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2010 NCAA Preview – Indiana Hoosiers

INDIANA HOOSIERS IN A NUTSHELL

Heading into the 2010 football season, Indiana can only look back on the 2009 season as the season of opportunity missed. Despite bringing back a veteran defense with talent at every level, Indiana’s struggled mightily stopping opposing teams from scoring 30ppg while the offense struggled to establish a running game that allowed for some balance to go with a tremendous passing attack headlined by QB Ben Chappell and WRs Tandon Doss, Terrance Turner & Demarlo Belcher. More than anything though, the season was marred by not being able to play 4 quarters. According to points allowed & points scored, Indiana should have won 5 games instead of 4. Of the 12 games they played they had the lead or were tied going into half time in 8 of them. Indiana had a lead at some point in 9 of their 12 games. They were outscored on average by 1.3 points in the 1st half, but 4.5 points in the 2nd half. They should have beaten Virginia & Purdue but didn’t bother to show up for either game. When you look at the season as a whole, Indiana was this close to being 11-1. You read that correctly. They weren’t an 11-1 team, but sometimes things break right and for Indiana everything broke wrong. Will that change in 2010?

Offensively the Hoosiers return everyone except a couple of linemen. They do lose LT Rodger Saffold who was a 2nd round NFL Draft pick which hurts, but more important for Indiana will be whether RB Darius Willis can stay healthy. When healthy, Willis has shown the ability to be a very special back. He ran wild against Northwestern, Michigan & Purdue, but simply couldn’t stay on the field. Indiana’s strong point is their passing attack which should be considered an aerial assault. They have their top 3 returning receivers back and they average out to 6-4/210lbs. TE Max Dedmond is a great pass catching TE at 6-5/260lbs so opposing secondaries have matchup nightmares against the Hoosiers. I think the lack of balance by not having a consistant running game caused Indiana’s offense to stall which led to only 24ppg game. They’ll get past the losses on the line, and if Willis can stay healthy for a 12-game season, Indiana’s offense should put up 30ppg with ease if not more. It’s a veteran group with a lot of continuity. They should be able to score on anyone.

Defensively Indiana is hurting. They take on massive losses on defense and lose a ridiculous amount of veteran talent. They lose their top-2 LBs, both edge rushers and three-fourths of their secondary including both safeties. The Hoosiers gave up 30ppg last season even with all the veteran starters they had returning from the 2008 squad so how well will they do with basically a new defense? The mind reels at how bad this defense really can be. HC Bill Lynch went mining the JUCO ranks for some immediate help and they got a LB & CB that should help some, but the situation is tenuous at best. DE Deonte Mack is going to have to be a beast from the jump and Indiana has to hope that switching up 4-3 & 3-4 looks causes enough confusion to give them somewhat of an edge. It should be entertaining as the Hoosiers are going to try and be more “fly to the ball-ball hawking” defense, but will it work?

Indiana didn’t catch any breaks (do they ever catch breaks?) with the schedule. They miss Minnesota which would have been a great shot at victory and get most of their winnable games on the road. They traded in a home game with Penn St. to be played in Washington D.C. so they are one of the few BCS schools that don’t get 7 home games and will play just 3 Big 10 home games. On the other hand, Indiana should be able to put up significant points and face some teams going through big time transition at the QB spot. Games against Illinois, Northwestern, Michigan, Penn St. & Purdue could be winnable games for Indiana as long as they don’t self destruct with turnovers, Lynch gets a clue on how to make halftime adjustments and the defense doesn’t give up 40ppg. At the very worst, Indiana is going to be in every game they play outside of road trips to Ohio St. & Wisconsin and a home game against Iowa.

BOTTOM LINE: For me Indiana’s best case record is 9-3. That sounds crazy but Indiana should be able to go bombs away on everyone they play outside of Ohio St., Wisconsin & Iowa. Defensively they are going to have problems, but maybe they catch breaks. Northwestern, Penn St., Purdue & Illinois are all going through QB changes this year. Of those 4 teams, Penn St. should have the best defense and even then the Lions lost their 5 best defenders from a year ago. Sure PSU will be mad talented on that side of the football, but they’ll also be inexperienced. If Indiana gets into a high scoring game, I like their quick strike ability over a ball controlled Evan Royster show. Purdue, Northwestern & Illinois don’t have outstanding defenses coming back so Indiana should be able to move the ball. The 9-3 record is a long shot, but it could happen. Worst case is 3-9. Worst case is that Indiana is playing in the Big 10 with a defense that at least on paper might have a hard time keeping MAC schools from running wild. The 3-9 record would include going 0-8 in Big 10 play plus losing a road game to Western Michigan. If the defense really does suck and Willis can’t stay healthy then Indiana is hurting big time. Whatever the outcome, Indiana should be exciting to watch if only to see how it all comes together. It’s now or never for Indiana because after 2010 they’ll go through changes at some of the more important positions and it’ll be back to rebuilding after never accomplishing anything to begin with.

