Examining the Hoosiers’ path to a bowl

A game-winning drive by Michigan State put Indiana’s fourth win out of reach.

But after a bye week, the Hoosiers (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten) resume their hunt for bowl eligibility Saturday versus Rutgers.

Let’s revisit IU’s path to six wins — with seven games left to play.
 
Rutgers: Near-lock

The Scarlet Knights (1-4) have yet to win a conference game and it hasn’t been close. After a 48-7 home loss to Maryland, Rutgers has been outscored 130-7 in three Big Ten defeats.

The performance of the Scarlet Knights was so poor through four games, Chris Ash was relieved of his head-coaching duties. Now under the leadership of tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile on an interim basis, the climb back to respectability appears to be steep.

Rutgers is last in the Big Ten in scoring offense (14.2 ppg), scoring defense (36.2), rush defense (199 ypg), sacks (6), interceptions (0), and turnover margin (-8). On the season, the Scarlet Knights have a league-low 64 first downs. The next worst team is Illinois with 95.

All that’s transpired in Piscataway has prompted two of the Scarlet Knights’ starters on offense, running back Raheem Blackshear and quarterback Art Sitkowski, to sit out the remainder of the season and redshirt.

This should, unquestionably, be the Hoosiers’ fourth win of the season. A loss would bring every upcoming game into question.

Maryland: Very beatable

Perhaps the Terrapins’ win over Rutgers, as well as this week’s matchup with Purdue, will provide further clarity on where this team stands. It’s been an up-and-down ride thus far.

Maryland (3-2, 1-1) came out of the gate with an impressive 63-20 win over then-No. 21 Syracuse but fell flat the very next week, 20-17, at Temple. No. 12 Penn State then put the hurt on the Terrapins in a 59-0 rout.

IU will have to play Maryland on the road, which ups the difficulty. But this game still seems very winnable, especially since Maryland is second-worst in the Big Ten in pass defense, and Michael Penix Jr. just threw the ball well versus a good Michigan State defense.

The question is whether IU’s defense can slow Maryland. Outside of their 128-yard effort versus Penn State, the Terrapins have averaged 525 total yards per game. IU and Maryland are ninth and 10th, respectively, in yards allowed. If that holds, this could be a shootout reminiscent of last year’s 34-32 result.

Regardless, how the Hoosiers perform in this one will be highly instructive as far as the rest of the conference slate is concerned.

Nebraska: Not impossible

Yes, the Cornhuskers (4-2, 2-1) were thought to be a Big Ten West contender coming into the season.

Yes, this game will be on the road, in front of a packed house.

But looking at Nebraska’s results this season, it’s hard to just peg this one as a loss. Big Ten cellar-dweller Illinois played the Huskers to a 42-38 result. Ohio State held identical 41-point margins over both Nebraska and IU. And the Huskers needed a game-winning field goal to squeeze by Northwestern, 13-10.

Assuming sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez is healthy (he was injured in Saturday’s fourth quarter), the Hoosiers will have the difficult task of stopping a dual-threat behind center, as was the case with OSU’s Justin Fields in Game 3. Northwestern found a way, limiting Nebraska to 12 first downs.

A lot separates the football histories of Nebraska and IU, but there isn’t much evidence to say, right now, the Huskers are out of range for teams like the Wildcats, Illini, or Hoosiers.

IU leads the all-time series, 9-8-3, but its last win came in 1959. There have only been five games since and last year was the first since ‘78. But don’t immediately dismiss an end to the Hoosiers’ 60-year drought here.

Northwestern: Hard to tell

The Wildcats (1-4) are struggling early, for sure. But that’s not so different from last year.

Northwestern started the 2018 campaign at 1-3 before winning seven of its last eight games and ending up in the Big Ten title game.

Aside from a 31-10 loss to Michigan State, the Wildcats have kept it close, including a 24-15 loss to No. 8 Wisconsin.

Will the Wildcats still be puttering along in the first week of November? That’s entirely possible, because they face Ohio State and Iowa next. But even if they lose both, will they be beaten down or ready for a turnaround?

The latter is only possible if Pat Fitzgerald’s bunch figures out the offensive side of the ball. Northwestern is scoring just .2 more points per game than Rutgers (14.4) and picking up a dozen fewer yards (292.8).

The Wildcats have been particularly underwhelming through the air — last in the Big Ten at 140.4 yards per contest. Redshirt junior Aidan Smith started over Brownsburg native and Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson for the first time versus Nebraska. Smith was 19-of-32 for 136 yards and an interception.

IU has lost nine out of its last 10 games to the Wildcats, and it’s too soon to say the Hoosiers will reverse the trend. But this is the last in a four-game stretch of extremely winnable games.

Penn State and Michigan: Long shots

If the Hoosiers can win three out of their next four, they are bowl eligible. That would relieve some pressure heading into the toughest back-to-back of their Big Ten slate.

