Allen open to change this offseason

By November, Tom Allen knew it was time.

Juggling dual roles as Indiana’s head coach and defensive coordinator wasn’t working for him anymore. The long hours handling both jobs — and the unique responsibilities that come with them — took a toll on Allen, spreading him thin and weakening his effectiveness as the leader of a Big Ten program.

Allen could feel it. He could see it. And by the season’s final month, he was determined to fix it. So Allen devised a new strategy, a transition of power that he hoped would put Indiana in a better place for 2019.

Shortly after IU’s bowl hopes burst for the second straight year with a season-ending loss to Purdue in late November, Allen handed off the defensive coordinator title to linebackers coach Kane Wommack, an up-and-coming assistant whose father, Dave, originally schooled Allen in the 4-2-5 system years ago.

For Allen, it was a meaningful mile marker in his tenure as Indiana coach, and yet another sign that he’s flexible and amenable to doing things differently. For the Hoosiers, that’s important. Although significant wins and bowl berths have been slow to materialize during his first two years leading IU’s program, Allen has already proven one thing.

The IU coach is open to change.

“If I don’t like the way something’s going, I’m not just going to be stubborn and do it just because that’s the way I think it has to be done,” Allen told The Herald-Times in a lengthy sitdown interview on Monday. “I think you have to go back and find a way that’s best. You learn and you grow and you get better.”

On the job for nearly two and a half years, Allen has authored a growing list of alterations, including some significant changes to the heartbeat of his program.

Last offseason, following his first campaign as a college football head coach, Allen determined IU’s football strength and conditioning program wasn’t to his liking. So he overhauled that area of the staff by bringing in a team of specialists known for their analytical approach and emphasis on speed development.

This winter, Allen once again remodeled his staff. No longer willing to juggle dual roles, he promoted Wommack to defensive coordinator. Then, he set upon hiring a new offensive coordinator after veteran playcaller Mike DeBord retired from the college ranks in December.

“That was really more of Mike’s decision to want to do that and retire,” Allen said. “But at the same time, he and I had always talked. I knew where he was at when we first hired him. Then at the end of the year, you have those conversations. Once it happened, I already had some guys on a short list that I wanted to go after.”

That led him to Fresno State’s Kalen DeBoer, a coach who, like Allen, has a penchant for administering quick fixes. Indiana’s offense, which lacked explosive plays and stalled too often after crossing midfield in 2018, needs a jolt. And with DeBord gone, Allen believes he found the man capable of providing it.

After each of his first two seasons at the helm, Allen has recognized areas of concern and moved to address them without hesitation. Of course, at some point, Allen’s strategies will have to manifest in wins and more measurable success. His job security depends on it.

But Allen’s willingness to adapt and change feels likes a positive for a program that needs to work the margins to find even the slightest advantages inside of its uphill climb in the Big Ten East. Though Allen is committed to his principles, he is not set in his ways, a strategy he learned as he climbed from the high school ranks to one of college football’s toughest conferences.

“I think maybe it comes from coaching at levels where you had to be pretty adaptable,” Allen said. “When you’re coaching at the high school level or the small college level, you don’t get to pick a lot of things. As far as personnel, you have to adjust to the guys you have and you have to be willing to make changes. I think that’s probably caused me to be more apt to do it.”

This offseason, the changes haven’t stopped at the coordinator positions. Allen says IU players will lead an additional practice day inside of their summer workouts, along with more player-led leadership meetings to determine the direction of the team.

Just as Allen has commanded change when it’s needed, his players have, too.

“The guys recognize that there are some areas where we haven’t maximized the offseason like we can or we should,” Allen said. “I think they’re ready for that now. Your guys have to own that because when you do player-led things, they can’t be mandatory. Them recognizing that we need it, they’re excited about it.”

Indiana’s offensive players, especially, are already noticing more of Allen. Since shedding his defensive coordinator duties, Allen has taken advantage of the ability to sit in on offensive meetings and gain a more complete comprehension of what’s been taught and how it’s being learned.

For example, Allen joined his quarterbacks for nearly every meeting they had during the spring, something he was previously unable to do, particularly because of time constraints. Allen already believes it was a useful way to spend his time.

That’s because he wants to have more of an imprint on IU’s offense in the years to come, shaping its personality to complement that of his defense. For Allen, the first step in making that happen is making sure he and everyone else are on the same page.

“My thing is, I want to provide the intensity and toughness and the mindset that we’re going to have on offense,” Allen said. “I want to be a big part of that. I want to be able to infuse that in whatever is necessary. If I’m not involved in every meeting, you’re just not quite in tune with what they’re doing. It wasn’t like I didn’t know what was going on (in previous seasons), but it’s not the same. When you know exactly everything that they’re doing, it has a different feel for me to be able to infuse my personality on that side of the ball, when it’s appropriate.

“I want to be in Coach DeBoer’s meetings because I want to be able to be in tune with him. It’s just helped me. It’s helped me learn the system quicker and it’s also helped me be able to be more involved verbally with their practices.”

Change, too, has extended to other areas. Behind the scenes, Indiana’s facilities continue to undergo a multi-million dollar facelift.

In recent years, IU’s locker room has been in desperate need of a makeover. Thanks to a $2 million donation by former captain Terry Tallen, that process is underway and scheduled to be completed by the start of the season. As part of their updated locker room facility underneath Memorial Stadium, players will also have a new lounge area — one of the many bells and whistles IU is adding to attract recruits. Just as important, IU is trying to signal a commitment to football.

It’s just one more change in an offseason of many.


  1. Coach Allen has shown the willingness and ability to change parts of the program that aren’t performing as well as they should. One of the reasons I was happy coach Allen was hired as HC is because coaches with his background seem to be more willing to adapt to football trends and have a better connection with high school coaches. The negative is coaches with his experience need to learn quickly about being a HC.

    With the changes in the program along with improving recruiting I believe we will see more wins in the near future.

  2. It makes sense for a defensive coordinator hired as the head coach to take some time to build his staff, structure his offense and defense, all while recruiting st a high level. With all of his coaching growth, having two 5-7 seasons, is actually pretty good. Not good enough, but reasonable. Now, for season #3, the “breakthrough” must occur! Beat one of the “Big 4” in the East, beat Purdue, win a bowl game! Just Do It!

  3. As Wilson learned the hard way on the defensive side of the ball, a head coach is only as good as his coordinators and position coaches. I believe Allen has upgraded his OC and am optimistic that his replacement at DC will be as successful as Allen was. The new S&C program should improve performance and stamina while the facilities upgrades should improve recruiting and perhaps even boost team morale. So IU Football has a lot of positive developments going for it right now. If Allen and company can go 6 – 6 in the regular season, and then get a bowl-game victory, this program could begin to produce winning seasons on a consistent basis. But Allen’s first priority for the next season is to make sure he selects the right starting quarterback. If he gets that wrong, none of the changes chronicled in this story will amount to a hill of beans.

  4. So far the only thing Allen can hang his hat on is improved recruiting. But the # of NFL draft pics was actually better 10 years ago than the last 2 years. The time to win is now. No more “competing”, winning must take place or hire an experienced, proven coach that can finally build the program. I’ll believe Allen’s the man for the job if he wins 7 this year.

    1. 123,
      While I believe TA to be IU’s best opportunity in a while to actually turn the program around, but if he fails, do you honestly believe Indiana University will spend the necessary dollars to hire “an experienced, proven coach that can finally build the program?” Do have any idea what the cost would be to get a coach meeting your specifications (Hint: Look at what the bottom tier SEC coaches are getting), let alone what he would demand for his staff? Secondly, if you found one meeting those specifications, do you think IU would be his first choice? If he did turn IU, of all places, around, do you think he would stay if he wasn’t paid near the top of the profession?

      There is one thing which can be said about TA, he does care about IU. I think he is also willing to do what is necessary to build a quality program. The first test of that will come this fall when we see who takes the field as his starting QB. If it is a repeat of last year and the record is the same, then I’m wrong about his willingness to build a quality program.

      1. What experienced/good coach is going to look at IU with Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State on the schedule when he could look at the other division and see Wisconsin/Iowa. Looking at 4 of the top five programs in the big ten in IU’s division. If TA had been in the other division I think he would have had bowl games in the last 2 years. I do agree a step up in quarterback play is required. There must be an ability to stretch the field and if our experienced quarterback cannot do that he needs to be replaced.

    2. The reason for the difference in NFL Draft picks is because Wilson’s final years saw declining rated classes that many want to ignore which also made the last two season tougher just check out the QB room and TE room along with other areas.

      Allen is the right man no matter how many they win this coming year although I think the team could surprise people this year.