Head Coach: Bill Lynch: 14-23 at Indiana; 4th season as HC
Last Season: 4-8 (T10 in Big 10)
Bowl Game: none
Last 3 Seasons: 14-23
Last 5 Seasons: 23-37
Last 10 Seasons: 39-78
Last 5 Bowl Games: 2-3
AP/BCS National Championships: 0
Experience Level for 2010: 6th most experienced team in Big 10 (#69 in NCAA)
Turnover Margin: +7
NFL Draft Choices: 3 (LT Rodger Saffold-2nd Rd; DE Jammie Kirlew-7th Rd; CB Ray Fisher-7th Rd; LB Austin Spitler-7th Rd)

It’s so tough to get a handle on Indiana football historically. It’s historically bad by any measure by trying to figure out exactly why Indiana can’t put out a good football team on an annual basis will have you pulling your hair out. It’s almost inexplicable. Yes it’s a basketball school traditionally, but that hasn’t stopped other teams such as Kansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA or even Connecticut for crying out loud from having periods of time where they are successful. Indiana was a solid program during the Bill Mallory era but even during his tenure the Hoosiers faded near the end. You can also explain that Indiana isn’t the south where there is tons of HS talent. The HS talent Indiana does have, the Hoosiers have to compete with Purdue, Notre Dame, Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio St., Michigan & Michigan St. geographically for that talent which isn’t exactly easy. Even still, it’s difficult to understand how this team is almost guaranteed a 3-9 (1-7) record every single season.

The current Hoosiers are difficult to explain without mentioning Terry Hoeppner. Hoeppner breathed quite a bit of life into the program because he came with credentials and was genuinely excited be Indiana’s HC. It wasn’t as stepping stone job for him or a job coaches took when they failed at higher profile schools, but rather a destination job. Hoeppner took over for Gerry Dinardo and won 9 games in his first 2 seasons while Dinardo won only 8 in his 3 seasons in Bloomington. Brain cancer would take Hoeppner’s life and Indiana was forced into more transition under new HC Bill Lynch. Indiana made a bowl in 2007 going 7-5 with the help of some weak scheduling and a timely FG against Purdue. They’d get blown out by Oklahoma St. 49-33 in the Insight Bowl, but they did “Play 13”.

Since then Indiana has went back to it’s losing ways. After the bowl Indiana erroneously gave Lynch a contract extension and he’s responding by leading the Hoosiers to a 7-17 record over the last 2 seasons, going 2-14 in Big 10 play. To me it seems like Indiana really suffers from a lack of ability and intelligence from the administration in hiring coaches. Hoeppner was a home run in my opinion, but simply going with the status quo Bill Lynch was a huge mistake I think. This was most evident with the 2009 Hoosiers.

By all accounts Indiana should have been good. They returned 9 starters on defense and those starters were solid football players. The offense had a veteran offensive line, fantastic receivers and had a runner with tons of potential all being guided by a QB having a great season. But the actual games is where it gets weird in 2009. In the first half of football games, Indiana finished the 2009 season at -16 in point differential. Over 12 games that averages out to about 1ppg difference meaning Indiana was mostly even with their opposition. Over a 12-game span that would mean a record of 6-6, but games are 2 halves and not 1. In the 2nd half Indiana was outscored by 56 points which over a 12 games span is close to 4.5-points per game. This definitely goes to show you that Indiana wasn’t making adjustments as well as their counterparts. In their 12 games, Indiana went into halftime with a tie or lead 8 times yet won only 4 games. It doesn’t make any sense. The Hoosiers were also +7 in turnover margin so it doesn’t appear that they gave away tons of opportunity on turnovers that didn’t break in their favor over the course of the season. Pythagorean also indicated that Indiana should have been a 5-7 team instead of a 4-8 team.