But can IU be dangerous enough to beat two of the conference’s perennial powers?

It’s happened before. The Hoosiers beat Penn State, 44-24, in 2013. But they haven’t beaten the Nittany Lions in 21 other meetings. Michigan has 23 straight victories over IU.

This year, PSU (5-0) has been impressive in its first two Big Ten games, though they’ve yet to play a top-tier team. The Lions outscored Maryland and Purdue by a combined score of 94-7. Playing in Beaver Stadium will not be an easy task for IU, either, regardless of whatever momentum the Hoosiers have going in.

No. 16 Michigan (4-1), on the other hand, comes to the Hoosiers on Nov. 23. The Wolverines’ last two games in Memorial Stadium have gone into overtime. Not to mention, Jim Harbaugh’s squad needed double overtime to exorcise Army in Week 2.

The mighty can fall. But after the Hoosiers’ last loss at Michigan State, they still have to prove they can pull off an upset of this magnitude.

Purdue: The Bucket

Examining the path to this point, there is a good chance the Hoosiers already have one of their biggest goals for the season in-hand.

But even if they are bowl eligible, the Old Oaken Bucket raises the stakes, especially with two straight losses in the rivalry series.

Purdue (1-4) hasn’t been completely ineffectual, battling the current frontrunner in the Big Ten West, Minnesota (5-0), to a 38-31 result. In that game, the Boilermakers turned to redshirt freshman Jack Plummer at quarterback after an injury to fifth-year senior Elijah Sindelar.

Sindelar (clavicle) could still return this season, as well as sophomore wideout Rondale Moore, who was also hurt versus Minnesota. Like Northwestern, Purdue can’t be counted out at this point, but Jeff Brohm has problems to solve. The Boilermakers rank last in the Big Ten in rushing offense (50.8 ypg) and total yards allowed per game (452.8).

Purdue is also allowing a league-worst 290 yards per game through the air.

Prediction: IU goes bowling

It would be hard to imagine the Hoosiers don’t get to six wins. Seven is entirely possible if they play to their potential in the next four and overtake Purdue for The Bucket.

Could things change? Of course. IU has already lost senior left tackle Coy Cronk to injury, and Penix hasn’t strung more than two games together. There are potential variables.

But if the Hoosiers can hold steady, a 13th game seems highly likely at this point.

80 comments

  1. I think every game left besides Penn St is at least winnable. Will they win all of those besides PSU? More than likely no. 6-6 is very doable but it certainly won’t be easy. One game at a time.

  2. Same old scenario. Every year it’s like IU football could win most games and lose most games. Yes, I think IU will win 6+ games this year.

  3. Being a lifelong Notre Dame football fan I do not look at the Hoosiers through the rear view mirror or Crimson colored glasses. Having had the opportunity to watch a lot of the top teams in the country this season along with most of the B1G teams I have drawn these conclusions. Ohio State may be the best team in the country and Indiana is better than most of you think. Winning 7/8 games is probable. The past does not equal the future.

  4. I don’t know how much weight I would attach to playing Minnesota close. As bad as Purdue is, they might be the second best team Minny has played this year after Fresno State (whose only wins are over Sacramento State and New Mexico State). South Dakota State, Georgia Southern, and Illinois round out their games so far. They have play zero good teams this season. I would guess they finish 7-5, beating Rutgers and Maryland while losing the rest.

    Would Hoosier fans be applauding 5 wins against the Sisters of Devine Passivity? Not on the Scoop.

  5. Follow the yellow brick road….
    Follow the yellow brick road.

    We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Odd College Bowls!

    Because, because, because, because, because…
    Because of the wonderful odd bowls he does!

    There’s no place like home for two conference wins. There’s no place like home to for two conference wins. There’s no place like home for two conference wins.

    Time for some Toto!

  6. Chet, I agree about Minnesota as they still haven’t proved against a good team so far.
    Swartzie. I too think IU is better than many posters think they are right now but the team will have to prove it over the next four games heading into the tough stretch against MU and PSU.

    There are many ways for IU to be bowl eligible but with the play so far I hope IU does far more than become bowl eligible. If they improve over the next four weeks and win 3 of 4 games or more then we will be believers in this team. Don’t come up short again this season and fans will start to believe in this program. Our offense is making big plays against a very good defense and if our defense tightens up against better offenses this next four game stretch could really set IU up for a very good season.

    1. The Boils just barley beat out Akron as the worst rushing team in FBS, 51.4 yards per game to 51.0. The Zips are 0-5 and lost to Illinois 42-3.

      You’d have thought they had lost Coy Cronk to an injury or something.