      1. It gets old hearing you criticize the final recruits of Kevin Wilson, maybe they “ALL” where not Big Ten caliber recruits but some where. Those that stayed contributed quite a bit to keeping Indiana University football afloat and giving Tom Allen the “BEST” start of any Indiana University football coach. Maybe the quarterback room and the tight end room is a little weak, but no Tom Allen recruit has beaten Peyton Ramsey out at quarterback yet. It would be amazing to see how different this program would have been if Kevin Wilson quarterback recruits Tommy Stevens or Brandon Peters had of committed to Indiana. There are still a lot of Kevin Wilson recruits on this team that are making lots of contributions (Cole Gest, Donavan Hale, Coy Cronk, Andre Brown, etc.)

        1. It gets old hearing people say coach Allen inherited a roster to win more games than Wilson. Yes there are good players coach Wilson’s staff brought in the last few years but they lack a real B1G QB and the QBs brought in by this staff look to be B1G QBs, only game time will show if they are, but they are both red shirt freshman. You have to wonder why coach Wilson couldn’t bring in one of the best QBs in Indiana. Yes coach Allen did inherit a better situation, not a great one, than coach Wilson did which lead to a 5 win season instead of the 1 win season coach Wilson had.

          I have hoped for better season the past two years but also recognize struggle of being a new HC and working to improve a program. The reality is if Hazell had still been the coach of PU then the past two teams would have been bowl teams. Don’t forget the two bowl teams struggled to be PU.

          It will be interesting to see how this season develops with a new OC and DC. The offense talent that will be a mixture of youth and experience while the defense will be talented but young in many areas.

          1. V13,
            I’m with you on this one. A lot folks don’t realize just how weak a situation the OL and QB positions were left in after the KW departure. Had an experienced defense returning but a weak OL really hurt Lagow. A immobile QB with a weak OL is not a good combination. Had to throw Ramsey in there just to keep Lagow safe from injury and hurried errors. Was depending on Ramsey’s feet to keep him out of trouble, but the weak arm couldn’t keep the defenses honest. Problem for Ramsey has always been his inability to stretch the defense with his arm. A one dimensional dink and dunk offense is easy to defend for most B1G defenses.

          2. The roster Wilson left for Allen was a lot stronger than the roster Hazell left for Jeff Brohm. I get that most people did not like Wilson abrasive natural, but the man/coach improved this program. An the recruits he left for Allen where good enough to win 5 games in both of Allens first two years. An to take it a step forward the rosters was actually good enough to win 6 games both years according to many on this blog. An lets take it a step forward Tom Allen is the one who said that 2017 should be the “breakthrough” seasons. Hold the coach to his words, you would any other coach. If Wilson was still the coach only winning 5 games, we would be asking for his coaching head (fired). No, i am not asking for Allen to be fired. He needs to have a chance to coach his own players/recruits. Which most on this blog is ravening about IU 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes. Player development will play a huge role. If Indiana only wins 4 (four) football games this year will we still be blaming it on Kevin Wilson rooster??

          3. IU79,

            Tell me about the quarterbacks on IU’s roster who could have cracked the two deep roster at Purdue.

            There is a school of thought that says quarterbacks are disproportionately important to the success of a team.

          4. Chet,
            I don’t think enough people make the connection of how much of an effect QB play has on the entire team. We constantly see nfl teams well constructed with one exception, a capable QB. The one Brohm did inherit was a capable QB. In the hands of a reasonably competent HC, his inherited QB did quite well.

            IU79 spoke of the recruiting which has been quite good. Problem was the recruiting, particularly in key offensive positions (QB & OL), the two years before. Remember TA recruiting consisted of only two years as HC. You don’t expect that much out of the first and second year guys, but they made up half the team.

            It was the 3rd and 4th year guys who you expect to be the core of what you put on the field, but we saw TA using a lot of 1st and 2nd year guys. Tells you a lot about the talent level of the 3rd and 4th year guys. Having to put a lot of inexperience on the field does not help the cause a whole lot in the short run. Couple that with ineffective QB play and you have a recipe for 5 win seasons at best.

  5. Think- lots of coaches will care about IU for $3M per season- the minimum going rate for a B1G HC. Attendance= revenue. More revenue= more money for coaches. More wins= increased attendance. Past mistakes like Cameron, Lynch, Wilson and probably Allen are why fans and alumni stay outside the stadium or stay at home. If the administration pays the worst, they should expect the worst. And that is close to what they have done and are getting. Time for fans to demand more. Win 7 now with Allen or fully fund the program.

    1. By convenience or maybe recall you forgot DiNardo a former HC with experience before Bloomington.

      1. Yes 123 did forget about DiNardo. 123 Demanding wins won’t bring wins and I wonder if you have every coached because as a former HS coach I know it takes time to build a team that had roster issues. 123, I like your passion but be realistic about the young defense we will have and the new OL. The RB room is young but talented, our receivers at WR have experience but the TEs are young. I hope we have a new QB this coming year but it may not happen for a few games. I want the more talented QBs to play instead of the more experienced QB, although I like his dedication and grit.

        1. V- your high school coaching experience doesn’t translate to the college game. College teams win primarily on the talent they recruit. There is no better indicator of a team’s success than their recruiting rankings. High school coaches don’t have to recruit- so not the same game. And so far, Allen has under-performed based on his recruiting. His recruiting ranks are in the 40’s yet his teams rank in the 80’s of the RPI- not good. He needs to be held accountable for wins and 3 years is enough to produce. Your excuse about certain position groups being young doesn’t hold either. The best teams always have more NFL early entrants and therefore have more youth- look at OSU’s secondary. It changes almost every year because the last year’s starters go to the NFL.

          1. I’m out of the loop as far as how Indiana high school football recruiting goes, but in Fla there is certainly recruiting going on. A few years back the state of Florida instituted a “school choice rule” because there was nothing they could do to stop recruiting. The state had punished some schools for recruiting in the past but knew they weren’t catching every school in the act. The school choice rule opened up the flood gates for HS teams to go out and recruit whomever they want basically. Last summer Tampa Plant HS started camp with 8 QBs. After summer camp and the starter was named, the 7 other QBs transferred to different schools to compete for a starting gig.

          2. I didn’t say my coaching matched college but I had to adjust to different talents and change my offense and defense due to changes in talent.

            You look at IU’s class ranking and ignore Wilson rankings the last three years [yes 2017 was his class]. Now look at NW’s class rankings with a coach that has been there for 15 years or more. Give coach Allen time to build “his” roster and see if he can be a HC. I am sorry you are so down on coach Allen but you are going to have to live with him as IU’s coach.

          3. “Allen has under-performed based on his recruiting. His recruiting ranks are in the 40’s yet his teams rank in the 80’s of the RPI- not good.”

            This may be one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve read in a while. In CTA’s first year of 2017 every player on the team was from a CKW recruiting class. In his second he played 10 true freshmen and used a few games from the new 4 game rule from his FIRST recruiting class. 2019 will be the first year the man has had a full class he recruited available. To say he isn’t living up to his recruiting rankings is a joke.

            Are we really supposed to believe that kids that were seniors in HS in 2017 should have made IU a better team on the field in 2017? Are we really supposed to believe that in 2018 10 true freshmen were supposed to make us a 7+ win team? You don’t like CTA, we get it but that’s just weak.

      2. IU hiring DiNardo is the same as Kansas hiring Les Miles- bad programs hiring a fired coach from a big name program hoping to sell tickets. Both coaches took those respective jobs for little pay because they had no other offers.

  6. 123 makes some good points, but going 7 – 6 will buy Allen momentum and time, and help him continue to improve recruiting which is a key indicator for a program’s trajectory.

    think, the “IU can’t afford a proven head coach” is a straw man argument. You can be a proven head coach without being at a Power-five conference school. It’s about the experience of being a head coach in a competitive conference, recruiting good players, hiring good assistant coaches, staying clean and executing winning strategies on the field. There’s no shortage of mid-major coaches that would consider the IU job for $3 million per year, especially now that the facilities have been improved. And most of today’s best coaches start off at mid-major schools (or lower), prove themselves, and then take the bigger jobs at schools at Power-five conference schools. Urban Meyer’s first head coaching job was at Bowling Green, then he moved up to Utah before going to Florida and on to OSU. Brian Kelley’s first HC job was at Grand Valley State, then Central MI, then Cincinnati before arriving in South Bend. Nick Saban’s first HC job was at Toledo, then MSU, then LSU, etc. IU’s most successful football coaches proved themselves at lower tier schools before arriving in Bloomington. Pont at Miami of Ohio, Corso at Louisville, Mallory at NIU and then Hep at Miami of Ohio. Getting IU’s job was a big step up for each of those coaches. IU doesn’t have to pay a man $7 million to get him to take the job, they just have to offer compensation that is significantly higher than what he was getting paid at the lower-tier program. You offer $3 million per a guy getting paid $800,000 per year, he’s likely to take that job unless one of the elite programs is at his door offering even more.

