IU not worrying about UM losing streak

If the past is predictive, Indiana will lose to Michigan on Saturday.

The numbers couldn’t be more clear. In 24 straight meetings, the Hoosiers have lost to the Wolverines. Go beyond one anomalous win in 1987, and IU has lost 39 out of the last 40 meetings.

“Well, it’s definitely sportswriter talk,” IU coach Tom Allen said of his program’s dubious streak. “It’s going to be talked about quite a bit. The record is what it is.”

Sportswriters will talk about the streak. They certainly knew IU had lost 22 of its 23 meetings to Penn State before this year’s opener, as well.

But the Hoosiers’ players and coaches have been focused on other things. Allen, for one, has talked about competing for Big Ten titles, even when it sounded to most like a fanciful proposition. Even after season-opening wins over then-No. 8 Penn State and Rutgers, Allen has talked about honing in on the Hoosiers’ mistakes, because they certainly weren’t perfect in either game.

Most importantly, Allen has talked about the past not being predictive. The Hoosiers proved that to themselves last season, as two straight five-win seasons were followed by the program’s first eight-win campaign in 26 years. They continued to tear down preconceptions by beating a top-10 team and catapulting to No. 13 in the Associated Press poll in the last two weeks.

IU isn’t necessarily trying to bend the will of history versus Michigan. They are just trying to stay in this moment, which is the only one that matters.

“Even in fall camp, we’ve been challenging our guys about the way they think,” Allen said. “We talk about that all the time. More specifically, talking about the past not being predictive. … It’s not predictive unless you don’t do something to change it.”

Change, in Allen’s opinion, has been in-process during his three-plus years as head coach, but it really started to take shape during the 2019 season. He recalled Monday the win at Maryland, having to pull it out late, on the final defensive possession, via a Reese Taylor interception. He also mentioned wins at Nebraska and Purdue, which were equally important to IU’s psyche.

Even a one-point loss in the Gator Bowl had its purpose, Allen believes, reiterating the importance of finishing, which carried into preparations for 2020.

“For it to be lasting change, you have to structurally have things in place,” Allen said. “We didn’t finish in that game.”

IU has been anything but perfect in its two wins, but Allen believes outcomes like the PSU win should inform how the Hoosiers respond in tight contests, even against programs that have historically had their number.

Teams like Michigan.

“The bottom line is it’s about us playing our best football. To me, that’s the focus,” Allen said. “We haven’t done that yet. I feel like we’ve had opportunities since I’ve been here against Michigan and haven’t been able to finish those opportunities. Much like with Penn State in the past.

“I told our team again this morning, it doesn’t matter what I believe. I’ve told them what I believe. But it’s what they believe, and how are they going to prepare, and, ultimately, how are they going to perform on game day.”

Election Day off

The decision both by IU and the NCAA to mandate Election Day as an offday, while admirable, did force the Hoosiers to change their practice schedule for Michigan week.

IU usually gives its players Sunday off, but the Hoosiers came in for a lift and some meetings this past Sunday. Monday morning, they had some more meetings, followed by a practice that evening.

That Monday practice subsitutes for Tuesday, which will be completely dormant. Allen said only a handful of players have yet to vote because much of the team is registered out-of-state and voted absentee.

Allen, though, said he’ll be voting on Election Day.

“We’ll talk about it even (Monday night) about the importance of this and what it’s about and even the importance of understanding that we all have different opinions, and different views, … and we respect that from each other,” Allen said, “and that’s what LEO is all about.”

On the onsides kick

Allen was asked a couple of questions Monday about the Hoosiers’ failure to retrieve an onsides kick at Rutgers.

Onsides kicks are a bit of a sore spot after one cost the Hoosiers in January’s Gator Bowl loss to Tennessee.

“I felt like we didn’t get everybody in the perfect position,” Allen said of the kick lost to Rutgers. “Still thought we should have had it.”

