Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
- The Outback Bowl, which is third in the selection order (behind the Rose/BCS and Capital One), already has invited Wisconsin. Clearly, this tells us that the Outback coveted Wisconsin over all others and that the Capital One covets two teams (Illinois and Michigan, presumably) over Wisconsin. Wisconsin played in Orlando last year, so I can see why the Capital One took a pass. I'm a bit more surprised that the Outback, which hasn't hosted Michigan in five years and has never invited Illinois, was so quick to pass on the others.
- Dave Dye of the Detroit News is an angry man, even though IU has not yet actually been selected ahead of Michigan State. He makes some good points: identical record, head to head win by MSU, IU's poor home attendance, etc. I really don't care. If, for once, IU's football program is an interesting, compelling story, then I won't lose a minute of sleep over passing MSU in the hierarchy. And that's if we do. I still think the Insight will take MSU. As a final note, I can't tell if Dave has tongue-in-cheek when he suggests that IU hasn't been to a bowl game since Lee Corso was the coach. Presumably he knows IU went to six bowl games under Bill Mallory, but if so, his delivery was a bit too deadpan.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
- Lance Stemler finally showed signs of shaking his year-long shooting slump. Stemler scored 15 points on shots, including 3-6 from three point range.
- Eric Gordon, highlighting the difference between himself and the 2006-07 super-efficient version of Rod Wilmont, managed 13-16 from the line and therefore scored 29 points despite a ho-hum 7-14 night shooting.
- DJ White continues his renaissance. White scored 18 points on 6-9 from the field, and could have scored many more with a better performance at the line (see below). White single-handedly grabbed 12 of GT's 41 misses.
- IU's offensive rebounding total (11) looks superficially unimpressive, but thanks to a relatively small number of field goal attempts and high number of free throws, IU had only 28 OR opportunities, so 11 is nearly 40 percent (and thanks to the artist f/k/a/ Big Ten Wonk for gently reminding me that I needed to consider the missed free throws and dead ball rebound totals in arriving at the magic number--nothing wrong the official box score, just my brain. Since I'm too lazy to go back and edit, it's best to disregard anything I said about rebounding after first five games other than my citations of Pomeroy's stats). IU's offensive rebounding totals, which were terrible at first, have climbed into the middle of the pack nationally at 33.5 percent. Of course, the team's performance has been inversely proportional to this statistic.
- Jamarcus Ellis had a solid night, despite three turnovers. He scored 15 points on 7 shots, thanks to 6-6 from the line.
- Mike White, in only 20 minutes and despite only two points on four shots, grabbed four of IU's offensive rebounds (although at least a couple were of his own short range misses).
- Eric Gordon turned the ball over eight times. Yes, a couple of them were statement calls early in the game by the increasingly annoying Ed Hightower, but that's an unacceptable number of turnovers for one player, no matter the pace.
- One of the complaints about the Hoosier offense to date has been the one-on-one play rather than a united effort to find someone a good shot. Last night, IU had only 10 assists on 24 made field goals.
- DJ White, who otherwise was outstanding, committed four turnovers. White also managed only 6-12 from the freethrow line.
- Even in such a fast-paced game, IU's turnover percentage was unacceptably bad (23.3 percent). While IU's overall 19.5 average ranks IU in the top quarter of D-I teams, 23.3 percent is a sub-200 average. Our next game is at Southern Illinois. SIU's opponents turn the ball over on 33.5 percent of their possessions, good enough to rank SIU #3 nationally. Gulp.
- GT was nearly as good as IU on the offensive boards, grabbing 36.5 percent of their misses.
- Armon Bassett hasn't been able to recapture his early season form. Bassett played 37 minutes but managed only 4 points on 1-6 from the field. He did, however, provide 6 of IU's 10 assists and only one turnover.
So, the Hoosiers now face their only true non-conference road game of the season against a formidable mid-major opponent. If IU doesn't play better in than in the last two games, it could be ugly.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Overall record: 3-2
ACC record: 0-0
2006-07 record: 20-12 (lost to UNLV in first round of NCAA Tournament)
2006-07 RPI: 52
2006-07 Sagarin: 30
Series: IU leads 1-0 (87-65 in Los Angeles, 12/29/69)
TV: 7 pm tonight, ESPN
Monday, November 26, 2007
"Appointing Bill Lynch is a very positive step for Indiana University," Floyd Keith, Black Coaches and Administrators Executive Director, said. "With the difficult circumstances that have transpired at IU in the past year, Bill performed in a very positive and professional way. I don't think there was any other decision that could have been made. He'll be just super - Indiana has made a sound, smart and logical choice in selecting Bill Lynch."