    And for the sake of argument, let’s say your premise is correct and IU won’t/can’t pay $3 million per year. So if Allen produces two consecutive winning seasons and wins two major bowl games, by your reasoning, IU can’t afford to keep Allen. Surely in that scenario, Allen would get offers from other schools for more than $3 million per! As we discovered with Purdue paying their new football coach a ton under his new contract, if Allen is winning and significantly increasing football revenue, IU can’t afford not to give him a major increase in compensation. If Purdue can do it, IU should be able to as well.

  7. Well PUke does hold an advantage. They do only support 18 team sports vs. IU supporting 24. Don’t know the difference in burden/drag that it demands on the checkbook but I’ll wager all encompassing it is a significant amount. But still IU has the financial horsepower to compete in the B1G.

  8. Okay. Sometimes these positions bounce all over the place. On the one hand, many take the reasonable position that IU has incurred a special kind of history of football failure.

    Then, they go on to say that Coach Allen had better post a winning season next year.

    Just a reminder. Coach Tom Allen has had the most successful first two years as head coach that IU has experienced in modern times. Lynch was interim then started the death spiral in his second season.

    Honestly, with what appears to be bringing in just who we asked for as the new OC and DC, recruiting scores, and generally positive news, this seems like a good opportunity to be positive about the direction of the program

    1. Chet, apparently no one reads the posts before responding. Coach Allen has had THE most successful first 2 years in modern IU Football history! I like his changes for this season. But the comment about picking the starting QB is relevant. You have to be bold to force IU to 7-5, a bowl win, and a serious top 40 ranking! Penix or Tuttle must start!

      1. Yeah, seeing Ramsey trot out for the opening snap is gonna sour the mood for many of us.

        Ramsey would have to pass for 300 yards and 3+ touchdowns in a winning effort to keep us peasants off the castle walls.

        I don’t see that happening.

  9. I believe TA is taking the program in the right direction. The question is can he produce winning seasons and how quickly? As for IU Po, it is not can they pay what is necessary but will they. Here’s the deal, if TA in the course of 4 or 5 years turns IU into a winner his coaching stock will rise immeasurably. You don’t turn around the worst FB program in D1 history and not have your stock rise. Elite coaches are now commanding 5 mil plus and expecting their staffs to be well paid.

    TA is as loyal as can be, but you can’t take him for granted as IU did with Mallory. Mallory remained loyal to IU, but IU certainly didn’t do it’s part. In today’s world a coach won’t stand for the Mallory treatment. Can’t afford to. HC’s have too short of a shelf life and if they have demonstrated potential, they’ll be in demand by schools which will pay. I know t and others don’t like the pay levels going up so much, but we have created our own monster.

    BTW, where’s H4H been? Not the same without our very own court jester.

    1. thinker, why do you think IU was “disloyal” to Mallory? He was 4-21 in conf. games his final three years (a single win in his last two years). From the games I saw in those last couple of season, it just seemed that he had lost “the touch.” It happens. IU could have kept him (that is, tolerated the losing it had tolerated for decades), or fired him to give new blood a shot. We all know how that turned out, right in keeping w/IUFB history, but firing a coach who’s only won one conf. game out of the last sixteen is hardly unwarranted.

  10. Allen was inexperienced as a head coach when he got the IU job, and articles like this confirm it. Great that he’s willing to change, but it’s evident that he’s been somewhat over his head from the start. We’ll see if new coordinators help, but people should tap the brakes a little on that. The DC has never had that role and the OC was really a second in command to Jeff Tedford.

    As for talent, it is still modest compared to the rest of the Big 10 and unevenly distributed across the roster, and the fix will take some time, which he’ll get. Remember, there were supposed coaches and experts who claimed Austin King was the next great quarterback, even though everyone who saw him knew he wasn’t a Big Ten level player. The O and D lines aren’t talented or deep enough yet to compete in the upper half of the conference, and that will likely be the great inhibitor in 2019. So be careful of those who want to embellish the talent level of the team. They’ll break your heart with annual breakthrough predictions that never materialize.

    Rooting for Allen. He’s a good guy. But he was hired before he was ready, and the learning curve has and will continue to be steep. The recruiting has been decent, but he needs to start winning games or that will evaporate. Hoping for the best while remaining steadfastly realistic.

    1. BD,
      I agree TA was likely maybe a year or two before he was ready, but if IU had waited until he was, they wouldn’t have got him. I know of at least one SEC school ready to offer him the DC job had he not been offered the HC job at IU. The problem for IU is as it has always been, in order to get a proven HC you are going to have to spend some major bucks. A lot more dollars than have been bandied about here, because proven turn around coaches can demand that type money. With IU there is an even greater risk to such a coach due to IU’s very dismal history.

      I have said this many times, but no one wants to accept this reality which goes all the way back to Bo McMillian making the statement. IU has the reputation of being the graveyard of HC’s. Believe it or not, there is a reason why the top level caliber coach needed won’t come to IU except but for major bucks. The risk to their career is too great. Yes, IU was able to get a Pont, Mallory, and Hep, but their success was short lived and proven HC’s out there are very aware of this. Hep was an anomaly, and his success could have been sustained had IU not reverted back to past bad practice and hired Lynch. IU missed an opportunity by not being willing to pay whatever necessary to bring in a great coach to build on the talent Hep had assembled.

      Don’t think for a minute the coaching fraternity out there is not aware of all of this. Hopefully TA will make all this a mute point and become successful.

    2. BD if you would read the pedigrees of our new Coordinators you’ll quickly realize Kane was a successful DC before coming to Bloomington. DeBoer was an accomplished OC at several D1’s before he ever met JT. Also IU recruiting during consecutive Wilson and Allen leadership has been head and shoulders above the talent Lynch brought to IU. In fact most classes were mid-pack in the B1G.

    3. The same could be said about Bill Belichick’s tenure in Cleveland.

      Browns fans were so relieved when he got fired.

      They got what they asked for.

  11. That’s IUs historical problem; believing they can keep doing the things that have produced losing and expecting that it will magically produce winning. It’s about leadership, and good leaders know you have to pay. I like Allen, but he had limited success as a DC, and only IU wanted him as a HC. That’s telling.

    By the way, only Pont and Mal had success at IU. Hep might’ve, had he lived, but he wasn’t turning the corner in Year 2, and I’m not sure it was on the horizon. Sad that we never found out what he could’ve accomplished, though.

    1. I’m not sure how “telling” it was when Allen got the job towards the end of an on-going season. If anything, Glass got out in front of things by securing him when he did. At the time, Allen’s success as a DC had to have teams interested in him as a HC. The defensive turnarounds he spearheaded at USF and IU were pretty miraculous.

      1. Agree with you, fish, about Glass getting ahead of things. One thing he and we knew is that Allen was well-liked by the players, and of course coaching is not a popularity contest, but it was probably a factor (saving the team from a lot of defections and disarray) in Glass’ thinking. And if Glass equated this likability as indication that Allen could be a good recruiter, it looks like he was right. I sure can’t think of anything else to explain why Allen has been able to sell IUFB to teenagers better than anyone else in recent memory.

    2. Bear, you are wrong! Allen was recognized as a real up and coming defensive guru when he got to IU.

    3. What exactly was ‘limited’ about his success as a DC?

      By ‘limited’ you must mean ‘hugely successful at every stop’.

  12. No one else was interested in him as a HC, which is why him being named that at IU was so surprising. His lack of experience was probably the issue, and we’ve seen that and he’s admitted that.

    1. Again, because Glass locked him up before other teams came after him. Now I’m not saying powerhouses would have been knocking down Allen’s door but I guarantee he would have had some HC offers if Glass didn’t lock him up when he did.

      1. Allen wasn’t particularly successful as a high school coach. Here’s a thought- IU should have risked him going to a bad MAC school to prove himself as a HC before giving him millions to against Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and MSU every year. Maybe this is the year he grows into the job. Maybe he never grows into the job. Maybe hiring a Big Ten caliber OC will get them over the hump. Maybe it won’t. But maybe it’s time for accountability instead of buying cheap coaches and hoping/failing.

        1. 5-7 is very competitive in the B1G East. But not good enough! I like where IU is positioned right now. MSU and PSU should be concerned.

        2. Maybe it doesn’t work out but I’m fully on board with Allen. I’ve harped plenty on the idea that Allen is the perfect coach for IU (IU’s Barry Alvarez). If it doesn’t work out, I’d expect the next coach to be a fairly splashy hire. I think IU is really dedicated to building a strong football program. That couldn’t always be said.

          1. Like Bobby Petrino?

            Louisville hired him…twice…as their splashy hire. He was ‘proven’…in oh so many ways.

            He certainly splashed a lot.