Allen credited Rutgers’ shifts and motions before the kick for disorienting the Hoosiers somewhat, but he still saw an opportunity for redshirt junior Bryant Fitzgerald to jump on the ball before it got to Whop Philyor, whose legs it slipped through.

“It was a mad scramble for the ball and we had it,” Allen said. “We had it two different times and it squirted out and they ended up getting it. Those are things, gotta keep working on it. We work on those every single week, and we’ll continue to work on those because that’s how you finish games.”

Along with the onsides kick recovery, Rutgers also benefited from an unsportsmanlike penalty from Philyor. It was the Hoosiers’ second of the game, as Lance Bryant was called for one earlier in the contest. Those also have to be cleaned up, Allen said.

“No matter what they say or do to you, it don’t matter. I don’t care. You just walk away. Go celebrate with your teammates,” Allen said. “One of the situations was where we were talking to them and not us, and that’s what we don’t do.

“We call those selfish penalties, and when that happens, we have a high price to pay for our guys.”

MSU time

IU will play back-to-back noon kicks with Michigan squads.

It was announced Monday that the Hoosiers’ road contest at Michigan State in Week 4 will start at noon. It is set to air on either ABC or ESPN2.

Michigan State just beat Michigan last week. The Spartans will travel to Iowa this week before matching up with the Hoosiers in East Lansing.


  1. If history was the only predictor of future events than why even play the games? Just give an “L” or a “W” to each team based on the historical records and call it good.

    Of course that is foolish, and that is why the adage, “That’s why they play the games” is so often repeated.

    College athletics allows for teams with historically winning records to have a bad season or two as well as allowing for a historically losing program to rise up every once in awhile and shock the world. IU has an opportunity to be a shocker this season. Their historically losing record will be ignored and they can create their own history.

    UM is beatable, that has been proven by their last game where they were 24 point favorites and still ended up losing. UM may lead that series in total victories, but last Saturday it didn’t matter to the coaches and players at MSU. The only thing that could control was what was happening then and their performance. IU has to have that same mentality. They can’t change what happened 40 years ago any more than what happened last season. It’s 2020, the only season that matters, and the only game that matters now is the one to be played on Saturday.

    Podunker mentioned on another thread that the mistakes made by UM last week will be corrected. I would agree with that statement, however what if the mistakes were a result of a lack of athleticism and skill? That would make correcting those mistakes all the more difficult. MSU exposed one of their CB’s all game long. When UM sent in a replacement the results were the same. It came down to the fact that this MSU WR was simply more athletic, talented, and faster then either of the DB’s UM used to cover him. I believe Wop and Ty are just as fast, athletic and talented as the kid from MSU who I understand was a true freshman.

    If the UM CB’s struggle again this week in pass coverage that will likely result in UM having to employ the use of a safety to help out in coverage. Having 2 men cover one provides an advantage for IU and allows Hendershot, or any of the backs to come out of the backfield to catch passes and make positive yardage plays. The perfect scenario would be for IU to perpetually be in a second and short situation where the defense wouldn’t be able to focus on making IU one dimensional.

    I’m all in for IU breaking this losing streak to Michigan this Saturday.

  2. I don’t know about ‘bad memories’,..but the panel on the BIG Show pointed out that in spite of early success, IU is dead LAST in the conference in 3rd down conversions. Some of Sheridan’s calls have been pretty bad,…now we know how bad.

    1. I’m not sure it’s Sheridan’s calls as much as it is clear and convincing evidence of what we are and aren’t capable of. We can’t run the ball very well. We don’t have the speed to get to the edge and we’re not good between the tackles. Our O line just isn’t a strength, and it’s not going to magically become one.

      So, first and 10, if we run, often becomes second and long. If we don’t get much on second down, third down involves a narrower playbook, deeper drops, longer and slower developing routes, more pressure up front, more compromise in either keeping a tight end, a back, or both in pass pro, and so it goes. But the failure on third down is a direct result of the failures on first and second down, and it’s been a concern of the coaches since our line got cleaned out at the end of last season.