He did a good job at Ball State with one arm tied behind his back. Our stadium was arguably the worst in Division I-A; he had restrictions on how many out-of-state players he could recruit; extreme restrictions on salary dollars and recruiting dollars, and was generally given three or four losses a year to the Floridas, Clemsons and Auburns for big paydays. Our program hit the bottom. How he handled the adversity is something I respect so much I really can't put it in words.
The program rebounded with a divisional championship and a 6-6 record in his last two years. He had it moving back in the right direction. Even though I am a few years older, he taught me so much. I am thankful and proud to have been able to be associated with him for several years. It will be a real shame if he isn't given the (IU) job on a permanent basis.
- Root for Oklahoma over Missouri and/or for Pitt over West Virginia, to allow OSU to move into the title game and make Illinois more attractive to the BCS/Rose Bowl.
- Root for #5 LSU over #14 Tennessee in the SEC Championship so that Illinois can move into the top 14.
- Root for Arizona over #13 Arizona State for the same reason.
- Root for Washington against #12 Hawaii for the same reason.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
- Pace: This was a fast game: about 79 possessions. IU now ranks 27th in the nation with 76.9 possessions per game. Last season, IU ranked #268 at 64 possessions per game. IU plays four reasonably good teams in the next nine days, and it will be interesting to see whether this holds up.
- Eric Gordon was exemplary again, with 30 points on 12 shots from the field. He managed 12-13 from the line and 8-12 from the field, including 2-5 from three point range.
- The only deficiency IU has demonstrated to date is on offensive rebounding. Certainly, given IU's shooting success this season, one would expect the raw numbers to be down. But by the percentages, IU is rebounding only 25 percent of its misses, which ranks 268 in Division I.
- Armon Bassett continues to be outstanding. 19 points on 5 shots, 4-4 from 3 point range.
Nice start, but we will know more about this team soon, beginning tomorrow.
Posted by John M at 4:56 AM
Thursday, November 22, 2007
“He has sought advice on this from people inside the university and outside the university, as he should,” Sample said Wednesday. “That should not be misinterpreted as being cool to Bill Lynch.”
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I hear Indiana is prepared to offer interim head coach Bill Lynch a contract of 3-5 years. Lynch has done a masterful job in the wake of Terry Hoeppner's death, guiding the Hoosiers to a 7-5 mark and a likely bowl appearance.
Despite some rumors to the contrary, sources close to the situation said today that IU officials have not contacted Bill Lynch this week to talk about a longer-term contract.
Mallory, a two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year who took IU to six bowl games in eight years during the mid-80s through early 90s, was excited by the Bucket win and the crowd Saturday. He said to hire a new coach - after having four head coaches in 11 years - would set the program back again just as it has momentum three years into the tenure of the current staff.
This isn't Mike Davis all over again. Not even close. Mike Davis had never been a college head coach. He wasn't an Indiana guy. He was in the right place at the right time, and he never looked completely comfortable on the IU sideline. All of that is different with Lynch.
Now, I know Indiana fans want to believe that the Hoosiers are still this great, desirable basketball mecca but do you really think that's the case? And more to the point, do you think it's the case to the point where the Hoosiers can beat out top prospects when the other final choice is Kansas, Duke, Connecticut or North Carolina?
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
- All Big Ten honors for the Hoosiers: Kellen Lewis (second team QB by the media and coaches); James Hardy (first team WR by the media and coaches); Greg Middleton (first team DL by media and coaches); Austin Starr (first team by media, second team by coaches); Tracy Porter (first team by media, second team by coaches); John Sandberg (honorable mention by both). Josiah Sears was the IU sportsmanship honoree.
- Austin Starr is one of three finalists for the Lou Groza award, along with Thomas Weber of Arizona State and Jose Martinez of UTEP. Starr finished 19-21 on the season. Interestingly, one of Starr's two misses, a 42 yarder in the fourth quarter that would have given IU a 17 point lead, set up the 49 yard game-winner against the Boilers. That kick, which was splashed all over Sportscenter, probably enhances Starr's chances of winning the award, but never would have happened but for the earlier miss. None of this should be taken as a criticism of Starr, IU's finest kicker since Pete Stoyanovich. Starr's emergence as an automatic kicker has been quite pleasant. I'm now more confident about field goals than I was for extra points for most of the last decade.
