- Technically, this is IU's first game against the Big 12 Conference. Although the Big 12 is the obvious successor to the Big 8, technically (and much to the chagrin of the Big 8 holdovers) the Big 12 is a new conference that began play in 1996. IU's last game against a current Big 12 member was in 1992, a 20-10 win over Missouri in Bloomington. That was the last game of an eight year series against the Tigers, and the Hoosiers were 6-0-2 against Mizzou during that stretch. IU's last loss to a current Big 12 member was a loss to Colorado in 1979. IU has a modest 2 game winning streak against the Big 12 members (the 1992 Missouri game and the 1991 Copper Bowl against Baylor) and a ten game unbeaten streak.
- IU has a respectable 25-17-6 record against current Big 12 members. IU has never played Iowa State, Texas A&M, or Texas Tech.
- Believe it or not, IU's 9 wins against Nebraska are the most wins IU has against any major non-conference opponent other than Kentucky.
- IU's only previous game against Oklahoma State was in 1930, a 7-7 tie in Bloomington against what then was known as Oklahoma A&M.
- Oklahoma State is 1-8-1 against Big Ten opponents. The Cowboys have never played Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, or Wisconsin. The only OSU win over a Big Ten school was a 6-0 win over Iowa in 1930, the same year that the Hoosiers and the Cowboys tied.
- Two of OSU's 17 bowl appearances have been against Big Ten schools: the Cowboys lost 33-20 to Purdue in the 1997 Alamo Bowl and 33-7 to Ohio State in the 2004 Alamo Bowl.
- The 1991 Copper Bowl against Baylor (then of the Southwest Conference) is IU's only postseason appearance against a current Big 12 team.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
- DJ White continues to be excellent. Who would have guess after the first couple games of the season that there might be some debate concerning the identity of IU's best player. 21 points, 8-11 from the field, 5-7 from the line, 15 rebounds, 23 minutes. That's good, even against CSU.
- Eric Gordon struggled again from the field (3-12) but was 14-14 from the line so ended up with an efficient 22 points. Let's hope Gordon can continue to get to the line when we are playing on the road in the Big Ten with Ed Hightower on the court.
- The turnover numbers were better (only 10 in an 80 possession game), although Jamarcus Ellis provided five on his own.
- 17 assists on 34 field goals. Better.
- Armon Bassett rediscovered his stroke, with 13 points on 8 shots.
- Jordan Crawford shoots a lot, as I have noted before. Crawford scored 15 on 13 shots. Crawford also added 5 steals.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The GMAC, the Motor City, the Meineke Car Care Bowl ... they all owe a debt of gratitude to the Independence Bowl, which came along in 1976 and innovated the bowl scene by removing the requirement of being "a destination city" from the criteria.
And the second half.
Chicago State Cougars
Current Record: 4-11
Conference record: n/a
Current RPI: 263
Current Sagarin: 269
2006-07 record: 7-20
2006-07 RPI: 213
2006-07 Sagarin: 197
Series: IU leads 1-0 (90-69 in Bloomington last season)
Friday, December 28, 2007
The Hoosiers last won a bowl game nearly 16 years ago, in the predecessor to the Insight Bowl, the Copper Bowl. Unlike the All-American Bowl, the Copper Bowl still exists in some form. Unlike Fulton County Stadium, Arizona Stadium still stands and still hosts the Arizona Wildcats:
Thursday, December 27, 2007
- The location. I don't want to run down Detroit. I was born there and have many relatives in the area. I know it's not all bad and that downtown has improved in recent years. Still, a bowl game is supposed to be a reward, and a trip to Detroit, an unexciting city with bad weather, is a fairly lame reward. Of all of the cities that host bowls, Detroit is the coldest in the United States. Toronto is colder, but is a world class, destination city. Further, forcing a Big Ten team a bowl game right in the middle of Big Ten country doesn't make sense. Again, I live in the midwest and like many things about this place, but not December/January weather. Nearly every Big Ten team plays a game in Michigan every year. Where is the novelty?