  7. Anyone else catching Tevin Coleman on Monday Night Football…looking like a beast on the 49ers? Wow….To have a running back like that again in a Hoosier uniform? He is looking as good as I’ve seen him…Then again, I haven’t really seen him all that much and they are playing Cleveland.

    1. Leaving the Falcons and going to the 49ers worked out…for Tevin.

      The plus minus for wins couldn’t get much better.

    1. Well Po,
      You know you’re not going to get an argument from me on that assessment. I am curious about one thing on which I would appreciate seeing some comments. By all accounts the pass protections has been reasonably good from the OL. Is it possible that the emphasis on keeping MP healthy has come at the expense of the run blocking in general?

      With the growing realization as to MP’s value to IUFB’s fortunes both now and in the future, I could see a maximum protection strategy being formed. On a somewhat related note, I do still wonder as to why MP was not the starter from the beginning of last season. I know H4H has rightfully questioned MP’s physical readiness for last year, especially in light of the injury earlier this season, but I still wonder.

      1. Your first question is interesting. Maybe that is the case.

        As far as Penix starting as a true freshman…he was a kid last year. He isn’t exactly husky now but he was just a few months out of high school at the beginning of last season. He put in some quality minutes before getting hurt.

        If anything, the events that came to pass solidified the decision to bring him off the bench at the beginning of last season. What they feared might happen did happen.

      2. I’d say a solid rushing attack is very good protection for a QB. What’s better for his health a D with blood in their eyes charging across the LOS 4 out of 5 plays or an offense running the ball 3 out of 5 snaps? D has a mindset about passing offenses. Murder the QB. Think back to your own playing days when a QB sack was 2nd only to a TD.

  8. Yeah, what Chet said…

    But…and it’s a big but…(Kardashian size). I never advocated Ramsey being named as the starter last season. I thought the ball was fumbled by announcing/anointing Peyton as ‘the man about campus’ a full week before the opening game of the season.

    It was four days later when Dawkins decided he wanted no more of football.

    Lastly, Tuttle should have been given far more playing time in our early cupcake contests (including the game Penix was unavailable).

    Now it all basically rests with Penix. Tuttle unprepared(as was Penix thrown to the ‘Lions’ last season(frail or no frail frame). Ramsey simply too limited to pace the offense with speed …and/or throw a very deep ball.

    Allen has fumbled the quarterback spot two years straight. He normally gets it right eventually…but it’s costing guys confidence, readiness and, possibly, even questioning why they ventured across most the western United States to save an IU Football program from itself.

  9. I think IU has bungled the Tuttle education at QB by not getting him in blow out games earlier so he could run the full offense. I have no idea how good Tuttle may be and I can’t imagine him being better than Penix, but at this rate we won’t know until there is no other choice.

    I hope we see more out of the TE spot once again as Hendershot and Westbrook have dropped of the past few games. Part of Westbrook’s lack of catches is due to his drops though. The run game picked up against MSU, not an easy team to run against, and we should see a more robust run game against Rutgers.

    This coming four game stretch is very important for IUFB. Can they win games they have a chance to win or will they once again come up short. IU is fortunate NW and Nebraska aren’t as good as predicted and with Maryland coming back down to Earth these are four games IU has a good chance to win. How IU comes out against Rutgers will say a lot about what chances IU has of going 4-0 over the next stretch of games.

    1. I understand Tuttle was highly recruited. He no doubt has a high upside. Perhaps he should have gotten more snaps.

      When he did play…I just didn’t see it. He had the yips. The ball wobbled out of his hand. I know there were a couple drops but I didn’t see any throw in the same universe as the balls Penix delivered. Or Ramsey.

      Maybe he was nervous and he just needs to settle down…or maybe that’s what the coaches are seeing every day in practice.

      Don’t get me wrong. I love that such a highly touted high school player ended up on the Hoosier roster but, in the game situation, I just didn’t see anything to get excited about.

  10. Some O-lines are great at run-blocking and don’t pass-protect very well. Some O-line are good at pass protecting, but don’t run-block very well. IU’s O-line is not good are run-blocking this season.

    Remember guys, when Penix enrolled at IU in the winter of 2018, he was 17. He turned 18 in late summer. He just turned 19 a few months ago. He’s a young guy.

    I think PR was named the starter last year over Penix because TA is a conservative, defensive-minded guy with limited experience evaluating QBs. He values safe over wow, and he places great value on the “intangibles” he’s always talking about. I think PR would still be the starter had TA not hired a new OC who opened his eyes to what was possible with a guy with superior arm talent.

    I agree that Tuttle is not being developed properly. He should have a lot more garbage-time minutes than he’s had so far this season. Either he’s not as good as advertised (hard to believe given his rating coming out of HS), or TA wants to continue feeding minutes to PR so he’ll be sharp if needed. But in blow-out games, Tuttle should be in and he should be throwing passes. Handing the ball off ten times is not going to help Tuttle become an effective QB. He needs experience in Big Ten games.