      The coaches have a dilemma that they’re trying to address, and it centers around expanding Penix’s role in the ground game. Our only real hope of getting better there is to use him as weapon. We’re not running a fullback or any other such nonsense, and it would be a rarity to ever even go two tight. Those things aren’t a part of the offense, we don’t practice it, and we don’t have the personnel. It’s that simple. The unused weapon is MP, and the obvious concern is how much you want to expose him to injury. But making him a legitimate running threat is something I know they’re considering, since it pressures the D in a different way. What we won’t do is widen splits, though. They’ve considered it and can’t risk the negative plays it would surely produce.

      1. BD: You’re making excuses. There is nothing in the way of pre snap movement, no imagination. Running the ball consists of more than a tailback hitting the middle. James is the 2nd highest rated player since the rating system began. Philyor in motion, Reese in motion,…maybe quick short pass etc etc. I’ve said for years on this site that Hiller seems very limited in imagination and recruiting. He is to football what saltines are to a meal.

        1. I’m just talking Xs and Os, and nothing I’ve said is incorrect. That you’re relying on high school player ratings as a benchmark is probably one of the reasons you don’t understand how this works.

          1. Obviously ‘nothing you say is incorrect’. I didn’t indicate anything you said was,..just covering. As far as X’s and O’s go, ….forget the high school ratings,..James is a superior running back! #2, he can actually catch a ‘lob-pass’ out of the backfield unlike Scott. From what I’ve observed, nothing in the way of the O line ‘pulling’ or ‘cross blocking’ to make holes. Finally, since you seem to be on the coaching staff and I’m just a fan and know nothing,…you might point out that the run game is pathetic. As for running Penix. I don’t even like it when he is the option at the goal line because they can’t seem to punch it in from 1′. The last thing they need to do is expose Penix to further injury on set plays,..scrambling, yes.

  3. No dilemma. Pass on first down: short, long, screen, to the backs, all of the above. Then run Scott and Sampson. They run well against defenses not focused on the middle runs. It is not rocket science. IU has gifted offensive players. Use them. Put the pressure on the opposition defenses: “cover everything on every play”! IU can do it all!

    1. I agree that different plays need to be called on 1st and 2nd down. Bear Down is right about the limitations of IU’s offense but throwing quick seam passes, a variety of WR screens, along with a variety of quick passes helps the OL and makes up for any lack of speed IU might have. I do worry about coach Sheridan’s background not including more open offenses and how to use the pass game to control defenses.

  4. Sheridan should have concluded by now that his O-line is not effective at run-blocking between the tackles. So I agree with BP, he needs to play to his strengths (“you go to war with the army you have”) and stop wasting downs trying to run the ball up the middle. Last year’s O-line was not much better than this year’s O-line, but our OC recognized that and called plays to maximize the productivity of the talent he had. Ramsey’s dink & dunk passing game was in essence the replacement for a normal running game. Unfortunately, no Big Ten defenses feared Ramsey’s arm strength. Penix has the arm talent that Big Ten defenses must fear, and he can play the dink & dunk game just as well as Ramsey did. So, if the play-calling is dialed in, this year’s offense should be much more productive.

    1. Remember who the head coach is and his background. Even though we run a version of the spread, Allen wants to not expose his D to the twin evils of quick offensive possessions and poor field position. So he wants to achieve an offensive balance, and that means they’re going to try and run the ball. Like it or not, first down is far and away the most statistically advantageous time to do that, so it’s not going away. And like it or not, our backs are between the tackle guys who can’t get to the edge and who aren’t really out there for their pass catching abilities. In sum, we would much more effective if we could get anyone to the edge. We just don’t have that player, and that’s why Penix will need to be used a bit more if we want to open up that part of the offense.

  5. Good ideas from Podunker. Dunk and dink is much different under Penix. With a laser arm he can find those thread passes to put through the smallest needle. Dunk and dink under Ramsey was predictable slow movement. 2 or 3 defenders were always in the immediate vicinity of his dunk and dink because of slow delivery and no heat on a ball (it doesn’t give even a speedy receiver the opportunity to avoid or break on tackle and scamper for much more yardage).

