Hoosiers dominate EIU, 52-0

Standing in a pocket as clean as grandma’s china, Peyton Ramsey’s flip out to running back Ronnie Walker exposed the actual distance between Indiana and Eastern Illinois.

Walker stutter-stepped the first defender, bouncing to the sideline. The next Panther ran horizontal toward the boundary, slapping an arm on the Hoosier sophomore as he burst upfield. A third EIU tackler got a hand on Walker’s back — just barely — almost pushing him toward the end zone on a 64-yard score.

The capper to the Hoosiers’ first half in a 52-0 win Saturday wasn’t exactly what IU coach Tom Allen wanted. He was hoping his backup quarterback would be able to milk the two-minute drill a little more.

“I was yelling for Ronnie to get out of bounds,” IU coach Tom Allen said, smiling. “Then when I realized he was probably going to score, I was like ‘No, stay in bounds! Go score!’”

At the half, it was 35-0. Ramsey, the backup quarterback, carried a perfect 1-of-1 passing mark and a rating of 967.6 into the locker room. IU had 338 yards to EIU’s 52.

Throughout a lopsided victory in the Hoosiers’ home opener, the Big Ten team was just faster, bigger, stronger than its FCS foe. If this was the warmup for next week’s visit from No. 5 Ohio State, IU got to stretch its legs plenty.

IU (2-0) finished with 555 total yards, including 197 yards passing from redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in just under two quarters of play. The Hoosiers topped EIU’s first-down total by more than five-fold: 26 to 5.

It was a “taking care of business” kind of win, which was possibly well-placed after an uneven opener against Ball State. IU got to work out the kinks, all while scoring touchdowns on its first three drives of the game.

At the same time, Allen knows the level of difficulty will significantly rise next week.

“Hey, we opened the season against Ohio State before, so we went from no games to Game 1,” Allen said. “It is what it is. Like I’ve said before, I don’t make the schedule. We adapt to what we get and who we’re supposed to play next, so … the Buckeyes are comin’ to town.”

After the game, junior receiver Whop Philyor was asked whether he came to IU to “play” teams like the Buckeyes. Confident after a four-catch, 75-yard day, he made it clear it’s about more than that.

“We come to beat teams like that,” Philyor said. “We aren’t just trying to play, we are trying to beat them.”

And when the foe is EIU, it isn’t just about winning. It’s about dominating.

Philyor gave the Hoosiers the energy to do that with one spectacular 29-yard gain. With his team up 14-0, Philyor took a quick screen and pirouetted off of one shoulder tackle, ripping and spinning through two or three more tackles, all the way down to the EIU 3.

“I actually didn’t know I could do that, to be honest with you,” Philyor said. “I was just running. That’s what I was born to do — run.”

That led to a three-yard touchdown run for redshirt junior Cole Gest to make it 21-0.

“It was unreal,” said tight end Peyton Hendershot, who had another big day with five catches for 52 yards. “Really, the tight ends did a bad job, we didn’t have a good block. But Whop made something crazy out of it, because of the playmaker he is.”

There were plays to be had versus the EIU defense. Donavan Hale, who caught a 43-yard touchdown on a busted coverage, finished with five catches for 110 yards. Sophomore running back Stevie Scott rebounded from an opener where he averaged 2.5 yards per carry, gaining 61 yards on 12 totes this time around.

The lopsided score allowed Allen to get a bunch of younger players experience, including freshman running back Sampson James, who carried 12 times for 22 yards and scored his first collegiate touchdown. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Tuttle entered the game in the fourth quarter, and redshirt freshman kicker Charles Campbell nailed a 48-yard field goal.

The only disappointing aspect may have been the Hoosiers’ inability to come up with a turnover, ending their nation’s best streak at 19 games. Regardless, it was a dominant effort.

“I mean, it’s hard to shut somebody out. I don’t really care who it is,” Allen said. “And so it is what it is. We play who is scheduled on our schedule and, just like I’ve always said, don’t take anything for granted.

“And the fact is that every win is important and we got better from last week, so we just got to continue that climb and make progress from Week 2 to Week 3.”