  13. if anyone really knows anything about football would understand the QB situation should be settled. Tuttle highly touted but unproven on the college level, what are the real reasons of his transfer? Do you really think a 3rd year coach will abandon ship on the QB that played in the Big Ten already understands the defenses, or give it all up and go with a transfer in with no college experience. Penix strong athlete agreed great arm, but does he have what it takes to go to next level, again feel another step backwards in a coaches 3 year impact year… you have a player who has leadership and command of the office, coaches playing games. Give me a major college program that plays games with the QB’s as much as IU goes. NO ONE.

    1. The two current biggest powerhouses in the country in Alabama and Clemson “played games” with their QBs last year. So there’s that.

      1. The Clemson ‘games’ at quarterback were some of the biggest stories in college football early last season. It was pretty chaotic before the best of their 5 star recruits rose to the top.

  14. fishspinners huge difference in talent , what a terrible comparison and IU would never get those types of QB’s

    1. Your statement was about QB situations being settled. No matter the talent level, it was the same situation.

    2. BC51,
      You do realize before the Florida State fiasco of letting Jimbo Fisher get away from them they had the inside track on Michael Penix? With their QB woes last year wouldn’t they have loved to had him. It was just pure luck that IU got him, as well as Tuttle.

    3. Ramsey’s experience doesn’t over come his limited talent. It was clear IU coaches were ready to go with Penix last year in the PSU game before he got hurt. I appreciate all Ramsey has done for IUFB but I am sick of seeing defenses crowd the line with him at QB. It makes it tougher for the OL , WR, and RBs and IU doesn’t need that. Using Penix or Tuttle is the only way to keep defenses honest and give IU a chance to win more games.

      1. Days of the D packing toward the LOS ended with the exchange of the vowel d for an e. DeBord rightfully so never wanted his offense to lose a game but without high ranked talent he was a collection of woe driving the offense to win.

        1. HC,
          The only way we agree on this one is if DeBoer starts Ramsey all year, and the defenses do not pack the LOS. If Penix or Tuttle become the starting QB at some point, then it becomes very obvious what the problem was. The DeBord objections were exposed by the 1st half of the PSU game. You were at the game, you saw exactly what I did. You saw what happened with a good PSU defense the moment Penix stepped on the field. PSU immediately dropped the packed LOS approach knowing that Penix’s arm was a threat.

          The biggest problem the offense had in the PSU game other than Penix’s injury, was lack of familiarity between Penix and the receivers. It takes a little time for receivers to get used to the ball coming from a left-hander at 75 mph instead of 25 mph!!! Yes, I know the speed comparison was an exaggeration, but everyone should get the point. Either way our little disagreement will probably get settled on the field this fall.

          1. I saw the difference in the C&C scrimmage and against a pretty good bunch of DB’s. The OC was the meaningful change maker from the 2 seasons previous.

          2. HC,
            Doesn’t mean a thing until we get into the B1G season, then we’ll know.

          3. I know what I digested from the C&C scrimmage. Not everyone can.

  15. fishspinner again proves to me that IU fans know nothing about football all they care about is Basketball.

    1. Honestly, I care more about football than basketball but you’re entitled to your own opinion.

  16. Problems with your arguements 123, BD, & BC51,
    123 – It’s not “conjecture” that other teams were lining up to go after TA, didn’t say as HC, but as an SEC “DC.” Whether you realize it or not, a quality DC in the SEC can make as much or more than what TA is paid as HC. Not to mention a good number of B1G HC’s, The lure of being a HC quickly and in his home state may have been the hook to hold TA for a while.

    BC51 – You made some statements about folks on this board not knowing anything about FB, and then went on to say, “Do you really think a 3rd year coach will abandon ship on the QB that played in the Big Ten already understands the defenses, or give it all up and go with a transfer in with no college experience.” There is a major flaw in your argument in that B1G defenses know the QB you have been playing the last two years is not a threat to put the ball downfield effectively, new OC notwithstanding. When the defenses are playing 8, 9, & 10 men in the box, I don’t care who your OC is, if the QB can’t make them pay, you’re not going to win games even if the QB does put 300 yards in total offense. Might want to reboot your FB knowledge base, can’t miss that glaring point when calling others FB ignorant.

    123 – The condescending comment at V13’s HS FB HC experience not translating to college is way over the top. V13 has been more spot on with comments and prognostications that anyone else on this board.

    1. You read in condescension and ignore the facts I provided. The best criterion for success in college football is recruiting ranking. The best criterion for success in the NFL draft is recruiting ranking. High School coaches actively recruit. The college game is different. So how about stopping with the derision and mindless name calling and deal the facts.

      1. What facts 123?

        Are you talking about facts like this one, “Past mistakes like Cameron, Lynch, Wilson and probably Allen are why fans and alumni stay outside the stadium or stay at home?” That doesn’t explain why the so called “fans and alumni” stayed outside the stadium or stayed at home, when Mallory was there.

        The problem with IUFB can best be found by everyone who considers themselves to be part of “Hoosier Nation” to go take a long look in the mirror. There’s the problem, always has been, and unless something changes, always will be.

        1. Think- it is mindless to blame the fans for not supporting a team that has not been supported by the administration. The lowest paid coaching staff in the Big Ten should be expected to perform like the lower paid coaching staff in the Big Ten. Would fans support the basketball team if the administration would only hire coaches willing to work for the lowest pay in the Big Ten? Of coarse not. And even though the football team generates more revenue and more profit than basketball that is exactly what is happening. Yet you mindlessly blame the fans? Foolish

          1. 123,
            Who controls the administration? The trustees. How are the trustees selected? 6 are appointed by the governor and 3 are elected by the alumni. Therefore the IU alumni and the Indiana voters have the responsibility. Hoosier Nation is 100% of the alumni and I suspect a very large portion of the Indiana voters. So yes, the ultimate responsibility for this rests with Hoosier Nation.

  17. Interesting debate coming from two different camps. You have the optimistic camp that looks for any thread of evidence to justify faith/hope in Tom Allen, and you have the realists camp who remain skeptical based on IU’s short and long-term history. We can all agree that there have been positive developments with IU Football, but are they enough to produce a winning season any time soon? But the bottom line is that until Allen produces a winning season, which will require him to beat traditionally stronger Big Ten teams, he’ll remain an unproven head coach. Allen could leave IU today and probably land a job as a DC in a Power-five conference school, but I doubt he’d be a HC candidate for any Power-five conference program.

    The most accurate comment in this string was from Bear Down who said, “That’s IUs historical problem; believing they can keep doing the things that have produced losing and expecting that it will magically produce winning. It’s about leadership, and good leaders know you have to pay.” The truth of that statement is self evident, and it zeros in on the real problem, which is poor leadership from Fred Glass, McRobbie, and IU’s Trustees. And to an extent, the Hoosier Nation, which has the passion for football pounded out of it and therefor has extremely low expectations about our football program, is also responsible. What IU really needs are a few very wealthy donors who are not afraid to use their money as leverage to force the necessary changes in IU’s Athletic leadership.

    1. Po,
      I agree and disagree with you on this one.

      Yes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

      No, the responsibility for the FB fiasco which is IU rests solely on Hoosier Nation. Hoosier Nation gets the IU administration it allows to exist, and it does have the power to change this but has shown it will not.

      Maybe, IU does have some very wealth donors but they have chosen to enable the status quo rather than force the changes needed.

    2. So, you have the ‘optimistic’ camp and the ‘realist’, eh.

      Let’s fix your labeling.

      On the one hand you have the ‘optimistic’ camp and on the other you have the ‘defeatist’ (pessimistic) camp.

      The opposite of optimistic is not realist. Making negative predictions is anything but ‘realistic’.

      Because you believe something to be real does not make it so.

      1. Chet,
        You pretty much said it all very earlier on when you said, “Just a reminder. Coach Tom Allen has had the most successful first two years as head coach that IU has experienced in modern times. Lynch was interim then started the death spiral in his second season.” Those of us with long enough memories also know the team Lynch inherited from Hep was primed to win at 7 maybe 8 that next season. When they only went 6-6 with Lynch, should have known, he wasn’t the guy for the job, but they hired him anyway. After that it was all downhill with him, 3 straight 1 B1G win seasons.

  18. Lynch did win 7 games in his first year after Hep, fulfilling your and other’s expectations of him.

    1. That has been well litigated here and everyone knows the parameters of his first season.

    2. BD,
      A bowl win after a 6-6 regular season did not constitute expectations for that team. 7 or 8 regular season wins was the expectation based on what Hep had built the previous two years.

  19. IU went 7-5 during the regular season and lost the bowl game to Oklahoma State, which is what produced the 7-6 record. The year met or exceeded expectations based on the circumstances at that time.

    1. BD,
      What part of “regular” season do you not get? The expectation was 7 or 8 games in the 2007 “regular” season. The bowl game was a give if you won the 7 or 8 games in the “regular” season.