    I also have zero worries concerning our running backs. I think they’ll break off some big runs …Our offense is far more diverse than many realize. Much of its diversity is coming via Penix’s ability to throw a myriad of different balls (maybe a ‘soft touch” screen in his arsenal as well?) and survey the field like a veteran. But please don’t abuse his gifts and put him in harms way via too many quarterback run options. Penix staying healthy is an imperative.

  6. BD, I agree with your point about our Head coach’s desires about poor field position. But starting on your own 25 yard line with a running play that gains zero yards, creating a second and ten or second and twelve scenario creates the problem that TA wants to avoid. Even if a dink & dunk pass just gains three or four yards, it gives the offense more options and makes moving the chains that much easier. Against a team like Michigan, we simply can’t afford too many 2nd and 10 scenarios. If IU’s offense starts off flat like they did against both PSU and Rutgers, we’ll be playing catch up the rest of the game. Penix and his receivers are IU’s best offensive weapons; Sheridan needs to use them sooner. He can save the between-the-tackles running plays for when IU is in 3rd and short, when we’re on the goal line, or when he needs to burn clock.

    1. But if we can’t run it on first down, we have no hope of running on third and short, near the goal line, or to run clock. The solution, at least from their perspective, is to get better at it rather than abandon it. I think you’ll see them try to be more productive through the air on first down, but not being able to run the ball is a fundamental weakness that good teams will continue to exploit.

      1. A false choice! What is a receiver sweep, a run or a pass? It depends upon whether the QB flips the ball forward or not. Use every play in your book on every down. 4th and 1 can be a run, or a fake with a long pass, or any other play! Don’t be predictable. Use each of your skilled players. Be bold!

        1. Using every play, every down sounds great, but you have to be able to execute them. We’re playing to our strengths and away from our weaknesses. Getting to the edge is a challenge with this group. Bubble screens worked in the past because of the experienced, big body wideouts who were good POA blockers. And we had an extremely accurate quarterback delivering the ball, protected by a much more experienced and cohesive O line that provided SS some room to run. Much of that is missing, and our offensive numbers reflect that.

          1. I have defended Hiller but it is now clear he has failed IU one of two ways. One he doesn’t develop the talent to have an improved OL or two, he doesn’t do a good job evaluating talent to recruit. By this time, Hiller should have a good OL for IU and I hope coach Allen will evaluate the job Hiller is doing because we will lose OL after this season and need a good OL next year.

            The college game is a tough game that demands success and Hiller has not produced it in his fourth year here.

  7. Allen does have a “running” game. He ran Cronk off the team. He ran Ramsey out of town. lol. Now we’re #13 in the nation. Who would have thunk it? Certainly not Jim Plunkett. Hut-HUT! …Party at McNutt! (that one was for davis).

    Just keep winning, Hoosiers. Penix is the headline grabber to keep this momentum going. The more he throws the ball with the accuracy displayed in the first two games, the more Scott and James will have a chance to break through some softened defenses.

    1. Speaking of Cronk, he was benched last weekend and then outplayed by his backup. He may have just lost his job. I guess the grass isn’t always greener.

  8. BD, again I agree with your points. You are correct. My point is really about situational awareness. Not just an awareness about how things are going during a game, but an awareness about a given opponent in general. If I’m Sheridan, while working to help my O-line improve every day, I’m also going to realistically assess the likelihood that my O-line has improved enough in one week to make a significant difference against an opponent as talented as MI. If you believe that MI’s D-line is better than Rutgers and PSU’s D-lines were (and I do), then what are the odds that our O-line’s performance is going to improve enough in one week to have an effective run game?

    As to IU’s running backs not having the speed to get around the edge, does anyone know the status of our fastest back who has been held out of the first two games with an injury?

  9. Passing the football. Three things can happen and two of them are negative….Bo Schembechler.
    Of course IU offense will have to put major emphasis on passing game but it has to be complimented by running game. IU has to run the football. Balance.

