IU’s Tom Allen at Big Ten Media Day

Here are Tom Allen’s statements from the podium at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago.

Opening statement: Honored and blessed to represent Indiana University here today and my home state. I’m very proud to be an Indiana Hoosier. I brought with me three fine young men that represent our university in a first-class way. Nick Westbrook coming with us today, a young man that does a great job in the classroom, on the football field, nominee for the Wuerffel Trophy, the AFC Good Works team, twice nominated for Biletnikoff as a receiver, three time all Big Ten as an academic performer, overcame an ACL injury in the 2017 season, and poised to do a great job for us on game day. Also Reakwon Jones, a young man I have a ton of respect for that we brought with us to Big Ten Media Days. A young man that’s overcome a lot of adversity. Had to sit behind Tegray Scales who’s an All-American for us at linebacker. Got a chance to be the starter last year, did a great job for us, being able to go through some adversity. Family went through a hurricane down in Florida, he lost his home, lost a lot of things, were able to keep their health. But that was tough for him. So we rallied around him. I really appreciate what he’s becoming and the man that he’s turning into as he’s each and every day training to be special on and off the field. Also Coy Cronk, young man came with us today that — a lot of respect for. Started 36 of 37 games since he’s been a Hoosier. Was the first young man to be a 13- game starter as a true freshman on the offensive line. Never had that happen before in our program’s history, and was a first-time All-American as a freshman for that group. So those three men are all strong majors in the classroom, going to all graduate in December, two business degrees and a media degree from that group. Very excited to start year 3 as Head Coach here at Indiana. We’re on the cusp of opening a multimillion dollar facility for our football players, the Terry Tallen Football Complex. We open here in a couple weeks. There will be a new football locker room and training room area, and a player’s lounge for our players. Really excited about the commitment that Fred Glass has made to Indiana football and continues to make. And our players are very excited about opening up that facility here very, very soon. I believe in what we are building at Indiana and how we are building it. It’s a process to get where we want to be as a program. Our one word for 2019 is grit. I define that as perseverance and passion towards a long-term goal. We’re building this program on accountability, toughness, and love. I believe in those things. We’re attracting young men that want to come to Indiana and be a part of our program and help us break through and make history. We have our eyes fixed on what we want and what we believe we’re going to expect to accomplish at Indiana. I learned a lot since my first season in 2017, a year where we competed and fought against the very best in our conference each and every year but fell short and struggled to finish. We really had an issue with depth. Did not have a lot of it at that point and had to go out and recruit. So what we did as a staff is we went out and recruited the second-highest-ranked class in the history of our program, which led into last season. Developed those guys, made some changes in the weight room. Love the way our players responded. We had some depth in 2018 but it was very, very young depth, depth that caused us to be able to, at times, struggle to finish, as well. But once again, competing against the best in our league each and every week. So we turn around again, go into this year. Went out and recruited, built relationships, and signed the highest-ranked class in the history of our program. So this year I see us as a football team that is starting to build the depth you need to compete in this conference. I would consider us a young, experienced team. We played 16 freshman last year, 10 on defense, 6 on offense, in meaningful minutes in the rotation. Those guys had a chance to develop and grow. Another offseason under our belt with our strength staff and our nutrition staff, it’s helping our players develop physically. It’s making a difference in our program. As we approach the 2019 season, we have three quarterbacks that I believe all three are capable of leading our football team. Peyton Ramsey is a young man returning starter done a tremendous job for us and he’s going to be in competition with Michael Penix and Jack Tuttle. Obviously as the returning starter, he’s the guy they’ve got to beat out. But I believe in Michael Penix who’s worked extremely, played some meaningful minutes last year before an injury, and has worked extremely hard this off-season and is fully healthy and ready to go. Jack Tuttle transferred to us from Utah, a young man that had a great man, had worked extremely hard, has a tremendous arm talent and ability to lead our football team. Have a receiving corps and a running back group that I believe in. We have depth there, have competition there. Iron sharpens iron. It makes you better, it makes me better, makes all of us better. Offensive line led by three seniors. I already mentioned one of them, Simon Stepaniak as well as Hunter Littlejohn. Three seniors with Coy that lead that group. Have to develop depth at that position and continue to do that throughout fall camp. Also excited about our defense, going to turn the reins over the Kane Wommack. As I’ve stated before that I will no longer be calling the defense. I feel like it’s time for that opportunity to be passed on and excited about the ability for me to be able to be the head coach of the football team in a more effective way. So Kane comes to us and was with us last season. He and I learned this system from his father, who I coached for at Ole Miss, Dave Wommack, and we’re on the same page philosophically, and so I had a great spring with out young defense. It’s very athletic. Have depth at all positions, still young depth, once again, that we’re trying to develop. But I love how hard they play, how fast they play, and how physical we’re becoming on that side of the football and I have high expectations for our defense in 2019. Also with the retirement of Mike DeBord, we brought in Kalen DeBoer as our new offensive coordinator from Fresno State. I’ve known him for many, many years. Tremendously high character individual, is a great husband and father and leads his family well, so we brought him here to lead our offense. He’s been a very successful collegiate head coach and also a very, very effective offensive-minded individual that can move the football down the field and score points, which has been our issue on offense. So I’m excited about the opportunity that our young football team has as we have a good nucleus of strong senior leadership as well as youth and athleticism and a strong passion to create change at Indiana. Ready for questions at this time.

