Sports From the Couch–Does Fred Glass Have the Onions to Fire Bill Lynch by jshowal2

By Jeff Showalter

Bill Lynch doing his Bob Knight impression

Face it Hoosier fans, Football is still a three or four week season until basketball practice starts. Even though the basketball program is still pretty sad, it is in far better shape then the misguided mess that is IU football. IU football, except for one Rose Bowl and a few mediocre years under Bill Mallory, has been a disaster for as long as they have played the sport. Today, as Ohio State laughs at the current cream and crimson squad, Athletic Director Fred Glass has to decide the future of the football program. Continue to be losers, under Bill Lynch, or wipe the slate clean and pony up some real cash and get a qualified football coach to come to Bloomington.

Bill Lynch may be a great guy. Don’t know the man. I do know this, he can’t game plan. IU can not make necessary changes at halftime to win games.  Lynch isn’t smart enough to figure out that you can’t start a bunch of slow guys on defense and expect to hold good teams under forty.  The current IU head coach thinks some offense called “the pistol” should be the choice of offense because Western Kentucky and Indian State can’t stop it. Obviously he doesn’t care traditionally good football programs with ample talent (not yet Michigan) cant crush the offense by pressuring the QB and playing man to man on the wide receivers. I know Lynch choked away numerous games last year by making poor adjustments at halftime and letting offensive coordinator Matt Canada make some really poor play call choices late in those games.  I know Lynch has “co defensive coordinators” and neither of those coaches can coach up mediocre talent to be any better then the worst defensive team in the Big 10.

As bad as IU football, in it’s current state is, does AD Glass have the onions to change it. Sure IU may have new facilities and new scoreboards and the largest weight room in the country, but if you don’t have a good head coach then none of that matters.  That’s where IU is. The hangover from former IU coach Terry Hoeppner’s untimely demise is over. That happened A LONG time ago. It’s ok to fire Lynch.  Every year Lynch stays. that is four extra years to stay mediocre. You have the facilities, now go get the coach. Can Glass “sack up” and make the call?  I’m betting against it but he needs to. If Glass is committed to build IU football to a level of respectability, then it is time to get started.

IU hasn’t beat OSU since 1988 (I was there). The following is a list of the other Big 10 schools and the last time they beat the Buckeyes.

Purdue 2009, PSU 2008, NU-UW-Iowa 2004, Mich 2003, Minny 2000 and MSU 1999.  IU is 1988 folks. That is pathetic. IU is pathetic. Is Fred Glass going to fix it? Does he have the balls?



Big Ten Expansion – BCS Is Dying; Playoff is coming by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

This could have been so easy and painless (for everyone but Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe) had the Big 12 South migrated over to the Pac-10 like they should have.  Now with Utah accepting a bid to the conference, the math gets fuzzy.

The BCS is a ridiculous vehicle for selecting the two teams who play for a national championship.  No one understands the formula for the rankings, and how can you root for something based in algorithms developed by MIT educated wonks like Jeff Sagarin (no offense to Jeff – he’s a nice guy, but so much smarter than the rest of us that we are virtually a different species).

A four-team, three-game playoff among the champions of four 16-team conferences is the simplest, and therefore most correct method of allowing America watch and pay for a national championship decided on the field rather than on Sagarin’s TI-89 titanium graphing calculator.

The Big 12 has decided to stay at 10 teams, which means no playoff, and no pirating the Pac-10.  If I were Dan Beebe, and thank God I’m not, I would go after Arizona and Arizona State today to start climbing back into the game.  Then I would call USC and UCLA to see if they might come along.  Maybe TCU and Houston might be willing to round things out at 16 teams.

Without USC and UCLA, the Pac-10 is the Mountain West.  There can be only one survivor among the Big 12 and Pac-10, and while it’s damn unlikely that USC would for a moment consider leaving the Pac-10 or return Beebe’s call at all just to be polite, it’s worth a shot.

Beebe said last Tuesday that he isn’t calling anyone, and he was adamant about it, especially in referring to a letter sent to the Big 12 by several Houston lawmakers requesting that Houston by added, “We’re not looking to expand at all, and certainly we wouldn’t look to expand with any institutions that are in our geographic, five-state area now. We’re very comfortable with where we are and there’s no interest in having an expansion review at this point, and I don’t think it’s going to come in the future.”

Time will tell whether Beebe’s promise to double the cash contributed by the Big 12 to the coffers of Texas and Texas A&M will actually materialize.  Writing numbers down on a cocktail napkin and actually delivering cash are two very different things.  We’ll see if Beebe, who awakened from his perpetual slumber two weeks ago to save his conference from total annihilation, can keep his blood sugar high long enough to stroke giant checks rather than simply cypher like “The Beverly Hillbillies” Jethro Bodine.  As anyone who has faked their way through budget preparation can tell you, plugging in numbers that add up is one thing.  Having the pieces fall into place is a vastly different challenge.

There is a big but mythical pile of money on the table for a real playoff to decide the champion of college football, and that cash will drive the train toward the elimination of the silly BCS.  The four-year – $495 million dollar deal for ESPN to carry the BCS is a drop in the bucket compared to a week-long college football celebration that would make the college basketball’s Final Four look like a small town ice cream social.

BCS executive director Bill Hancock told the Associated Press he isn’t worried,  “The fact is, the consensus of all of the schools in the 11 conferences support the BCS.  There are some who have said they would rather do something else. But it’s a small percentage because the presidents of those schools know the BCS works. It does match the top two teams in a bowl game and it does preserve the importance of the regular season. And it does preserve the bowl system that so many people enjoy.

“I don’t see the universities changing their minds about a playoff or about the BCS system.”

Not until they see the numbers.  When that happens, the game is over.  The key is getting to down to the four conferences, whose champions would comprise college football’s Final Four.

The money is better for big-time college football with four 12-16 team conferences, so that is what will happen.  Principle is one thing.  Principal is quite another.

Sports fans like watching teams earn championships on the field or court.  The BCS is nothing but a system of educated guesswork narrowing the field to two very good teams.  No series of calculations can assuredly tell which to of the top four teams in college football are worthy of playing for a championship.

When asked by the AP whether the Mountain West Conference might earn an automatic bid after the current four-year evaluation period ends he said, “The official data won’t be compiled until after the four years, but intuitively looking at what they’ve done the last two years, we know the Mountain West is off to a good start.”  As my eyes reached the word “data”, my mind started to wander and I began dreaming of a real playoff.  College football and math don’t mix.

Put four conference champions on the field, and let’s play football.