Monday, November 1, 2010

Indiana Football Needs To Start Winning -- NOW



Indiana loses another football game and grumpy fans grow restless. Bill Lynch must go. A new coach must be named.

Halloween is a very scary time of year.

Athletic director Fred Glass has called all this fire-Lynch talk premature and that there is still much to play for this season (at 4-4, IU can still earn a bowl bid). He’s on record as saying he will let Lynch finish his contract, which ends next season. He’s also been clear he wants to see that the program is headed in the right direction before offering an extension.

A 0-4 Big Ten record and nine straight conference losses does not seem to meet that right-direction criteria, but that’s only part of the picture. Recruiting, academics, doing things the right way, representing the university with class and dignity, and bringing in players who don’t make headlines for all the wrong reasons also are factors. In those areas, Lynch has been excellent.

Yes, he doesn’t land many four- and five-star guys, but then, what IU coach ever did? Indiana will never have a roster full of those guys unless the state starts producing them in abundance.

The Hoosiers aren’t going to go into, say, Texas or Pennsylvania and beat out the Longhorns and the Nittany Lions for superstar talent.

That’s okay. You can win with three-star players if they’re tough enough and coached well enough and are committed to excellence.

It’s about getting guys who are the right fit and developing them to their maximum. It’s about ensuring you have enough quality depth to overcome injuries. It’s about strong preparation and motivation to get guys to play to their potential and, at times, just a little bit more.

As far as the get-a-new-coach talk, IU needs stability in the program. The Hoosiers have had five coaches in the last 14 years and that’s a recipe for disaster, which they have had.

The bottom line is Indiana needs to win. Whether it’s Lynch or somebody else, the losing has to end.

Don't expect that to happen in the next few weeks. The Hoosiers play No. 15 Iowa and No. 7 Wisconsin, probably the Big Ten's most physical teams.

It won't go well for the Cream 'n Crimson.

Still, ending the season against a vulnerable Penn State team and injury ravaged Purdue gives the Hoosiers a chance at bowl eligibility.

Consider this. Next season IU will have a new, inexperienced quarterback. Even with a healthy Darius Willis (no sure thing) it will likely have a weak rushing attack. Why? It’s averaged 3.8 yards a carry or less in six of the last eight seasons, including a Big Ten worst 3.2 average this season.

An inexperienced quarterback combined with no rushing attack equals big trouble no matter who is coaching.

A well-coached team improves during the season and the much-maligned defense has improved. It no longer gives up big plays faster than Charlie Sheen finds trouble. The offense has regressed, mostly because it’s going up against better defenses. A battered offensive line is part of the trouble, but, in truth, even when at full health, it lacks the power and depth necessary for a consistent running game and rock-solid pass protection. That’s bad news for quarterback Ben Chappell, who lacks the mobility to create plays in the manner of, say, Northwestern’s Dan Persa.

Plus, Chappell is battered. He walks into press conferences looking like an 80-year-old man. In Tuesday’s press conference he arrived with a walking boot on his right foot. He said he’s trying to keep it immobilized, that the injury involves his ankle and foot, and that he expects to play Saturday against Iowa.

Given the rugged nature of Iowa’s defense, look for Chappell’s appearance to approach the century mark next week.

Anyway, Lynch still has time to prove he’s the right guy for a long-term contract, but proof comes in winning. Beating Iowa on Saturday at Memorial Stadium would be the perfect place to start.

11 comments:

  1. Glass is making a huge mistake with the "we will let Lynch finish his contract" talk, which means that the losing will continue for longer than it should without a change. The Hoosier faithful certainly understand the need for stability, and we had our man with the inspirational and transformative Coach Hep (RIP Coach - we all love you).

    But this is different now and the losing, the lack of a core of solid big ten recruits, and not being able to sell out the stadium even against top 10 and top 25 opponents lends itself to a change - hopefully the folks at the top can recognize that and do what is necessary immediately.

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  2. Mark in IndianapolisNovember 2, 2010 at 6:48 AM

    How much longer do we have to watch the same sort of mistakes and the same result each week before the powers that be at IU - and the state media - finally call it for what it is: Time for Lynch and this coaching staff to go.

    You "stability" comment would be well taken except for the fact that Lynch is essentially an extension of Hoeppner, without the rah-rah abilities. He was Hep's chosen guy, meaning IU has had essentially the same regime for the last 6-7 years with no tangible improvement.