Q. You mentioned your quarterbacks. Could you run a two-quarterback system or do you feel like you need to pick one guy and go with him?

TOM ALLEN: We don’t plan to run a two-quarterback system. Obviously it’s happened in the past, and it’s been successful other places, but the plan now is to pick one and let him be the man. As I mentioned before, we’ll go into fall camp and make those decisions, but I really believe in each one of those individuals and they all have their unique skill sets and strengths that they bring to the table. And they’re all a little bit different, but they all have the ability to throw the football and extend plays, which is a key ingredient to what we’re trying to accomplish offensively. So that’s something that we will unfold throughout fall camp, and we’ll make a decision before game 1.

Q. It’s been asked a couple times before, but there’s a power balance that’s been on the Big Ten East. What are your thoughts on potential realignment, somebody who would be definitely affected by that?

TOM ALLEN: Well, you know, bottom line is those are decisions that I have nothing to do with. I’ve been in multiple conferences when you have cyclical opportunities for teams to rise up and have a certain level of play on the field, and so I think we play in a great league that is highly competitive and we play teams from both divisions. That’s a decision that others might make. If it changes, it changes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But we just play the teams that show up on game day.

Q. You talked about recruiting when you opened. What’s making Indiana a more attractive destination for some of the top recruits that you’re targeting?

TOM ALLEN: Well, we do a really good job, I believe, as a staff of targeting young men that fit who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish, and we recruit the entire family. We recruit the peripheral part of the family as much as we do the player himself. I’m a big relationships person. My faith and family is the two most important things to me, and I think that resonates with recruits. They know that we’re going to mentor them, we’re going to love them more as a person than as a player, but we’re also going to hold them accountable to high standards in the classroom and as a young man as they’re going to learn to develop character and leadership and become the men I believe they were created to be. And so I think the key is finding guys that fit that, that want that, that want to get a world-class education at Indiana and want to play the highest level of college football in the Big Ten. The bottom line is we’ve found guys that fit that mold and we recruit our tails off to get them. It takes a lot of energy, a lot of effort, and right now we’re winning those battles.

Q. You touched on Kalen DeBoer taking over the offense this season. How do you expect the guys to adapt to the new scheme, and should IU fans expect a significant departure from what took place the last couple years or will it be somewhat similar?

TOM ALLEN: Well, we’re not running split back veer or the triple option under center, so I don’t think it’s going to be dramatically different than it has been in the past. You’ll have some core principles that will be the same. It obviously will be different, and every coach has their own twist on things and the way that they present the offense. But to me, it’s more about formational things and personnel groupings and the way that we get into different looks and how we disguise looks and all that. So I think you’ll obviously get a chance to see that week one and beyond, but the bottom line is it is a new system — and I told Coach DeBoer when he got here, I want him to come in any completely implement everything as he wanted it in terms of terminology and everything, and let our guys be able to learn a new system. And they’ve embraced it, and we’ve done a great job this spring, I believe, and in the summer within the rules that we can follow to be able to get it installed. And so we’ll have a great plan for fall camp, as well. I think there will be some changes. It will look a little different, but I wouldn’t say it’s wholesale changes for sure. But at the same time, it is a new system, new offense, new play caller. I think play calling is an art, and I think that Kalen DeBoer is a gifted play caller.

Q. This is your third year. In what ways do you feel like you’ve grown as a head coach and in what ways have you developed?