What’s even worse? Indiana had the potential to be an 11-1 team in 2009! Yes you read that right! In the 12 games Indiana played, they actually led in 9 of them! Indiana opened up 3-0 and then lost to Michigan in Ann Arbor in a game Indiana fans still feel like they were robbed up. Darius Wills ran wild in taht game and Indiana led Michigan 23-21 at half. The Hoosiers came out and put the hammer down on Northwestern in Evanston and got out to a 28-17 lead at half, but Northwestern outscored Indiana 12-0 in the 2nd half en route to beating Indiana in a nail biter! Indiana led Iowa 21-7 at halftime but were outscored 35-3 in the 2nd half to snatch a loss from the jaws of victory. Indiana got out to a 10-0 lead on Penn State after the first quarter, but were outscored 31-10 in the 3 remaining quarters. The Hoosiers got blasted at home by a Purdue team that wasn’t very good. Darius Willis ran wild in that game and Indiana out-gained Purdue by 133 yards, but were -4 in TO margin which led to a 38-21 loss to their in-state rivals. Virginia sucked last season yet Indiana laid an egg against a team they had every right to beat. The only team that you could argue dominated Indiana from start to finish was Ohio St. and even then the Buckeyes only outscored Indiana 9-7 in the 2nd half.

So what are we left with? If Indiana doesn’t collapse against Purdue & Virginia and could actually adjust well, then Indiana might have had the single greatest season in Hoosiers history. They weren’t that far away from being 11-1 with a share of the Big 10 title and most likely playing in a BCS bowl for the first time in school history. The margin of error was that thin for Indiana in 2009. That is where we are heading into 2010. Indiana should have enough offense to score on anyone and while the schedule is difficult, there really isn’t a reason why this team shouldn’t be bowl eligible, but does anyone really have any confidence that this coaching staff is good enough to put Indiana on the positive side of the ledger when consulting Lady Luck?

INDIANA OFFENSE

Returns: 69.2% of rushing yards, 100.0% of passing yards, 97.4% of receiving yards
PPG: 23.5 (9th in Big 10)
Rushing Offense: 117ypg (9th in Big 10)
Passing Offense: 248ypg (4th in Big 10)
Total Offense: 365ypg (9th in Big 10)

Starters Lost

LT Rodger Saffold: 12 starts, 2nd Team All-Big 10
RG Pete Saxon: 10 starts

Returning Starters

QB Ben Chappell/SR: 62.6% 2,941yds, 17TD, 15INT
RB Darius Willis/SO: 607yds, 6TD, 4.9ypc, 10rec, 88yds
WR Tandon Doss/JR: 77rec, 962yds, 5TD, 127 rushing yds, 1TD, 9.1ypc
WR Terrance Turner/SR: 46rec, 443yds, 1TD
WR Demarlo Belcher/JR: 61rec, 770yds, 5TD
TE Max Dedmond/JR: 18rec, 141yds, 1TD
OC Will Matte/SO: 12 starts
LG Justin Pagan/JR: 11 starts
RT James Brewer/SR: 12 starts

Similiar to Wisconsin in that Indiana doesn’t really lose anyone. The Hoosiers return every skill positon starter on offense which should bode well for the scoring capabilities. The only two losses come on the offensve line. Saffold is a pretty big loss seeing how he was primarily responsible for protecting Chappell’s blind side. He was the first pick of the 2nd round of the NFL Draft and most mock drafts had him going late in the first so there is a massive talent loss at the position. Saxon was a multi-year starter as well. Andrew McDonald takes over for Saxson and he’s 6-6/310lbs so there is still quite a bit of size there. Senior Cody Faulker steps in for Saxson. Faulkner was injured last season but has started 11 games in his career.

The most impressive thing about the Hoosiers is their returning receivers. Doss, Turner & Belcher are big play, big size recievers! They average 6-4/205lbs and were the top-3 receivers for Indiana last season combining for 184 receptions for 2,175 yards & 11TD. TE Max Dedmond is a very talented TE with good size at 6-5/260lbs. Indiana presents matchup nightmares in the passing game so getting protection for QB Ben Chappell will be of paramount importance. Chappell is a senior with good size at 6-3/240lbs and enters his 2nd full year at starting QB after completing 62.6% of his passes last season. You’d like to see a little bit better decision making from him as he threw for 17TD but also 15INT.

