within the top 50 defenses if IU is to have any chance of producing six wins.

    In my humble opinion, 2019 will be a make or brake season for T.A. He may not lose his job after it is over, but he’ll be a lame duck coach if IU does not produce at least six wins in 2019.

    1. DeBord will have what is pegged as a promising freshman, a kid coming off major knee surgery… and Peyton ‘Squirt Gun Arm’ Ramsey. I wouldn’t call it a full cookie jar.
      Is Tuttle mobile enough to protect himself in a brutal division of the Big?
      Will Penix have a quick and full recovery? How will his confidence level present itself on the field?
      Will Allen/DeBord once again present a strange loyalty to Ramsey as if he has to be a total train wreck in practice/cupcake games to justify giving the other big arm qb’s a shot?

      Personally, I see the qb situation as unstable and uncertain as it was going into 2018. I certainly don’t see how you could make quick judgments about an OC based on such uncertainties.

      1. H4H,
        Excellent assessment of the QB situation as well as the OC.

        “Squirt Gun Arm” . . . . Nice!!!

    2. Po,
      I’m in absolute agreement with you regarding DeBord. If he is still OC and the results remain the same, it is time for a change, at least at OC and maybe HC as well. The ’18 defense was inexperienced and everyone knew it would be tough. No excuses in ’19.

  17. Penix’s physical attributes made Pee-wee Herman look buff.

    Though things certainly looked different with Penix in against PSU, it’s still a very small sample set to make extended hypothesis and conclusions.
    There is almost always an initial surge/spark/burst of momentum when a new ‘leader’ is inserted into a challenging scenario. I don’t know if anything we saw in Penix would have been sustained in other high level BigTen competition.

    I still believe Penix was simply not physically ready to sustain the punishment of top Power Five teams.

    Initial early season games/plans by Allen/DeBord were likely to have Dawkins battling for the starting position and holding Penix as a possible redshirt candidate.

    It was always obvious that Ramsey didn’t have the arm strength. But was there enough sample set to assume Penix would have got it done season-long? I can’t make that assumption. Ultimately, the qb talent and preparedness was far more unstable and thin on ability than originally sold/presented. We had a frail freshman with a big arm, a shaky second-year guy with no arm, and a last-minute transfer questioning his love for football. None of it was ideal.

  18. And while we’re all chuckling over Purdue’s beat down loss yesterday, let’s keep in mind that Purdue is bringing in a top-25 recruiting recruiting class while IU is bringing in a top-50 or top-40 recruiting class. The best S&C program in the world isn’t going to make up for that difference in raw talent.

    1. Po,
      I’m going to give the obvious caveats regarding the personnel changes at both schools, but I wouldn’t be so downhearted about this recruiting cycle. I believe it was 123 who cited a calculator out there that with the addition of Tuttle to the 2019 personnel changes, IU actually had a slightly better run than PU.

    2. If Tuttle counted as a commitment for this cycle, IU would be ranked 33rd after the addition. The difference between 25th and 33rd is not very big.

  19. I got a kick out of how the local Indy television stations were hardly giving a mention of the beatdown Purdue took in their bowl game. It’s as if the game was never played….
    People like to clamor over freedom of the press and the rights of the press to present the world objectively. But do they ever really present the world objectively? Not from my perspective. They filter more than my coffee maker…. They spin more than my washing machine. They maintain biases by creating illusions better than Houdini. Yes, they are “free” …..and own most of the information highways to perpetuate a free agenda.

  20. We’ll soon find out if ND is for real….Ian Book looks too much like a young Joe “Willie White Shoes” Namath to not go with ND in an upset.

  21. Purdue didn’t do so bad. Not much worse than Michigan and ND. When Brohm and PU get back in their own league they will do ok.

  22. The Norte Dame legacy and a weak schedule placed ND in a playoff game, where they didn’t belong. The football playoff system needs to be reworked, a two loss Georgia team was better choice than ND.

  23. Just as there is no comparison between the talent playing for Clemson and the talent playing for ND, there’s no comparison between the academic standards between the two schools, either. Not saying the athletes playing for Clemson don’t go to class or pursue degrees, but clearly schools like ND and Stanford enforce far more rigorous academic performance. And that clearly puts them at a disadvantage in recruiting relative to schools that are football factories.

    1. I used to live an hour from Clemson. You are correct. A degree from Clemson is nothing to brag about. Their only academic standard was to be as good a school as South Carolina.

      Not exactly a high bar.

      1. Where is Indiana University academic standard in the Big Ten??? Maybe 10?? Maybe a degree from Indiana is nothing to brag about!! Clemson University and South Carolina academic standard could be higher than Indiana University, depends on who you are asking!!!