TOM ALLEN: First of all, it’s been a great opportunity to learn, and you have to learn from the mistakes that you make. And I would say game-day decision making, I’ve really grown in the last couple years, and I think even going into year 3 with not being the defensive coordinator. I’ve felt very strongly about staying in that role the first two years, but I think it was time for me to be able to step aside from that and be able to become a better coach of the team and not just the head coach of the defense. So I think that the game-day decision making and all that goes into that and being able to not have to go back and address the defense during the game, I think that’s going to be big for me to be able to be more involved with the offense. I’m not going to tell Kalen what to call. I don’t believe that in that. You hire great people and you let them do their job. But I also feel like that’s an area that I feel more and more comfortable in, as well, so I’m excited about that adjustment. And I think just being a head coach of a team at this level and handling the media schedule and all the things you have to do, you learn how to plan ahead better because you know what to expect next. And I also feel like that getting a better feel for our guys and understanding from a motivational perspective what they’re going to need throughout a season, I think — be more in tune with that as the head coach and not trying to sit behind the film reel and watch so much film to get ready to call the defense. I think that’s an area that really even this spring I felt like I’ve really tried to emphasize and read more books and get my mind filled with more leadership component aspects to being the head coach rather than what we’re going to do on defense to out-scheme our opponents. I think those were two key areas. And then obviously the whole recruiting piece. I’m trying to become a better recruiter, more involved with that. I’ve been very involved already, but I also feel like it’s an area that you can never put too much time into. As the head coach, I want to continue to grow in those areas to do a great job of attracting guys that fit with us and want to be Indiana Hoosiers.

Q. Three games last year lost by a touchdown or less. Anything in particular you’d put a finger on in those games, and how much do you think the additional depth might be able to get you over the hump?

TOM ALLEN: Thanks for reminding me of that. There’s no question, I think, I’ve stated pretty clearly we had young depth last year. We played a lot of guys that may not have been totally physically ready to play because of being freshmen or being really young. And so I have to believe my heart, that that’s a big component to what we have to do next, and with our strength staff being in year 2 of the job that they’re doing, they do an amazing job in there, Dave Ballou and Dr. Rhea and his staff. I just appreciate all their hard work and the way the players are responding to them. So to be more explosive as a team and see those numbers continue to grow as a team as we have in the past year and continue to recruit, it is about depth, and there’s no question about it. And we have to be able to finish quarters, finish halves, and most importantly, finishing the end of the game when fatigue sets in. So playing lots of guys on both sides of the football is key to that for sure, and having more quality players to be able to plug in in those key times. It’s not going to end. We’re not where we need to be yet, but the process is continuing on at a pace that is deliberate and systematic.

Q. After the departure of three of your offensive linemen and the arrival of a new offensive coordinator, how do you visualize the performance of your offensive line for 2019?

TOM ALLEN: Great question. You know, we lost to graduation three really good football players. Wes Martin is with the Redskins now and Brandon Knight is with the Dallas Cowboys and they’ve got a bright future ahead of them. And really feel like that Nick Linder brought a great addition to our team last year coming to us as a transfer. So new team, new group, and we challenged those guys from the very beginning of the summer and even prior to that about how critical their role is going to play in the success of our offense. Coy and Simon and Hunter are three seniors, big, strong, physical guys that have taken ownership of this football especially on the offensive side of the ball, and it starts up front. So I’m really excited about those young men. Obviously we’ve got to have other guys step up. You need about seven or eight guys that you can count on consistently each and every week to be able to play on the offensive line, and we’re going to play our best five guys, however that plays itself out. So we brought in some freshmen that I believe have a chance to give us some immediate depth, and we’ve got some redshirt freshmen and some redshirt sophomores that have been training and working, so that depth is going to be big. Caleb Jones is a big 6’8″, 360 pound offensive tackle that will be our starting right tackle that had a great spring. He’s had an even better summer. And Coy Cronk is going to take him under his wing and really help mentor him. And that’s what I expect. We did a big leadership development with our guys in this off-season, more than I’ve ever done before, and really excited about the way our upperclassmen have responded to that. Have guys from all different grade levels with that group, and a big part of that is being able to become a more stronger, verbal leaders and being able to bring guys with you, to help us change this culture and be where we want to be. We know that the offensive line, as we say, big men lead the way in our program, and they have to do a great job this fall.

48 comments

  1. That’s our guy. Maybe I’m chugging the Kool-Aid but I truly believe Tom Allen is the guy the makes IU football relevant.

    1. Not really. Coach Tom is a much more mature Head Coach now than in the last 2 years. He has grown into the job. Something Wilson did not do. But Coach Tom needs 6 wins + this season!