51 comments

  1. A lot of positives BUT: Hiller is the only part of the puzzle holding this team back. The inability to run the ball vs BSU is one thing, against an OVC team, that’s the confirmation.
    Maybe the deepest, high quality backfield in decades and the OL can’t run block?

    1. I don’t understand how IU could put 2 offensive linemen into the NFL last year (Wes Martin and Brandon Knight) and possibly 2 more this year (Kronk, Stepaniak) and not be more dominant? Not meant as a criticism, just wonder what it takes to have a truly dominant line in the Big Ten?

  2. I tend to agree. If Hiller doesn’t fix the run blocking DeBoer will have 1 of his former lieutenants in Bloomington next year coaching the OL. Sure like his offense and playcalling.

  3. A lot of good things to build upon from this game but the real test comes next week. We will see how well our offense can do against a much better defense. I expect we will see a different approach by our OC and see how he attacks tough defenses. IU was very diversified today but it would have been nice to run the football better.

    The defense was very good today but we have to wonder how they will look against OSU. I think they can cause some problems for the Buckeyes.

    Overall a very good game by the whole team against a team that was outmatched. It was good to see IU make EIU look like they were outmatched something that hasn’t happened all the time in the past.

  4. Standing in a pocket as clean as grandma’s china

    Shouldn’t all china be clean…? I mean, you do eat off of it. Sometimes the grandparents’ china is a bit suspect. Their vision isn’t what it used to be and they miss a few spots at the sink. Check the silver over well too.

  5. V13- That was a very, very …very amateur football team we played today. Playing such a soft team likely sets us back in preparedness more than anything else. Don’t think anything whatsoever can be assessed from this game. I understand the guaranteed victories to get to a Cheetos Bowl, but this was ridiculous.
    Play Army, Navy…Air Force. …Anything is better than this. You couldn’t pay me to be in a seat for such a game. We have no right to complain about attendance….ever.

  6. The O-line has the size, and I think they have the strength. Maybe they’re a step slow off the line. But it does not appear that they’re working in harmony yet. They still don’t look like they’re in sync. Let’s hope they get it together and rise to the level of the competition next week.

  7. Blast from the 2006-2013 past here with PB commenting. Ah miss the days of Korman, Hugh, Dustin. But had to get back to commenting.

    It is what it is with this game. SIU and Indiana St historically gave us fits back the day. Think a 2pt win in a ridiculously high scoring game and loss to SIU if I am correct. So dominating EIU I am alright with.

    Penix Jr, wow his mid to long throws are crisp. Dump offs and shorter routes look hot but he hopefully correct that going forward.

    Real season starts soon with OSU with probably the hardest B10 schedule IU has faced in years.

    6-7 wins I would be ecstatic. If we surprise a team then great, I’ll take it.

    Best,
    PB

  8. A previous comment:

    “Playing such a soft team likely sets us back in preparedness more than anything else. Don’t think anything whatsoever can be assessed from this game. I understand the guaranteed victories to get to a Cheetos Bowl, but this was ridiculous.
    Play Army, Navy…Air Force. …Anything is better than this. You couldn’t pay me to be in a seat for such a game. We have no right to complain about attendance….ever.”

    Please, do tell me, oh wise one, what exactly did the following teams do via their games?

    Alabama 62 New Mexico State 10
    Georgia 63 Murray State 17
    Oklahoma 70 South Dakota 14
    Florida 45 UT Martin 0
    Penn St 45 Buffalo 13
    Wisconsin 61 Central Michigan 0

