Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wilson Seeks IU Football Answers; Eva Longoria and Big Ten Scheduling
Kevin Wilson has questions. Answers remain as elusive as a balanced U.S. budget, which is what you expect when a new coach from a powerhouse program arrives to turnaround a perennial Big Ten bottom feeder.
So Wilson, driven by a successful offensive coordinator run at Oklahoma, wonders as Indiana’s spring practice season closes in on its final week:
“Who will come to play every day? Who will be physical? Who can you count on?”
Those answers could determine whether the Hoosiers finish with a winning record next season.
Wilson continues to push for that, even though some shaky spring practices (at least by his standards) suggest that next year might be a bigger challenge than expected.
“I’ve seen seniors get beat out by freshmen,” he said. “Potentially there are seniors who can be beat out by guys coming in. I hope. We have some guys on the 2-deep who can be beat out by guys coming in.”
Freshmen won’t start showing up on campus until June. For some, that will be enough to earn playing time. For others, it will lead to a redshirt season. Former coach Bill Lynch was a big believer in redshirting guys at IU so that, in theory at least, by the time they reached their fifth year, they were ready to handle Big Ten battles.
Wilson is a more play-‘em-now coach.
“We need to develop our team. That’s lifting. I don’t see it as a five-year deal. I see it by competition. It’s not developed by waiting. We’ve been waiting for some 40 years to go back to a Rose Bowl. It’s not about waiting. It’s about increasing the competition. It’s about increasing the energy level.”
So the truth comes out –- the Big Ten doesn’t want Nebraska facing the Hoosiers in football.
Are you like us? Do you see dark forces at work? Do wonder what Tony Parker was thinking when he messed up with Eva Longoria?
Sorry. An image of Eva in a tuxedo jacket and short shorts during a David Letterman appearance lingers.
Anyway, here’s what we know.
Fact: IU won’t play the Cornhuskers in the next four seasons. The first year it could happen is 2015.
Fact: The Big Ten office makes the schedule.
Fact: Nebraska is a national power, although not in the same way Alabama is right now. The Cornhuskers used to be an elite program, then hit a lull and are trying to muscle their way back.
Fact: Indiana is not an elite program. It never has been. Cynics might suggest it never will be, but cynics haven’t seen new coach Kevin Wilson’s no-bull intensity.
Fact: Non-conference games against Missouri, Navy and Virginia are coming. So are contests with South Carolina State, North Texas, Indiana State and Ball State.
Fact: Eva Longoria will not be a sideline reporter during any of IU’s home games this coming season.
Add it all up and it’s obvious league officials are concerned that Wilson, with deep Oklahoma roots, will embarrass Nebraska. If that doesn’t seem obvious to you, look at the Eva-Letterman video and get back to us.
In case you missed it, Indiana’s rock-the-basketball-world Class of 2012 will be playing for Indiana Elite/Team Indiana this weekend at Indianapolis North Central as part of the annual IndyBall.com tourney.
That means Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea, Ron Patterson and Jeremy Hollowell. Also on the team, although perhaps not playing this weekend, is Peter Jurkin.
Eventually these guys will all be on the court at the same time, which will be an early preview of what IU’s future lineup will be like. The early and extra playing time will help with chemistry, something that should be fine tuned by the time they all arrive in Bloomington. They’ll have to adjust to college and coach Tom Crean’s system, but every freshman in every program has adjustments to make.
In the meantime fans will get a kick out of seeing what could be a future championship squad in action.