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?

 



DirecTV – Offers a Massive Number of Choices for Loyal Customers by kentsterling
September 18, 2010, 5:34 pm
Filed under: Media | Tags: , , , , ,

by Kent Sterling

Watching the IU vs. Western Kentucky game, which is thus far wildly disappointing, I am missing the fare available on no less than 41 movie channels.

The options are dizzying as the Hoosiers miss a field goal attempt with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter to stay scoreless and on the business end of a 7-0 game. “Mr. Holland’s Opus”, “Flirting with Disaster”, “Taken”, “Powder”, “Entourage”, “St. Elmo’s Fire” and even “Xanadu” are calling my name.

Late tonight, Cinemax will be worth a flip through with “Life on Top” (given the network and title, I can guess there is little in the way of scintillating dialogue) and Co-Ed Confidential on the docket.

No point in writing publicly about the entirely legal and above board process I used in being allowed this wide menu of choices for a greatly reduced rate, but I can tell you that an enlightening conversation with a DirecTV representative at a retail outlet got the ball rolling.

I explained the programming package I enjoyed until last night and showed him the price I pay. He called me an idiot, and said that if I didn’t switch immediately to Comcact or Dish that I was a moron. He said that DirecTV’s new subscriber get lots of great stuff for free, but current customers are “shit out of luck.”

Knowing the amount of money programming providers spend per customer to attract new customers, I thought a call to DirecTV to explain my decision to provide them one more chance to retain a formerly satisfied customer. They had to be a little compassionate as they caused my frustration themselves by offering a much better deal to customers who have never written them a single check, while they have been reaching into my pocket each month since 1998.

After two hours and six minutes of being bounced from one “CSR” – customer service representative, as I learned during my electronic travels last night – to another, finally a guy with the power to get aggressive on my behalf came on the line.

This was after the first guy promised to raise my monthly bill for five months, and give my a service I did not want. I hung up exhausted, and explained the outcome to my wife, who predictably and correctly asked if I had lost my goddamned mind. I checked to make sure the guy had at least delivered on his promise, and in fact we had been stripped of ESPN, CNN, A&E, and all of our local channels. I made the second call with a surprisingly calm demeanor, and 68 minutes later, we were in business.

The moral for Customers of any business is that companies who rely upon a customer base of subscribers understand that getting new customers is more expensive than keeping the new ones. They are generally willing to play ball, and the key is to outlast them during the renegotiation.

As with all successful negotiations, state your position, be willing to walk away, and let your adversary do the talking. Never resound positively until they say something that makes you happy.

Now all I have to do is find an extra 60 hours a day to watch it all, but need to wait to get started with my trilogy of brothers programming – “The Blues Brothers”, “Step Brothers”, and “Band of Brothers” – until the Hoosiers finish their dispatching of the Hilltoppers in Bowling Green, KY, on the Big Ten Network – now tied at seven with 7:10 to play in the first half.



Indiana University Establishing Culture of Success by kentsterling
September 16, 2010, 10:43 am
Filed under: Indiana Basketball, Indiana University, Kent Sterling | Tags: , ,

by Kent Sterling

The question of whether new athletics director Fred Glass is a guy intent only upon appearing in TV commercials and championing wacky Bill Veeck like spectacles at football games has been asked by some very smart people.

An answer is contained in the Indiana Athletics Excellence Academy – an initiative spearheaded by Glass to build champions on and off the field and court. What some will dismiss as a polyannic attempt to build a student-athletic nirvana, is what should be offered by every school with an athletic department.

Whether or not kids in revenue generating programs should be paid or share in the revenue from the sale of gear bearing their numbers or likeness is a debate that polarizes fans, but the responsibility of the schools to give the student-athletes more than a simple education and degree is beyond argument.

Maximizing the opportunities afforded in colleges as student-athletes work for the glory of ol’ IU, or any other school is a moral imperative for those who run the programs and department. The NCAA rules don’t allow for schools to compensate athletes with cash, but the schools can make damn sure the kids are given everything they need to leave school as well-rounded employable men and women.

That seems to be what Glass is trying to do with the Excellence Academy. The language in the kit is very aggressive about outlining the methodology for making the four or five years athletes spend in Bloomington as fruitful as possible. As with any plan, no matter how well-intentioned, the actions that follow the writing are what matter. Ultimately, it will be the quality of life enjoyed by IU graduates who played sports that will be the ultimate judge of Glass’s expansive and ambitious plan.

With so many athletic programs dancing around the rules, or flat out cheating, it’s great to see an AD move in the direction of viewing the students as something more than cattle. Indiana has a chance with this comprehensive plan to attract student-athletes whose families are interested in a great educational experience.