      1. Bobby was real mature while winning three championships…Our Commander in Chief is real mature while boasting of a stellar “winning” economy. Let’s not equate winning with political correctness or maturity.

        Sure, there are plenty of mature winners…Plenty not so mature as well.
        I enjoyed Wilson for the ‘spit in the eye’ he gave to cynical journalists/radio show hosts …and to arrogant administrators caring more about prim and proper appearances often a facade of ugly greed and other less scrupulous motivations.

        e.g. Clemson coach…Total bogus fraud.

      2. I agree. Kevin Wilson may have understood football but he never displayed the maturity necessary to be a P5 football coach.

        Pretty sure that was his undoing.

  2. I hope Coach Allen is issuing his team a challenge and not providing an excuse when he says “We’re not where we need to be yet, but the process is continuing on at a pace that is deliberate and systematic.” I appreciate his candor and believe he’s the man for the job. I think he’s right, but it’s time for IU to pull off a Big10 upset or two. Even if they’re not quite there yet in terms of depth. Another almost but not more than 5 wins season would be depressing and certainly could put a dent in the upward direction of recruiting. Let’s hope they turn the corner a bit and then some this year and improve on the last two years.

  3. “They know that we’re going to mentor them, we’re going to love them more as a person than as a player, but we’re also going to hold them accountable to high standards in the classroom and as a young man as they’re going to learn to develop character and leadership and become the men I believe they were created to be.”

    You can’t say it better than that. And you know he said it with total sincerity.

  4. We’ll see . . . . People here yak-yak the QB situation to death, but I don’t think it matters too much who plays QB unless Allen gets his act together on Saturdays. Special teams stunk last year. Lots of stupid penalties. The big tackle is a freshman (we’ll see whether his 6′ 8″ footwork is B1G caliber) and the returning guys are returning from an OLine that managed to become mediocre, at best, by the end of the season. Staff can’t seem to figure out who are the best players. Under Allen, IU has simply been unprepared to play football on game day. I like Allen and he gets some slack for time needed to grow into the HC promotion, but it’s year three. We’ll see . . . .

      1. Last season IU scored 38 twice, both wins, and 34 once, also a win. We did not score over 31 again. So 3 of our 5 wins were our 3 highest scoring games. The play of the QB is everything!

      1. that is a good point….individual on this blog are quick to point out that the offensive line was mediocre last year and the year before, yet Indiana put two offensive lineman in the NFL Wes Martin and Brandon Knight…both of which came from the Kevin Wilson era…..An now IU has two more NFL draft lineman in Coy Cronk and Simon Stepaniak (from the Kevin Wilson era) just maybe, maybe Kevin Wilson knew a little something about offensive lineman. These past two years of criticizing the offensive lineman is somewhat out of places….for the past two years these guys have had to work under a different blocking scheme and for a different offensive cord and now another different offensive cord…give the offensive lineman a break.

    1. Big tackle is in 3rd year(RS Soph.)at IU. Played in nearly every game last season. Hardly a recently arrived Frosh. He and Stepaniak @ (G) together should be stout on the right side of the OL.

      1. But he struggled last year, so hopefully his development will lead to bigger things for him.

        1. Duh, my double bad on Caleb Jones. I don’t know how I missed all 6′ 8″ of him. But, BP, I didn’t mean that QB play is inconsequential; my point was that unless some other serious problems are fixed, top-flight QB or not IUFB will continue to struggle. Penix, Tuttle, or Ramsey can might get the offense into the red zone, but a bone-head penalty can negate the whole drive. Lousy field position ’cause of lousy kick coverage can lead to the other guys scoring 45 to IU’s 40. Inge is now year-two as the full-time special teams honcho; his seat should be very, very, hot.

          1. We had top talent on the other side of the parking lot and it didn’t end in a “Rosy” Final Four.

            A qb who can get the ball downfield will certainly help. But does he have enough savvy and composure? Will he not sell the play too early? Does he have the vision and intuition to feel a blindside rush…or blitz? Will the play-calling suit the vulnerability of a defense..or specific defensive personnel?

            There are no easy fixes…New coach(relatively)..New talent…Unproven talent. Unproven coordinators at the Big level. It’s starting at the start line again…while everyone else is 3/4 around the track.

        2. …many struggle their 1st year on B1G turf…but he played in 11 games so he didn’t struggle without improvement…

  5. Interesting comments from TA,
    Was quite curious about his quote regarding the QB’s, “they all have the ability to throw the football and extend plays.” Yes, anyone can throw a football, I can throw a football, but can all three throw the football at B1G level? Unless the S&C program has worked miracles in the off season, only 2 out of the 3 contenders can potentially throw the football at a B1G level.