      BTW, the next 3 seasons under Lynch showed just how much the success of the 2007 was dependent upon Hep coaching the team and not Lynch. Hep had put in the pieces to have had a shot at winning 9 games assuming a bowl win. The 2007 team underachieved significantly. There is a reason why Bill Lynch was only given 4 seasons to prove himself. There was no expectation of a need for him to build a team as it was already built. Actually he should have been let go after the 2007 season results. It was obvious with the 2007 team underachieving like that, Bill Lynch was not the answer. As Chet said, it was program death spiral city after that.

      1. Everyone was very optimistic about IUFB under Hep, me included, but it’s a stretch to say that IUFB was “primed” to win eight or nine regular season games had he coached another year. A lot of things can happen from year-to-year, and for IUFB, most of them are usually bad. But it was undeniable that Lynch ran the program as deeply into the ditch as it had probably ever been, and that’s pretty darn deep.

        1. Pretty much matched my thoughts. Hep owned the power of positive thinking, motivating and could enthusiastically promote IUFB. But still the 3 recruiting classes of 2005-6-7 were at the bottom or near the bottom of the B1G. Depth was thinner than overnight ice. Lynch then drove it even lower. When BL was fired what he left Wilson for talent was more suited for playing canasta than FB.

  20. here we go, the WR’s need breakaway speed , can they get opened we saw in the spring game it was difficult. the 7 on 7 was a joke. I wish Mike does get healthy still a year away. Tuttle not sold on, anyone know the real reason he left UTAH, you will be shocked if you dig into it. Penex is definitely better then Tuttle imo. I wonder how many parents call Coach Allen to demand there kids play.

    1. Well, that was a bunch of words.

      Was there a question or a comment buried in that mess?

  21. Think, you claimed IU went 6-6 in the regular season, which was not the case. That’s the issue that I’ve been trying to correct you on, along with the expectation that fans had for that season. Not sure why you’re unable to grasp these things, especially the record.

    1. BD,
      When I am wrong, I admit it and apologize for wasting the posting board and your time on this point. You are correct, my memory was faulty. I should have gone back and double checked the season instead of relying on my memory. IU did go 7-5 in the regular season which met the minimum expectations. The disappointment for a lot of fans was not winning the 8th game or more with that particular team. Unfortunately, only winning 7 games turned out to be the high water mark of the Lynch tenure and a harbinger of things to come.

  22. chet, the reasoning in your post above is faulty. I can label my camps anyway I want, and one camp does not have to be the opposite of the other. The camps I referred to were made up of people who had commented on this string, not the entire Hoosier Nation. Just because you don’t express optimism about IU Football does not mean you’re a pessimist. Or another way to put it is like this. Every optimistic member of the Hoosier Nation who predicted IU Football would produce a winning season over the last 11 years has been wrong! Those people who believe IU Football will produce a winning season in 2019 are likely to be wrong again. Saying that does not make me a pessimist, it makes me a realist! As for pessimists, I have not noticed any participating in the discussion. I doubt pessimists would bother to even visit this site or take the time to write a comment about IU Football. People who are pessimists, when it comes to IU Football, gave up a long time ago, and they won’t find any reason to be optimistic until IU produces a winning season. And that’s the problem! Tens of thousands of IU students, alumni and fans spread over three generations have no confidence that IU can produce a winning football season. That’s why we can’t remember the last time the small-capacity Memorial Stadium was sold out. That’s why it’s more than half empty at the start of the second half of IU home games. That’s why there are only a handful of the same people commenting on football stories on this site. If you’re commenting on IU Football on this or any other site, you have to be a die-hard Hoosier fan. The pessimists stopped caring a long time ago.

    1. In other words, ‘here is why I am a defeatist’.

      There is nothing new here. Just a rationale for defeatism.

      You know, that’s okay. I certainly am not going to argue your feelings with you. But you are trying to explain to us why we should be defeatists, too.

      Feel however you want. Give reasons why you feel as you do, if you wish. But trying to make others into defeatists because of how IU performed in previous decades is just silly. What Lee Corso or Cam Cameron did has no bearing on anything.

    2. Po,
      I agree with most of what you are saying, but there are still the Mallory years, and the lack of support despite his producing winning seasons.

      1. PO, you are right, there are no pessimists here. Some despair from time to time, but that’s realism, or IUFB historical literacy, of you will, but not pessimism.

        Indeed, thinker, about lack of support for Mallory. In my long-running debate with PO about whether IU has the $$$ to pay a FBHC more than it habitually does, I looked up the attendance figures for IUFB at home during Mallory’s peak years; the numbers were ever-so-slightly higher. No one cared that IUFB was playing meaningful games in November for several years. Or at least cared enough to buy tickets. PO is right, of course, that as a matter of arithmetic, if Memorial Stadium put another 15,000 people in the seats every home game there would be a lot more $$$ to pay for coaches’ salaries. But as air-tight as the arithmetic might be, IUFB could win fifty games in the next six years and it wouldn’t move the attendance needle. Let’s hope TA can prove me wrong, but I’ll be happy even if he proves me right!

  23. Chet, calling me names is silly and does not advance your argument. Is it “defeatist” to say that IU football has recently had several positive develops? Is it defeatist to say that Allen has improved recruiting? Is it defeatist to say that it appears he has upgraded the OC position and the level of talent and depth at QB? Is it defeatist to say that relinquishing the DC responsibility was a good move? I’ve posted all those positive/optimistic comments on this site recently. And I didn’t call you a “Polly Anna” because you may believe IU will produce a winning season in 2019. Chet, why would any “defeatist” bother to even participate in a discussion about IU football on a site like this? There are tens of thousands of IU Football defeatists spread throughout the Hoosier Nation. They don’t believe IU will consistently produce winning seasons. Some have even suggested (on this site) the ridiculous notion that IU should eliminate the football program entirely. Those folks don’t tend to invest any time or energy getting involved in discussions about IU’s Football program. Unlike the two of us, they couldn’t care less.

    1. So, acknowledging your defeatist comments is now ‘name calling’.

      I’ve seen grapes with thicker skin.

  24. think, ironically the way Mallory was fired did further damage to IU’s reputation and especially the Football program. Football coaches around the country (not to mention a lot of Hoosier fans) who had great respect for Mallory were disgusted by the way IU Administration handled Mallory’s termination and the lack of support he got during his time at IU. There’s no question that debacle gave IU’s Administration a black eye. Then replacing Mallory with a young and very unproven Offensive Coordinator set IU Football back even further. You could write a case study on how not to run a University’s Athletic Department based on those terrible decisions.

    1. Po,
      I agree totally the way Mallory was treated during his tenure damaged IUFB in a major way and basically undermined everything he had accomplished. Sadly, in a different way, history repeated itself in terms of administrative incompetence with the way the Hep situation was handled. A very poor choice for his successor squandered any progress Hep had made prior to his untimely passing.

  25. Wanted to correct some misperceptions regarding Mal’s time at IU. Fan support during the winning seasons was really quite good, with a number of crowds at or near Memorial Stadium capacity and solid support at the bowl games. As for his firing, though no one liked that it happened, he did allow the program to fall to the very bottom of the Bog 10 very quickly, with no reasonable expectation that he could revive it. They lost 15 straight conference games and recruiting had fall off a cliff. A change, however difficult, was absolutely necessary.

    1. BD,
      The fan support was okay, but not anywhere near the level for what he accomplished. The real problem was lack of financial support for the program in terms of salaries. Staff got poached big time. If the dollars had been there for staff, might have been easier to hang on to them. There was a reason why Saban was able to hang on to Kirby Smart for so long, making too much money to go anywhere but a choice assignment.

    2. BD, it was indeed time for Mallory to go, but you are wrong about the attendance numbers. As I posted a few minutes ago, attendance in Mallory’s best years was somewhat better than typical attendance other years, but hardly indicative of a groundswell of support for a winner. You can look it up if you care to spend a lot of time on your computer. I did.

      Of course, I probably looked up a bunch of bogus numbers. See (about actual count of tickets scanned at the gate compared to reported attendance): “Interestingly, Purdue’s official attendance took the highest jump in the country last season, up 13,433 fans per game, but the school said they couldn’t report the scanned figures to the [Wall Street] Journal [which reported the original story] because of “outdated equipment, connectivity problems and user error.”” Ironic considering that Pee-yew is supposed to be the state’s “tech” (as opposed to “liberal arts” IU) school.

  26. There was great staff stability during Mal’s time, so your statement of a lack of salary support isn’t accurate. The biggest loss then was Joe Novak, and that was because he got the Northern Illinois job. But IU and Mal didn’t suffer from staff turnover due to any cause, including poor salary levels.

