Saturday, November 17, 2007


The Hoosiers got the job done today, beating Purdue 27-24. IU finishes the year 7-5 and in position for its first bowl invitation since 1993.

The game was not without its tense moments. IU began the fourth quarter with a 24-10 lead after Purdue scored its first touchdown of the game with a couple minutes left in the third quarter. Then as the fourth quarter unfolded, IU nearly pulled off a collapse of Biblical proportions. With about four minutes to go, Purdue scored the tying touchdown, following an IU fumble. The previous two scores came after the IU offense could not get much done at all.

But the Hoosiers picked themselves up off the mat with the game on the line and converted a couple big third downs with the clock running down to set up a 49-yard field goal attempt. Austin Starr's kick, a career-long, was good and the Hoosiers had the lead with 30 seconds to go. Purdue could not get anything going and the game ended with the students rushing the field.

This is a milestone victory for IU football. After being destitute for more than a decade, they finally have something positive to talk about. The Cream and Crimson are almost certainly going to be on TV next month in a post-season game. This one's for Hep, the IU fans who withstood so much misery, and the players, who deserve it after such a tough offseason. Congrats.

The win moved IU into a tie for seventh with a 3-5 Big Ten record. Iowa finishes ahead of them in the standings, but the Hawkeyes overall record is 6-6. Bowl rules state all 7-5 teams must be selected for bowl games before any 6-6 teams may go.

Photos are available here and final stats are here.

Another alma mater has a big game

My beloved high school, Carmel High School in Mundelein, Ill., has another chance to get to the Illinois state football finals tonight. They play Lake Zurich High School at 7 p.m. in Mundelein. Ironically, I would have gone to LZ if I didn't go to Carmel. My family lives in the Lake Zurich district and I went to Lake Zurich Junior High School.

Carmel is 11-2 and coming off a quarterfinal shut-out of De La Salle. It is the third semi-final appearance for the Corsairs. Carmel is 1-1 in those games. The win came in 2003, when Carmel won its first football state championship.

Good luck tonight Coach Bitto. A win and Carmel plays for the 7A state championship at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.

Clear purpose today

There's not much to talk about today when Indiana plays Purdue for the Old Oaken Bucket. Beat the Boilers, get a bowl bid.

Of course that is much easier written than done. Purdue can scores lots of points and the IU defense is not the shut-down type the Pittsburgh Steelers employ in the NFL. The Hoosiers will have to bend, but refuse to break and try to keep the score at a manageable level. That will let the offense play its game. Keep the turnovers to a minimum and the Hoosiers should be in it.

It would be a great victory, especially in Bloomington. IU wants very badly to have something to cheer for in the fall and this year could attract the fans they need to re-establish the football program.

IU will be honoring the 1967 Rose Bowl team, the only Hoosier team to ever get there, and wearing throw-back uniforms (pictured). The photo is from

Win it for Hep ... win it for 13 ... win it for the bucket ... win it because it's Purdue. IU has won the bucket only once in the last 10 years.

Side note: IU should be rooting for Michigan to beat Ohio State this weekend. That may be the best scenario for a bowl, especially if IU can't get win number seven. A Michigan win puts the Wolverines in the Rose Bowl and OSU may still be able to slip into a BCS game with two loses. That leaves an extra bowl bid for the Hoosiers to grab. It may be unlikely, but if OSU wins, Michigan definately is going to the Capital One Bowl and IU will have to battle for the remaining spots.