    Here’s my question back to you. If Penix stays healthy through the rest of this season, does PR become a graduate transfer next January/June? I think he does. As long as Penix is healthy, PR is at best the back-up and maybe 3rd string. PR could be an effective starter on a lot of mid-major teams.

    1. Po,
      I have thought your question a great deal. PR is a great kid, works extremely hard and has a great attitude. He just doesn’t have B1G caliber talent. That’s no knock on him, each level of competition reduces the number who possess the elite talent needed. I think it will depend upon what PR wants to do with his future. If PR desires to stay in football, I could see him transferring or I could see him staying. A lot depends upon what his staying in football means.

      I personally think PR has the potential to be an outstanding coach in the future. If the best route to that is away from IU, then you will probably see a transfer. If he believes his development would be better enhanced at IU, he will stay. One thing we can be sure of, if he wants to pursue coaching, I have no doubt that TA will do everything in his power to help that process forward.

      As much as we make of the need for IUFB to attract and develop talent on the field, there is another area equally important. For IUFB to move forward, it also must generate a reputation of attracting and developing coaching talent. One of the very positive things surround the recent success of the men’s baseball team is relative ease of attracting quality coaching talent. IU baseball is developing a reputation as being a great stepping stone to elite college baseball destinations. One of the greatest marks of a successful athletic program is the number of talented coaches it produces.

      I understand the unique circumstances for college baseball in the north in terms of the stepping stone idea for head coaches. However, from a football perspective, if successful, the HC may stay the same but a lot of great assistants could be coming through on the way to HC positions elsewhere. If TA can be successful, it could be a lot of fun getting to see an IUFB coaching impact across the country.

      1. I agree that Tuttle should be seeing more time when its realistic (won’t hurt anything if he goofs up) to put him. How good is he? Who knows? Stars, schmars. 5 star Hunter Johnson is not killing it at N’western, and might be not playing at all if fifth-tear senior TJ Green (son of Trent Green) had not been injured-and-out-for-the-season in NU’s opener.

  11. Cart is getting way ahead of the horse….and the horse is named “Iffy.”

    Ramsey should transfer….? Tuttle is a bust? Great coaches, great teams and great quarterbacks are not measured by blog posts. Last time I checked, our current conference record 0-2. Allen at head coach is 0-2 in the conference. Penix at the helm is 0-2 in the conference. Nobody cares about almost. Ramsey may not be Penix. Tuttle may not be Ramsey….But I do believe both we be no worse than the current 0-2.
    I also believe both would be plenty capable against Rutgers.

    Here’s the big question: Will the sample set that matters(the games against mid-level to upper level BigTen opponents) look any different than the historical record at the end of this season in terms of the fat zero….or a measly one or two conference wins?

    Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard are looking dynamite in the NFL…Did it really matter for IU Football? Did they play in a major bowl when in college at IU? Oladipo and OG…are doing quite well in the NBA. Did they play in Elite Eights or Final Fours while at IU?

    Before we enjoy stomping too much on the ‘not-so-talented’ who should get out of town, maybe we should examine more closely where the “superstars” have taken us….? At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the ‘W’….and the elite stages where better T-E-A-M-S play.

  12. Another question: Is Michael “Thick Twig” Penix ever an NFL starting quarterback? I figured why not, since we’re in the mood for putting carts way ahead of “Iffy” the horse. Or will he be a mirror reflection of a thousand years of IU Football ….as in ‘close and almost….but never?’

    I think we do a lot of recruiting of the ‘close and almost’ in football. I think we do a lot of the late bloomers who leave for the NBA draft just at about the time they peak enough to really carry a team.

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if we sign Romeo or Ramsey. They may be worlds apart in talent and future earnings, but they’re pretty equal in the win-loss records on big stages for the Indiana Hoosiers. Big man about campus with no big stages? Hell, give me the little man who gets the living crap beat out of him for four years via ferocious OSU lineman….or gets embarrassed at Sweet Sixteens and still plays his butt off for four years for a coach holding cue cards.

    Instead of holding up cue cards, would somebody please hold up a superstar who has done something for an IU team on big stages in the last three decades? If you can’t find one, then the trash at the end of the bench is no different than all those we love to anoint as gods at their position. Big arms…Big athleticism….Big runs…Big lines at high schools when deciding on IU. Big name in lights on draft night.
    Small results on big stages as Indiana Hoosiers…..if they even get to a big stage.

      1. I guess he was a “superstar.” Wasn’t a one-and-done. Knight recruit.

        Moye had the incredible block against Duke …and was really the glue/engine of the team. But good call…Almost 20 years.

        So let’s change it to “two decades” instead of three. Still a very long time considering the hype for many.

  13. Remember when Fred threw the excessively long contract extensions at Crean …and then Brad Stevens suddenly was on the coaching market?