    1. Woody Hayes, Bo’s mentor when he was on the Ohio State staff, is the one credited with that saying.

  10. Balance is great …but rarely is it optimally achieved by any team. Many games pivot as a result of kicking game, field position and turnovers. We’ll need the turnover equation to “balance” in our favor.

    Throw the ball. That’s why we have a 5-superstar quarterback never before seen in a Hoosier uniform. This ain’t Sudfeld or Ramsey. This kid is a gamer. Give him a chance to win the game.

  11. And we already have a more balanced attack because of Penix’s skills. There is no balance with strictly pocket passers with slow feet and Wiffle ball tossers.
    Our qb’s versatility own its own makes our running game exponentially more dangerous because defenses have to stay honest.

    1. I agree H4H, Penix passing ability forces defense to change or get torched. When they change to stop the pass then IU can run the ball effectively. Spread coaches know how to use the pass as an outside running game and I hope coach Sheridan starts to figure that out. IU’s offense needs to do what they are best at doing and in Rutgers game the running game became more effective after the passing game started hurting them.

      Passing the ball doesn’t mean giving up on the run but it takes a mindset to use the strength of the team to develop a running game.

  12. oops…
    Our qb’s versatility [on] its own makes our running game exponentially more dangerous….

  13. V13, your last post was excellent and I agree completely.

    As for Hiller, the questions will become, is there an O-line coach out there who would be a clear upgrade over Hiller? Is there a man out there who has proven to be a better recruiter? Is there a man out there who has proven to be better at developing linemen. Hiller gets paid pretty well, so it’s not like the old days when IU could not afford to hire a quality position coach.

    It’s strange; on one hand Hiller has had several players get drafted or make the NFL as Free Agents. But overall, IU’s O-line has been average at best the last two seasons while the rest of the team has been above average, if not very good. Maybe it just takes time for the O-line to find its rhythm. Maybe PSU and Rutgers just have excellent D-lines. But right now I feel as if the O-line lags behind the rest of the team. We have two excellent running backs who are being wasted because the O-line is not very good at run-blocking. They do O.K. in pass-blocking, but can’t seem to open any holes. If you want to stay ranked in the top 20 teams in the country, you better have a good O-line.

    1. Totally agree. Allen seems to be comfortable with Hiller. It is odd that many take their fundamental skills to the NFL but aren’t that effective at IU. Hiller has yet to recruit a 4☆ player. Yes, they can do better than Hiller. His strength seems to be ‘pass protection’. Remember, he came from Houston where running the ball was barely a part of the offense.

    2. It’s why I harped so much on the decision to chase away the most experience returning lineman IU had. Continuity is everything up front, and we forfeited that, even though many here said it was the right move. Unfortunately, reality is setting in.

      1. IUFB was fine last season without Cronk. Would it be nice to have him? Sure it would, but they’ll be fine without him again. You have to think he might be second guessing his choice after getting benched then outplayed by his backup last week.

        1. Fine? No, that’s not correct at all. But they were better able to deal with losing him. This year, not so much, which is why it was such an error to chase him away.

          1. IUFB is 7-4 since Cronk last played a down for IU. And that’s ten B1G opponents and Tenn. If Benson didn’t go down in the preseason, I doubt this would even be a topic of discussion.

          2. If Benson didn’t go down in the preseason, IU would again be playing true freshmen on the Oline. Winning programs don’t do that.

          3. This isn’t the 1900s anymore. True FR play on tons of “Winning Program’s” OLs.

          4. No, it’s very rare for true fresh to play and start on the OLine. It’s even rarer in winning programs.

  14. BD, why do you continue to write that IU “chased Cronk away.” I think I’ve read everything published about why Cronk chose to transfer, and I don’t really see that as what happened.

