Monday, October 3, 2011

Can You Believe It -- Nation To See IU at Wisconsin

Does the nation REALLY want to see Indiana play at Wisconsin in football?

Thanks to ESPN2, the Oct. 15 game will be televised nationally.

Oh, no!

Last year the Hoosiers went up to Camp Randall Stadium and suffered one of the worst defeats in school history. The 83-20 score contributed to the eventual firing of coach Bill Lynch.

Now we have a Wisconsin team for the ages. Not only does it have its usual assortment of NFL-caliber offensive linemen and break-your-will running backs, it also has the kind of dual-threat quarterback in Russell Wilson it’s never had before. Wilson is a strong Heisman Trophy candidate and we say that with confidence considering we vote for the Heisman.

The Badgers also have a stout defense that shut down Nebraska’s powerhouse attack. It is a strong national title contender. And coach Bret Bielema is not known as a mercy coach. If he can hammer you, he will.

What does this mean for Indiana?

Nationally televised disaster.

The only thing that could keep the score reasonable is if Bielema, after taking some heat for running up the score last year on IU, backs off in the second half.

In truth, though, he shouldn’t. He doesn’t have to have Wilson play the whole game launching passes; this likely will be the perfect game for the backups to see significant action; but the play calling should still feature the Badgers’ best plays. It’s up to the Hoosiers to be man enough to stop them.

Now maybe it’s not a blowout. Maybe IU plays Wisconsin tough as nobody has this season. Maybe it finds a level that can compete with the nation’s best and then sustains it the rest of the season.


Nothing lasts forever. Ohio State faces a beat-down season that will provide some payback for its recent dominating ways. Perhaps the Hoosiers can some day do to the Badgers what was done to them. For now, though, the nation will get to see what we already know:

Wisconsin is really, really good, especially at home.

IU will be in big, big trouble.


Hoosier Hysteria is going to have a lot of high-profile recruiting action. All five members of IU’s Class of 2012 (Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea, Ron Patterson, Jeremy Hollowell and Peter Jurkin) will be there along with Gary Harris and Derek Willis (ranked No. 23 in the Class of 2013).

The 6-9 Willis, from Louisville, is the former Purdue committed player who has re-opened his recruiting. The Boilers, IU and Louisville top his list, with Kentucky and Illinois in the mix.


According to’s Brian Neubert, Harris’s official visit to Purdue this past weekend went well. He spent a lot of time getting to know the players, something the standout shooting guard will also do during his upcoming visits to Indiana, Michigan State and probably Kentucky.

Not only did Harris spend time with current players and coaches, Neubert wrote, but also with Boiler recruits from the Class of 2012 and 2013. The goal is to get as complete a picture as possible, and by the time this official visit process is over, Harris will have all the information he needs.

Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions a person can make after deciding on a favorite NFL team and …

Sorry. Everybody knows picking a NFL favorite is WAY more important. Still, college is a big deal and Harris obviously wants to get it right. Wherever he ends up, he’ll be in a great program.

Consider this. IU changed its Hoosier Hysteria night to accommodate Harris’ football schedule. Coach Tom Crean gets to as many of his football games as he can. If he doesn’t land Harris, it won’t be because of lack of effort.

In about a month, we should know.


If you like intrigue, consider IU’s football depth chart doesn’t list a starting quarterback. There is an “or” between the names of Dusty Kiel and Edward Wright-Baker.

Maybe that means Wright-Baker is still questionable with his ankle injury. Maybe it means this week will be a battle royale between the two redshirt freshmen.

Whoever starts will have a formidable challenge Saturday against unbeaten Illinois, which is ranked No. 19.

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