I’m not aware of anything like this plan at any other school, and it should be a difference maker for families looking for more than the quick buck.

Again though, what looks great on paper needs to be passionately executed, or the pretty package is little more than just that.



Notes From Memorial Stadium – Hoosiers Roll Over Towson by jwmindysports

By John Miller

The college football season officially began for the Hoosiers on Thursday night as they dismantled Towson 51-17.  Indiana came into the game looking to work on fundamentals and let the players work for their positions on the depth chart.  There was much to like from this game and also many questions that need to be answered.  As predicted, the offense looked sharp and the defense showed some holes.

Ben Chappell and Darius Willis looked great and are poised to lead a potent Indiana offensive attack all year long.  Chappell

Damarlo Belcher

finished the game 16-23 for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns and did it without his top weapon, Tandon Doss.  Indiana has great depth at WR and it showed in this game. Damarlo Belcher had 7 catches for 72 yards and a TD, but also dropped a few passes that need to be caught later in the year.  Surprise of the game was redshirt freshman Ted Bolser, a TE who caught 4 balls for 68 yards and a TD.  He showed great route running and soft hands, something that has been missing from the TE position in recent years.  Willis had a great game rushing the ball.  He ran for 102 yards on 14 carries and scored 2 touchdowns.  He consistently shed defenders and ran hard all night.  If he can get holes and stay healthy, he is primed to be one of the top RB’s in the conference.

The defensive side of the ball came in with a lot of question marks, and this game did very little to reassure those thoughts.  Indiana’s starting secondary consisted of two players who played WR last year, a safety playing corner, and a corner coming off knee surgery. This unit is going to need players to step up and make plays if they are going to have a chance.  JUCO cornerback transfer Andre Kates came into the game being knows as a speedster who could be relied upon to make plays.  Well, in a few words, he looked dreadful.  I was excited to watch him play as much as anyone and I left thoroughly disappointed.  The Hoosiers rarely blitzed, and for a team with problems in coverage pressure will be very important if they hope to stop people.  Another worrisome aspect of this game was IU’s inability to contain a scrambling QB.  There will be many quarterbacks in the Big 10 this year that like to run the ball and will have much better blocking in front of them.  Terrelle Pryor, Denard Robinson, and Robert Mavre will be running wild if things don’t improve.  The defensive line looked solid and the linebackers as well.  The front seven will be required all year to put pressure on the QB and make plays.  Keep in mind, however, that it’s hard to get an accurate evaluation of a team in a game like this where the coaches are trying to hide their best defensive packages.

The dominating win is exciting, not matter who the opponent is.  This was a good game to be able to evaluate players and see how they look at game speed.  Hopefully Indiana can continue to build on this victory and improve every week.  After a week off, the Hoosiers will head to Western Kentucky.  Indiana shouldn’t have many problems in this game and should be able to put up a lot of points again.  Indiana is now 1-0, the best record in college football!

Boomer’s Prediction – 41-10

Actual Score – 51-17

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Big Ten Divisions–Where Do The Hoosiers Stand? by The Truth

By Kyle Miller

As the Big Ten Committee released the 2011-2012 divisions today, Indiana finds themselves in a precarious position. One thing is for sure, I’m glad these are football divisions and not basketball divisions because the “2nd Division” would just be absurd.

We know one thing is certain. Ohio State will either win the Big Ten or compete for the Big Ten year in and year out. We’ll take our medicine and except the fact that we get to compete against the best in the Big Ten every year. Fine, five other teams must play them as well. Hell, the last time the Hoosiers beat Ohio State I was three and a half months old.

Penn State is Penn State. They playing grueling helmet-to-helmet football with an offense that every season is unpredictable. The biggest question that surrounds their program is what will happen when the reigns are taken out of Joe Pa’s hands?

Wisconsin football and basketball run on the same tracks. I swear the Badgers out succeed expectations not just on the hard wood, but on the grid iron as well. They seem to do more with the talent they receive than any other collegiate program. That is credit to their coaching staffs.



Breaking Down the Hoosier Opponents – Towson Stepping Into the Rock by jwmindysports

By: John Miller

Jermon Bushrod, the pride of Towson football

The Hoosiers officially kick off the season September 2 when the mighty Towson Tigers (0-0) step into Memorial Stadium for the first time in history.  The Tigers made the jump to Division 1-AA for the 1987 season and before that spent ten years as a Division III team (1969-1978) and eight years as a Division II team (1979-1986).  The Tigers, located in Towson, Maryland, are a part of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).  Towson has produced one player currently in the NFL, Jermon Bushrod, who to the dismay to many Colts fans was a starting tackle for the Superbowl winning New Orleans Saints.