        1. Thank you 79! During a recent road trip with my wife, somehow we got on the subject of academic standards. She googled a list and rattled of the top 125 and I was shocked to see where IU ranked on the national list.

  24. It doesn’t matter what kind of playoff system would be implemented it is 0 chance of being correct. There will sometimes be an upset, the better team does not always get in, if games were played multiple times there is always possibility for a different champ, and a list can go on and on. You can add games and then in a few years there would be conversation about the next team left out of the playoff.
    The closest thing to a pure playoff system was Indiana one class basketball. Of course man destroyed that. Everybody wants a trophy.

    It always amazes me that when communities of lesser talented teams pound their chest with pride on how they erroneously feel they are the greatest as state champ in their class. Rather, in the good old days communities took just as much pride in a sectional, regional, or even semi state championship. Even then a negative would be that some of the best teams often met in the sectionals, regionals, and semi state. So a perfect system is an impossibility. In reality it will never be even close to pure or perfect. Just good.

  25. t- Wonderfully stated…especially concerning your comments about the destruction of Indiana’s once unique high school tournament so much a legendary part of our state’s history.
    I drove nearby Plymouth, Indiana today and quickly quizzed my wife: “Who was the kid from Plymouth who remains one of the top legends in high school basketball for how he put tiny Plymouth on his back and with multiple miracle shots and buzzer-beaters led them to one of the last great h.s. ALL INCLUSIVE state titles?

    She answered, ” Scott….?….somebody?”

    My wife is the furthest thing from a passionate follower of sports …but she still got the first name of the h.s. legend. I was pleasantly surprised…as I confirmed her memory. I’ve always believed what Skiles accomplished with Plymouth(the eventual mammoth games he had at the state tournament) was far more worthy of a Hollywood script than ‘Hoosiers’ /Milan Miracle. (start from the 1:33:43 mark )

  26. Hope you stuck with it long enough to hear the short interview with Skiles after the game. I don’t know where whatever “it” comes from when speaking of “it factor,” but if you’re one of the lucky few “it” finds you. It’s so evident to see the calm resolve in those who find such elusive beauty where confidence meets ability. It passes through the greats and takes residence in their souls. It’s the most mythical and magical of everything sports can offer to the eye. Yet, it is without capture or column on a stat sheet. It’s not in a test tube…nor found in the DNA. It is the flickering eye of the smallest stars at the end of the universe gifting their powerful light into a laser of magical moments for a chosen few.

  27. thinker, those of us who think Debord should go are judging by a couple of seasons’ worth of material; you seem to hang your hat on one half of one game. I think our sample outweighs yours.

    A better playoff system would be an automatic berth for the Power 5 conf. winners plus any undefeated other FBS teams to a max of three more teams. If there are less than three undefeated non-P5 schools, the remaining berths could be chosen as now from the non-P5 also- rans. The eight-team bracket should be compressed to have the title game on Jan. 1. This wold end the loooooooooong layoff after the conf. championships. The way it is now, the teams are off the field just about the same length of time as from the beginning of two-a-days to the opening kick off in Sept. For my two cents, that long layoff is a prime contributor to some of the otherwise inexplicable bowl results we see every year.

    1. Davis,
      I sympathize with your position, but the two seasons of evidence is not what you think it is. What you have is evidence of is not having the type QB ability needed by IU. In ’17 the TA & staff inherited a strong armed but slow footed QB with a very weak OL, not a good combination. In ’18, despite trying for a quick fix with Dawkins the team wound up with a quicker footed QB, but with as H4H would put it, a “Squirt Gun Arm.” We all know the historical difficulties for IUFB in recruiting any kind of talent, you don’t fix that kind of problem over night unless you want to spend the mega bucks IU seems unwilling to do.

      Young or up and coming coaches are just as big a roll of the dice as spending mega bucks to get what seems to be a sure thing coaching wise. UCLA thought they were getting a rising coaching commodity in Steve Alford, we see how well that has worked out for their basketball program. Hopefully either Tuttle or a recovered Penix will be at the controls in ’19 and are as advertised, then you will have the evidence on the OC one way or the other.

      As for the playoffs, would love to see an 8 team format. Only problem is, what are you going to do when you have 3 or 4 SEC deserving to be in the playoff? After the beat down UF put on UM yesterday, any doubts? That was probably the 3rd, 4th, or 5th best team (depending on who you ask) in the SEC, laying the leather to the 2nd best team in the B1G. Non championship series bowl games are not always telling, but that was a serious beating UM took by a 2nd tier SEC team.