    Surely the mighty Crimson Tide can do better than New Mexico State. Indiana gets raked over the coals for a sloppy win over MAC team Ball State. Why not call out Wisky for even playing a MAC team? Surely, with their full stands at Camp Randall, they could’ve scheduled a better opponent. I for one have never understood why the big dogs get their kicks off of beating St. Mary’s School for the Poor. Yet, even in this day and age, they continue to do so and their fan bases tolerate it. Indiana is merely following the trail blazing path of oh so many FCS teams. Yes, Eastern Illinois was a joke. So what? How about find some solace in the fact that Indiana did what it was supposed to do,and was pretty much injury free? Seems to me that just a few short years ago Indiana had nail biters or hang-on-to-your-seat specials over games like this one. Rather than acknowledge that Indiana is taking steps in the right direction, the multitude of naysayers above have to find fault and criticize an excellent performance that was never in doubt. I swear, Indiana is doomed by its fickle fans, and damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    And spoiler alert: IU is SUPPOSED to get their tails handed to them by the mighty Buckeyes. Ohio State just annihilated Cincinnati 42-ZIP, and is ranked 5th in the country for a reason. I, for one, will be thrilled if IU is competitive with OSU, even if only for a half. And if miracles never cease and the Hoosiers pull off a HUGE upset, I for one will be elated!

    1. Interesting perspective. They showed the postgame interview with Saban after the New Mexico State game. Reporter asked him why Bama didn’t play a more competitive team, and he said because nobody will accept our invitation. He challenged the reporters and said find me any team in the power 5 conferences that will play us and I will schedule them.

      As I said earlier, Glass says IUFB needs more money and butts in seats. Clemson, Bama would pay him big bucks to schedule them and IU fans would fill the stadium for a home/home arrangement.

      Bottom line here is the first teams you mention above play for conference and national championships every year. Even if the schedule cupcakes it is with those goals in mind. We schedule to get to .500 every year. We have no business knocking any team for their schedule.

      1. Cali,
        You may have another problem with scheduling the Alabama and Clemson’s of the world, getting them to do a home/home arrangement. The upstart Central Florida program has run into this issue with some of the traditional powerhouse schools.

        1. Think, That very well could be the case. But Saban challenged any power 5 team on national tv to schedule them. I would be interested in hearing a power 5 team go on tv and say, we wanted to schedule them but they only agreed to games at their place. The other interesting point saban made was disappointment in students leaving the game after the 3rd quarter. He said ask the students where they want their program to be. They will say number one every time. But they aren’t willing to do what it takes on their end to be number one. Stay all four quarters. Says recruits want a full stadium for 60 minutes.

      1. Exactly, BearDown. The brilliant Pacman of the NW does not get it. We don’t have the luxury of established national championship winners. We are dealing with butts not in seats because we have been a nothing program for decades.
        We should challenge our team in the non-conference whether that means getting to a cheesy .500 bowl or not. “Playing it safe” in the non-conference as to not have more than one or two total losses including our conference schedule? Tell me when we plan on only having one or two losses in our BigTen East conference slate…making this “safe” non-conference scheduling done for the same reason as a national/top-5 or top-6 contender?
        Thus, as CaliHoosier concluded, our entire football objective is simply to get to a crap bowl because we have no hope in ever doing anything in our conference. Sad statement of our belief. Never schedule anyone a challenge in the non-conference because it’s a given we’re never going to be competitive in the conference.

  9. These games are the Big 5 Power Conferences donations to the lower level conference teams to help balance their athletic budgets, some of these non-power 5 conferences are dependent on these getting their asses kicked games to keep sports programs going. Mike Davis the same at Texas Southern with his basketball teams to schedule top opponents and get the big cash payments to carry the school’s other athletic programs, but he also had some good teams that got some upsets, like Michigan State.

  10. There lies the Indiana University football fan problem….”I will be glad if Indiana University football team is competitive for a half”…..The team should not be satisfied with being competitive anymore, it’s time Indiana beat some of the top tier school in football and this conference……Personally have no problem with Indiana playing EIU, most teams make their schedule, with the assumption of getting into a bowl game. I doubt if Indiana would really want to schedule a Alabama, Clemson or for that matter any other power 5 team from the SEC (Kentucky) or ACC (Louisville) with a winning record (both or just across the state line or maybe Cincinnati). To me the bigger question is which of these program is the better 2-0 team in the Big Ten right now…Minnesota, Maryland, Illinois or Indiana??? An which program has the more upside?? Perception is Maryland, which at the beginning of the year everyone projected an Indiana win, has Mike Locksley turned Maryland around in one and surpassed Indiana University in one year?? Most will point to Maryland recruiting, but recruiting is slightly above Indiana.