Towson finished their 2009 campaign with a 2-9 record and was 1-7 within their conference.  The Tigers are coached by Rob Ambrose, who was hired prior to the 2009 season.  Ambrose was the offensive coordinator at UCONN for seven years before being hired by his Alma Mater.  He coached players such as Donald Brown, who led the nation in rushing at UCONN in 2008 before being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.  Ambrose loves to run the ball, so look for Towson to limit possessions by pounding the rock.

The Tiger offense is led by RB Tremayne Dameron.  “TD” led Towson in 2009 with eight touchdowns.  Look for him to get a bulk of the carries early and then share the load with sophomore Dominique Booker and others down the stretch.  Speedy WR HaKeem Moore is the Tiger’s all everything.  Moore has compiled over 1,000 all purpose yards in each of the past two seasons.  He will return both kickoffs and punts for Towson.

The Towson defense comes into Memorial Stadium with returning cornerback starters Jeremy Gardner and Ollie Thomas. The two players head a unit that is returning eight starters in all. Sophomore Romale Tucker is a transfer from Syracuse who is making the transition from linebacker to defensive end and will be relied upon for pressure on the outside.  This defensive side of the ball should be much improved after a year of experience under their belt in the new system.

Overall, the Towson game will be a glorified scrimmage for the Hoosiers.  Look for them to run a few new sets to see how effective they work against an unknowing opponent.  There will be nothing flashy in this game and IU will not expose anything that they may need towards the end of the season.  There will be a lot of rushes and a lot of playing time from players who may not see the field much later in the season.  Edward Wright Baker will most likely get some looks in the wild cat and the Hoosiers will continue to work on their Pistol Offense.  Look for star in the making Darius Willis to have a huge day.  Lastly, look for new WR addition Duwyce Wilson to get a lot of passes thrown his way.  Hoosier fans, get ready to march!

Boomer’s Prediction:     Towson – 10    Hoosiers – 41


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Memorial Stadium – The Rock Becoming One of College Football’s Finest by jwmindysports

By: John Miller

Indiana football has long been regarded as an afterthought from the national media to the students/alumni at IU.  It is seen as a

Terry Hoeppner shows his revered status amongst his former players,

tailgating school.  A “we may get our ass kicked on the field, but at least we had more fun than you” school.  Indiana University athletic director Fred Glass wants this image to change.  He has continued the late Terry Hoeppner’s dream of making Indiana football relevant again.  The changes he has implemented to the stadium and towards the fans have been a huge step in the right direction.

Step one was to get talent to Memorial Stadium.  Glass wanted to improve the facilities and make IU a place where young players wanted to play football.  To do this he added the biggest and top weight room in the country.  In adding the weight room, the stadium got a nice facelift by the east/west stands being connected to form a horseshoe.  If you did not make it to a game last year, you need to.  Memorial Stadium is a beautiful stadium now and a great place to watch a game.  His dividends have already paid off as the Hoosiers landed a good recruiting class last season and look to have their top class ever coming next season.

Step two was to attract more fans into the game.  Glass did many commercials that aired promoting a family atmosphere and a great place to watch a game.  He also communicated with the students during games by walking up and down the student section

The newly added weight room. The biggest in the country.

and thanking them for coming out to support the Hoosiers.  The new stadium additions were exciting and for many a trip was made just to see the changes.  He also kept Terry Hoeppner’s “The Rock” theme and placed a limestone rock where the football players come out of the locker room to touch before entering the field.

Step three is to continue his progress and mold Memorial Stadium into one of the premier atmospheres in the Big 10.  This season Glass has reduced ticket prices.  Children’s tickets (18 and under), student tickets (from IU), and alumni within the past three years can buy tickets for $5 a game. Glass has stated that the Hoosiers have already seen a 1,400% increase in ticket sales among new alums, a 35% increase in

The new scoreboard that is one of the top 10 biggest in the country.

children’s tickets, and an 800% increase in overall ticket sales compared to 2009.  He has named the student section “The Quarry”, a name that fits well with “The Rock” tradition.  Glass does not stop there.  This season he has also created a “green atmosphere” by adding recycling bins throughout the stadium and by using Indiana grown popcorn and biodegradable corn based utensils at the concession stands.  He has also worked with police on trying to improve traffic conditions before and after games as well as adding one of the nation’s top ten biggest scoreboards.  Lastly, the Hoosiers will wear new uniforms this year.  His point is this, the stadium that seats 52,692 needs to be filled with rowdy fans to create a home atmosphere.

As a diehard Hoosier fan, these changes are all exciting and much-needed.  There is no reason IU football shouldn’t be able to compete in the Big 10 year after year.  I’m looking forward to seeing improvements on the field and especially in the win/loss column.  When push comes to shove, wins will accumulate more fans.

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