      1. thinker, you wrote “Young or up and coming coaches are just as big a roll of the dice as spending mega bucks to get what seems to be a sure thing coaching wise.” I agree 100%. Just look at what Nagy has done with the Bears this year. He had never been a head coach at any level, not even high school, prior to this season. The irony is that when the Bears hired Fox a couple of years ago, it was considered a great move- it was the first time that the Bears had hired a head coach with HC experience since George Halas rehired himself in 1946 . Yes, turning around an NFL franchise is a lot different that turning around a college team; in the pros you can clean house and have a completely different roster in a couple of years. But if it’s true that a Power 5 program is no place for HC on the job training, how much more so is that for the NFL?

  28. I’ll bet results would adjust to B1G teams benefit if the Sun Worshippers had to travel north in December/January and play in the Shoe, Big House or other northern venue. In other words those Sun Worshippers always have the advantage of the deck stacked in their favor. Strong physical + psychological benefit.

    1. HC,
      I agree totally. Problem is for various reasons the games that matter in D1 (championships) are geared for a fast track. Your Sun Worshippers have built their teams to that end. The B1G does not have that luxury unless they want to build domes for every conference team.

  29. There are plenty of enclosed stadiums in the north. Lucas Oil would be a great site for a bowl game…

    BigTen, ND, …Purdue….All should be ashamed of their irrefutable failures to even appear competitive. Gone is the reputation of Rust Belt nail eaters and old steel town men with big shoulders who made football an after school picnic break from a harder life lived.
    The SEC is putting nails in the coffin of the nail eaters and forgone days of a game being a pastime. The South/SEC replaced hammers with speed. They replaced pastime with all-of-the-time. They sought a way of life in a sport as opposed to a sport functioning as an escape or microcosm of a working class life.
    Michigan and ND are not to blame for being stuck. They remain what we want them to remain. They are the old America of dreams bigger off the field than on the field. For all the lost time of putting the American fantasy to bed, they looked completely removed from the evolution of a game.
    But, lest we forget, it is a game. My father played football. He was an All-State superstar tight end. He then went to war known as the second World War. He then built a life. He rarely touched a football again. He was the glue of our family. He was never glued to Sportscenter for an entire day.

    1. Much love to your pops but aren’t you the same guy that was quoting USA Today articles saying the B1G would be better than the SEC this year?

  30. Couple more reasons there is no such thing as a pure or perfect playoff system. Just reasonably good is as close as your going to get. However, Bama and Clemson probably think it is perfect as did Oaklahoma and Ohio State and whatever teams the year they won. Entertaining for the winners and needs fixing for the losers referring to fans and many who are on the losing end; not all but many.

  31. It’s too simple to just demand that the current OC be replaced. It’s not so simple to actually find a replacement that would, under the circumstances, upgrade the performance of the offense. Unless a Coordinator’s performance is simply terrible, as was the case with a former IU defensive Coordinator during Wilson’s first few years at IU, you have to factor into the equation the potential of actually finding an upgrade. And with a head coach that may not be around after 2020, you’re not going to lure too many quality/up-and-coming OCs to IU given that they may be out of a job in a year or two. I agree that DeBord’s performance is suspect. But it’s very difficult to conclude that he is the primary problem. He and his assistants have demonstrated the ability to recruit better quarterback talent (we could actually have two of the highest rated QBs in IU’s history on next year’s roster), and better talent at the skill-positions (the jury is still out on the O-line), so now DeBord needs a season to demonstrate he can utilize the better QB talent to produce a more potent offense. As I said recently, he’ll have no excuses regarding the QB talent in 2019. It’s up to him to demonstrate that one of his three QBs can run a productive offense and outscore Big Ten opponents. If DeBord does not demonstrate that in 2019, he’ll jump into retirement like a varmint of a sinking ship.

  32. If TA can step aside from the DC role, DeBord can step aside from play calling. He would then have more time to recruit- since apparently that’s his real talent.

    1. I would argue that calling a defense is one of his talents but doing so while also being a HC is nearly impossible.

  33. I attended my roommate’s wedding before the night Scott Skiles and Plymouth High School performed magic. I watched the whole state finals game beginning to end before I went to the reception. Skiles proved it was not a fluke by the evidence of the basketball career he had afterward. I attended the Washington vs Marion afternoon game at the state finals in 69. Marion was up by about 10 points with around a minute to go but McGinnis, Downey and the Continentals prevailed. The Unionville Arrows defeated Bloomington High School to when the sectionals in the mid 60s. There are many many many examples of those kinds of games that communities and teams were as proud as the class state champ of today.

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