    1. BD,
      I know he lost more from the staff than just Novak. It’s been 30 years and hard to remember. Some of the others may have better memory and data, but I definitely remember at the time salaries being an issue.

      1. They occasionally lost some guys, but there were no program changes departures, and money was definitely not an issue then. Not saying IU did not fully capitalize on Mal’s success by making bigger investments in the program, but the coaching defection argument isn’t accurate at all.

    2. BD,
      I haven’t had the time to do the necessary research on some of your other claims, but I do distinctly recall at the time staff stability was precisely the problem with Mallory. He wouldn’t fire under performing assistants. There was one thing consistently said about Bill Mallory, he was loyal to a fault. It was that fault which got him fired. Part of the speculation at the time was one of the reasons he didn’t let some of them go was with the woefully inadequate pay at IUFB, who was he going to hire as an upgrade. Woefully inadequate pay to attract top FB staffs has been the hallmark of IUFB’s lack of success.

      Thirty years back is a long time and some of the data needed is difficult to pull. Having to rely too much on memory instead of easily accessible data from recent years. The high water mark of those great years with AT caused IU assistants to be in demand which were those who came in with Mallory. The early staff are the one’s if memory is correct who were the most damaging losses and Mallory couldn’t replace them with equal caliber.

      Here’s the thing which must always be remembered, a successful program will have staff transition. If it does not transition it is due to program stagnation causing less demand for assistants or as in the Alabama case, high enough pay to allow the assistant to be very choosy about the next assignment.

  27. BD, I don’t dispute that it was time for Mallory to “be retired” for the reasons you site above. But I had a huge problem with the way he was terminated. Given what he did for IU, Mallory deserved better. And then, following insult with injury IU’s Administration hired an unproven OC to replace IU’s most successful coach. No one will convince me that Cameron was hired for any reason other than to reduce compensation costs. He wasn’t qualified to be a Big Ten head coach, but he was cheep.

  28. Cam was hired based on his pedigree as an IU alumnus and his college and pro coaching resume. He was also heavily endorsed by Bo and Knight. As for Mal’s departure, how was it mishandled? IU didn’t mistreat him in the way they dealt with him.

    1. BD, I’ve got the same question about “mishandled.” I Agreed with everyone that the IU-powers-that-be typically bungled the follow up hire, but I can’t recall, thirty-something years later, anything (besides the usual unpleasantness of someone getting fired) particularly egregious about Mallory’s termination. Could someone please enlighten us?

  29. The support from Knight and Bo notwithstanding, IU should have know the program needed a proven head coach to replace Mallory.

    As an aside, I just read on The Dailey Hoosier where Tom Fornell of CBS Sports ranked all the Power-five conference football coaches. Tom Allen was ranked 61 out of 65. Purdue’s Brohm was ranked 28th (“2019 College Football Coach rankings: Power Five Coaches Ranked 65 – 25”).

    1. That a nice, meaningless, completely subjective ranking.

      Did he also have an article ranking the brownest coffees?

  30. Fornell could be a moron for all anyone knows. That’s not the point. The point is a major Sports publication posted a story that is not complimentary of IU’s football program. More negative press ads to the negative narrative and does not help the cause.

    1. Big deal. Negative press from someone with a journalism degree nobody on here has heard of. Means absolutely 0 to anyone with eyes.

    2. Bless you, PO, for caring so deeply about the IUFB cause. We all do here. But if you let every disparaging story about you that appears in a major sports publication get you down, you are going to feel worse before you get better. Keep the faith and “GO, IU, BEAT THOSE SISSIES!” Ta ta tah tah, ta tah ta tah!!!!! (Or however it is that the Marching Hundred plays that tag.)

  31. Allen is saying Peyton Ramsey is the starter. The only way Peyton takes the first snap of the year under center better be because every other QB, the holder, the water boy, and half the women’s softball team had aneurysms.

    Going into this summer, there’s no reason for this comment. All he’s doing is showing when it comes to demonstrating leadership, he’s stuck in the mud. If he names another starter at the beginning of the year, he’ll just show that he will throw you under the bus. He just put himself in a situation to lose regardless of the outcome.

    Again, like Allen personally, been crossing my fingers that the buzz on the ground is that he’s turning things around. But I just keep seeing him make so many dumb mistakes. Ramsey and Lagow are the two worst QBs since the dark days of Wilson’s first year with the lesser Kiel and Wright-Baker. Ramsey isn’t a Big Ten QB. Neither were any of those other guys. Ramsey has had two seasons to prove himself and has failed miserably.

    Is Ramsey the only guy showing up for the team Bible study or something? What’s with Allen’s obsession with thinking this guy is any good? I’m completely confused by this…

      1. Well it is like this HC,

        Between 3 and 6 months from now we will find out if DD comments are exuberant silliness or not.

    1. I am with you wanting one of the other QBs to start the season but this Spring both Penix and Tuttle weren’t physically capable to play in the Spring Game. It would have been bad for coach Allen to say Ramsey wasn’t #1 right now. Coach also said he had real competition this Summer and Fall to challenge him and I have to think Coach DeBoer will choose the best QB to start the season.

      1. V13,
        I think this year will be the 1st real test of the Allen system. He now has what appears to be the team’s greatest weakness in the process of being solved at QB. New OC & DC, so there will be no excuses going forward for TA overall. Only fly in the ointment I see is this year, is a much tougher schedule than in years past with the 9 B1G games. The east schedule will be rough as always, but picking up Nebraska and Northwestern for your west games was not a good draw. IUFB may have a chance with Northwestern playing here, but at Nebraska will depend on how far the rebuild has come with their new coach in his 2nd year.

      2. This is substantive. Dunno if I agree though…

        Like I said, this is more about the fact that Peyton Ramsey shouldn’t be under center when Indiana takes their first snap of the season. BY THEN, he should be about 3 or maybe even 4 on the depth chart.

        Knowing that’s the case, why commit to him publicly as the starter now? Why should anyone get that designation on a team that won 2 Big Ten games and lost to their rival again? This is a time for Allen to say that competition for every position should be at it’s peak and no one at any position is sacred.

        Again, willing to be wrong, but just how I see it.

    2. Ramsey and Lagow are the worst QBs since the start of the Wilson era.


      I recall the Hoosiers starting a freshman backup linebacker who immediately got hurt turning the reins over to a somewhat talented seventh grader.

      Ramsey and Lagow are disappointing but they are/were actually quarterbacks.

  32. Yeah I’m silly. If my yawn got any bigger you could assign it a hurricane name.

    How about a substantive response, versus something that looks to me to be problematic? I’m willing to be wrong, but get exhausted with posts that looks like they come from 7th graders on Twitter.

    Who can bring the biggest snark? HC wins today. I’m sooooooo buuuuurned.

    1. DD,
      You know I have been as critical of the QB play over the last two years at IUFB as anyone. This little drama will play itself out this fall. If the problem was DeBord all along as HC and others maintain, then DeBoer should have no problems playing Ramsey, and we should see dramatic results due to the change in OC’s. If on the other hand, PR spends the rest of his collegiate career at IUFB relegated to holding the clipboard, then we will know how bad of a hand DeBord had been dealt.

      Whether or not the DeBord critics are smart enough to realize the logical corner they have painted themselves into remains to be seen. The only way it is DeBord’s fault is if PR starts all season and the results on the field are evident. Anything else proves there was a significant talent shortfall in the QB room the last two years. Why else would you dump a two year veteran starting QB?

      I have shown before when I have been wrong, I will admit it publicly. If I am wrong about PR and by extension DeBord, I will gladly admit my error because IUFB will be reaping the benefit. The real question is to those on the other side of this debate. Will they have the similar integrity to admit when they are wrong?

      1. …”corner they have painted themselves into” while you’re holding the brush and include integrity too…
        That doesn’t even earn an ‘atta boy’.

      2. Come on, man.

        You are trying to frame this as ‘heads I win, tails you lose’.

        Those are interesting parameters but I don’t agree with what Ramsey’s success or failure actually means.

      3. Aww HC,
        Don’t sweat it, you either Chet.
        You’re not in the boat alone, I had to get in there too in order to bait you into the logical trap. If I’m wrong about Ramsey’s capabilities and DeBord’s lack of them, I’ll gladly admit it because IUFB will be doing well. The question remains if DeBoer goes with someone other than Ramsey or has no different results than DeBord using Ramsey, will you have the integrity to admit it was not all on DeBord? Maybe he just had the misfortune of coming in when the QB room was very bare and the OL had to be rebuilt? Maybe we are just now seeing the results of 2 years effort to improve the situation?

        1. Well, you just pointed out the fallacy in your own reasoning.

          Regardless of who wins the quarterback competition it will only reflect on the new OC to the extent that team performance in wins and losses is the result of quarterback play in complete isolation. That never happens. Suppose the guy behind center spends the season running for his life or the receivers can’t get open or, if they do, they drop balls. Suppose the running game falls flat.