- The opponent. The MAC is a solid conference, and while the league lacks top-to-bottom strength, the MAC champion often is a legitimately good team. Nearly every Big Ten school plays one or more nonconference games against MAC schools each season, and the MAC occasionally gets a scalp. The MAC's footprint is similar to that of the Big Ten. The typical MAC school is a public university from a state with a more prestigious Big Ten school (indeed, every MAC school except Buffalo fits that description) and the typical MAC football roster is populated by players who wanted, but didn't get, recruiting attention from Big Ten schools. Combine the undesirable venue with a ho-hum opponent with a chip on its shoulder, and the powers-that-be have set up a mediocre Big Ten team for failure. A Big Ten team playing a MAC team at a midwestern venue isn't a bowl game; it's called "September."
- The coverage. Joe Tiller has done a fine job at Purdue, but this wasn't one of his better teams. Purdue beat a I-AA team, two MAC teams, the worst Notre Dame team ever, and the Big Ten's three bowl-less teams (I know IU's resume wasn't any better--that's not the point). Yet, we are treated to breathless hysteria like this from the Detroit Free Press's Drew Sharp:
They could have removed the schools' names and just put the score "Big Ten 41, Mid-American Conference 41" up there because that's what everybody really saw.He's probably right, but people shouldn't see that. They should see "MAC Champion playing its biggest game of the season and possibly ever 41, mediocre Big Ten team whose players would rather be playing XBox 41." I'm sure there is more of this all over the country. Because this game was close, everyone is talking about it. If Purdue had won 55-20, no one would care.
So, Commissioner Delany, why? There are minor bowls all over the country. Las Vegas, Birmingham, Toronto, San Francisco, Nashville...hell, Boise. I don't think it's beneath the Big Ten to play a non-BCS conference team. But why not the WAC, the Mountain West, or Conference USA instead of the conference that dominates the Big Ten's nonconference schedule? Not every bowl location is going to match Pasadena, but at the very least, a bowl game should involve a trip to another part of the country to play a team from another part of the country. The Big Ten school sentenced to the Motor City Bowl gets nothing out of it but a few extra weeks of practice and the opportunity to become a Sportscenter punchline. In the era of 12 game schedules and soft non-conference schedules, the Big Ten likely will send someone to Detroit most every year unless the Big Ten wisely gets out of this arrangement as soon as possible. It can't happen soon enough.
FOOTBALL Indiana Wins in Liberty Bowl: Dave Schnell passed for 378 yards and 2 touchdowns, including an 88-yard game-breaking toss to Rob Turner, leading Indiana to a Liberty Bowl victory over South Carolina last night. The victory capped an 8-3-1 season for Indiana. South Carolina ended the year 8-4. The Gamecocks never have won a bowl game, dropping to 0-8 with the loss. Collin Mackie had kicked a 43-yard field goal for South Carolina, making it 20-10. But Schnell then put the game away on the first play of the fourth quarter. He spotted Turner behind the secondary and Turner pulled in the pass at the Gamecocks' 40. He never was touched on the longest scoring pass in Liberty Bowl history.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Posted by John M at 11:27 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Here's a quick overview of the Cowboys' 6-6 season, with game recaps linked:
- September 1: L 14-35, at Georgia. This was one of OSU's few poor offensive performances. The Cowboys were within a touchdown at the half, but managed only 266 net yards and only 2.1 yards per rush.
- September 8: W 42-6, Florida Atlantic. FAU beat Minnesota this season, but couldn't win in Stillwater. This game appears to be what ultimately lead to Mike Gundy's outburst against the columnist. Longtime QB Bobby Reid was benched in favor of Zac Robinson, who threw for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. OSU dominated, outgaining FAU 488-203 and averaging over 7 yards per offensive play.
- September 14: L 23-41, at Troy. Obviously, this was the Cowboys' low point of the season. Troy, which finished 8-4 and won the Sun Belt, jumped out to a 34-10 lead early in the third quarter. OSU moved the ball reasonably well but turned the ball over five times and allowed 562 offensive yards.