- Even if he thinks we bloggers are a bunch of jobless losers (or at least the Nittany Line is), I'll give some grudging credit to Stewie Mandel: first, unlike many of his national media colleagues, he has read and understands the bowl eligibility rules; second, he makes me believe that Illinois really could snag a BCS at-large bid. If Illinois gets a BCS bid, IU is nearly guaranteed a warm weather bowl (unless the Champs Sports Bowl or Insight Bowl covets Purdue).
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
- Win the Bucket;
- Root for Michigan to upset OSU, which despite a two-game losing streak still would have a chance at a BCS at-large, especially with so many TV-unfriendly teams (Connecticut, Kansas, Missouri, etc.) in the mix;
- Root for WMU (3-7) to pull an upset at Iowa. Unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
- Root for Illinois to beat Northwestern, keeping the Wildcats at six wins.
- Root for Penn State to beat MSU for the same reason.
Well, we got three of the five. The Hoosiers did what they had to do. WMU won at Kinnick (devaluing one of our two sorta quality wins, but whatever). Illinois kept NU out of the party. Penn State blew it at MSU and Michigan didn't come close against OSU.
Setting aside the Illinois issue, it seems overwhelmingly likely that Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Penn State will take the Rose/BCS, the Capital One, the Outback, the Alamo, and the Champs Sports. That leaves two bids (the Insight and the Motor City) for three seven-win teams (IU, Purdue, and Michigan State, all 7-5 and 2-5 in the conference). All of today's chatter, including in the Chicago Tribune, suggests that the Insight Bowl will take IU, the Motor City Bowl will take Michigan State, and Purdue will be on the open market. That would be great. What makes me nervous is that MSU is a historically strong program with a big fan base that hasn't been to a bowl game in four years. Who's to say that the Insight wouldn't prefer MSU? Do bowls ever make side deals? I'm sure the Motor City really would covet MSU, which would guarantee a sellout and local interest, particularly if Central Michigan wins the MAC. I'm just glad we're talking about it.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Well, I was born in 1979 as the son of a 1975 Purdue grad and came home from the hospital in a Purdue outfit, so that should give you an idea. I started going to games in 1987 with my parents, and three bucket games really stand out to me. The first was the 1992 bucket game with the interception of Trent Green at the goal line in the final seconds and a fight breaking out after the return. That was a small bright spot in a dreadful era of Purdue football.
The second is the 2000 bucket game also at Purdue. It was my junior year and everyone was abuzz at the possibility of heading to the Rose Bowl. It was on national TV and we had gotten a reprieve at clinching the Rose Bowl bid the week before. We had lost a bad, bad game to a bad Michigan State team but Iowa bailed us out by beating Northwestern. There was simply no freaking way we were losing the Rose Bowl bid at home to a 3-7 Indiana team, and Montrell Lowe just dominated on the same play over and over again to the tune of 200 plus yards and four TD’s. The site of me running onto the field, roses in the bucket is a sight I will never forget.
The most difficult to handle was the very next year and my first ever trip to Bloomington for the game. It was an absolutely miserable day weather-wise and we ended up blowing chance after chance to win in a 13-7 loss. I remember thinking, “I drove three hours and stood in the rain for THIS?”
2. Not long ago, Brock Spack was one of the names bandied about for various head coaching positions, but in recent years, the Purdue defense has been dreadful. What's the problem, and what can be done about it?
I really don’t know what the problem is. I watch the NFL on Sundays and I see names like Landon Johnson, Shaun Phillips, Akin Ayodele, Stu Schweigert, Jacques Reeves, Roosevelt Colvin, and many more thinking it wasn’t that long ago they were all at Purdue. Many of those guys played on the same defense that started together for years. We thought the dropoff would come in 2004 when most of those guys left, but that year the defense was fine. It really came in 2005 when some on the defense (Ray Edwards and Bernard Pollard) got a bit of a big head and constantly got lit up. A play that stands out is Bernard Pollard body slamming a guy and posing during the 2005 Minnesota game. That’s a great tackle, Bernard, but too bad you’re a safety and he was 15 yards downfield.
Things seem to be improving this year, but last week was an example of not making adjustments. Michigan State kept throwing to the same receiver (Devin Thomas) in one-on-one coverage on third down and he kept making catches. We simply refuse to adjust, double cover, or even play up on him. We gave him ten yards and one-on-one coverage on every 3rd and 6 and Hoyer just kept throwing to him. We need somebody aside from me screaming section 128, row 42 to realize things like this.