    Other comment confirms what I suspected for quite a while. Speaking of new DC Kane Wommack, “He and I learned this system from his father, who I coached for at Ole Miss, Dave Wommack, and we’re on the same page philosophically, and so I had a great spring with out young defense.” No question about it, the new DC was hired specifically because he and TA see eye to eye philosophically. Also lends much credit to a great SEC DC, Kane’s father, Dave Wommack.

    Could be an interesting year if the QB situation goes in a very positive direction.

    1. Can’t see Allen disengaging from the D Coordinator role. I know he’s tapped KW on the shoulder for that, but he’ll have his hands all over it.

      1. I’m sure he’ll still be heavily involved in the defense. Sounds like he is more or less just giving up the play calling duties. We’ll see how it plays out.

  6. Allen really has needed to be a head coach, not the D coordinator and a guy who passed the offensive duties to others. It’s one of the shortcomings of hiring such an inexperienced coach, and it’s not clear that he’s learned from this based on his comments.

    1. BD,
      I don’t see TA trying to micromanage the D unless there is a problem. I think the key for Allen was making sure he had someone who mirrored his own defensive philosophy. He couldn’t do that right off in the first year, and he brought young Wommack in last year to acclimate him to the program in preparation for making him DC this year. I think we see this in TA’s own words when he spoke of someone who thinks the same way he does defensively. Not surprising that he would take this approach, it is very similar to his own coming through the ranks under the elder Wommack.

    2. BD, I disagree! It is very clear from his comments that he has learned not to be the D Coordinator and to be the Head Coach! He hired a new D Coordinator! Of course Coach Allen will be involved in the defense, he is the Head Man. But he will also be involved in the offense and the special teams, he is the Head Man! Win 6+!

      1. I hope you’re right and that he’s learned the lesson of coaching the whole team rather than just one part of it.

  7. Coach Allen and coaches are building their classes [2018 and 2019] with very good players. They played some last year and looked ready for the B1G plus they are big hitters that UM complained about. The players are faster, bigger, and stronger coming in that want to build the IUFB program. Our S&C staff is doing a great job building up the players in size, strength, speed/quickness. Things will improve, I hope this year, in the future to make IU a better team in the future.

  8. I’m just finishing up listening to the breakout sessions of the coaches who spoke on Thursday. I noticed something about a few of the coaches that had me understanding the idea of employing a winning attitude. Those coaches spoke directly about expectations for their teams. One even mentioned that he expects his team to be playing in the Rose Bowl or one other highly prized bowl at seasons end. This was coming from a coach whose team finished 7-6. Though his expectations may not be attained, they are lofty, and he is instilling that idea into his players. He expects them to be playing in the Rose Bowl come the end of the 2019 season.

    I mention this because I have never heard Coach Allen make that bold an assertion. How many remember Hep’s press conference when he was introduced as head coach. In front of the podium that day he dropped a single rose into a glass bowl to signify his personal and team expectations. Even though his teams did not achieve that goal, I sensed that he instilled that concept into each of his players. I mention this because I do not hear Coach Allen speaking in that manner. It is all well and good to be humble, especially since he has not cracked the .500 barrier, but I hope he is instilling the idea in his players that the true defining term for a Big Ten Conference team is the Rose Bowl.

    We are so bowl starved that we will be elated with a six win season. That truly would be an achievement, but for him being a coach in the Big Ten I would like to hear him state with confidence as these other conferences coaches have that he plans on playing in the Rose Bowl. My mindset is that you must believe it before you can achieve it. I want the players believing that they will be playing in the Rose Bowl come seasons end, and not to be content with a 6-6 record.

    1. Was “Win Today” believing it to achieve it…?

      I believe Allen instills a winning attitude into his team at every practice. I think he also likely understands just how painful decades of broken promises and broken billboards can be to a fan base.

      Maybe Allen could pull of something hinting of a ‘Rose’ in a future Media Day….

    2. Going to have to do some digging but I think TA has stated that he want’s IU to get to the Rose Bowl.

  9. The quality of IU’s quarterback play will determine whether IU wins more than five games this season. It pretty much comes down to that. Without a very effective passing game, no way IU’s offense can score enough points to beat some of the Big Boys on this year’s schedule. The defense should keep us in games, but to win, IU has got to score a lot of points, and that’s not going to happen unless our quarterback can threaten defenses deep with an accurate and strong arm.