- September 22: W 49-45, Texas Tech. Not much defense in this one. The two teams traded scores all day, and Robinson threw a 54 yard TD pass to Brandon Pettigrew late in the fourth quarter. Tech's Graham Harrell threw for 646 yards, but OSU ran for 366 yards on 61 attempts and added 244 yards in the air. Believe it nor not, the teams somehow found the time to punt twice each.
- September 29: W 39-3, Sam Houston State. OSU allowed 355 yards but generated over 500 of its own in this rout.
- October 6: L 23-24, at Texas A&M. Other than Troy, this looks like the other what-if game for OSU. The Cowboys led 17-0 at halftime in College Station before A&M's Javorskie Lane took over. Lane scored two rushing TDs and caught another, and even managed a 49 yard pass completion on a halfback option. In this game, OSU's Bobby Reid played well after Robvinson was injured late in the game.
- October 13: W 45-14, at Nebraska. OSU won in Lincoln for the first time since 1960. OSU won with a balanced attack and averaged nearly six yards per carry. Robinson returned from injury was was 12-19 for 244 yards and no interceptions.
- October 20: W 41-39, Kansas State. This was another shootout, much like the Texas Tech game. Both teams gained over 500 yards each. Zac Robinson didn't pass well (11-25) but rushed for over 100 yards. OSU won with a field goal with two seconds remaining.
- November 3: L 35-38, Texas. As in the A&M game, OSU blew a big lead. The Cowboys led 21-0 early in the fourth quarter and led 35-14 at the beginning of the fourth, but the Longhorns rallied to win. Again, both teams gained over 500 yards. Texas broke a 35-35 tie with a 40 yard field goal as time expired.
- November 10: L 28-43, Kansas. OSU stayed competitive, but the Jayhawks controlled this one for most of the way. Kansas outgained OSU 529-471, but Zac Robinson again had an excellent game passing and running.
- November 17: W 45-14, at Baylor. This one was 28-14 at halftime but the Cowboys pulled away in the second half. OSU had another 500+ day and rushed for 343 yards (6.7 per).
- November 24: L 49-17, at Oklahoma. The Sooners led 14-0 and OSU never really challenged. OSU's offensive performance was less than stellar, with only 299 yards. OSU still rushed for five yards per carry but the passing game was awful.
I'll take a look at OSU by the numbers something soon. The Cowboys seem fairly similar to IU. Unquestionably, the offense is OSU's strength. Like Kellen Lewis, Zac Robinson is a duel threat, a respectable passer who is his team's second leading rusher. My biggest concern is OSU's rushing game. More later.
They were deemed an unworthy bowl opponent for BYU by many. The announcement of their selection to the bowl was booed by BYU fans. "I hope people wonder about inviting Indiana now," said Corso. "Don't forget that a certain amount of humor is not a sign of weakness. We came here to win." So did the Cougars, who after losing two straight must think this bowl isn't such a holiday after all.
BYU gave the Hoosiers several golden opportunities, and luck gave them the right
bounces and the clock. The Hoosiers didn't return the favor.
Marc Wilson threw a bullet so hard and accurately at Indiana's Steve Mitchell that he had no choice but to catch it out of sheer self-defense. Wilson apparently misread the pattern or receiver Lloyd Jones. "He thought I'd cut underneath," said Jones. "But I kept going upfield. I had six if he had put it up."