    1. ^^^Excellent post. And there defines the IU Football fan distinguishing them from any other fan base in the nation. Happy to get their butts served to them on a silver platter as long as we have one competitive half.
      It’s sort of like acting as if there should be a banner ceremony for a coach specializing in reunion parties and Sweet 16 appearances.

      Did this all start with the ‘blue ribbons for everyone’ mentality that destroyed our high school basketball tournament once a singular champion?

      Bars are so…so low anymore for IU coaches getting paid millions upon millions. I certainly hope their goals are higher than the leftover hippy generation resting on the successes and dollars of their mommies and daddies.

  11. Another topic for discussion. College football games are too long in duration. Why stop clock to move the chains? Why 20 minute halftime or more for special events? Why so many commercial breaks after change of possession? I know, money. Why not a mercy rule for these blowouts where the clock keeps running? Fan attention span is only getting shorter. And……….discuss

  12. As long as the Big Ten keeps the expanded conference schedule there won’t be many teams taking a chance on P5 non conference matchup. The margins to get are too small.

    The SEC teams have more wiggle room with the shorter conference schedule. Kentucky has the luxury of an in state rivalry game with Louisville because they still get to play walkovers with Toledo, Eastern Michigan, and Tennessee-Martin. With schedules like that a decent SEC team only has to win 2 conference games to become bowl eligible.

    Big Ten teams don’t have that luxury.

      1. Read your own posts.

        You mentioned Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

        Alabama and Georgia have a shot at a title. Florida wants to get to a bowl. Just like Kentucky, Arkansas, Ole Miss, MSU, South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, et al.

        Every team in the SEC is not just like Alabama.

        1. Chet,
          I agree with you to a certain point. Dan Mullen didn’t leave Mississippi State with a goal of going to a bowl every year, he was doing that already. Mullen went to Florida with the intent of taking the program back to a national championship level.

          Texas A&M did not hire Jimbo Fisher and put the amount of money they have into the program with the intent of going to a bowl every year, they were doing that already. A&M’s goal is to win a national championship and they brought in a coach who had already won one.

          LSU & Auburn are a little harder to calculate in terms of how long the schools will tolerate not being in the national championship conversation. As for the rest of your list, I agree.

          1. Sure, still Florida is locked into playing Miami and FSU since forever. Besides them they play Towson State and UT-Martin. That’s to get to a bowl.

            A&M played Clemson. Good for them. Besides them they scheduled Texas State, UT San Antonio, and Lamar. Bowl game fodder. They played 3 non conference teams possibly than IU did.

            Florida is locked into two non conference rivalry games a year. Such is life. Most everybody else plays 3 weak sisters.

          2. But, what you said actually proves the point.

            Even teams with lofty goals plays weak non conference schedules.

  13. A blowout win against Eastern Illinois is as nonconsequential as a blowout loss will be next week against Ohio State. IU needs 6 wins for a bowl. The 6 wins matter, the 6 opponents don’t. With Maryland a vastly improved team, IU could be better this year but end up 4-8. They need to play their best games against the remaining winnable opponents- Connecticut, Rutgers, Maryland, Northwestern and Purdue. Go 4-1 in those games and IU is in a bowl. Playing their best last year against OSU and PSU meant not playing their best against Minnesota and Purdue. And moral victories didn’t get them any closer to a bowl game.

    1. Are you suggesting we roll over against OSU and PSU to save ourselves for lesser teams? If all you care about is winning half your games to go to a bowl join the MAC conf.

  14. I’ve recently seen some signs of real and significant improvement in IU FB. That does not mean I believe IU will win 6 games this season, but I do believe these signs provide reason for hope in the future. First, we have a good OC. Secondly, we have a real Power-5 QB (and a good back-up), and thirdly, we crushed a team we were supposed to crush (when was the last time IU FB did that?). We haven’t seen those signs for a while now. Put that on top of the improved recruiting, the improved facilities, the improved S&C program and the increased spending on coaching compensation (with the exception of TA’s package) and you have signs of real improvement. A lucky break or two may get us to another bowl this season, but I still think IU is a year away from achieving that goal.