Darius Willis is a redshirt sophomore at tailback. He’s got a tremendous amount of talent but has battled injuries during his first two years in Bloomington. There are times when he shows trmendous abilty like rushing for 152 yards against Michigan, 103 against Northwestern & 142 against Purdue, but he simply hasn’t shown a knack for staying healthy and being a major part of the Hoosiers offense. He’s also hurt a bit by the Indiana offensive line. Despite IU having a massive O-Line that averaged about 310lbs per man, Indiana has it’s worst yards per carry average in 3-years. Part of that was Willis’ inability to stay healthy. Part of it was Indiana’s O-Linemen not being particularly skilled at opening up holes to run through.

To me it’s do or die offensively for Indiana this season. Chappell is a veteran QB with more than enough weapons for the Hoosiers to light up a scoreboard. The Hoosiers averaged under 24ppg last year and that number should go up quite a bit especially if Willis can score. I like OC Matt Canada and I don’t see why Indiana shouldn’t have an offense that is extremely balanced that can beat opponents in a variety of ways. Indiana simply has to make a run in 2010 because if they don’t it’s back to square one. I have a hard time believing Doss comes back for 2011 if he has a great year because Chappell will be gone too. Terrance Turner is gone. Brewer & Faulkner will be gone. Indiana will definitely take a hit offensive in ’11 but for now this team should have no problems putting up points. Will it be enough?

INDIANA DEFENSE

Returns: 34.3% of tackles, 32.7% of sacks
PPG: 29.5 (10th in Big 10)
Rushing Defense: 159ypg (9th in Big 10)
Passing Defense: 242ypg (9th in Big 10)
Total Defense: 401ypg (10th in Big 10)

Starters Lost

DE Jammie Kirlew: 62tkl, 6.5sks, 9tfl, 2pbu
DE Greg Middleton: 38tkl, 3sks, 5.5tfl, 2pbu
LB Matt Mayberry: 108tkl, 5.5sks, 5.5tfl, 3pbu, 3int
LB Will Patterson: 67tkl, 1.5sks, 2.5tfl
CB Ray Fisher: 40tkl, 2pbu
SS Austin Thomas: 67tkl, 1tfl, 2pbu, 4int
FS Nick Polk: 53tkl, 2tfl, 4pbu, 2int

Returning Starters

DT Adam Replogle/SO: 32tkl, 4sks, 1tfl
DT Larry Black/SO: 29tkl, 1.5sks, 6tfl, 1pbu
LB Tyler Replogle/SR: 80tkl, 2sks, 4.5tfl, 2pbu, 1int
CB Richard Council/SR: 22tkl, 0.5tfl, 2pbu

WOW! I don’t know exactly how you look at this one. On the one hand the Hoosiers had a horrific defense in 2009 and it lost a lot of starters on a bad defense. You can look at that as a good thing in that maybe the defenders Indiana was employing weren’t that good so the riffraff has been cut loose and the younger more talented defenders are now able to bring the Indiana defense to a different level. On the other hand you can see that Fisher & Kirlew were NFL Draft picks. Middleton is on an NFL roster while Mayberry, Patterson, Thomas & Polk were solid defenders. Mayberry was an honorable mention All Big 10 player so when you put that together, this defense was extremely bad despite having some tremendous athletes. Those guys are gone so where does that leave the Hoosiers defense?

The losses are huge. You lose 4 of your front-7, 5 of your back-7, three-fourths of your secondary and your two edge rushers! People were talking early last year that Middleton/Kirlew might be the best set of defensive ends EVER at Indiana! Patterson was a 3-year starter. Mayberry was a 2-year starter. Austin Thomas & Nick Polk were the starting safeties for the past 3-seasons! That is a tremendous amount of continuity on the defense for it to completely collapse down. Indiana’s pass defense was terrible last season so losing Ray Fisher probably doesn’t amount to much if anything, but Richard Council is the only guy with experience and he’s buried on the depth chart. A projected starting SS is Mitchell Evans who was a WR in 2009! I don’t know how exactly the Hoosiers are going to stop anyone on defense.

If you are trying to stay positive then you can look towards the interior D-Line. Both Adam Replogle & Larry Black were freshman last season with a year of experience under their belt. Both were fairly effective up the middle and they average 6-2.5/300lbs so they have decent size there. Deonte Mack will take over as one of the DE and he’s got pretty impressive size at 6-3/285lbs. If he can motor up the field then IU should have a solid edge rusher. Tyler Replogle did a good job as the SAM linebacker and at 6-2/240lbs has more than enough size to come up and help the run off the right side. HC Bill Lynch didn’t rest either when it came to recruiting. Indiana has big time problems recruiting defensive talent, but he went out and got JC LB Jeff Thomas who was in for the spring and should fill in at MLB. Thomas is 6-1/250lbs and should be a big help. He also got JC CB Andre Kates to help out the secondary.