    1. You’re right frosh OL don’t start for winning teams. Cronk being out last year proves that.

  15. Because they not only told him they wanted to move him away from the position where he was the best player on the team, but also because they told him he had no choice or say in the matter and that he couldn’t even compete for the spot. Ramsey was pretty much told the same thing. Why stay if the best players don’t play?

    1. BD, I value what seems to be insider knowledge that you have but it is odd Cronk left and Iowa moved him to RT not his preferred LT spot. This last game Cronk seemed to be replaced by an young player when he struggled against NW. Maybe he was injured and we didn’t hear about it but things haven’t been smooth sailing in Iowa for him.

      As for Cronk or Ramsey being the best player returning that is a subjective opinion not fact and IU coaches clearly saw it differently – they have their jobs on the line with putting a winning team out there. Cronk was struggling blocking top DE his last season at IU but maybe he was hurting and it limited his playing. I hated to see either player leave but I would rather have players that knuckle down and prove coaches wrong with their playing ability.

      1. Alaric Jackson is a three year starter at T for Iowa and their best lineman. So, CC wasn’t moving ahead of him. Kallenberger has been in their program for three years, yet CC beat him out in spite of no spring practice and an abbreviated Fall camp. How do you think that happens at a place like Iowa, which is known for developing linemen?

        As for Cronk at IU, the coaches tried to move him precisely because he was their best Olineman. They thought he was skilled enough and versatile enough to handle that, while no one else was considered for that. Not sure what you were watching regarding CC in pass pro, but you might check out this season if you need examples of tackles having trouble blocking DE’s.

        If either player had been allowed to compete, I think you’d have seen them knuckle down.

  16. BD, you comments imply that IU’s coaching staff was guilty of dealing with Cronk with a high degree of insensitivity. That just doesn’t seem to fit the narrative about the culture TA wants to create and the values he wants his program to be built upon (i.e., LOE). I can see TA and Hiller telling Cronk “we think the best way for you to help the team next season is to play guard. We also think that’s your best way to get drafted by the NFL.” Cronk, assuming he wanted to play tackle, didn’t like that idea at all. So he entered the transfer portal and went to Iowa. If that’s the way it went down, I wouldn’t describe that as “chasing Cronk off.” As a person who has managed/supervised hundreds of employees over the last 30 years, I have had many situations where my vision of the employees’s future with the company differed from the employee’s vision of his/her future. And as a result, some of those employees chose to leave the company to pursue their goals. But that does not mean I ran those employees out of the company.

    1. Ask yourself why he was told he was moving inside, even though they knew he was the best tackle they had? He wasn’t asked. He was told. Why do think neither player had anything positive to say about the coaches on their way out?

  17. I don’t know anything about the Cronk situation….Maybe he refused to sit in on prayer circles? Who knows….?

    Ramsey did a great job last season, but I can’t see any reasonable argument claiming he gives us more chances to win against the best of the Big10 than Penix.

    Ramsey doesn’t execute those final drives against PSU in the fashion of Penix.
    Win or lose, we have far more exciting football to watch with Michael Penix. His gifts and his “ready to shock the world” swagger will spawn far more interest in the program as well.

    1. Again, he was told he wouldn’t be able to compete for the job, so he left. Not sure that surprises anyone. The same thing happened with CC.

  18. BD, of course Cronk was told. A FB team is not a democracy; the players don’t get to decide where they’re going to play. The coaches are in charge and have the responsibility of making decisions that are in the best interest of the team, so yes, they tell players where they’re going to play. If that’s unacceptable to the player, he can transfer or quit. That’s not running a player off the team, that’s being the leader of the program. If what you suggest about how it went down is accurate, it sounds to me as if Cronk developed a sense of entitlement. As in, “hey coach, I’m a senior and a team-leader, and I want to play left tackle. And if I’m not named the starting left tackle, I’m going to transfer.” I’m not saying that’s how it went down, but it’s as viable an explanation as saying Cronk was “run off the team.”