    As far as scheduling FCS schools, it’s stupid for IU to do that. But in fairness to the FB program, let’s not forget that Archie’s team plays Western Illinois this season! There have got to be weak FBS schools that would take our money to come to Bloomington and get beat. Many of the small number of IU FB fans decided they wouldn’t attend yesterday’s game the minute they looked at this year’s schedule. How about scheduling schools like Kansas, New Mexico, or weaker mid-major schools? Clearly, we can do better than an FCS school that provides no real competition and even less fan appeal.

  15. No matter how bad it gets, IU will never cancel the football program. We’d be out of the Big Ten and our Athletic Programs would be decimated. IU can’t afford to not have a football program. No, the only way forward is to invest to become competitive. We’re making progress, but a lot more needs to be done.

    I now believe IU FB is going to have to generate 8 or 9 wins in a season, with one of those wins being a victory over OSU, MI, or PSU before attendance at home FB games will significantly increase on a consistent basis. The apathy about football is like a virus that has infected generations of IU students, alumni and the population of Central and Southern Indiana. It’s going to take some strong medicine to neutralize that virus and rid the Hoosier Nation of their collective malaise.

  16. Here’s the thing. Everybody want to schedule the consistent weak sister FBS programs.

    But, they have aspirations, too.

    So, do they schedule IU for a pittance of a paycheck and a chance of a loss, schedule Alabama for an enormous payout and a sure loss, or schedule an FCS team for a extra home game they hope to win and maybe, just maybe, win six games and go to a bowl?

    There is little incentive for a downtrodden P5 program to schedule IU. While the scenario is obviously different, I think that was the point Saban was making. It sounds good to us but not to the potential opponents. The upside is all for Indiana.

    1. Chet,
      Here’s the thing that bugs me about the complaints regarding scheduling. While being in the B1G East is nowhere near as difficult as the SEC West, why would you want to schedule to be a national championship contender at this stage of the game? Right now all IUFB is trying to do is become respectable. Get to respectability, then worry about upping the non conference schedule.

      Going back into ancient history, with this being the 40th anniversary of the high point of the Corso tenure, I remember something Lee Corso said when talking about the terrible beat downs IUFB took at the hands of at that time very dominant USC and Nebraska programs. I can’t remember the exact words, but Corso had a quip to this effect. “Yeah, we got the crap beat out of us, but we play the best! Yes, IUFB was playing the best, but it didn’t build the program when taking those kind of beatings.

  17. Fair assessment. The Fanbase, attendance and revenue will only improve with multiple winning seasons and better bowl games. Until we can prove investments translate to a winning program each year, the fans simply won’t spend the money to see the same results. Our recruiting is better but so is the rest of the conference. We can’t measure ourselves against last year because we had a losing season last year. The measurement now is More W’s than L’s.

  18. Part of the attendance problem is Southern Indiana are basketball fans not football fans like in the Northern part of the state. Getting more fans in will take bringing in fans from the North near Indy to come to the games.

  19. Football is simply not important to most of the young people who choose to attend IU. It’s not on their list of criteria, EVER! The FB program might as well not exist for all they care. And it has been that way for decades. I know two couples whose daughters chose to attend Alabama (from far away) simply because they wanted to go to a school that would compete for National Championships in a major sport. I chose to attend IU for several reasons, but one of them was definitely IU’s BB program. Several friends I made from the Chicago suburbs at the time felt the same way. It’s enormous fun to be a student on campus when your school’s FB or BB teams are competing for National Championships. Kids choosing IU don’t care about FB. Their parents don’t care about football. And then the students become alumni who don’t care about FB. That’s what the morons who were running the University and chose not to invest in FB for decades didn’t understand. Or maybe they did understand and they didn’t care either. IU has, in relative terms, a HUGE number of alumni and a lot of them live near Indy. IU’s first game was played in Lucas Oil Stadium against another in-state FBS school. The attendance was laughable. Creating IU FB fans is a steep hill to climb, but IU has no other choice.

  20. My first two years at IU were during the two undefeated regular seasons. I never missed a game. It was awesome.

    I walked on to the IU wrestling team. That was an incredible experience.