Still, this defense looks absolutely awful. It’s young. It’s inexperienced. It’s not very talented. If the Hoosiers gave up 30ppg last season with a veteran defense with tremendous continuity within the unit, how many points are they going to allow with a young defense that hasn’t played together at all? In the last 7-years, the worst IU defense was in 2007 when they allowed 35.3ppg. I think the 2010 unit does worse. There is talk of Lynch mixing up the defense between 3-4 and 4-3 looks with a ball-hawking type of defense, but I simply don’t see it. Throwing in the 3-4 would be interesting because a lot of college teams don’t run it, but I’m not sure Indiana will run it especially well.

INDIANA SCHEDULE

Towson
BYE
@Western Kentucky
Akron
Michigan
@Ohio St.
Arkansas St.
@Illinois
Northwestern
Iowa
@Wisconsin
Penn St. (in Landover, MD)
@Purdue

One good thing to come out of Bloomington when Terry Hoeppner arrived on campus was to get an easier slate of non-conference games for the Hoosiers before Big 10 play started. I’m typically against that type of move, but with a team like Indiana you have to pull out all the stops. If you schedule 4 cupcakes then you have to only win 2 conference games to get bowl eligible and that could be a big boon for recruiting so I was happy to see Indiana go that route. That’s essentially the formula the Hoosiers went with in 2007 when they got to a bowl. Getting early wins out of the gate builds up some confidence and then maybe you catch a few breaks like they did that year to get to 3-5 in the Big 10. Do that for a few years and eventually your program can take a big leap forward. Or at least appear to be making strides.

It didn’t work in 2008 as Indiana lost to Ball St. & Central Michigan. It didn’t work in 2009 as IU got blown out by Virginia. The 2010 schedule follows the same formula but this time Indiana certainly could wind up 4-0 in their non-conference slate with the hopes of lucking out for 2 wins to get to 6-6. Akron, Towson & Arkansas St. shouldn’t prove too troublesome. Western Michigan is going to be a good MAC team, but they lose their QB & RB from a year ago and they are counting on having a good defense this season to try and win a MAC Championship. Indiana can definitely light up a scoreboard so I think Indiana can win a shootout there.

The Big 10 schedule hurts Indiana. They don’t get Minnesota which might have been a win while they get both Illinois & Purdue on the road, two games they might have been able to win in Bloomington had those games been played there. The Purdue game looks even worse now that Indiana decided to play a neutral site game in Washington D.C.. They’ll play 3 road games in a row to end the season. They do get a break with no Michigan St. on the schedule, but do have to play Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio St., & Penn St.! Indiana is one of the few BCS schools that have 6 road games, and I’m not sure I see a win in Big 10 play.

The schedule simply doesn’t work for the Hoosiers in 2010.

INDIANA SUMMARY

The bottom line is that Indiana is going to be able to put up points. Even with losing a guy like Saffold at LT, they simply bring back too many players not to score on offense. The receivers have outstanding size and Chappell is a 3rd year starter. Darius Willis can be a game changing type of RB so I don’t think Indiana is going to have problems putting points on the board even against good defenses. With that said, they are not going to be able to outscore Iowa, Ohio St. & Wisconsin. Those teams are simply too good. Another match-up problem they might have had was against Michigan St. but they avoid the Spartans fortunately.

The big question is can the defense slow up opponents enough for Indiana to win tight shoot outs? That’s essentially what we are talking about here. I think they can do this in the non-conference and that should put the Hoosiers at 4-0. The question will be whether or not Indiana can win shootouts with the other teams in the Big 10. It’s certainly possible. The Big 10 has some amazing talent up top with Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio St. & Michigan St., but I think the other teams can be had. Penn St. is introducing a new QB and they had significant losses on defense. Indiana could get into a shootout and potentially upset the Nittany Lions. I don’t think Michigan, Illinois, Purdue or Northwestern will be that much more talented than Indiana in respect to stopping Indiana from scoring.

