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  1. Quick, shifty, next-level passer... yes please. After Clowney, Fears has got to be our next #1 priority recruit in my opinion. Don't mean to sell Kaleb Glenn short (I hope we get him too), but everything starts at PG and IU's current/committed PG's are all unlikely to stay more than two years (including Lander). I think by the end of the season Lander will have either established himself as the 5 star NBA bound player he was projected to become (or at least headed in that direction) or he will transfer for a change of scenery. My hope is we have him for 2 more seasons and he becomes a 1st Round pick. Obviously time will tell for Bates and Hood-Schifino but I don't think I need to comment on their current trajectories. In case anyone is questioning my classification of Bates or Hood-Schifino as PGs, I should add that I don't consider the guy who brings the ball up the court or guards the other team's "PG" to be the PG. For me it's whoever is directing the offense in a half-court set and I expect it to be these two guys if Lander doesn't establish himself.
  2. This video is from a few months ago, hadn't seen it before. My biggest take-away was that he plays under control and with purpose. He also seems physically tougher than a lot of his peers in this game. * I would be remiss not to mention I was a LOT more impressed with Leland Walker (247 #170) than I thought I'd be. He certainly passes the eye test against D1 talent. Unranked 3* Pete Suder also showed out well. Given the number of fairly high rated recruits in this game it's a good reminder of how little separates players in the 80-100 range from many guys outside of the Top 150. I'm not suggesting we target them but impressed none the less.
  3. Completely agree. In fact, I think just about all of the ranked B10 teams seemed 1-2 spots lower than I expected (Penn State maybe 3-4 spots). The knock on OSU is youth and new QB??? Take a look at a majority of the other top ranked schools and you could say the same thing about them. New QBs - #1 Alabama, #3 Clemson, #5 Ohio State, and #6 Texas A&M. OSU is no different than these schools in terms of reloading with an elite recruiting class year after year. My Top 5 +1 and Big 10 reshuffling would be: 1 - Alabama (until it's shown their reload isn't superior to everyone else year-after-year I can't discount them) 2 - Georgia (return pretty much everybody) 3 - Ohio State (very similar to Clemson except OSU has a defense) 4 - Texas A&M (least QB reliant power program in the country, host Alabama and Auburn this year) 5 - Clemson (very similar to OSU except they don't have a defense) 6 - Oklahoma (weak schedule, host both Iowa State and Texas) 14 (up from 16) - Wisconsin (a much better team than their 4-3 COVID ravaged 2020 showing) 15 (up from 20) - Penn State (2020 pre-season #8 before everything unraveled, another deep and loaded team in '21) 16 (up from 17) - Indiana (tough schedule, added more talent than lost, survive Iowa+Cincinnati and this is too low 19 (down from 18) - Iowa (not a slight - couldn't bump Miami any further) 25 (unranked) - Northwestern (sorry Louisiana) Other BIG 10 teams with potential to crack Top 25 - Minnesota and Michigan Reality Check SEC: At the end of the season it would be extremely tough for 3 SEC teams to remain in the Top 4. I seriously considered ranking Georgia ahead of Alabama. If the new Aggie QB pans out, this might be the year they beat Alabama. LSU seems a bit high at #14. BIG 12: Oklahoma is going to start the season 3-4 spots higher than #6 and has a reasonable chance of running the table. They're going to stay in the Top 3 until they lose. Doesn't mean I have to give them credit for hype and a weak schedule. Iowa State might be a much bigger threat to OU than some realize. ACC: Clemson's ranking speaks a lot to past performance... with Trevor Lawrence at QB. They might be too high at #3 or #5 and it would not be a surprise if North Carolina wins the ACC and ends up in the Top 5. Miami might have the talent to dethrone Clemson but they open with Alabama and don't play Clemson in the regular season. PAC 12: Oregon and USC will be ranked reasonably high to start the season, keeping them in CFP striking range. Oregon hosts Ohio State and USC travels to Notre Dame. If the PAC 12 schools lose these games the conference will be buried and likely locked out of the playoffs. If they win is it enough to regain the amount of respect needed to re-enter the playoff landscape? BIG 10: Despite the rankings, smallest talent gap between Ohio State and everyone else in recent years. The relatively low starting position for the rest of the BIG 10 might be problematic for post season positioning. There is no clear cut #2 team in the conference to start the season. A 1 loss season by anyone not named Ohio State will not be enough to make the playoffs. Group of 5: Three Group of 5 teams made the ESPN Pre-Season Top 25. I'd categorize two as good teams being rewarded for strong 2020 seasons. However, Cincinnati is on a different level and with road games against Notre Dame and Indiana they'll have a chance to prove it. The sad thing is an undefeated season including two statement wins still might not be enough to matter for post season opportunity.