    As for Ramsey, I personally think he’d have been stupid not to transfer. He simply is not as talented as Penix and therefore was not going to get significant playing time unless Penix was injured. I call that a win/win situation. Iu wins because Penix is a better QB. Ramsey wins because he’s good enough to be the starter at NW>. Both teams are 2- 0.

    But back to Cronk. Iowa is 0 – 2, they’ve lost their S&C Coach, and there is rampant speculation that the head coach will be shown the door after the season. That can’t be good for team moral. Adding salt to the wound, Cronk got benched and may not regain his starting spot the remainder of the season. Might he have been better off being IU’s starting guard for the #13 ranked Hoosiers?

    “Pride goes before the fall.”

    1. So not letting those two players, who were so instrumental in IU’s season, even compete for the positions they were playing? Sorry, when coaches don’t make decisions based on equal opportunity based on competition, most good players will find another spot. A question: Do you think either of those kids would come to IU today, based on how they were treated?

      1. Ramsey was a great kid, but his “world beater” status was against some of the softest teams we’ve faced on a schedule for decades. Think of it as getting scholly crunched….I don’t remember so many tears for kids Crean was constantly treating as expendable. And many had been very instrumental in victories and attaining other recruits. Austin Etherington? Remy Abell? Matt Roth denied a final season of eligibility….Mo Creek?…..Devin Davis? All great kids. Hard workers. Great role models for the program. All expendable. All likely told their minutes were going to dwindle. Leave/transfer or enjoy pine. Choice is yours. Don’t have time for your injuries to heal. Don’t care if you were instrumental in helping bring in Cody Zeller…Don’t care if have one more year of eligibility and you’re a fantastic perimeter shooter. We just no longer need you as much as the year before. End of story.

        Sports can be cruel. Reality bites.

  19. Some of us believe (thinkaboutit may agree) that there was not an “open competition” for quarterback when Penix arrived his freshman year. There was a sense that Ramsey had to really get bogged down or fully stymied to get Penix onto the field…That “stymieing” happened in the first Penn State match-up.

    Allen showed more than enough loyalty to Ramsey. The time clock merely ran out on him as it pertains to the complete obvious upgrade Penix would bring. Once Penix got healthy, Ramsey had to know the obvious was coming.

  20. H4H, it was a competition with between two good QBs with different levels of talent. Ramsey is good enough for the B1G in the right offense. Penix is a special talent at QB and can run effectively in any offense built on the pass. I am glad to see Ramsey doing well at NW but I am even happier having Penix show why IU coaches making him the starter and how he can elevate the team. It isn’t easy making this decision and I know because I made it at Wayne HS with a talented sophomore getting the nod. I told our coaches and the back up QB he could start for 90% of the teams in Indiana but the sophomore had more talent especial with his running ability to go with the throw.

    IU had a difficult situation at QB that other schools have faced recently when a starter is challenged by a more talented freshman QB. It can’t be easy being the starter and find out the younger player is replacing you but teams are about competition and having the most talented players start. If teams don’t take this approach they are not giving their teams the best shot at winning seasons and the coaches won’t last long.

    1. Competition? Come on, V. Allen handed Ramsey the keys to the car until some real competition in an opponent showed up (Penn State game, Oct 20, 2018). Allen then moved Penix from pine to field to save a game we had no chance for “breakthrough.” He put out a frail freshman with a ton of talent, risking Penix’s pencil physique to snap like a twig, because Ramsey had no answers.

      And Ramsey would have had no answers in this year’s Penn State game. He’s Tom Brady against cupcakes and bottom tier Big10 teams. He was given all the loyalty in the world to appear far more stellar than the reality.

        1. While in an IU jersey. Maybe Peyton will be a world beater at Northwestern. I hope he lights up the Big10 and finds the mustard in his bicep to throw a pass with anything on it more than 40 yards.
          He was a patsy-pounder in his final year at IU.

          The collective average of all teams we won against in 2019 was in the .200s W/L percentages. Conference records for the five Big10 teams we won against last season were a collective 8-37 (.216). Three of those teams were a collective 2-25 (.080).
          Last year’s wins were against disgracefully bad teams. The non-conference were some of the lowliest of lows …Two of the three (Eastern Illinois and UConn) were the worst teams in beyond weak mid-major conferences.