3. What's the word on Curtis Painter? He generated a bunch of yards last year, but wasn't terribly accurate and turned the ball over quite a bit. He has been better this year. Are Purdue fans satisfied with his progress? Also, I see that the Purdue website lists him as a senior, but it appears that he has a year of eligibility remaining, so I presume he will be back. If I am wrong about that, how are your QB prospects for next year?
He is a redshirt junior, so he has one year of eligibility remaining. I don’t think he has been as much of a problem this year except in probably the Michigan State game. Even then I felt he played a good game if you take away his two interceptions, but when those two interceptions came on plays that easily could have gone for scores and instead gave 10 points to the other team in a 17 point loss they are big mistakes. In our wins he has been great, but in our losses we lost for bigger reasons than him.
Against Ohio State the coaches abandoned the running game and Ohio State played great defense. Against Michigan he had some bad picks, but the whole team sucked that day. Penn State saw a lot of dumb penalties by our guys, a costly goal line fumble by Jaycen Taylor, and some terrible calls from the officials. Against Michigan State the defense could not get a stop when they needed to, and we easily could have overcome the picks had they been able to. Personally I am satisfied with what he has done, but there are elements within the fan base that will never be happy until Drew Brees returns. Painter could be in for a big year next year, but changes on the O-line, a much tougher schedule since Oregon and MAC champ Central Michigan come to Purdue, and a still questionable defense will be tough to overcome.
4. As for the Bucket game, what concerns you most about IU and why? What concerns should IU have about Purdue?
Kellen Lewis scares the hell out of me because I remember how Randle El ran circles around us in the rain six years ago. After seeing what Devin Thomas did last week to us, and knowing we will never adjust in game to what he’s doing, I fear James Hardy could set NCAA single game records against us. It also concerns me that Indiana has everything to play for at 7-5 trying to reach that bowl game for Hep while our season evaporated last week in the Michigan State loss. Even with three losses we had a good shot at a New Year’s Day bowl if things fell right by winning these last two games. Now even if we beat IU we could possibly get no higher than Detroit for a bowl. It’s hard to get excited for that, and I hope the pride of keeping the bucket is enough. Simply put, Indiana has more motivation for this game.
Indiana should worry if we actually do what I have been screaming about for years and commit to our running game. Kory Sheets has had a field day the last two years, going for 200 yards and four touchdowns in the two games he has played against the Hoosiers. Two years ago was his best game, with a 137 yard 3 TD game in Memorial Stadium. He probably had the best day of anyone last week with a 59 yard TD run and a 41 yard TD catch on a screen pass. With Jaycen Taylor complementing him and IU’s run defense being a little suspect IU fans should be concerned if we commit to pounding the ball with those two. I don’t think our coaching staff is smart enough to do so though.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
There will be no campaigning by Bill Lynch. You can ask the question a thousand different ways, and Lynch, the man who stepped into the breach after the tragic loss of Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner, will not make his case for being brought back on a long-term basis. That's for others. Like Harold Mauro, IU's longtime director of football operations, who met with the media Wednesday as part of Saturday's 40th reunion of the 1967 Rose Bowl team, of which he was the starting center. "I've been here for 38 years and gone through nine football coaches, nine athletic directors, plus one interim AD, and 10 presidents -- that's one every four years," Mauro said. "I'm hoping Bill Lynch gets the opportunity because he's done a phenomenal job."
Here's the question IU must answer: What would it say about the school, and specifically the athletic department, if it hires a basketball coach with NCAA baggage, and continues to support a basketball coach with added NCAA baggage, then tells a man of honor and integrity to take a walk? If IU fails to stand behind Lynch, we will know all we need to know about the people in charge of IU's administration and athletic department.
There's no question this weekend's Bucket game is the biggest in the recent history of the IU football program. It should not, however, determine Lynch's long-term fate as the coach. Gerry DiNardo got the ax after he got embarrassed by Purdue, but that was simply the last straw for a coach who already was on the ropes. Whether they win 40-3 or lose 40-3 Saturday, Lynch is the right guy at the right time. That's not being sentimental. That's being smart. It would be even smarter if athletic director Rick Greenspan tendered that new contract sometime before Saturday's game.
Let's follow the logic here. This is the most important Bucket game in years. It's also one of the few evenly matched Bucket games in recent years. Yet, the outcome of the most importing Bucket game in years should have no impact on the decision to retain Lynch or not. Right.