    1. The quarterback does not put points on the board alone. Wilson doesn’t sit in one of the most prestigious play-calling boxes in all of college football because the guy on the field simply has a big arm.
      Risk-taking, inventiveness, play changing/adjustments, pace of offense, preparedness of offense….
      A poor offensive coach can stymie a very good quarterback just as much as if he possessed a squirt gun arm.

      IU Football may have allowed one of the top offensive minds in the game to slip away. OSU doesn’t hire pencil twirlers from the back of the classroom.

      1. He took a lot of years to get to the cusp of mediocrity. It’s not like he didn’t have every opportunity, and plenty of time, to build a winner.

        But, he never did.

        1. …and his responsibilities at OSU seem to get trimmed back a little every season.

          I predict he’ll be gone soon. He was Urban Meyer’s food friend and Meyer was loyal to a fault. There’s a new sheriff in town.

          1. …Wilson’s responsibilities for the Bucks are matched exactly to his strongest skills-game planning, personnel matchups and developing offensive schemes. Nothing trivial or negative about those tasks…it’s OSU, it’s a hell of a gig…

        2. a) He didn’t have Tom Crean’s 10-year calendar which ended with less bang than a mouse passing a couch fart.
          b) He’s at OSU. The previous IU football coach (the guy Wilson had to follow) is at DePauw. That should tell you a bit on what coaching peers believe.
          c) Could Urban Meyer turn IU around in five or six years? We’ll never know. No established proven power conference winner of a coach would ever be dumb enough to put himself through such a hell(regardless of salary).
          d) We have what our history can afford….which includes what no proven winner would ever risk. Why? Because they could end up at OSU and still be called a Hoosier loser.

          1. Oh, and the “Win Today”….malarkey? That’s all on Glass(a.k.a. Fred “Cannon Ball Run” Glass).

            I remember how Wilson handled a mocking Jack Trudeau on a radio interview. He didn’t toss insults back at him. He didn’t throw scripture in his face to warrant himself untouchable and perfect. He simply said he didn’t have time for defeatists. You may not like the man, Chet. I may not like him either…but he changed the culture of the program and left a far stronger foundation than any coach previous. He also brought in NFL quality running backs and, at least, attempted to bring a brand of fast-paced inventive offense that would not put fans(though scant as may be at Memorial) instantly asleep. Considering he inherited the worst college football program in history from Bill Lynch, that’s really quite incredible.

          2. And if all goes well and Coach Allen is the Knute Rockne of chrome candy striped helmets (sort of our version of a “dome” with funhouse mirrors), guess who you have to thank? It ain’t Fred….It’s that mediocre guy preparing to lose his job at OSU.

            May the rest be history; different history, that is.

          3. Yeah, and you may not like Crean but in the same period of time, inheriting a similar train wreck, Wilson never had a winning season while Crean secured a conference championship and two trips to the Sweet Sixteen.

            I’m glad both coaches are gone but don’t act like Wilson achieved something but Crean didn’t. In six years Wilson made the Hoosiers slightly less bad.

            Yay, let’s put him in the HOF.

  10. davis, last year’s O-line played well enough to help a freshman running back gain a whole bunch or yards and set records. Two of those linemen are now with NFL teams, and the returning veterans all have experience. We may lack depth, but last year’s O-line played well enough to allow IU to win 6 games. Our quarterback was the problem on offense while out defense was too young and inexperienced. A good quarterback helps us win six, a mediocre quarterback leads us to another losing season.

  11. No doubt a good QB makes a difference, so if nothing changes maybe IUFB wins six. But if the rest of the act gets cured, that could mean seven or eight wins.

  12. I credit Wilson for improving IU Football and for being a very good offensive coach. His downfall was that he did not know defense, took far too long to find a good defensive coordinator, and was not able to recruit or develop enough quarterback talent (he did not recruit Sudfeld). But to give Wilson the benefit of the doubt, he was encumbered by numerous barriers that no head coach could have overcome. A ridiculously low coaching compensation budget that contributed to frequent turnover of talented assistant coaches leaving the program too soon. Below-average facilities that affected recruiting. And finally, weak fan support.

    I think Wilson is doing what he’s best at, and he’ll probably finish his career as some type of high-level offensive coordinator. I do not believe he will ever be a head coach for a Power-five conference school again. As for comparing Wilson and Crean, in spite of the enormous animus that some Hoosier fans still have for Crean, there’s really no debate. Crean is a much more successful and accomplished coach than Wilson and the “market” clearly shares that opinion.

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