  4. ESPN College Football Power Rankings - Season Kickoff (Aug 3, 2021) A surprisingly high amount of love given to IU from this crew (which included former OSU stud Joey Galloway). Here are the timestamps for the three primary discussions on Indiana if you don't feel like sitting through the entire 45 minutes: 10:16 Top 5 Returning QBs - Penix was one of a handful of names mentioned in "others" 19:21 Top 25 - #17 Indiana 21:15 More IU commentary (discussion was a lot more in depth than most of the other teams in Top 25) Big 10 schools in the Top 25 #20 Penn State, #18 Iowa, #17 Indiana, #16 Wisconsin, #5 Ohio State Other Notables #11 Cincinnati, #9 Notre Dame, #7 Iowa State
  5. If things go reasonably well for James on the field, I have a feeling he's going to become a fan favorite. I can't pinpoint exactly what is, but there's something really likeable this kid.
  6. Agreed, we've strung together a couple of nice seasons but it will take a few more before sports writers and fans take IU seriously. I don't think the opposition programs share their opinion (unfortunately no more sneaking up on anyone). I can understand the fans bias/ignorance, and even the motivation of local market writers, but I don't appreciate the agenda/shallow research of national sports writers. I don't mind the program flying under the radar until the point comes that it impacts CFP and bowl placements. It doesn't seem to be hurting IU recruiting at all.
  7. She reminds me of Molly Shannon.. and you can bet she didn't need anyone to tell her the record and setup the passive aggressive slight. It's no exaggeration that people (all people) around here follow their flavor of college and high school football in the same way most people in Indiana feel about basketball. The difference is it's WAY more fragmented here than in Indiana. There is no such thing as the "Texas TV Market". There's about 10 of them. We're also a rather politically corrupt state, and you can bet that if this committee had a path to punishing UT they'd do it in a heartbeat.
  8. I got my MBA at SMU and I literally live across the street from the campus. I can throw fruit from my front yard and hit SMU players on their practice field. As for Michigan State, I spent 5 years of my childhood in East Lansing during the Kirk Gibson and Magic Johnson era. I can still taste the hot chocolate and not feel my toes. As for TCU and Texas A&M, both of my sisters went to TCU and a majority of the rest of family are Aggies. It's just easier not to root against them. Plus I have to root for somebody to upset the order of things in the SEC, and outside of Vanderbilt, the Aggies are the least offensive option.
  9. a few questions that need clarity before looking towards the future. 1) Why is the SEC the dominant football conference. could this change in the foreseeable future? a) Superior in-region recruiting talent: 139/247 2022 recruits (56%) Could this change? Unlikely The root dynamics of weather and cultural priorities are responsible, both unlikely to change b) BCS/CFP era performance: 11 of last 15 Champs (4 different teams) Could this change? Yes In the first 8 BCS years the SEC won just 1 Championship. Over the 17 years preceding BCS the SEC was the Champion just once. Let me re-state this. In the 25 seasons preceding the SEC's dominant 15 year run, the SEC won only 2 National Championships. It may seem hard right now to envision the SEC slipping a bit back to Earth but at some point it's likely to happen. Just ask the Yankees, Cowboys, or UCLA/PAC12 Basketball. c) Recruiting success: I'm going to largely leave this for a future topic. For now, I'll just say kids are getting more savvy every year and the ability to access important information for decision making is also getting easier every year. Every scholarship recruit is of course going to the NFL. Alabama's 3rd string could start for most programs in the country and gain far more notoriety as the big fish in a medium sized pond. How did it work out last year for Alabama's draft hopefuls? Fantastic for the 6 superstars drafted in the 1st Round, not so great for the rest of their NFL hopefuls as only 4 more Alabama players were drafted from the 2nd Round on. I have to believe there were plenty more who would have had a decent shot in a less crowded situation, and I also believe kids are going to catch on to this in the very near future. I think this is part of the reason Curry is legitimately considering IU. d) TV exposure and revenue: Could this change? Yes - see 4) below 2) Is the completely football centric nature of this situation warping my (your) perspective? Absolutely. I definitely care about IU football but in order of importance to me: value/status of IU degree, IU basketball, then IU football. As long as moves aren't made that potentially lower the value of my degrees, lower the profile of IU basketball, or exclude IU from a shot at the CFP, this realignment situation is nothing more than a minor frustration from a handful of greedy old men wrecking another national institution. If given the choice to add Stanford/Cal-Berkeley/Virginia/Duke or Alabama/Clemson/Georgia/Florida State to the Big10 - give me the first group. Keeping it just sports related, by now we are all fully aware of just how dominant football economics are in this situation. But what does that have to do with the relative importance of football vs. basketball for the fan base? It's not like I need to curb my enthusiasm by 73.53% to match the ratio of football to basketball revenue generation. Sure, there's no chance basketball will ever equal football popularity in a conference like the SEC. However, I see very little chance of SEC domination in football impacting the quality of basketball in parts of the country where the two sports are on more equal footing. 