Corso also can be thankful that time ran out in the first half just as Jones was catching a 39-yard pass at the two-yard line, where he was forced out of bounds.When Corso counts his blessings, he'll want to include the third-quarter fumble of a punt by Doug Francis at the 10-yard line. The ball rolled to the one-yard line, where it was recovered, appropriately enough, by Lucky Wallace. That led to a touchdown and a 28-24 lead.Moments later Tim Wilbur intercepted another Wilson pass and the Hoosiers drove 22 yards for a field goal. Even then not without the aid of BYU's only penalty of the night, a 15-yard personal
foul.But what Corso can be most thankful for is a fluke punt. Johnson's third field goal and Indiana's lone turnover — an interception by Tim Halverson that led to a 15-yard TD pass to Eric Lane — gave BYU a 37-31 lead. The Cougars seemed very much in control, but with eight minutes left were forced to punt. The ball sailed upfield and hit Indiana's Craig Walls on the back on the first bounce. The second bounce landed in the hands of Wilbur, who happened to be running by at the time and kept on running 62 yards for a touchdown. "It was like someone said, 'here,' and gave him the ball," said Corso.So despite gaining 520 yards, compared to Indiana's 354, the Cougars trailed by one point and it was left once more for Wilson to drive the Cougars upfield.Despite the interceptions, Wilson played well, completing 28 of 43 passes for 380 yards, and the offense was never stopped except by its own mistakes. Trouble was, the Hoosiers kept the ball away from Wilson as was their plan.Before the game Corso said, "If it goes into a shootout, we'll get killed. We might come out into a basketball stall." The Hoosiers did just that, keeping the ball 10 minutes more than BYU.
As the box score makes clear, BYU did outgain the Hoosiers significantly, particularly in the air, as has been BYU's tradition. And BYU had a chance to win with a 27 yard field goal, but missed. Overall, a fortuitous day for a football program that hasn't tended to have much luck over the years.
Be sure to check out the video of Tim Wilbur's punt return on the official Holiday Bowl site.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said after the game that he didn’t know the long-term outlook for Holman, who didn’t dress Saturday and had his wrist in a brace. Sampson said team doctors won’t be able to accurately diagnose Holman until the swelling goes down. They don’t think Holman has any broken bones but they fear ligament damage.
Holman, however, told fans after the game that he will have surgery Wednesday on his ligaments and will miss the rest of the season. Confronted with what Eli was saying to fans, an IU spokesman said that the team’s medical staff did not expect Holman to have surgery Wednesday.
While the game may have been a letdown, it was and remains a highlight of IU's athletic history. IU was then the last Big Ten school to make its first Rose Bowl appearance, and so it would have been significant even if it were not IU's only appearance. The Hoosiers were 1-8-1 in 1966 and had not won more than three games in a season since going 4-4-1 in 1959, and had posted only one winning season (5-3-1 in 1958) since the departure of the legendary Bo McMillin after the 1947 season. IU's 1967 Rose Bowl appearance was as improbable as Northwestern's 1995 appearance.
Here are some photos I stumbled across in IU's Hoagy Carmichael collection some time ago while looking for something else. Whoever catalogued these images did not grasp their significance, describing them as "Hoagy Carmichael in a crowd of spectators" and "Crowd at an Indiana University football game" and such things.
While IU seems far from a return to Pasadena, there were times that a mere return to any postseason competition seemed improbable. Let's hope that everyone reading this is still around when it happens again.
- DJ White, after a sluggish start, continues to play really well. White scored 21 points on 9 shots, including 7-9 from the field and 7-10 from the line. He added 11 rebounds.
- Jordan Crawford played well again. As I noted earlier in the week, Crawford shoots quite a bit, but he managed 19 points on 14 shots and, most impressively for a freshman, five assists and no turnovers.
- Jamarcus Ellis continued solid play in all areas: 9 points on 7 shots, 7 rebounds, 6 assists/2 turnovers, 3 steals.
- It's amazing that after only ten games, this performance is so routine as to be the fourth bullet points. Eric Gordon scored 26 points on 13 shots, 6-11 from three point range, 4-6 from the line.
- Deandre Thomas scored eight points on six shots, but managed no rebounds and three fouls in 19 minutes.
- After appearing to regain his shot a bit, Lance Stemler now is 1-9 from three point range in his last two games. Stemler, in his first six games as a Hoosier last season, shot 18-36 from three point range. He has made only 30 three point shots since then. Hard to explain.
- Kyle Taber scored only one point, but managed 6 rebounds in 12 minutes.
