Unless you’ve been so enthralled with the national debate on the federal deficit that you lost your Cream ‘n Crimson way, you know that football coach Kevin Wilson makes his Indiana debut on Sept. 3 when the Hoosiers take on Ball State at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Yes, that is the home of the Indianapolis Colts and the site of the Big Ten football championship game. It’s an incredible place to watch a football game, a basketball game or just about anything that doesn’t involve the Housewives of New Jersey.
“I think the opportunity to be there in the heart of Indiana University country is very valuable,” athletic director Fred Glass said. “It will be awesome for the kids to play there. I’m very biased, but I think it’s a fabulous stadium. To be in that environment will be an extraordinary opportunity for our student-athletes and our fans.”
Anyway, it’s important to note that this was Ball State’s home game and that school officials moved it from Muncie. We say this because last year Glass took heat for moving a home game against Penn State to Washington D.C. He did that because the department got $3 million to do it, which is WAY more than IU makes in a home game. However, it also cost Bloomington business owners such as restaraunts and hotels, which did not make them happy. And as business owners sometimes do, they expressed those feelings to the person who made them unhappy.
“It’s great that I didn’t move the game out of Bloomington,” Glass said. “It was Ball State.”
Still, Lucas Oil Stadium is an enticing place to play. Would Glass consider moving a home football game there?
“Probably not,” he said. “The Penn State to D.C. game was a great deal. I’d do it all day long, but probably once. Maybe in the far-out future, but I don’t see us moving a Bloomington game to Lucas Oil. I look forward to playing the title game there.”
That would mean winning a Leaders Division highlighted by Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State.
Yes, Wilson is determined to win now, not later. And optimism about the program is everywhere in the wake of stud recruit Gunner Kiel committed to IU. Still, few expect the Hoosiers to make the title game and vie for a Rose Bowl berth this season.
But then, this is August and all things are possible, even Republicans and Democrats agreeing to a budget compromise.
Michigan is making basketball recruiting in-roads into Indiana, the latest being Hamilton Southeastern swingman Zak Irvin –- Class of 2013 -- committing to the Wolverines. Yes, this is the same Zak Irvin IU took a long look at.
Is this a reason for Hoosier fans to worry?
The Hoosiers had cooled on Irvin after getting commitments from a bunch of similar athletic forwards. Plus, they’ve already loaded up on the in-state talent they want.
Michigan had been at the top of Irvin’s list for a while. It came down to the Wolverines and Butler.
Michigan also got a commitment from talented point guard Derrick Walton from the Class of 2013. The Hoosiers also had done some intense evaluating of Walton along with fellow point guards Jaylen Brown and Demetrius Jackson last month.
As of right now IU’s future point guard duties are set for Yogi Ferrell in the Class of 2012. If everything works out, he’s the guy coach Tom Crean is counting on to run the show. But you can never have enough true point guards and the Hoosiers could use another talented one. So we’ll see where this leads.