This is not a Mike Davis-type deal, where an inexperienced coach falls into the job of a lifetime, then has a magical year and forces the administration to sign him to a long-term deal.
Yep. He's just being a dick. One of the reasons that Davis was able to force IU into hiring him was because of the sophistry of intellectually dishonest (there it is again) goofballs like Kravitz, who manipulated the numbers and tried to convince us that the very ordinary 2000-01 basketball season (21-13) was a magical season. It wasn't. Kravitz and his ilk loved to point out that no IU coach had ever won as many as 21 games in his first season, but wouldn't mention that no IU coach had ever lost 13 games in his first season, or that IU hadn't lost 13 games in any season since 1985. But, after a rough start, including losses to Indiana State and a lousy Missouri team and a woe-is-me press conference meltdown after a loss to Kentucky, IU had some nice moments, including upsets of #1 MSU on a last second shot and an upset of #4 Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. Despite his obvious unfitness for the job and despite IU's preseason promise to conduct a national search, the media started clamoring for Davis. Here's what one guy said after the MSU upset in early January:
Let's see them fire Mike Davis now. Let's see them, all of them, especially the ones who just can't let go of Bob Knight, find a reasonable rationale for letting Davis go at season's end. Let's see the fans, who finally showed up Sunday afternoon, continue to stay away. Let's see the racists, the ones who send the vicious e-mails – and yes, Davis has seen them – continue to rip away at a man who has done nothing but make his university and his team proud. Your mind had to be closed, and your heart had to be small, if you could look at that wondrously mad scene in the wake of Indiana University's seismic upset of Michigan State and not believe – not know – that Mike Davis should be the coach of this basketball team.
The pressure to remove the "interim" tag, now and forever, is on. That wasn't just No. 1 Michigan State. That was defending national champion Michigan State. That was 23-victories-in-a-row Michigan State. It's fair to wonder, could any of IU's starters make MSU's starting five? Kirk Haston? Maybe?
Let's see them try to fire him now. Let's see them look Davis in the eye and tell him he's the wrong man for the job. Let's watch them walk into that IU locker room and talk to these kids, every last one of them playing their guts out for this guy, and tell them Davis has no place here. Let's see them try.
IU's record when Kravitz wrote the article? Nine and freaking seven. Yet now Kravitz, in an oddly detached manner, notes that Davis somehow managed to "force" IU into hiring him. Do you think it had anything to do with the hair-trigger allegations of racism directed at anyone who dared question whether an assistant with a thin resume should have the job? As if we could forget, Kravitz, you goddamn clown. But I digress.
Lynch is a solid pick. An unspectacular pick, sure. He doesn't possess an oversized personality, doesn't walk into a room and make the place seem smaller. He's not Hep, not even Ron Zook, and he doesn't try to be. But the last football coach who had success in Bloomington wasn't a charismatic figure, either. Name is Bill Mallory. Who, by the way, had Lynch on his staff.
Bill Mallory wasn't charismatic. I was leaning toward intellectually dishonest, but maybe Kravitz is as dumb as he looks.
Anyway, who's out there? I've got news: Urban Meyer isn't walking through the door and taking a seat in the Hoosier Room. Neither is Steve Spurrier. Be careful what you wish for. The Notre Dame alums who ran Tyrone Willingham out of South Bend are now wondering how they're going to get Regis Philbin to buy out Charlie Weis. This program doesn't need a big-splash hire, assuming there is even a big-splash hire out there who would consider taking this gig. What this program needs is consistency. Since 2000, the Hoosiers have had four coaches -- Cam Cameron, DiNardo, Hoeppner and Lynch; in the past four years, they've had three. These kids and this program need stability and continuity as much as they require an infusion of talent.
Well, shit. The coach of the defending national champions isn't going to come to IU? Hell, let's just wind up the program. That rationale would prevent IU from ever firing a coach. Of course, it's unlikely that IU is going to get a big name coach. But stability doesn't always breed success. All things equal, stability is good. But again, the stability argument, if employed in 2004, would have given Gerry Dinardo another year. Changing coaches is always a gamble, but failure of the new guy doesn't mean it was a mistake to get rid of the other guy. That Charlie Weis looks likely to fail at Notre Dame doesn't change the fact that Ty Willingham is a bad coach who did a lousy job there. There's not guarantee of success, whether IU retains Lynch or not. Being an athletic director isn't easy. Taking cheap shots is.
