“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering” – Friedrich Nietzsche
You smell that in the air, folks? The hot dogs, the beer, all the glorious smells of fall in a college town rising from the horizon as the end of summer approaches? With just over a month to go until week one of the Indiana Hoosiers take on Ball State, it’s time to get ready for another season full of optimism and likely utter failure.
How did we get here this time? For starters, Tom Allen has done a masterful job building the program to his vision of toughness, speed and family. He has brought in the two best recruits as part of the best two recruiting classes in IU football history in the last two years. After laying the foundation as defensive coordinator the past three years, including one as former coach Kevin Wilson’s defensive coordinator, Allen has relinquished those duties, but leaves that side of the ball in good hands with Kane Wommack. On the offensive side of the ball, Allen has brought in innovative coordinator Kalen DeBoer who transformed Fresno State’s offense into one of the top 50 offenses in the country after being in the 100s when he took over.
What makes this season even more exciting is the progress in on the field play we have seen over the last handful of years. Yes, the Hoosiers haven’t been bowling since 2017, but the quality of player on the field and the overall quality of football has improved during his tenure. The promise of DeBoer’s offense coupled with the returning talent like running back Stevie Scott, wide receiver Nick Westbrook, and quarterbacks Nick Tuttle, Peyton Ramsey and Michael Penix, should give Hoosiers fans a lot of confidence.
Oh, and we have beer. As first reported by Redshirt Review way back in February, IU will sell beer at home football games in the fall which will create an entirely new and fun dynamic inside an often sleepy Memorial Stadium.
In spite of all the on and off the field improvements to the football program, we are all in for another disappointing season. The phrase of the day surrounding the 2019 IU football season has been “Nine Win Indiana” for a few weeks now, and while on paper that might be achievable, it’s incredibly unlikely. IU is a cursed program at this point. A spectacular season is 6 wins and even that is a fluke when it happens. Playing in the toughest division in college football doesn’t help either. Playing the blue blood gauntlet of Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State every year almost always ends up being four losses for the Hoosiers. Yes, I know the Hoosiers beat Michigan State a few years back and we have been extremely close to beating Michigan recently, but the Hoosiers are a combined 1-11 since Tom Allen joined the coaching staff under Kevin Wilson in 2016.
The 2019 IU football season has promise. The overall talent in the locker room and in the coaches’ box is arguably the best to ever be in Bloomington. If the stars align just right #9winIndiana could happen, but the stars usually end up scattered across a never-ending void. So let’s eat some glass, Hoosier fans, crush a few thousand beers in the tailgate lots and enjoy whatever the heck happens this season.