          Suppose we score 40 points a game but give up 45.

          All those things are quite possible.

          None of those things would be a result of choosing the wrong guy to take the snaps.

          John Elway never to Stanford to a bowl game. Not once. That doesn’t mean Stanford was losing because of Elway.

          1. Glad to see you took the bait too, Chet,

            Nice to have you on board with this little game. I think we might get a couple more passengers to take the bait as well, but we’ll just have to wait and see. You miss one key element in this little trap. We already DO have evidence in this matter. The question is, do you remember what the evidence was, and if so, did you understand the significance? Because it was extremely significant. There are some who saw this evidence unfold before their very eyes and still to this day, fail to fully appreciate it’s significance.

  33. Wow, so much to respond to and comment on.

    davis, I appreciate your concern, but I have extremely thick skin and don’t ever let any disparaging news about IU or disparaging posts directed at get me down. I was simply passing on information in case others on this site don’t visit “The Daily Hoosier.” But there are a few folks on this site that seem to have the mindset that if they don’t read or hear any bad news, then it does not exist and everything is peachy. I’ve never been one to stick my head in the sand.

    DD, your posts above are outstanding (and one made me laugh outlaid). As for expecting “substantive responses” to comments that on this site disagree with, it’s just easier and safer for many to post “snark,” especially when they know they can’t win the debate. While I agree with you that Allen should not have named Ramsey the starter, I’m not worried about it at this time. If Allen names PR the starter in late August, I will be very concerned for the upcoming season and begin to wonder if our new OC is worth all the money IU is paying him. It’s one thing to value experience, but Allen would have to be blind not to see the difference in key skills, like the little matter of arm strength. And strategically, I think it would be a huge mistake. Now before you all start accusing me of having a defeatist attitude (totally false), because of this year’s schedule, it is unlikely that IU is going to produce six wins in the regular season. For those of you who object to that statement, ask yourself if you would bet $1,000 on IU winning more than five games in 2019. If you respond “no,” then you agree with me (responding by saying “I don’t wager” doesn’t count). TA needs to produce a winning season before the end of 2020. If he doesn’t, he probably never will, and would likely be fired after 2021, if not after 2020. So if you assume TA is smart enough to see that it will be very difficult to win six games in 2019, why not give one of the more physically gifted QBs the experience he’ll need to produce a winning season in 2020? If TA selects PR to be the starter, then either he’s saying the other two guys are not as talented as everyone believes them to be, and therefore should not have been given scholarships (a program like IU does not recruit highly touted guys like Penix and Tuttle and then have them be back-ups for two or three years. Doing so will degrade your ability to recruit highly touted guys in the future), or TA is in that “win now” mindset at the expense of his program’s future. I just don’t believe PR is good enough to lead IU to a winning season. The only thing that substitutes for experience is superior talent, and Penix and Tuttle appear to these two eyes to have much greater talent.

  34. There are some here that don’t like that CTA is our HC. That’s fine we don’t and won’t all agree on who should run the program. Everyone can have an opinion. However I don’t understand the perception that CTA took over a program that was ready to turn the corner and “breakthrough”. That CTA has somehow underperformed or even taken the program back a step or two. That if he doesn’t win now we should move on. In my opinion this is simply ridiculous.

    CKW improved recruiting but did a poor job of managing the roster. He improved the offense but did nothing for the defense, at least not until he hired CTA. CKW was here 6 years, won 26 games and lost 47. In each of his last 2 years he did win 6 games to qualify for a bowl. However 2015 was the last year for an 8 game B1G schedule and we should have lost the Southern Ill game. 2016 was a 6 win season only because of CTA’s defense and the fact that MSU and PU sucked.

    That’s what CTA took over. Not a team that was ready to win 6, 7 or more games but a team that had been just good enough to win 6 against weaker schedules than the 2017 or 2018 teams had to play.

    Again IMO both the 2017 and 2018 Hoosiers would have won 6 or even 7 games with those schedules. I get that 6 wins is a magic number but 2015 and 2016 were not great teams. They were good, better than what we had had for the majority of years going back to the early 1990s, but not great.

    CTA has drastically improved recruiting, has done and continues to do a much, much better job of managing the roster. It’s still a work in progress yes, but there is no doubt it is going in the right direction. He has improved depth on BOTH sides of the ball far more than any coach IU has had for a very long time if not ever. This coaching staff has won 5 games per year against a 9 game B1G schedule and more difficult out of conference scheduling rules than any staff before it.

    Some believe that this is a must win season for CTA and/or that he can’t lose to PU again. While I am all for IU winning and beating PU it is just ridiculous to imply that CTA would be fired if those things happen again this year.

    This year CTA will become the 18th IU HC to last at least 3 seasons. If IU wins 5 or more games in 2019 he will become only the 7th out of those 18 to win at least 5 games in a season 3 times. And he would be only the 3rd IU coach to do so in 3 consecutive seasons. Think about that, as of today only 2 coaches in IU history have won 5 or more games 3 or more years in a row. He would be the first to do so in his first 3 years and the first to do so against a 9 game B1G schedule.

    As for beating PU, IU has a 41-74-6 all-time record against PU. IU is 8-16 in the last 24 and has been outscored 858-550 over those 24 years. That’s an average score of 36-23. As much as I would love to beat PU this year and every year I don’t think another loss to PU in 2019 would be cause to fire anyone.

    In 2019 CTA will have his first full recruiting class on the field and partial use of his second. Given how much he has improved IU’s recruiting I would like to see what the team looks like with 3 or 4 of his classes out there. If at that point IU is still winning 5 games each year I’ll likely have a different opinion, but as of today I’m excited, thrilled even, with where this program is and the potential of where it could go.

    Some of you will put me in the optimistic camp for my opinions but I believe I’m a realist. I fully expect 5 wins to be the likely outcome in 2019. Anything more would probably push me into that optimistic camp.

    We are more athletic top to bottom but a lot of that athleticism is in the freshmen and sophomore classes. We are young but have some experience. We are growing depth but still lack depth in some important areas. We have good coaches in place across the board but need to adjust to a new OC and new DC. We have a good man as our HC, a man that knows football but still needs to learn about being a HC at this level. We have potential but need to continue to improve to reach that potential.

    5 wins in 2019 is realistic, 5 wins in 2019 is not a step back or a failure. 5 wins, gain experience, add depth, balance the roster and get everyone on the same page with the new OC and DC. That is success in 2019. That is how IU builds for 2020, 2021 and a future where winning 5 games 3 years in a row isn’t one of the best streaks in IU history.

    1. You are factually accurate.

      I am hoping for more than 5 wins but, as you pointed out, many here have forgotten that no other IU coach has been as successful as CTA.

  35. Truth, good comments above, but I’m not reading the type of comments you allude to in your long post above. I don’t recall anyone writing Tom Allen needs to win in 2019 or lose his job. I’m not reading any comments suggesting TA has not improved recruiting, or made several other positive moves (OC, DC, S&C program). But it is fair to note that IU beat Purdue and went to consecutive bowl games in the two seasons before TA became head coach, but has yet to do so since being promoted. I think it’s fair to ask how long it will take for TA to go through the head-coach learning curve. It’s not about comparing today’s program to the program in place in 2015 and 2016, it’s about comparing IU’s program to the other teams in the Big Ten, TODAY! The 2019 IU team is not playing IU’s 2015 team this season, it’s playing nine other Big Ten teams. Is the program making progress relative to the other teams in the Big Ten, treading water, or sinking? There are signs that IU is making progress, but is it enough progress to produce a winning season? And lastly, please don’t use IU’s young talent as an excuse. OSU loses a lot Juniors with one year of experience as a starter to the NFL every year. Every Big Ten team loses a lot of experience and talent every year. That’s why keeping the recruiting pipeline full and improving is essential. So far, TA’s recruiting provides reason for optimism going forward. Now he just needs to prove that he knows a Big Ten Quarterback when he sees one.

    1. Okay, let’s be honest.

      Purdue was an absolute dumpster fire the seasons Wilson’s team won 2 straight against them. Obviously, that was a big part of those wins.

      They were a bowl team the seasons Allen’s teams lost to them. Not a great one but a helluva lot better than the teams Wilson beat.

  36. Allen’s first year as HC, the team was coming off back to back 6 win seasons and had the most returning starters in the Big Ten. That team clearly under-performed. Last year, the team had mediocre talent but also had opportunities to win 6. While Allen hasn’t been terrible, he hasn’t shown an ability to improve results either. Allen’s only Big Ten wins are against a terrible Illinois team, a Maryland team without a head coach and perhaps the worst Power 5 team in college football (Rutgers). His teams have been soundly outscored in the 1st and 3rd quarters where game plans and halftime adjustments are put to the test. And although he has boundless energy and enthusiasm, that energy hasn’t always carried over to the players. Particularly disturbing is the team’s inability to play at their best in the match-up games. Purdue, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan State where particularly disappointing last year. But he has recruited better, especially at QB, and the new OC seems like an improvement. I want to see 6 wins in this his third season. Those that say he’s the right man for the job seem to base their opinion on his likability- not his results. For the rest of us, wait and see seems the order of the day.