    All my kids were DI athletes. They attended three different schools.

    At no point did the chances of a national title in football or basketball ever enter any of our decision making process about college choice. That would have been stupid.

    1. Good Chet. I reject any thought that many choose an out of state college because of a team. Just isn’t relevant criteria in the face of so much that is. In state, very different story. I can remember IU being my choice for collegiate life. But because of a unique housing advantage offering considerable financial savings I entered Ball State.

  21. Our fan base was cryogenically frozen after the 1968 Rose Bowl….Their BICEG (Best It Can Ever Get) tubes are inside concrete vaults individually secured underneath 45,000 or so Memorial seats.
    They are scheduled to be thawed following one or successive requisite event/events: a) The year 2468 (500th year anniversary of our trip to Pasadena)…or b) the defeating of OSU and Michigan in the same season…or c) the next invitation to a Rose Bowl…or d)a USC Trojans Heisman Trophy winner is convicted of murder….or e) the Rapture.

    Until such time, all cryogenically frozen Hoosier Football fans remain in the frozen vegetables section of a human grocery aisle somewhere between the twilight zone and a Memorial cocoon where once upon a time in a year beyond queer a Hoosier football season was somehow filled with unprecedented competitiveness.

      1. You’re right..I did forget that. Rather sad that I forgot because I was in Bloomington that year. I’ll defer to you.r memory and assessment. More thawing required….Why wasn’t our football team ranked that season? No respect.
        I suppose Mr. Alford…and Mr. Smart and a few others would soon overshadow all those great things happening at Memorial….and, for me, more of a basketball fan, likely garnering my attentions.

  22. My first two years at IU found me addicted to Missile Command. I never missed a game room. It was awesome.

    I walked in on the biggest kegger party in the history of Foster Quad. It was an incredible experience. 14 kegs? It was a crazy number. Dude that organized it was a 28 year old student still living in a dorm. His dorm smelled of weed 24/7. He had the first big screen TV. I remember his friend could spin a basketball on his index finger without it toppling for, …basically, as long as he wanted to spin it. It was glorious.

    All my kids never have A-1 steak sauce with a steak…though my mother loved it even with the finest cut of beef.

    I attended IU because they had low enough admittance standards to take me. Upon arriving at IU, I had a roommate who was the biggest a-hole I’ve yet to ever meet He was an IU Football player. If you want details of this encounter, you must pay me enough to take care of the $130,000 I currently have in college loan debt acquired for my kid to attend a private college…and pay off my mortgage.

  23. IU dominating EIU is on par with IU dominating Ben Davis or some other high school program. I would expect nothing less and they didn’t disappoint, however there was nothing I could take away from the game that has me believing IU will be competitive in conference. The team as a whole played great, and hit on all cylinders against a team with no Big Ten talent, so how are we to judge the level of improvement of this team compared to our conference opponents?

    I caught part of the OSU vs. UC game. I truly thought UC would have a much better showing because many of the UC players wanted an OSU offer but never got one, and that would motivate them to play even harder. Instead OSU toyed with them the way a cat toys with a mouse.

    What are we to expect from our team this Saturday? The running game isn’t really lighting it up, and for those of you who are saying it was because BSU had sold out to stop the run in the first game, OSU has the ability to do the same without having to over commit players. There front four is capable of disrupting the running game by themselves, and allowing their back 7 to focus on keeping our receivers in check. OSU has the talent defensively that they can play their base defensive package and be successful without having to over commit to either the pass or the run.

    This will be IU’s first test to determine where they possibly stack up against the other conference teams. A close game and IU could potentially find 3+ conference wins (Rutgers, Maryland, Nebraska, Purdue) that will have the team bowling at the end of the season. A win and IU could be a division challenger.

    This is how I see things if IU doesn’t beat OSU, but plays them close. Rutgers is a potential blowout, Maryland as a shootout with the team with the ball last winning, Nebraska could be close if the defense can bottle up Martinez, Michigan, their defense isn’t that good, and their offensive line isn’t dominant, and Purdue just because they are our rival.

