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DON’T GIVE UP ON IU JUST YET


By Columnist Bob Bridge


IU Hoosiers Football  Head Coach Tom Allen
Indiana Hoosiers Football Head Coach Tom Allen

Most Indiana University football fans have slammed the door on a potential bowl game for Head Coach Tom Allen and his football Hoosiers.


Disappointed and disgruntled, they have grumbled vociferously these past few weeks. They are demanding a change of direction.


To borrow a line from Lee Corso, the most humorous of former Indiana University head football coaches, “Not so fast my friends.”


Let’s do the math.


The Hoosiers need four wins to qualify for bowl eligibility. Coincidentally, they have four games remaining on their regular-season schedule.


The order of adversaries is Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State and Purdue. The Hoosiers play the Badgers and Spartans at home and the Illini and Boilermakers on the road.


The chance of IU reeling off a four-game, serendipitous winning streak?


Prohibitive, at best.


Hey, I’m a sane human being, securely tethered to reality. It is highly unlikely IU will start scoring touchdowns and stop its opponents from galloping up and down the gridiron. And, don’t forget those tedious, untimely turnovers that have plagued the Hoosiers.


But, is it even remotely within the realm of possibility?


Absolutely.


None of these four rivals are entrenched in the Big Ten’s elite class. Only Ohio State and Michigan are genuine powerhouses. Sorry folks, but that’s the unvarnished truth.


Penn State?


Please! The Hoosiers gifted the over-ranked Nittany Lions a win last Saturday in Happy Valley. They also were on the brink of conquering the Cardinals (now 7-1) in Louisville earlier this season.


Yes, IU has spent too much time spinning its wheels. That’s what happens when you begin the season with so many new and key players obtained via the portal.


It takes precious time to orchestrate and achieve the significant synchronicity to succeed at this level. You want to blame Allen for taking a chance on former Offensive Coordinator Walt Bell?


Go ahead. I’d probably echo that sentiment.


However, Tom and the Hoosiers continue to plod forward with their inexplicable positive attitude.


The position of head coach of the Hoosier football program was not designed for a shrinking violet. From the beginning, Tom has faced an uphill struggle. The NCAA has only made it more difficult by enacting new rules.


I’m happy Tom Allen is head coach at IU. I am inspired by how this gentleman and his young men continue to compete.


The Hoosiers could do far worse. I’ve witnessed it time after time.


Can Tom win at IU? He already has proven he can.


Be patient. Cheer enthusiastically for the Cream and Crimson.


Will they prevail four weeks in a row and earn a bowl invitation?


Probably not.


But, they could.


And, just think how exhilarating that experience would be.


Columnist Bob Bridge welcomes comments at 812-276-9646 or bbbbbridge@gmail.com.

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