    I’ve been hearing a lot about Mike Leach leaving WSU…Even heard he could look to the BigTen. Hard to believe, but Rutgers was brought up as a destination for Leach as one of many potential programs in dire need for a shot in the arm and a big name coach.

    In nine years, will we be at a point with Allen similar to what happened at IU Basketball with Crean? Will we miss on a truly high caliber coach because we put ideologies, nepotism and theatrical carnival enthusiasm ahead of bringing the fans a winner and a great teacher?

    Joey Brunk is as close as we’ll ever get to Brad Stevens….Maybe Michael Penix is as close as we’ll ever get to Mike Leach. Flash forward 10 years and all these discussions will sound the same. Carts ahead of horses…Carts ahead of horses. More reunions…FLAGS! Tijan Forever.

  14. Some posters here like to point out how well OSU has done offensively with Kevin Wilson as OC.

    I can’t help but notice how much better the Oklahoma Sooners offensive efficiency has become since he left Norman. They have also become an incubator for Heisman Trophy candidates at quarterback.

    Their past two starting quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, were both the #1 player picked in the NFL draft and their current quarterback, Jalen Hurts, leads the country in passing efficiency.

    OU definitely upgraded.

  15. Mayfield is a punk. Coleman and Howard are doing pretty well in the NFL. Sudfeld makes a nice living as a backup. I’m sure there are plenty….for little old IU. I think Wilson put more in the NFL than any of his recent predecessors. I mean, this ain’t Oklahoma. That’s a machine….long before Wilson and will be long after Allen.

  16. Chet the incubator for Heisman Trophy winning QB’s at Norman began (Jason White – Sam Bradford) under the offensive leadership of OC Kevin Wilson. No doubt you’ll appreciate these appropriate facts on the matter.

    1. Well, no.

      Kevin Wilson was co-offensive coordinator in charge of running backs when Jason White won the Heisman Trophy. He was in the room, that’s it.

      He did coach Bradford. The end.

      Oklahoma has has MUCH better quarterback play since his departure.

  17. Wilson made a contribution to IU and then he was moved on. He lead IU teams to two bowl games, which is more than most IU fb coaches have done. He was and is a good OC, but probably never had the personality to be an effective head coach or be effective at recruiting QBs to a program like IU. Ironic that an inexperienced DC has been so much more effective recruiting QBs to IU than Wilson was.

  18. Wilson had plenty personality….He just didn’t have one that was going to kiss Fred’s butt. He was cut from the Bobby mold.

    I remember Seahawk Tom talking about encounters with coaches at a rather nice local restaurant in Bloomington. Remember him stating how the waiters/waitresses would say Wilson was much more personable and a much better tipper than Crean.

    You guys can spin it anyway you prefer. Cartwheels on a football sidelines and spastic clapping episodes at McCracken may appear to be emanating from bigger more engaged personalities, but to some it’s just show and cover for what you don’t know.

    I only know that it’s not too common for past IU Football coaches to end up at OSU in any capacity above water boy. Wilson’s predecessor is at DePauw. That’s what Kevin Wilson inherited from IU Football. You decide which guy has the stronger resume.

  19. Those are all nice comments but if anyone can find anything in my post that was less than 100% accurate please point it out.

    1. …new regime developing the incubator for HT QB’s???…carrying on tradition but hardly a new development…
      Miami of Ohio
      strong offense-Wilson
      NW strong offense-Wilson
      OK strong offense-Wilson
      IU strong offense-Wilson
      OSU strong offense-Wilson
      So simple anyone can connect the dots?

  20. My comments are also accurate…There’s also more to running an offense than the qb position. Having dynamite running backs and a strong offensive line help as well. Play design…Inventiveness, etc. etc.

    I don’t think there’s a lot of argument in the football circles concerning Wilson’s aptitude for designing offenses.

    Nobody questions your accuracy, Chet. You’re the Peyton Ramsey of accurate short game. Just don’t try to throw a ‘deep’ ball. You may strain something…

  21. Don’t no who is mostly responsible but Ohio State offense seems to be doing ok for 2019. Wonder why those young offense recruits go to OSU. One thing is for sure KW is not the reason they won’t go to OSU because they keep going there. I think the high level talent love tough love as when they are interviewed they often say they like to be challenged by coaches (except for those where things don’t work out). Like a few lesser talented at IU under KW. (Accusations of tough treatment and I will take my football and go to Illinois State).
    Recent interview with KW, he talked about OSU young backup OLinemen. He mentioned a couple names that were ready to play now but they haven’t been needed. He said it really doesn’t matter who starts on offensive line as they are all going to play whether they start or play as non starter. They aware going to play. (KW bsing as coaches tend to do). It must be nice to have high level talent playing at all positions, high level talent sharing playing time, and backed up with more high level talent.

