Do you believe in conspiracies? Do you see things going on and KNOW there are mysterious forces at work, that appearances hide reality?
Of course you do. The X-Files, after all, was based on true stories (aliens really did land in Roswell, N.M.). So was Lost. And don’t think for a moment that George Lucas got all that Star Wars stuff from just his imagination.
Why do we mention this? Because our suspicious nature has kicked in. We have seen the Indiana Hoosiers struggle defensively against inferior football opposition and something isn’t right. There is shadow amidst substance, intrigue between inconsistent execution.
Are we being set up? Or, more precisely, is Michigan being set up?
We have heard Indiana coach Bill Lynch talk about how this defense has a new personality; that it is motivated by the naysayers putting them down; that the talent is better; the players are faster and more athletic; that this is a veteran coaching staff that knows how to maximize what it has.
And we believe him.
So when the defense reverts to its bumbling ways of the past 15 years, when it can’t tackle consistently, when it lets teams such as Towson, Western Kentucky and Akron put up never-seen-before numbers, something isn’t right.
Was Lynch making that defense stuff up? Was he just confused? Or is there something else going on?
Sure, we could launch a major investigation to infiltrate closed practices and meetings using drone planes and disguising ourselves as, say, Ben Chappell. Granted, we don’t look or throw like Ben Chappell. Somebody might get suspicious to see TWO No. 4s out there, one standing 6-3 and 242 pounds, the other somewhat smaller.
We could hire hypnotists to get Lynch, his staff and his players to tell us what’s REALLY going on.
We could get really desperate and pipe Barry Manilow songs into the locker room and coaches offices until they run out screaming the answers to our questions.
Or, we could piece together the evidence ourselves to come up with the inescapable conclusion -– IU is holding back.
Coaches went with a basic defensive approach against Towson, Western Kentucky and Akron because they could get away with it. But when Michigan shows up at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon, the real Indiana defense will be unleashed. The one that tackles well, stuffs the run, defends the pass and provides unrelenting quarterback pressure. The one that has enough complexity to turn Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson and company into mush. The Hoosiers will disguise everything. They will contain Robinson and hit him so hard that he’ll quit the sport to take up figure skating.
Of course, we could be wrong. Maybe the defense Indiana has displayed so far is the best it’s got. That’s all there is.
If that’s true, then these are going to be an awfully long two months.
We, however, don’t buy it. The truth is out there and come Saturday, we’ll find it.