The Hoosiers take another week off, and then play 1-8 Coppin State on December 22. Wake me when the season starts.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
- Franklin Central running back Darius Willis committed to IU earlier in the week. Willis was considering Purdue, Kentucky, and Boston College. That seems better than the profile of our typical recruits.
- Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora is the new coach at Southern Mississippi, and the Tulsa World confirms that Fedora will not coach in the Insight Bowl. Like IU, OSU's strength is its offense, so this departure certainly will not hurt the Hoosiers' chances.
- The Hoosiers are well-represented on the All-American teams recently named by the AP and Sports Illustrated. Austin Starr: first team SI, second team AP. James Hardy: third team AP, honorable mention SI. Greg Middleton: second team SI, third team AP.
- Per Hoosier Scoop, and as is now noted in the sidebar, WXIN-59 of Indianapolis, the local Fox affiliate for Bloomington and most of central Indiana, will carry the Insight Bowl, including in high definition.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
- Eric Gordon (#81) and DJ White (#130) both rank highly in "effective field goal percentage," which essentially counts a two point shot as 1 and a three point shot as 1.5 (for the purposes of makes and total attempts). Ken notes: "It’s mostly players that shoot a lot of threes and shoot them well, but there are some post players that sneak in also." So, this ranking is a bigger deal for DJ than it is for Gordon. While IU has played a fairly weak schedule to date, consider that Andrew Bogut had an eFG% of 63 when he won player of the year.
- DJ White ranks #76 nationally in defensive rebounding percentage. White is converting 23.6 of all defensive rebound opportunities when he is on the court.
- Eric Gordon is #65 nationally with .71 free throw attempts per field goal attempt. Gordon makes over 83 percent of his freethrows, so clearly, he is on his way to a very efficient season if trends continue.
- Jordan Crawford and Deandre Thomas both take lots of shots. Not surprisingly, Gordon leads the way, with 29 percent of IU's shots when he is on the court, but Thomas takes 28.4 and Crawford 27.1 (which may be skewed by his reduced number of games and his go-to role against UK in Gordon's absence).
- The Pomeroy site contains an offensive rating system that is described as "complicated but accurate." According to that rating, Lance Stemler is the most efficient Hoosier with a rating of 123 (Gordon is at 121.8). Really, while Stemler still hasn't recovered his form of last year from behind the arc, his 8-24 from three point range isn't as bad as I would have guessed, and he is 10-16 from two point range and 7-8 from the line. Pomeroy notes that a rating of over 120 is excellent for a workhorse type player, and Gordon certainly fits the bill.
Posted by John M at 9:12 PM
Monday, December 10, 2007
"I had some reservations," Harp said of his stepson taking the Indiana job. "But Cam is one of those guys, if he's going down the street and sees a pile of horse manure, he'll go digging in it because he thought there was a pony in there. He aggravates me sometimes, he's so positive. He won't let anybody get him down."
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Per Ken Bikoff of Inside Indiana, IU will be sporting a third helmet design in the Insight Bowl. Because of positive feedback about the design of the throwback helmet:
Friday, December 7, 2007
Indiana has wrestled with this issue. Before meeting Georgia Tech, the Hoosiers collapsed against Xavier, losing, 80-65, in a game in which signs of discomfort with the publicity and attention gained by freshman star Eric Gordon began to leak from the Big Red machine.
"I'm sure if you put Kelvin (Sampson) under some truth serum, he'd say they're not playing well together," [Georgia Tech coach Paul] Hewitt says. "Once they figure out they all can have their individual glory when the team does well, Indiana will be one of the best teams in the country."
What makes the minor dysfunction at Indiana curious is how rarely Gordon is shooting, relative to his 26.6-point scoring average. Star big man D.J. White doesn't have a problem. He wants to win something that counts before he leaves Indiana, preferably after this, his redshirt junior season, and he understands that a teammate with Gordon's immense talent makes achievement plausible.
