As the Hoosiers begin to prepare for the upcoming football season, I am considering the great IU games of the recent past.
Now that you've stopped laughing, I decided to name one signature win for the last five Hoosier football coaches, beginning with Bill Mallory and ending with current coach Bill Lynch. The selection was not as hard as you might think in some cases. Picking the best win among a series of 3-9 seasons seemed hard at first, but with so few potential selections, it made the choice a lot easier.
Mallory likely is among the top two or three football coaches in IU history. He took the Hoosiers to six bowl games, winning two. He also had four seasons with seven or more wins during his 13-year career.
My selection for Mallory's signature win: the 1988 Liberty Bowl. The Hoosiers defeated South Carolina 34-10 and finished the year 8-3-1 and ranked No. 20 in the final Associated Press poll.
Indiana set a bowl record for total offense with 575 yards. Quarterback Dave Schnell threw for 378 yards and Big Ten MVP Anthony Thompson scored two touchdowns and ran for 140 yards. The Hoosier defense only allowed 153 yards. The win assured the Hoosier's highest ranking at the end of the season in Mallory's tenure.
Cameron is most noted for finding all-world quarterback Antwaan Randle El, who broke several school and NCAA offensive records. Unfortunately, Cameron won only 18 games during his six-year tenure and never appeared in a bowl game.
My pick for his signature win: Oct. 6, 2001. Indiana thumps Wisconsin 63-32.
Throughout his Hoosier coaching career, Cameron was an offensive coach. His teams could always put points on the board, but lacked defensive skill. This game probably was the height of Cameron's and Randle El's offensive brilliance. The Hoosiers scored 32 points in the first quarter. The game total of 63 was a school record for Big Ten games. It also was the most points scored against the Badgers since 1890.
The Hoosiers rushed for 449 total yards, including 280 from Levron Williams, who also scored six touchdowns. Randle El also threw for 182 yards and rushed for 102.
Cameron could not continue the momentum. The Hoosiers beat Purdue to win the Old Oaken Bucket that season, but finished with a 5-6 record.
What do you think? Leave a comment here.
Coming next: Gerry DiNardo, Terry Hoeppner and Bill Lynch.