Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is IU's Football Schedule Too Easy Or Just Right?

Let’s address Indiana’s non-conference football schedule. We think it’s smart scheduling given the current state of the program. Some think it’s pathetic, embarrassing and just plain wrong. Then they think we’re idiots.

Let’s take a look to see who’s right (EDITOR’S NOTE: It is our blog, so we have a built-in advantage).

IU hosts Towson, Akron and Arkansas State. It plays at Western Kentucky. These teams combined to go 9-37 last year.

Akron might be the worst team in the Mid-American Conference. Western Kentucky used to be in what was once called Division I-AA and is now called something like subterranean championship division. Whatever. The NCAA can never make things simple. Anyway, Western Kentucky moved up to Division I-A last year –- it’s in the Sunbelt Conference -- and went 0-12.

Arkansas State also is in the Sunbelt and went 4-8. It is projected to finish in the middle of the Sunbelt pack. Towson is a member of the whatever division. Okay, it’s actually called the Football Championship Subdivision. Anyway, it’s a notch down from the big boys. In other words, it should be fodder for the Hoosiers.

On paper this is a lackluster schedule. It will not stir the blood, generate huge sellouts and bring ESPN’s College Game Day to Bloomington.

That, of course, isn’t the point. The Hoosiers are trying to build a program. They need winning records and bowl games, and if it comes in part from playing not-quite-ready-for-prime-time teams, so be it.

IU tried playing the Oregons and North Carolina States of the world several years ago and it didn’t go well. Yes, we know the Hoosiers somehow upset Oregon in a game where you wonder if somebody sold somebody’s soul to You Know Who, but overall it was a disaster.

If Indiana puts together a string of winning seasons, if it shows it’s ready to sustain a run of solid success, much in the way that Northwestern has, then it can slip in a Vanderbilt or Colorado or Navy. Yes, restoring the Kentucky rivalry would be good.

For now, though, bring on the patsies.


  1. Let's not forget Pete that last year Indiana had an "easy" schedule and it took fumbles inside the 10 yard line to preserve the wins there so I wouldn't be so quick to chalk those victories up. If Billy Boy doesn't go 7-5 he needs to go. The defense is going to be awful....simply awful though. Indiana had at least 6 guys on defense last year who are getting looks from NFL teams and they couldn't stop anyone can you say coaching. As far as his great recruiting class of 2011 well those players have verbally committed which means nothing these days. Homecoming loss to Arkansas State will bring out the Lynch Mob!!!!!

  2. IU has already added Wake Forest, Missouri, Navy, and one more game with Virginia to future non-con schedules.

  3. Smart in the long term, but not so exciting in the short. Some call them 'cupcakes' but I call them 'confidence builders' which are necessary for turning around a program. The schedule will get better as the team grows stronger. This year's recruiting class will be playing more exciting non-confer. games when they start.

  4. "Can you say coaching?" Ummm.. Can you say depth? Another disastrous coaching change would set the program back YEARS once again. I'm glad the AD is smart enough to recognize that, and is providing the resources to build the program.

  5. Well why do it half-assed? We should have scheduled the Central Missouri University Mules certainly one of the best teams in Warrensburg Missouri, Then we could have played the Golden Bears- no no not the California Golden Bears which would be a certain disaster for us, but the Concordia Golden Bears of St Paul Minnessota. For a serious challenge we could add The Eagles who won the Atlantic Conference last year - umm sorry the Carson_ newman Eagles who won the South Atlantic conf.

    Just think some of our guys could get on the Heisman watch with this kind of competition. If we play away games and lose - well only 1700 fans can fit into the stadium to see it.

    Sure we have a cupcake schedule not worthy of a major conference team- but it could be worse.

  6. Steve, I realize you're trying to be hilariously clever, but you should probably look at most other schools' schedules. I see a lot of cupcakes.

  7. I looked at Purdue's - and yes there are some cupcakes- I would guess Western Ill and Ball State - maybe even Toledo. They do have Notre Dame, so you're sort of right .. and sort of wrong.

    I checked Minn as well. Middle Tenn,South Dakota, Northern Ill and Southern Cal.

    Same thing - some cupcakes but one premier team. I do remember Minn having a home and away with Cal and believe they lost both.

    All in all you are correct - there are lots of cupcakes but wouldn't one decent team out of the four be nice?

  8. IU and every other college football team should schedule the best teams that they are very likely to beat, with the possible exception of national championship contenders. Right now, that means IU is scheduling the right opponents.

    Winning more than 3 conference games borders on impossible. Let's give the program a chance to build on success rather than missing out on a bowl because of early non-conference losses like in 2001 to NC State and Utah. IU was 4-4 in the Big Ten with wins at Wisconsin (63-32), Northwestern (56-21), at MSU (37-28) and Purdue (13-7). To me, this was clearly the best team of the decade, yet they were denied a bowl game.

  9. I am literally surprised anyone is buying season tickets with this junk non-conference schedule and us selling our top Big 10 home game. Complete joke.

    I don't think one game against Kentucky (or another BCS level opponent if they are unwilling) is asking too much. It doesn't even have to be someone great. Kentucky wasn't.

    We are trying to schedule ourselves into a bowl game instead of actually improving to the point we can earn one. Maybe it will work if we don't screw up to much once Big Ten play starts but we still have to win 2 games in conference and I'm not sure where we get that.