    1. Quick quiz,

      Name the IU football coach with the most success in their first two full seasons.

      1. Bo McMillan, James Horne, James Sheldon, Winchester Osgood, Robert Wrenn and Madison G. Gonterman all had winning records in their first 2 years. By contrast, Allen’s pathetic .222 conference winning % is solidly below IU’s historic average of .302. Is that the point you are trying to make?

        1. You are correct. I should have prefaced ‘within any of our lifetimes’.

          I never saw Babe Ruth, either.

    2. H86,
      Have the most returning starters in the B1G is meaningless if you don’t have a B1G level QB or OL among those returning starters. No under performing by TA in the first two years, lucky to win 5 both years.

      1. Because you weren’t old enough or because you never got to New York in your horseless carriage? (Never can be too sure with the adult diaper crowd on this forum).

        1. You know 123, most of the “adult diaper crowd” used to think that too. Only problem was once we got a few miles on us, we began to realize just how much we didn’t know. Funny thing is, the generations before us came to the same realization, but we were just like you, too young to know what we didn’t know. Hang around long enough and you will find this to be true as well.

          1. Ya I wasn’t born old. But challenges, opportunities, luck and faith in a higher being got me the years needed to develop some wisdom and asking about what I don’t know. I’ve arrived. Good luck with your chance.

          2. Think- your posts are always big on emotion, short on thought. Some people grow wise, some just grow old. Think about it.

          3. Like I told you 123,
            Hang around long enough and you will see. That’s not emotion speaking, that’s experience.

        2. 123,

          Dude, YOU are the only one bringing up the coaching record of Robert Wrenn and Madison G. Honkerman, or whatever, and claiming it is somehow relevant to anything.

          YOU are the one sounding like Father Time.

    3. Did that team under perform or perform like a team that lost the #1 WR [now in the NFL] for the season, lost a three year starter at RT a senior, lost a TE for a # of games [he is now starting in the NFL], lost an All-American Guard for a #of games, and started a new Center. I understand many, including me, wanted that team to win a Bowl game but we couldn’t for see the major injuries they dealt with. Thinking they under performed is more based on hope for the season that dealing with the realities of the season.

      1. Using any objective measure- # of returning starters, RPI rankings, performance against the spread, Allen under-performed his first year. You can come up with reasons for why you think they under-performed but it doesn’t change that basic fact. Now with the new OC and improved quarterback options, hopefully they will out perform expectations. KenPom’s 5 factors for winning include: Explosiveness, Efficiency, Field Position, Finishing Drives and Turnovers. IU has been good in Efficiency and Turnovers, bad at Explosiveness and Finishing Drives and ok at Field Position. My hope is either Penix or Tuttle will start, their passing game will be more explosive leading to better finishing of drives. If everything else holds the same, IU starts winning and the people commenting here will be less likely to attack each other as they are today.

        1. I agree I think 5-7 was underperforming by the D both seasons. If Allen’s D had garnered results like his 1st year they’d have gone bowling.

  37. Chet, what made the Purdue teams “dumpster fires” in the four consecutive years IU beat them head to head? What turned those dumpster fires around in one year with virtually the same roster? It was coaching. Getting much better performance out of largely the same group of players is a sign of excellent coaching. Someone at Purdue believes Brohm is an excellent coach given that they decided to pay him about $5 million per year.

    1. Sure. I don’t think there is any doubt they upgraded coaching. That’s why the last guy is gone.

      That was a pretty low bar to clear, though.

      1. Let’s not put him in the HOF with a 13-13 record and the worst beat down in bowl game history quite yet.

  38. Another way to answer Chet’s question “Name the IU football coach with the most success in their first two full seasons” is by asking a few other questions. For example, name the IU coaches who took over after their predecessors lead IU to two consecutive bowl games. Or, name the IU coaches who took over for coaches that produced back-to-back 6-win seasons. Or name the coaches who got the job during a period of unprecedented investment to improve IU’s football facilities. TA has benefitted from some unusual (relative to IU’s history) circumstances, and the jury is still out as to whether he’s able to take advantage of the support. IU’s improved recruiting provides reason for optimism, but TA has yet to prove that he can utilize better talent to produce better results (a winning season).

    Given that the program was inclined upward when he got the job, Allen has to be the most fortunate IU head football coach ever. I can’t think of any IU coach who got the job after the program produced two consecutive 6-win seasons and two consecutive bowl-game appearances. You could say Lynch was fortunate to inherit a team that Hep built, but his runway was only one season with special (and unusual) circumstances. All the other IU coaches took over programs that had been allowed to become “dumpster fires” and then had to build their programs from scratch, and on shoestring budgets to boot. That’s the key evidence that proves IU’s Administration has been completely inept in hiring and supporting IU’s football coaches over the last 50 years. Sam Wyche was a disaster (nice try, but he only stayed one year). Cameron was a failure. DiNardo was a disaster. And the ultimate disaster was giving Lynch a multi-year contract after the 2007 season. All three blind mice knew Lynch did not have the pedigree or experience to be a Big Ten Football coach!

    So, looking forward, I believe most Hoosier football fans (few as they may be) like Tom Allen, are rooting for Tom Allen, recognize Tom Allen has made some good moves and are cautiously optimistic about his ability to produce a winning season in the next two seasons. But if he does not, the question then becomes “will IU’s administration allow the football program to backslide into another dumpster fire?” As I’ve said for some time, it’s not just about Tom Allen, it’s about IU’s AD, President and Board of Trustees.

    1. Sure. The jury is also still out on whether his predecessor could ever coach a team to a winning record.

      Because he never has.

      Wilson was certainly an upgrade over Lynch, much like Brohm was an upgrade over Hazel, but he never won at IU or anywhere else as a head coach.

      What he turned over was a team that hadn’t had a winning record since Coach Hep turned over his team to Lynch. They were losing by less but they were still losing.

      Anything CTA accomplishes are on him.

      Same for failures.

  39. Good points, Chet. And that’s what I’ve been saying for some time now. It won’t really be TA’s fault if he does not succeed. It really wasn’t Lynch’s fault. It really wasn’t Cameron of Wilson’s fault. Each of those men were hired to do a job that they probably were not ready or qualified to do. I think they all tried their best, and some made progress. But the combination of no prior head coaching experience, IU’s losing legacy, weak fan support and the smallest (or second smallest) football budget in Big Ten was a formula for continued failure.

    I really hope Allen and his new Coordinators make it happen within the next two seasons.

    1. Po,
      We all know there is no guarantee that TA will succeed. However, it sure does appear he is trying to do all the right things to succeed. Yes, he has made his fair share of rookie HC mistakes, but hopefully he his learning from every mistake. If he is learning from his mistakes, and can continue to do the right things, sooner or later something good is bound to happen. The only caveat is that something good, may be subjective depending one’s perspective.

      PS 2 things, seen where Tommy Stevens is landing at Mississippi State. It will be interesting how he reacts to his first bonafide SEC hit. Never know, he might start wondering if he shouldn’t have taken that IUQB starter’s job KW was offering him. On that note, still wondering where our H4H has disappeared to. Ain’t the same without him.

  40. Agreed that T.A. has made what appears to be several good moves. New OC, relinquishing the DC responsibilities, new S&C staff, improved recruiting, and recruiting more and better quarterback talent. Going forward, the key remaining questions to me are: 1) Offensive line; 2) choosing the right quarterback, and 3) ability to make in-game decisions/adjustments.

    I read in the Indy Star that Allen said that the starting QB job is PR’s to lose. He really didn’t have a choice based on the issues that affected the other two candidates during Spring camp. But I’ll be dismayed if PR is still the starter at the end of August. I just don’t believe PR has the talent to beat all but one of the Big Ten East’s defenses. The inexperience of the other two may not allow them to beat those defenses this year either, but getting them the experience necessary to allow their superior talent to begin beating solid defenses in the future should be a priority.

    1. What else can you say when you have a returning starter who is an upperclassman facing off against 2 (eligibility wise) freshmen?

      “Well, Peyton had a nice run the last couple years but, let’s face it, we all know these two freshmen are better.”

      Dabo Sweeney wouldn’t say that…even though he thought it.

  41. TA signed Brandon Knight’s brother, Cameron. He’s a 6’3″ 285 lb guard from Noblesville. He was a 2 star prospect with only 1 other offer, Ball State. Let’s hope he has as good a career as his brother.

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