Saturday, October 23, 2010

Forget Excuses. IU Football Should Be Better Than This

So now we know exactly what Indiana’s football Hoosiers are.

It’s not a pretty sight.

The details were confirmed in the 43-13 loss at Illinois, but evidence had surfaced from the very first game, when the defense struggled by giving up big plays.

In Saturday’s defining game full of must-win implications, the 4-3 Hoosiers came up empty. They had two punts blocked, for goodness sakes. They overcame the first, gave up a safety on the second.

Their five turnovers, two of which were returned for touchdowns, offset a decent defensive effort. They held Illinois to 289 total yards. They basically out-gained the Illini by 100 yards and still got hammered.

You can blame coaches, players, injuries, youth, the full moon, Lindsay Lohan and the Wolf Man. It doesn’t matter. We’ve seen this too often over the years. The hope was we’d see less of it this season and the reward would be a bowl game.

So much for hope and reward.

Sure, Illinois (4-3) is improved, but it’s not the second coming of Oregon. It’s a decent team that can be beaten with solid execution.

IU wasn’t close to that.

Quarterback Ben Chappell, so impressive for most of the season, struggled with three interceptions and 26-for-48 accuracy, well below his career standard. A battered offensive line contributed to his inefficiency.

The schedule suggests there are three winnable games remaining, but the reality shows there are none.

Yeah, that’s a shame.

Northwestern (5-2), Penn State (4-3) and Purdue (4-3) are vulnerable. Iowa (5-2) and Wisconsin (7-1) are not. Those two games against ranked teams will be Ohio State ugly.

Northwestern is coming off a heartbreaking loss to unbeaten Michigan State. A good team would take advantage of that.

Don’t be fooled by Penn State’s win over Minnesota. This is a shaky group limited by the Big Ten’s worst offense. A good defense would dominate and dictate.

Purdue has had so many injuries it might be starting team managers by the time the Oaken Bucket battle begins on Nov. 27. A ruthless rival would exploit that.

In the end, it doesn’t matter. IU has spent seven games proving it is not capable of beating quality opponents. Nothing it has done suggests it can win any of its remaining games.

Forget the four wins over non-conference patsies. Those count for nothing but a padded won-loss record.

Yes, there is time to turn it around. A bowl season is still possible by winning at least two of the last five games.

But in your heart of hearts, do you believe it will happen?

We thought so.



    Hype Hype Hype - the best we can say is we don't cheat and we only waste $300k on a coach.

  2. Pete, if you hear of any petitions going around to replace Bill Lynch I would like to sign early and often. Lynch should never have been given the head coaching job. Glass should never have kept him. I know IU says it doesn't have the money to pay a quality coach but I think otherwise. There is talent on this team but not enough. It comes down to recruiting. 3 star recruits or lower will never be able to compete in the Big 10.

    Bart Brown
    BA 1986
    MPA 2000

  3. There is no excuse for the continued poor performance of IU football. It happens year in and year out. Our Defensive speed is always slow (can we please recruit some DBs or Safetys vs. putting former QBs back there)!

    With the new football facilities we should be able to recruit better athletes and players.

  4. We need a Quality Coach!
    We need higher recruiting class!
    We need in now!

    or get out of the big ten and join the mac because that is how we are playing ! Stay playing small schools were we can win few games .

  5. This game was a real shame. I truly thought IU would come out and beat Illinois at their homecoming. We were not prepared or focused and we were outcoached by RON FREAKING ZOOK! Does our lack of preparation and focus come back to our coaching staff? I don't know the answer to that, but it would seem so.

  6. IU needs a head coach who teaches fundamentals and, above all else, is capable of instilling some pride and a will to win in his players. Hoeppner had these skills. Lynch does not. Glass and company should be angry and ashamed enough to pull the trigger ASAP and give us fans someone to believe in.

  7. I look at the perfect example called Boise State. Ten to fifteen years ago where was this program? Was it in a big time football conference that allows mass exposure to the world? NO! Was it a school known for great athletic achievements? NO! About 15 years ago my friend and I always bought season tickets to support the team but then we wised up. IU may spend money on a new facility, recruit good to above average talent, and have a great marketing program lead by a wonderful AD but until I see a winner on the field lead by a coach that can do more than a gimmick offense this program will not get another dollar from me.

  8. When Bill Mallory was coach we had some competitive teams. They made it to a few bowl games and even won some. I was at the Peach Bowl when they almost beat Tennessee. A great game. But even then, every time it looked like they would challenge for a lofty Big Ten position, they were beaten handily. They have NEVER won an important Big Ten game. Yes, they were inspired by the memory of coach 'Hep' and won the Bucket but that meant nothing in the Big Ten standings. I hope one day current fans will have something great to remember about Indiana football like I do with my piece of the 1968 Rose Bowl goal post. But it does not look good. And, concerning getting another coach ... be realistic, what big name coach would want to come here.

  9. What about the poor officiating?? 12 men on the field for ILL and the replay guy could not see it when the TV announcers did by looking at the replay!! A touchdown not allowed after Wilson scored, and did not drop the ball until after he hit the goalpost. Replay again cheated IU. I get tired of the bad calls against IU at these away games.