    1. Oh, I’m not saying he isn’t a quality coach. He obviously is. First rate. I just hear all these superlatives tossed at him when his arguably greatest successes have been surpassed after he moved on. Perhaps it was simply a great situation at OU as they were great when he arrived and they have gotten better since he left.

      Some folks are dealt better cards than others. He took advantage of great situations but the situations were there before he arrived and they continued, or improved, after he left.

      Life often works that way.

      1. Wilson has carved out accomplishments by earning them. He walked on at UNC, earned a scholarship, became a starter and a captain. He has taken risks, challenges and opportunities and garnered results advancing to the next responsibility. Like leaving a moribund program (IU) in much better shape than he received it.

      2. Brother Chet: Wilson’s last three years at Oklahoma:
        2008: Scoring offense ranked #1 (51ppg) passing #3
        2009: #29 (31ppg) passing #31
        2010: #10 (37 ppg) passing #3
        Now for the recent Sooners:
        2016: #3 (44ppg) passing #12
        2017: #3 (45ppg) passing #3
        2018: #1 (48ppg) passing #7
        So the Okla. offense and passing lately IS better. But given that all of these all of these numbers are pretty darn good (can we really call 2009 a bad year for almost any team?), is it “100% accurate” to call it “much” better? I leave my own question unanswered. But any way you look at it, Kevin Wilson is one heck of an OC, and it is also an undeniable paradox that Allen has recruited better QB talent. People here can quibble all they might about how someone was merely “in the room,” but admission to rooms where cards like the ones Oklahoma and Ohio State are dealing isn’t exactly open to everyday people.

  22. Takes something special and unique to come in here and take the joy out of what is mostly a joyless experience in Indiana football.

    Congrats Harv. Your outpouring of obsessive anger just keeps on spinning. You aren’t talking or discussing. You won’t stop until everyone here is just as miserable. Wish I was a praying man, but I’m not. I’m just a regular human; little ole me. I just offer a mirror and some heartfelt compassion. But dude, seriously, you’re really sapping the vibe here. Can’t talk about anything without you defecating on anyone who tries to show up on Saturday and enjoy some football. I apologise in advance for ever enjoying anything that happened prior to 1987 in perpetuity.

    There’s always a basket of fries from Trojan Horse with your name on it if you take me up on the offer. I know. I know. The fries suck now. But maybe it’ll give you an inkling that there’s some small things in life that worth celebrating that don’t require winning a national championship. You might actually enjoy it.

    I promise to give a tip to the server that will buy a few rounds for their friends at Nick’s after their shift.

    1. The fries now are nothing compared to the ones in the early 80s. Those were winner’s fries.

      Don’t even get me started on the fried mushrooms.

      1. Trojan Horse took the most delicious jalapeno poppers off the menu at about the same time we fired Wilson. IU Football and Trojan Horse simultaneously lost some heat …and some pop.

        At about the same time, Trojan Horse also removed the understated iconic folding menu of bold print on quality paper in favor of a glossy plastic variety featuring pictures of food for those less daring and with no imagination.

        Review:
        Exit: Heat, pop, imagination, authenticity, understated presentation.
        Enter: No heat, no pop, plastic, food in a fiery flaming cheese pose.

        Here’s one for some real old-timers…Do any of you guys remember ‘The Huddle’ restaurant on East 3rd St.? Do you remember when the closed ‘Huddle’ and turned it into a round Red Lobster? Did I dream this or did it really happen? This may have occurred shortly after the Mallory uptick….
        Exit: Vibrant and one-of-a-kind ‘Huddle’ to gather and celebrate Hoosiers.
        Enter: Just another chain pretending uniqueness serving a bottom-feeding crustacean with tender flesh under red shell.

        Bring back the poppers, Trojan Horse! When football can’t deliver the pop and the heat, you were my fallback plan.

        Now I’m all pita(d) out.

        Menu Starting Five:
        Jalapeno poppers (now in TH Hall of Fame)
        Breaded dill pickle spears
        Fried pork tenderloin with pickle slices on ‘dry bun’ (meaning no artificial butter spread). Apply ketchup at table.
        Basket of hand-cut fries
        Budweiser…(request frosty mug).

        Super-sub is a gyros. TH gyros is phenomenal….but I make such few trips to Bloomington that I must go with the tenderloin. It remains the best quality tenderloin(based on my limited experience). It’s pounded super thin…and the pork is tender and white as snow. Always crisp and very light ….because TH refuses to fry in expired and recycled oil. Simply fantastic.

      2. Speaking of mushrooms and tangents. Indiana produces the most amazing morel mushrooms in the world. Morel mushrooms might be the one of the best tasting foods in the history of the world.