It apparently just comes down to Gordon getting his pictures in magazines and his highlights on ESPN. That hasn't worked for everybody. Eventually, it must because Gordon is going to produce the kind of numbers that generate headlines and, almost invariably, benefit his teammates.Sampson says coaches can preach sacrifice and commitment to the team throughout the year, with signs and slogans tacked to locker room walls. But, he says, "When they hear that stuff in September, you're spitting into the wind. The best time is after a loss, when you can plant those seeds. And then, after a win, you can talk about the team because now they've all had a little success."
This piece is not about Eric Gordon not being a team player. It's not declared. It's not implied. I would even suggest it's impossible to infer that. It's about how a few of his teammates (as stated in the article, not fellow star D.J. White) reacted to his early success. I'm not skewing anything. Please, read the article again and explain how you can come to the conclusion you did.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Next week UK plays Indiana in Bloomington, Ind., the completion of a two-year home-and-home series that broke from the traditional Louisville-Indianapolis rotation. That series was moved to home-court settings because UK couldn't get a date at Freedom Hall last season. It's uncertain where the games will be played the next two years, Mullens said. UK and IU are weighing the pros and cons of neutral and campus sites. The difficulty in making a long-term decision, Mullens said, is that Freedom Hall won't guarantee a date more than a year in advance, making it hard for UK to plan for future games there. "People loved (the UK-IU series) in Louisville and Indianapolis, but people have loved the idea of playing it at two traditional basketball schools," Mullens said. "The downside is, they get about 150 tickets when they play (in Lexington) and we get about 150 tickets when we play (in Bloomington), so it's not quite the same atmosphere."
- December 10, 2005, RCA Dome: Indiana 79, Kentucky 53. IU won by 26, IU's largest margin of victory in the series, and beat the Wildcats for the first time in six years. Mike Davis, the Kentucky-hating former Alabama player, got his first win over UK. Another SEC grudge-holder, Auburn transfer Marco Killingsworth, let the way for IU with 23 points (7-8 from the field) and 11 rebounds.
- December 21, 2002, Freedom Hall: Kentucky 70, Indiana 64: It's not an exaggeration to say that the Mike Davis era never was the same after this game. IU, which had advanced to the NCAA title game the previous season, entered the game 8-0 and ranked #6 nationally. Davis had edged his career record up to 54-25 (.683). With IU trailing by one late in the game, IU's Bracey Wright missed a layup in traffic, and Davis lost it. He ran onto the court slapping his head, was assessed two technical fouls and ejected from the game, and IU limped home, going 13-13 after the 8-0 start.
- December 4, 1999, RCA Dome: Indiana 83, Kentucky 75. IU's first win over Kentucky in six years. AJ Guyton led the way with 21 points on 4-6 three point shooting.
- December 7, 1996, Freedom Hall: Kentucky 99, Indiana 65. The defending NCAA Champions administered the worst beatdown by either team in the history of the series [EDIT: second worst. I somehow managed to block the memory of the 80-41 loss in December 2003]. This season began with great promise for the Hoosiers after two down years, and IU entered this game 6-0 and ranked #8. In the final of the Preseason NIT, IU beat Duke 85-69 and Andrae Patterson scored 39 points. Patterson would never do anything of the sort again, and this inconsistent team finished 21-11 (9-9). This season really began the decline of IU fans' support of Knight, and the UK game, other than the blowout loss to Colorado in the NCAA Tournament, probably was the worst moment.
- December 4, 1993, Hoosier Dome: Indiana 96, Kentucky 84. IU lost the opener to Butler, but rebounded nicely by upsetting #1 ranked Kentucky. Damon Bailey played his finest game has a Hoosier, scoring 29 points, including 16-19 from the line.
- March 22, 1975, Dayton: Kentucky 92, Indiana 90. This one doesn't qualify as recent, but is infamous enough to warrant mention. While this game was before my time, nearly every Hoosier fan old enough to remember this game seems to consider it the most gut-punchingly awful loss in IU history. IU was undefeated and ranked #1, but was without an effective Scott May, who broke his arm in the regular season finale against Purdue. May played seven minutes against Kentucky (scoring two points on 1-4 shooting), but the Wildcats edged the Hoosiers in the regional final.