    The offensive line is still porous, the defense is still unathletic and the special teams may be the worst in D-1 football.

    If IU really wants to be competitive, it's time the school made the commitment to a up-and-coming coach - and his staff - to match the commitment it has poured into the facilities.

    Look around, it is possible. Northwestern, Kansas State, Purdue, North Carolina, Wake Forest are just a few examples of schools that have no more resources or reason to win than IU that have managed to find success at various times over the past decade.

    At IU, we seem to have just decided that being mediocre in football is inevitable.

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  3. Indiana = Snowball
    Iowa = Hades

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  4. FIRE FRED GLASS IF HE DOES NOT FIRE BILL LYNCH!

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  5. 1. He said he’s trying to keep it immobilized, that the injury involves his ankle and foot, and that he expects to play Saturday against Iowa.

    WHY!!!!!!!_________" should he expects to play".

    2. Next season IU will have a new, inexperienced quarterback

    WHY!!!!! SHOULD WE WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR! what about next game ?????????????

    IU will have a new, inexperienced quarterback

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  6. way to take a stand. riveting sports journalism.

    you had me at, "anyway,"...

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  7. SERIOUSLY, HOW IS INDIANA STILL IN THE BIG TEN! WE HAVE LOST TO EVERYONE WE HAVE PLAYED BUT FOR FOUR TEAMS THAT HAVE A COMBINED RECORD OF 5-28 ON THE SEASON! THESE TEAMS SHOULD NOT EVEN BE IN DIVISION I FOOTBALL (IF THEY ARE). NOR SHOULD IU AT THIS POINT. IF FOOTBALL REALLY IS THE FOCUS OF FRED GLASS, HE NEEDS TO MAN UP AND FIRE BILL LYNCH AND HIRE A PERSON, ANY PERSON, WHO KNOWS HOW TO COACH FOOTBALL.

    HOOSIERHOOPLA, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT YOU NEED TO POINT OUT HOW TERRIBLE OUR TEAM IS -- BECAUSE OF BILL LYNCH. YOUR ASSERTION THAT THINGS WOULD BE WORSE WITHOUT HAVING THE STABILITY OF A CONSISTENT COACH IS UTTER YOU KNOW WHAT. IRONICALLY, WE DO HAVE VERY GOOD PLAYERS, THEY ARE JUST A TERRIBLE TEAM BECAUSE OF THE COACH. THE REALITY IS THAT A CHANGE OF COACH IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL BRING STABILITY, NOT MAKING EXCUSES FOR SOMEONE WHO KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL. IF ANYTHING, BY KEEPING BILL LYNCH ON YOU ARE PUSHING ANY ALUMNI SUPPORT OF THIS TEAM INTO THE GUTTER AS IT IS JUST PAINFUL TO WATCH SUCH AN EMBARRASSING MESS EACH WEEK.

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  8. Bill Lynch was hired after a brief shining moment in IU football history that had nothing to do with his abilities as a head coach. The coach on the sidelines that year and in the minds of the fans and players was still Coach Hep.

    IU fans can be patient when they know patience will pay off. Tom Crean was a well thought out hire who has had a rough few season with his Hoosiers. No one is calling for his head or questioning his future. The reason is that IU fans saw the thought that got put into that head coach decision and we believe in what the IU Athletic Department sees in Tom Crean.

    Stability for stability sake only is a valid argument if the head coach was picked for the correct reasons in the first place. Lynch rode on the inspirational Coach Hep wave and got himself a contract. Fred Glass needs to show the fans that they care enough about IU football to invest in things other than its fancy new endzone with no fans in it or its marketing attempts. Those investments only give you so much return in terms of football success.

    Put the efforts into finding a head coach that the IU players and fans can start believing in. The success will come eventually.

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  9. you idiots have absolutely no clue. it takes patience--examples rich brooks, gary pinkel, jim grobe. all are coaches who fans wanted fired, but given time had great success. i'm sure colt fans would noy have endorsed jim caldwell as coach if they were aware of his record at his only head coaching job-wake forest. again you have no clue.

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  10. You are the idiot! Bill Lynch had a 31-53 record as head coach at Ball State--seriously, who is the idiot? You are! And guess what, Ball State would tromp IU right now even if they suck. Why? Because of poor coaching at IU!

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  11. i feel for the players, our players are as good as some of the teams that have beaten us. ad should have fired the coach after last season i like alot of others have lost interest.if they dont want topay big dollars. check out the depauw progam. best record since 1951 and undefeated

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