        Went foraging for morels in some of the burn areas here in CA last two springs. There is a kind of morel that thrives after a wildfire. Found a good amount of them. They were really great. There were some aggressive foragers who went out and picked a ton of them. At $68 a pound, they donated all the money to firefighters and their families, who were killed or injured in fighting the fires.

        Contrary to what the internet says, there are lots of people doing cool things in this world.

        1. I was just reading an article this morning on morels, and mushrooms in general, in my neck of the woods. Apparently, it is good hunting up here.

    2. Double D, Harv makes me laugh, he doesn’t make me the least bit miserable. Bless him for that. Not all of us are entertained by the same things.

      1. Hoosier Football certainly doesn’t need morels…

        davis gets it.

        I always enjoy Gus Johnson calling football games. Even if Hoosier football experiences morels, he’s still a funGus.

        These jokes are sort of mushrooming. I made some chicken lettuce wraps yesterday….Made a lovely homemade peanut sauce(peanut butter, Korean barbecue sauce, soy, garlic, splash of chicken broth… little bit of honey). Mixed minced water chetsnuts and sauteed them with finely chopped Chetake mushrooms ….and added to the stir fry chicken.
        Fantastic.

      2. D,
        As I have said, H4H is our very own court Jester. Can’t hold court without the Jester, it just wouldn’t be the same. Every poster has a part which keeps this thing interesting and sometimes a whole lot of fun.

  23. Okay Gang,
    We’ve strayed way off into the weeds on this one. Here’s the better question, what will our thoughts be 5 weeks from now? We will be in the middle of the bye week after this upcoming 4 game stretch. Will will be optimistic, pessimistic, or unsure about this season?

    Win 1 – we’re in trouble, Win 2 – more of the same, Win 3 – we’re going bowling, Win 4 – Who would’ve thought!

    1. I think Penix is putting the Hoosiers on his back and taking us on a storied run to the Rose Bowl….Book your trip now.

  24. thinkaboutit, 5 weeks from now I hope IU is 7-2 fired up to beat PSU. Realistic that might not be true but 6-3 could be very true heading into PSU. I hope this team performs better after this bye and has improve the defense.

    Our offense is very good but the defense needs rise up and do better in the next four games. If the defense improves IU will have a good chance of winning four games before the next bye.

  25. I’m more of a ‘week at a time’ guy but I like this team. They have a lot more talent than we are used to seeing. They seem like a quality bunch. It’s easy to forget that we had a few ‘problem children’ when CKW was here and they were a distraction. Haven’t seen much of that in a while.

    We have 3 young, talented quarterbacks. Shoot, the guy who gets the most abuse has a 70 something completion rate and doesn’t make many mistakes.

    We have a half dozen receivers anyone of which could have been ‘the man’s on past teams.

    Offensive line lost their best player and the next man up did a pretty good job under tough conditions.

    While they haven’t put up any big numbers so far this season we have some talent there.

    There are playmakers on D. Let’s face it, on their worst day the defense is better than the mess that took the field during pre Tom Allen days.

    Like I said, I like this team. A lot.

  26. Conference..
    2-6
    3-5 at best …

    Now Chet .. dont get all worked up… ive been right about all i have said…

    Also , sticking with my preseason prediction … JT will be in the transfer portal.. end of season to a mid major…

  27. Fan, although you are right about the past in IUFB but I hope IU proves you wrong. I want to see how the defense does over these next four games because the offense is good enough to score points on opponents defense. I hope the defense improves after this break and helps the offense win B1G games.

  28. 6 – 6 would be a great accomplishment for this team, and I’d be delighted. Anything more than that would be icing on the cake. Now, if you want to talk about expectations for the 2020 season…….

    If JT transfers, he’s giving up on his dream of playing for a Power-five conference team. He’d have to go to a mid-major program, and he’d definitely sit out a year. No, he’ll stay and compete or become content being a back-up to Penix.

    Didn’t OK win a National Championship with KW as its OC? I may be off by a few years, but I thought he was. If so, I’d hardly say the new OK coaching staff has proven to be an upgrade yet. Heisman’s are fun, but they don’t trump National Championships.

    1. Nope. Not during Wilson’s time there. They did win a title a couple years before he arrived.

      He was the running backs/O-line coach for the team that lost the title game in 2004 to LSU. In that game they rushed 33 times for 52 yards.

  29. In 2015, Indiana became just the fourth team in FBS history to feature a 3,500-yard passer, two 1,000-yard rushers and one 1,000-yard receiver in a season. Oklahoma also accomplished this feat in 2008

    In 2008, Wilson won the Broyles Award, which is given to the top assistant in college football annually.[14] He was also named the “FootballScoop Offensive Coordinator of the Year”(courtesy: Wikipedia).

    He’s just a lucky guy dealt a great hand….

    You want to know lucky? Seek Georgia basketball.