3) What actually defines "success" for me (you) in terms of college football and the bigger overall picture? I'm not a college football fan, I'm an IU and SMU Football fan. I also like Michigan State, TCU, and Texas A&M enough to hope they do well. Success occurs when IU has a winning record, gets in a decent bowl game, and is at least part of the national conversation. Sure I'd love them to be in the CFP but falling short doesn't wipe out my enjoyment. The bigger picture? Don't cheapen my degree and give me something to talk about around the water cooler no matter where in the country I may be... that won't lead to a dismissive response. 4) Is there a longer term inevitability that will make most of the current realignment issues obsolete? There is no question in my mind. The current kingmakers of college football (ESPN) could care less about tradition, impacts on universities, or anything else without a $ sign in front of it. The fact that we've devolved to a point where an outside commercial entity determines the fate of college athletics is unfathomably F'd Up, but it is reality. TV sports share of viewers has been declining for years and not just in football. This makes year-over-year comparisons less meaningful. However, comparing two games in close time proximity is still reasonable. Consider these two pairs of examples from the 2021 BCS: 1) National Championship: 18.65 M viewers (Alabama vs. Ohio St), Semi Final: 19.15 M viewers (Clemson vs. Ohio St) The less meaningful game without an SEC team was the bigger draw. Not a fluke, the Clemson-OSU game also beat Alabama's Semi Final match-up against Notre Dame (18.89 M viewers) . 2) Cotton Bowl: 5.9 M viewers (Florida vs. Oklahoma), Fiesta Bowl: 6.7 M viewers (Oregon vs. Iowa St) Once again, the game without an SEC team was the bigger draw. This one is particularly eye opening, given the massive pedigree and the perception of Florida and Oklahoma's national popularity. What it speaks to the most is CASUAL fans aren't even tuning in for marquee match-ups of "storied" programs... while on Christmas vacation and trapped at home because of a pandemic! This is a classic inelastic demand problem. So how would one go about forecasting schools with the highest potential TV rating? Here's the formula: Step 1: 10 Yr W-L / # Conf schools bordering state + total jersey sale revenue.... MINUS the entire left-hand side of whatever uncorrelated or perception-based B.S. I throw into this part of the equation Step 2: Find a list ranking the size of the current student base and alumni base by school Step 3: Ignore step 1, consider the potential non-student interest level in the local market (<100 miles) or any unique special interest stories, base 90% of your TV viewership forecast on Step 2. ESPN, Fox, Amazon, Facebook, and every other potential platform with interest in airing games know this. They also know the timezone difference and lack of familiarity with programs West of the Rockies greatly curtails the level of interest around the rest of the country. They know this challenge is unlikely to change without regularly scheduled games with schools East of the Rockies. They also know the games need to actually be meaningful, rivalries need to be ignited, and match-up repitition needs to occur for long-term interest to stick. I'd imagine stakeholders aren't going to be satisfied with "stopping the bleeding" of sagging ratings, they expect growth just like any other business. It's inevitable that coast-to-coast conference alignments are coming in the future to expand the pie.
  10. Is this new, really really old, or just a mistake? Prior to just now seeing IU listed as 1 of 4 "warm" schools, I don't remember seeing anything about Dante Anderson. https://247sports.com/player/dante-anderson-46058581/
  11. For those living in Indiana who have connections with coaches/scouts/etc., is there a perception one way or the other on potential bias in recruit ratings/rankings, PRIOR to commitment to a school (we already know bias exists AFTER but for different and intentional motivations)? I would be a bit surprised if there was any intentional bias prior to commitment. However, I can see potential for kids from Indiana to be ranked slightly lower than their peers in football hotbeds. The most obvious reasons being lack of exposure and in-person scouting. Another potential reason might be perceptions on the relative level of competition (compared to a state like Florida), which would also encompass "State X" doesn't have a very good track record of developing high level players at a specific position. If any of these thoughts have validity, I'd think it's the skill position recruits most likely to be underestimated. I had a somewhat related thought on recruits in states known for producing linemen. When skilled 6'5 285 linemen aren't out of the ordinary within a particular region, it would be easy to lose sight that they would be out of the ordinary and "special" in many other parts of country. To make this a little less abstract, What's the likelihood that #63WR Omar Cooper would be the #38 ranked WR in the class if he played in Georgia or Florida? What's the likelihood that #889 Bray Lynch would be the #603 overall recruit in the class if he played in Indiana?
