by Kent Sterling
The Hoo-Hoo-Hoosiers are going to Omaha as one of eight college baseball programs with a chance to win the national championship, in one of the most improbable turnarounds of a collegiate sports program in the history of the NCAA.
Indiana Baseball hasn’t been routinely bad, but given the scarcity of the eight spots for teams in the event, earning a slot is one of the toughest accomplishments in sports.
Northwestern has never gone to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and there are 68 teams invited to play. The Big Ten hasn’t had a school make it to the CWS in 29 years.
In 1984, the last time a Big Ten team went to Omaha, I was a student at IU. Several friends and I put together a list of the ten events that would have to occur before Indiana Baseball got its ticket punched for the College World Series. We hit nine, but the Cubs refused to cooperate.
The ten predictions from these latter day Nostradumbasses:
- “The Cubs will win a World Series before Indiana plays in the College World Series.” Yeah, that was just silly.
- “Men will be allowed to marry other men – and will want to – before IU baseball plays in the College World Series.”
- “Indiana will fire Bob Knight before the baseball team goes to Omaha.”
- “The government will close all mental hospitals, filling our cities with dangerous psychotics before Indiana plays in the College World Series.”
- “Indiana will play in Omaha when there is a black man named ‘Omaha’ in the White House.” So close!
- “Gas will cost $4.00 per gallon before Indiana plays in Omaha.”
- “Indiana will play in the College World Series when Augusta finally admits a woman member. No wait, a black woman member!”
- Salsa will be America’s favorite condiment before IU plays in the CWS.”
- 100-inch TV’s will hang from walls with pictures as clear as a window when IU first goes to Omaha.
- “Indiana will play in the CWS when every question can be answered by typing the question into a handheld computer using a service called ‘Moogle’ or ‘Toogle’ or something like that.”
If only we had used our talents for something positive.