    1. Interesting editing you did there. You bracket off that last section to make it appear you are quoting something I previously said…which we both know I never said.

      Are you are dishonest in your personal life as you are in the Scoop?

      1. The last blockquote was a simply an accident, Chet. You talk a big line of Schet in a comment box.

        Suggesting I’m dishonest in my personal life is quite the leap for an accidental blockquote within another blockqoute.

        You’ve hit a new low….even for a guy who wears moonwalker boots.

          1. A “published lie”…Good lord, you have issues, Chet.
            a. It’s a blog where sarcasm and hyperbole are used….as in DoubleDown’s prediction.
            b. It’s a blockquote by little old me. It’s not the Bill of Rights.
            c. It’s gutless to suggest someone is a liar from the comforts of your keyboard.
            d. I think you need to get out more….Are you sure you’re telling the truth about how much you to get out and talk to the squirrels.*

            *Chet never actually said he talks to squirrels….but this is from his recent book, Memoirs & Hoosier Scoop Tales:

            I watched a squirrel from my kitchen window today. The lovely mountains were in the backdrop while he chewed on a nut without a care in the world. I proceeded to the porch and we had a conversation about Michael Penix at quarterback. Then an antelope walked by and blew me a kiss. Life is good in the Rockies….Life is good.

  30. My prediction: Paaaaaaaaaain. (Clubber Lang: Rocky III)

    We come out of the next 4 game stretch 6 – 3, with some dazzling at time, but uneven play. Bowl eligible earlier than we have in 500 years. Then we head to Happy Valley with some eyes on Indiana maybe making a game of it. Hoosiers get pummeled. The following week, we go into the Michigan game with the same Indiana talk about competing, finishing and believing in ourselves. Hoosiers knock off the buck-toothed weasels, effectively ending Harbaugh’s historically overrated tenure.

    Next week vs Purdue, we erase a 6 pt deficit in the 4th Qtr by executing a 82 yd drive capped by Penix running one in from the 4 yd line to go up 1 pt (extra point good). But, there’s 1:30 left on the clock. Too much time. Hoosiers give up a 24 yd pass play on 1st down. Boilers are heating up. Next play, interception Mullen. Penix takes a knee to run out the clock.

    Hoosiers end the regular season with 8 wins.

    Take that to Vegas.

    …..I won’t! 😀

    1. What went on in those shower rooms at PSU Football should never get near a valley with the word “Happy” ….as its sinister decoy.

  31. I don’t know how much IU has taken a step forward but I’m pretty sure Purdue, Northwestern, Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland have all taken steps backward this season. IU could win 8. But consistent play or mistake free football have not been trademarks of the TA era. I’m hoping for 7 wins. Not predicting, just hoping.

  32. Everything is relative to expectations. I’m not setting myself up for disappointment by expecting IU to win more than 6 this season. If IU fails to win six, I’ll be disappointed but not surprised. If IU wins more than six, I’ll be surprised but ecstatic.

    It’s the 2020 season for which I have elevated my expectations. We won’t be one of the youngest teams in the Big Ten next year. We will have a lot of players with a lot of experience, and they should be bigger, stronger and faster than they are this season. We’ll have two new Coordinators with a year of experience against Big Ten competition. And we’ll have a head coach who will be running out of excuses. Next season it will be time to “put up or shut up.” And IMO, next season will determine TA’s professional future.

  33. H4H, you are absolutely right about it shouldn’t be Happy Valley any more.

    If Coach Allen can get coach Hammack to quit calling ridiculous defenses then IU can have a winning season this year. People wondering what has happened to Ball – how is he supposed to function when being moved to corner, safety, DE, LB, and Husky during the games. I hope coach Allen has put a stop to this and let Ball use his ability to play well. I have no problem using him on a stunt but limit his positions and let him excel. Coach Shelby needs to start Mullen and quit worrying about him being a freshman. The other two corners have shown they can’t cover top receivers. Getting Taylor back could help out the corners.

    The offense needs to keep getting better every week and no more running three running plays in a row; play to your ability which right now is passing. I don’t know what it will take to get Westbrook back in the groove since he is dropping passes too much but if they can it will make the passing game even more dangerous. It would also open up the running game especially if they let Penix pull the ball on the reads so defenses can’t close down on running plays. The coaches know what they need to clean up so I am hopeful to see these changes. IU could use a special season this season but PO is right it could happen next year.

    1. You da man, V13.

      Always honest in your assessments. You had me fully engaged until I saw the “next year” outlook.

      Hoosier Football: We’ll always get to it next year

      (courtesy: Jeremy Price)

      .

  34. Will be interested to see how IU does playing a game outside the state of Indiana, since they haven’t had to in 11 months.

    1. I am probably getting this wrong but I think UNC won a basketball title during the Jordan years and didn’t play a game before the Final Four more than an hour from home.

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