          Ramsey did his job. Nothing against the kid…but he’s simply never going to be a headliner quarterback that can do what Penix demonstrated in the final drives against Penn State. He doesn’t have that level of skill or arm.
          He’s got a great opportunity at Northwestern. Hope he proves all his doubters wrong. Would just about any Hoosier football fan trade him for Penix right now? Now that’s what I call “nonsense.”

  21. I know some of you are football purists…Run the ball. Balanced attack. Ball control. Move methodically 3 yards per pass. I’ve watched the Bears do it since their last Super Bowl in…….?……1985. Can’t get a stellar quarterback in that damn Chicago town. Great defenses wasted because of pure doldrums and choke artists at qb.

    IU finally has a quarterback…and we’re bitching about losing a lineman. Haven’t you ever heard of Sexy Rexy Grossman? Jay Cutler? Mike Tomczak? Bob Avellini? Vince Evans? …..Mitch Trubisky.

    Being a long time suffering Chicago Bears fan, please know how rare it is to get somebody like Penix. You can cry in many decades of beer before seeing that sort of talent behind center. I love purists and I love guys who block and protect the golden arms….but my goodness. Did any of you watch this kid turn a loss into a win against Penn State. That was a once in 40 year orchestrated clutch drive….and all we can do is cry over a couple transfers? Be thankful you’re…Be beyond thankful you’re not a Bears fan. Do come join…You’ll get decades of Ramseys.

  22. Did I forget Bobby Douglas…? Maybe you’ve heard of Josh McCown? Aren’t they all just memorable names?
    Again, enjoy Michael Penix while he’s healthy. Enjoy someone who can put some major heat on a laser throw/ball. Enjoy some deep throws that won’t be pushed back 10 yards by a soft headwind. Enjoy someone who has some moxie/swagger. Enjoy someone who doesn’t fold up in terror under some heavy pressure or a pocket collapsing. Enjoy it while it lasts, Hoosier fans.

  23. BD, I agree with you that it would have been better for IU FB if Cronk had stayed at IU. Not sure it really mattered if Ramsey stayed or not. But college athletes have more choice these days than ever before, and both players made the choice to transfer. That does not mean they were run off the team. On the plus side of the ledger, by transferring, Cronk and Ramsey opened up two spots on the roster. And given IU’s improved recruiting, their transfers provide an opportunity for IU to recruit two players that, in the long run, may be better/more valuable than Cronk and Ramsey.

    Based on your comments, you appear to have taken this personally. You obviously disapprove of how Cronk and Ramsey were treated by IU’s coaching staff. I just don’t see any basis for the disapproval or any reason to criticize IU’s coaching staff. As I said in a previous post, I’ve been in situations where my assessment of a good employee’s future with the company does not agree with the employee’s desires or ambition. And while I never ran any of those employees out of the company, I was not surprised when they moved on. And in some cases, I actually believed that the employee would be better off, happier, more satisfied working somewhere else. Maybe TA believed both Cronk and Ramsey would be better off transferring. Maybe he was being selfless!

    1. My only issue was that two loyal players who were huge contributors to IUs success weren’t shown the same loyalty in return. The LEO asked of them wasn’t reciprocated. Maybe that’s why the coaches were so surprised they left.

  24. We have all our quarterback eggs in one basket. No Ramsey …and Tuttle has almost zilch experience.
    Just hope that the gamble lasts. Personally, I enjoy the rolling of the dice. I like telling a kid it all rides on his shoulders. Makes things exciting….along with the excitement in watching an athlete like Penix. Hope we can protect him against Michigan. This will be a test to his stamina/durability.
    All of our better opponents know most our chances ride with Penix. Don’t expect the defenses to go easy on him. Let’s just hope no opposing coaches condone the sort of ‘Bountygate’ attitude of Sean Payton.

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