Sunday, August 30, 2009

The 2009 season: The rule, not the exception

When I asked my Facebook friends their thoughts on the upcoming IU football season, I set the over-under for wins at four. Not surprisingly, everyone took the under.

After looking at the play in camp, predictions for the rest of the conference, as well as the
schedule, I'm going to predict a push: the Hoosiers will go 4-8.

IU beats Eastern Kentucky, loses to Western Michigan, and beats Akron in close games to start the season 2-1. The team heads to Michigan, a team still rebuilding, learning a new offense and now reeling from internal problems
outlined in the Detroit Free-Press, and upsets the Wolverines 24-23. Michigan's players and coaches expect to steamroll the Hoosiers, only to find a team looking to end its decades long losing streak at Michigan Stadium.

The Hoosiers move to 3-1, and the word bowl is thrown around. Then Ohio State comes to town favored by at least 21 points and reminds the Hoosiers where they stand in the Big Ten power structure. The Buckeyes more than cover the spread and IU is 3-2. The loss lingers in Charlottesville, Va., as the Hoosiers lose to Virginia by 10.

The Hoosiers find themselves at .500 at Homecoming, when Illinois is in Bloomington. The Illini offense is too strong and IU loses its third in a row.

The slide continues with a close loss at Northwestern, followed by a convincing loss at Iowa. Wisconsin then comes to Bloomington with the Hoosiers at 3-6 and mauls them behind their huge offensive line and power running game.

The game at Penn State is a mismatch and IU leaves with another loss. The Hoosiers enter the Bucket game at 3-8 and looking for a new coach. Athletic Director Fred Glass decides before the game that Coach Bill Lynch's contract will not be renewed, but lets him and his staff finish the season.

In a both a tribute to Lynch and payback for last year's embarrassing loss in West Lafayette, the Hoosiers squeak by Purdue to regain the Old Oaken Bucket and finish at 4-8.

It's another sub-par season for Indiana, but really that is the rule in the last 20 years, not an exception. Once again we hope for next year and eagerly await basketball season.

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