We're too lazy to actually go ahead and learn anything about other teams, so we bring in people who know stuff about those teams so we don't have to sound like complete blowhards.
Today: John M, from The Crimson Quarry.
SoP: How does Cam Coffman look in his first few games? Is Indiana undefeated if Tre Roberson is healthy? Has the offense changed at all to reflect Coffman's different skillset?
He's looked really good. All three of the quarterbacks that IU has used in the first three games have looked very good, and that gives me some hope for the Wilson era. Tre Roberson looked way more polished than last season in the 5.5 quarters that we had him. As for whether IU would be undefeated with Roberson? I really hate to make excuses about a loss to Testicle Tech. It's inexcusable under any circumstances. And IU did score 39 points. On the other hand, given BSU's not-so-good defense, IU perhaps could have avoided that dry spell in the third quarter with Tre improvising. But IU lost that game on defense, not offense. (editor's note: Testicle Tech. Ha!)
If you don't mind me saying, Indiana's defense was quite, quite bad last season. Obviously the team has improved, but does the defense look capable of hanging in the Big Ten?
No. At least they didn't against Ball State, although I do think BSU has a legitimately good offense and may contend for the MAC title. The secondary looked pretty rough. Overall, I think the defense is a little better, and has done a better job pressuring the QB (8 sacks after only 17 all last year) and getting some third down stops, but no. IU isn't going to win (or lose) any 10-7 games. I'm holding out hope for some 40-37 games.
I've always wondered, but never had the courage to ask: what in the name of all the Zeller of your choice are you guys doing when the Hoosiers get a first down? A commenter suggested it was milking cows, and I don't disbelieve them until I hear otherwise from you.
If it were Purdue, you might be on to something with the cow-milking thing, but we aren't the land grant school. It's called the "first down march," and it's basically marching or running in place, to the beat of the band (which is playing the "trio" section of the National Emblem March). According to one of my commenters last night, however, apparently this tradition may be going by the wayside, because it interferes with IU's extremely fast-paced no huddle offense.
Northwestern and Indiana are now tied for the most losses in FBS history with 632. Do you think the Hoosiers can finish the season without grabbing that title from us? If not, do you want any tips on being the losingest?
No, I think that 18 years of hell have prepared us well for this role. The Big Ten is crazy enough that it's hard to say any outcome is improbable, but I will be surprised if IU wins more Big Ten games than Northwestern, even over here in the Leaderless Division. Congrats, though. I suppose it's only fair that the school with the worst basketball program in the history of the sport shouldn't have to have the worst football program, too. In all seriousness, Northwestern has earned it with an very respectable run over the last couple of decades.
So, who wins Saturday? Predictions for the game?
Oh, let's call it NU 35, IU 31, with some heartbreakingly improbable ending.