    Come on fellas, give us a reason to believe that this is the season. It all starts this Saturday.

  24. I don’t mean for you guys to suffer anymore cognitive dissonance, but the following was copied from a 2019 article titled, “FBS Football is key tool to help many schools meet state funding cuts.” It presents the impact of successful FBS football programs on out-of-state student enrollment and the huge increase in revenue from out-of-state tuition.

    “Additional revenue due to the increase in Alabama’s out of state student percentage is $ 44 million for just the incoming (freshman) class. Assuming a stable student retention rate, the total undergraduate increase would be in the range of $ 176 million per year, or enough to pay Nick Saban’s coaching salary for the next 30 years or so.”

    “And obviously football isn’t solely responsible for the large increase in out of state students. But the fact that FBS schools have increased the percentage of out of state students by 10 times the rate of non-football NCAA I schools suggests that football is a major tool for marketing schools to prospective students. Televised football is in good part a 3 hour infomercial for the school, images of the campuses, students, famous alumni, and the free time granted by most networks directly to the schools to highlight their academic and research programs can entice a viewer in say New Jersey to consider Alabama, Ohio State or Oregon as an attractive school. Football is often synonymous with the entire collegiate experience.”

    “Most FBS college presidents will say football is integral to promoting the school beyond state lines, and vital in other ways. It joins students together and connects alumni who are most often the biggest donors to the schools general and endowment funds. “

  25. I think we should look at admission standards to get into many of the SEC schools(or dominant basketball schools like UK) to further understand what motivates enrollment …and/or attendance at football games.

    I’m sure Alabama is a fine school, but my guess is there is a much bigger attraction to nationwide/diverse populations and international students for places like IU/Bloomington…or Northwestern(Chicago)…or even Purdue.

    I think it oversimplifies things to make this solely about a university willing or unwilling to throw millions at a football program. Populations are different…Student bodies and academic standards/programs have wide and varying differences based on international and national flavor. Do these varying student bodies play a role in sports being at the forefront of a typical student’s (or grad student) concern?

    Could a sustained winner in football eventually create the changes necessary to fill seats at an IU’s Memorial? I have my doubts…I think it goes to the core of what football represents when contrasted with basketball. I also believe it has a lot to do with the diversity of IU’s student population; a mega melting pot and mishmash of students with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, belief systems(liberal and conservative), and cultural influences. The first thrust of interest must come from the student body. Is the South and many universities of the South simply more homogenous in value systems and and thus there is always a bigger rallying cry around things that bind in common purpose as basic as football?

    I think you also have to look at overall populations very near the campuses. OSU operates in Columbus. There is no 2-3 hours round trip requirement for non-students wishing to attend a game(as with Indy to Bloomington). Populations of Ann Arbor and nearby Detroit for Michigan and South Bend/Mishawaka for ND fuel the potential to fill stands with larger population centers without the sort of isolation Bloomington faces.

    Vast differences in student bodies(admittance standards/cultural influences and international/national flavor) along with vast differences in raw population numbers near stadiums all influence the already difficult losing program circumstances affecting IU Football attendance numbers.

    It’s naive to think simply throwing mega millions at coaches or facilities will necessarily change the circumstances. Even vast amounts of marketing may do little. Even a top tier football program could struggle to fill all the seats….in Bloomington, Indiana. Putting 15,000 into Assembly Hall is not nearly as challenging(with or without banners and tradition).

  26. Indiana University composite SAT scores = 75th percentile.
    University of Alabama composite SAT scores = 25th percentile.

    And there may be your answer(along with population centers) to your attendance problems. Do the lower SAT numbers mean anything in terms of rallying large numbers to football games? Maybe a more substantial percentage of IU students simply have different priorities….than spending three hours plus at a football game? Too many outside interests and forces distract a brighter mind than what’s needed to paint your chest in the school colors, chant ‘Roll Tide”… and get your mug shot on ESPN?

  27. The fact that IU is increasingly being invaded by students originating from places like Kentucky and Tennessee, could eventually play a small role in boosting football interest/attendance by a few thousand each year.
    Hills and bayous and steel mills …and population centers near campuses all help football….Is what it is.

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