  12. My thoughts are beginning to transition away from "what will happen" and "why it will happen", to think about instead on what I'd like to happen and what will be most beneficial long term. It starts with accepting the reality of a few things. 1) No realistic path for the Big 10 or any other conference to match the SEC's current position of strength in football. 2) Football revenue is exclusively driving THIS situation, nothing else matters, but there's no reason for me personally to care about football revenue. It ain't making my life better or worse. 3) Notre Dame will not join the Big 10 for a large and varied number of motivational and contractual reasons. It's a shame because in terms of "on the field" football they are such a logical fit 4) There is 0% chance a school like Texas A&M would even consider leaving the SEC (unless you live here in Texas, it might be hard to relate to the complexities of the Aggies relationship with the SEC and UT). People associated with TAMU consider their program on equal footing with Alabama, LSU, Florida, and Georgia, and they're hell bent on proving it. They are chomping-at-the-bit to beat the absolute crap out of the Longhorns repeatedly in the coming years (a joy that will never get old). Their Athletics Department generates the 2nd highest revenue in the country, there is nothing the SEC won't do to retain them in the conference. Again, zero chance. Deep exhale... well that simplifies things a bit, and even opens up possibilities for leap frogging the SEC at some point in the future (depending on your perspective). But there are a few questions that need clarity before looking towards the future. 1) Why is the SEC the dominant football conference. could this change in the foreseeable future? 2) Is the completely football centric nature of this situation warping my (your) perspective? 3) What actually defines "success" for me (you) in terms of college football and the bigger overall picture? 4) Is there a longer term inevitability that will make most of the current realignment issues obsolete? I'll make a second post later on with my thoughts on these questions, and what I'd like to happen.
  13. If IU were a country competing in the 2021 Olympics: Gold Medal Count - tied for 12th Total Medal Count - tied for 15th - Excluding Brazil, tied with the entire Continent of South America - Trailing the entire Continent of Africa by just 3 medals As the Olympics are nearing conclusion, a few countries hoping to catch up with IU include: Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Romania, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Norway, Turkey, Israel, and every country on the African Continent.
  14. I'd be worried that in the rare years we play Kansas in football a victory wouldn't be worth anything (and a loss would be crushing). On the basketball side I'd be worried that joining the Big 10 would actually raise their already extremely high profile and it would become a match-up we might lose more often than win. While the Big 12 offers to easiest path for expansion, none of the remaining teams offer enough to move the dial. It would be a move that screams of desperation and wouldn't even come close to countering the SEC moves. I'm in the camp of either: (1) Do nothing (don't expand that is - there are some vindictive options that I think are justified) - Make sure the CFP doesn't expand from the current format of 4 teams. We aren't getting in unless we win the Big 10 anyway. If the remaining Power 5 conferences collectively keep the CFP limited, it will pour an Olympic sized swimming pool of cold water on both ESPN and the SEC. - To add maximum pain, convince the Big 12 to let OU and UT out of their Big 12 obligation immediately. I have a sense the extra TV games resulting from a 12 team field was a major element of ESPN's push for SEC expansion, as an important additional source of revenue to cover financial expectations of this coup. The Longhorn Network is owned by an ESPN subsidiary, it's a money pit, and parent network is on the hook until 2031. They currently owe Texas $160M in differed payments. I'm starting to believe a secondary element of ESPN's push to bring Texas to the SEC is the opportunity to buyout the Longhorn Network as part of renegotiating the 2025 CFP contract (assuming they can hold on to it). - No matter how good the SEC becomes, they aren't getting more than two teams in, and it's far from a given they can even get a second team in consistently. To get a second SEC team in, at least two Power 5 conferences have to be down enough that the conference champion is not worthy of a playoff spot AND there has to be a clearly deserving 1 loss team behind the SEC winner. This was a significant hurdle before adding a Top 10 and a Top 20 program to the schedule of their second place hopefuls. They've just made the road a lot harder for the old members. - Where will the money come from to help cover the conference shares for UT and OU? Watch the discontent blossom as the remaining 4 years on ESPN's exclusive CFP rights aren't enhanced 1 penny. Watch the SEC scramble to figure out where the revenue will come from to cover two more programs without reducing the pie of the other 14 programs. The only way the SEC wouldn't be negatively impacted is if ESPN takes on an even larger financial burden by making them whole, years ahead of the potential financial benefits. (2) Merge with the suitable programs in the PAC 12 for the start of next season. It's looking more like an inevitability that we're eventually moving towards a league structure that resembles the NFL. The Big 10 can get ahead of it and lock up a good chunk of the best remaining programs. Above all, block the SEC from an opportunity to be a coast-to-coast conference. My preference is for #1 with a premeditated attempt to make this situation as painful as possible for the instigators of this fiasco. Any form of deterrent to additional SEC moves would be a good thing.
  15. I really like posts like this. I'm just as excited about what IU grads do after or outside of IU as I am with accomplishments at IU.
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