Lynch has done what he was supposed to do. The loss to Illinois doesn't look so bad now. And the Hoosiers were less than a minute away from winning last weekend at Northwestern. This is not a quick-fix program. It's going to need time and continuity and a steady hand.
If Kravitz wasn't concerned by what he saw in the Northwestern game, then he probably didn't watch it. IU is 6-5 against one of the easiest schedules in the BCS conferences. Yes, it could have been worse. But has it been so good that IU should pass on a national search? I'm not going to make that judgment now. Greenspan is the man with the Rolodex, and if he's the AD I think he is, he already has an idea of who he can get if IU elects not to retain Lynch.
Also (and this goes back to the intellectual dishonesty thing), how it the world can a journalist with any integrity write an article advocating that Lynch get the job without acknowledging that this is a coach who was fired by Ball State? Sure, failure at one job does not guarantee failure at the next job, but Lynch had a 22 game losing streak at Ball State. Have we seen enough this season to be sure that we won't see that guy again? Have we seen enough to believe that Bill Lynch has a better chance than anyone to turn the corner with IU's program? I realize that it's unlikely that IU will ever be a perennial Rose Bowl contender, but I don't think it's unrealistic to hope for a coach who can do at IU what Joe Tiller has done at Purdue. Is Bill Lynch that guy? If IU hires Lynch and has four losing seasons in a row, will Kravitz still value stability over all else? Nah. Just like the 2001 Davis column, Kravitz will pretend that someone else wrote it.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
IU outgained the Boilers 505-435. Kellen Lewis was 26-42 for 290 yards and no interceptions. Curtis Painter was 18-32 for 260 yards and 4 interceptions. IU, quite uncharacteristically, outrushed an opponent, 215-175. IU gave the ball back to Purdue a bunch (4 fumbles, all lost, as opposed to 1/1 for Purdue). The Hoosiers managed one of the strangest plays of all time when IU's Tracy Porter recovered a Purdue fumble, returned it nearly for a touchdown, but Purdue forced a fumble that went out the back of the endzone for a Purdue touchback. IU gained 284 yards in the first half and had three points to show for it. Purdue wasn't much better, gaining 190 yards and scoring only one touchdown, but the story of the game was IU's failure to hold onto the ball and thereby capitalize on an absolutely dreadful first half performance by Painter, who threw three interceptions on Purdue's first six possessions.
And so it was. Tiller's boys retained the Bucket for the 10th time in 11 years. During that time, Purdue has defeated the Hoosiers in nearly every way imaginable, but the 2006 version was unlike any game I have ever seen, Bucket game or otherwise.
- Iowa: IU won comfortably on the road, Purdue won comfortably at home;
- Michigan State: IU lost badly on the road, Purdue lost badly at home;
- Minnesota: IU won comfortably at home, Purdue won comfortably on the road;
- Penn State: IU lost a close one at home, Purdue lost a close one on the road;
- Northwestern: IU lost a close one on the road, Purdue won a mostly competitive game at home.
Other than the Northwestern game, the outcomes against common opponents are strikingly similar. Neither team played a formidable non-conference team. Statistically, the teams are fairly even in points per game (33.7 for Purdue to 32.0 for IU). Purdue averages 429 yards per game to IU's 389. Purdue is the second most pass-happy team in the conference, with over 3100 passing yards and 1500 rushing yards. IU has 2637 passing yards and 1648 rushing yards. The Purdue and IU passing attacks have been fairly similar: while Purdue has generated more yards, the completion percentages (61.8 for Purdue, 60.9 for IU) and TD/INT ratios (26/10 for Purdue, 25/10 for IU) are similar. Purdue averages 4.4 yards per carry to IU's 4.1/
Defensively, Purdue has a slight edge in scoring defense (24.1 to 27.0). Both teams allow lots of yards per game: 380 for Purdue, 397 for IU. The Hoosiers do lead the league with 17 interceptions compared to 14 for Purdue. Both allow plenty of passing yards per game: 235 for IU, 237 for Purdue. Purdue allows 57 percent completions compared to 60 for IU. IU allows 162 yards rushing per game compared to 143 for Purdue. Yards per carry allowed is nearly identical: 3.8 for IU, 3.9 for Purdue.
In sum, these two teams are quite similar statistically. Neither team has a signature win. Both teams lost as favorites last week. I am pessimistic about this game, but that's because of history. Considering 2007 only, this is a tough game to call. Gamblers beware.