It sounds crazy but I’d say best case record for Indiana is 9-3. They’ll definitely lose to Iowa, Ohio St. & Wisconsin. I simply can’t see wins there, but they could beat everyone else. Michigan could be problematic but Indiana almost beat them last year and Michigan is going to be under exceptional pressure this year fighting for Rich Rodriguez’s job. Illinois lost their two best players in QB Juice Williams & WR Arrelious Benn. Is there enough offense there to outscore Indiana? Purdue loses their starting QB and their top-4 rushers along with 2 of their top-3 receivers. Can Purdue outscore Indiana with only 6 returners on defense? Northwestern loses their best two players in QB Mike Kafka and DE Corey Wootton. The Wildcats also lose their top-2 receivers. Is there enough to outscore Indiana? Penn St. could be a very tough game, but the Lions lose QB Daryll Clark and a ton on defense. Is their QB situation going to be enough to outscore Indiana? We know Evan Royster can go crazy rushing the ball, but if Indiana can make PSU into a running team and their QB play isn’t very good, Indiana maybe wins a shootout. The schedule doesn’t set up well, BUT a lot of teams in the Big 10 sort of play into Indiana’s hands in as much as they are likely to be shootouts where Indiana has a real chance at winning. I’m seriously drinking the Cream & Crimson Kool-Aid here, but Indiana came pretty close to beating Michigan, Northwestern & Wisconsin last season. Why can’t a little luck go their way in 2010?

Worst case? I’ll go 3-9. It’s easy to see Indiana losing every Big 10 game they play and also losing on the road to Western Michigan. As I’ve written, the schedule doesn’t bode well. They get 7 road games and most of the winnable Big 10 games are on the road. Their bye week comes way too early and the last 5 weeks of the season could be a massacre if Indiana doesn’t play well. They have 3 guaranteed wins, but after that things get dicey really fast.

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June 29, 2010 - Posted by | Indiana, Previews

4 Comments »

  1. This was more pleasant to read than I thought it would be. I think that your IU fan is definitely coming out. I hope that you are right and the offense can put up big numbers. They would at least be fun to watch. Unfortunately, I think that IU will be much closer to 3-9 than 9-3. The reason is that I have very little confidence in IU’s HC. If this team was coached by someone decent, then I might have a little hope that IU could pull out a few close wins and get closer to the 9-3 mark. But as it stands, I will give the edge to most of the other Big Ten coaches to pull out close (if they can keep it close) games against IU. Thanks for the preview. I am ready for some FOOTBALL!!

    Big Timber

    Comment by Anonymous | June 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. Timber,

    Agreed. As I was writing I thought it sounded a lot better than I thought. I completely agree with you about Lynch too.

    I think he has an opportunity this season. Looking at everything in the whole, Indiana could make a serious run at 7 wins and possibly 9 or even 10 if they get a little lucky.

    If they win 3-4 again then I don't know how Lynch survives it. The crazy part?

    For every college football article I've read this summer about football coaches on the hot seat, Lynch has yet to be mentioned ONE TIME! How can that be?

    Comment by College Football Mafia | June 29, 2010 | Reply

  3. Maybe it is because Glass is always saying that IU needs to honor its contracts. However, I think that it just shows how irrelevant IU football is on national scene.

    Comment by Anonymous | June 29, 2010 | Reply

  4. Yeah Glass is going to honor a deal, but Lynch is done after 2010 if they don't decide to renew the contract. I don't know.

    I don't know about the irrelevancy of Indiana on the national scene. It's not like they were relevant and now they aren't. I don't know if the administration is saying:

    “Hey we are irrelevant nationally so let's keep Lynch around.”

    I'm not sure I buy into that. I keep thinking that if a Louisville can lure away a Charlie Strong and Mississippi St. can lure away a Dan Mullen there there has to be a point where Indiana can lure away a high profile assistant coach who can come in and do some damage.

    If I'm Indiana I start to really wonder what it would take to get a guy like OC Gus Malzahn away from Auburn. What about the possibility of Mike Leach? What about Tony Franklin who is the OC at Louisiana Tech?

    If those guys are available I'm not sure what Indiana gains in sticking with Lynch. At some point I wonder what the law of diminishing returns are when looking for hot young assistants who aspire to be head coaches? If you are Indiana I'm not sure why you don't keep trying until you hit a big one?

    The really big problem for Indiana and honoring contracts is the possibility Indiana does have a mini-breakthrough and go 9-3/8-4.

    Does anyone believe that is a level Lynch can sustain?

    Comment by College Football Mafia | June 29, 2010 | Reply


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