Indiana fans are excused from attending or caring about Big 10 Football Media Days

Tom Allen will talk about his program’s progress, and hopefully his optimism is justified. If not, they have been there, done that many times.

Indiana University Football has been an oxymoron since the beginning.  Minus a few glorious years under Bo McMillan and Bill Mallory, and that glorious run to the Rose Bowl in 1967 that virtually no one alive can remember, IU and football have never gone together.

Big 10 Football Media Days begin at Noon today, and for fans of Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, and hell, even Purdue, it is a big deal to hear from their coaches about the upcoming season.  For IU fans, we know the drill – the coach talks about incremental improvement, and how last year’s disappointment was a product of injuries and a couple of losses that could have been wins if not for a bad bounce.

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This isn’t coach Tom Allen’s fault, or even athletic director Fred Glass’s.  Extricating a program from this extreme level of entrenched mediocrity is exceptionally tough, and no program in the history of college football has authored mediocrity at the level of Indiana University.  Tom and Fred do their best to close the gap between IU and their rivals in the Big 10 East, but trying to reach Ohio State’s level of play after over a century of barely competitive football involves a lot of heavy lifting over a long period of time.

As Colts coach Frank Reich always says, “Get one-percent better everyday.”  That sounds great, but everyone else is working to improve too.

The point is, Indiana is Indiana, and Big 10 Media Days is not a magical moment for those of us who care about the program.  We’ve taken annual trips down Hope Road, and have grown tired of those journeys ending in fiery crashes.

There is good news for IU fans that has nothing to do with who the starting QB might be – the parking lot between Memorial Stadium and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall has been renovated, the I-69 extension is complete as far as Martinsville, and beer and wine will be on sale during games.  Oh yeah, the bathrooms at the stadium have also been rebuilt.  That means we can take 67 south from Indy to Martinsville to Bloomington and never see an orange cone or deal with lane closures.  It also means no need to sneak maintenance beers in our sleeves as we leave the tailgate to enter the stadium.

The point isn’t to crap on IU Football, but to manage expectations as we prepare for another Autumn with six trips to beautiful Bloomington, Indiana.  Football will be part of the fun, but there will also be opportunities to reconnect with fellow alums, enjoy a beer or two, indulge in a little nostalgia, and wander over to Nick’s for buckets and laughs.  Win or lose, Indiana fans have found reasons to smile on those Saturdays.

Football season is nearly upon us, but Hoosiers fans are excused from full participation in the Fall Frenzy until games start August 31st at Lucas Oil Stadium against Ball State.

In 49 states, college football season starts with conference media days.  But this is Indiana!

One thought on “Indiana fans are excused from attending or caring about Big 10 Football Media Days

  1. Paul D Talbott

    Too many years of consistent mediocrity and disappointment will certainly have the effect of tempering your expectations. While there are reasons (again) to be hopeful, it’s too much to ask of long suffering IU football fans to hope for something other than another 5-7 season. And yet, I still hope.


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