But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal – there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court.
-Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird
We, The Rivalry, Esq. place before this college football court, the 2009 season of the Indiana Hoosiers. This is a team that after fifteen years of hard times finally returned to a bowl game. That was followed by a year of hard times, and repeated questions of whether more were to come. I say to you, ladies and gentlemen of the college football jury, ENOUGH! Let this court give them the fair assessment that they deserve.
I. Case History
After two impressive wins over bad teams, Indiana's season began falling apart. There were two losses to MAC teams. There were seven Big Ten losses. There was a 52 point loss in the battle for the Old Oaken Bucket.
The only bright spot was a shocking win over Northwestern that prevented the Wildcats from earning their second-ever 10 win season.
II. Factual Summation
A. The Rivalry, Esq. Says
Here's some of what we've written about the Indiana Hoosiers over the off-season
Does anyone care about IU Football?
The Little 500, Old Oaken Bucket, Olympic Pride
B. Michael Jackson Says
Because all blogs are required to compare athletic teams to some random entertainment icon, we're equating Big Ten Teams and Michael Jackson songs. The quality of the reading improves if you listed to the barely justified song choice as you continue.
That's right, Indiana gets the song about the rat. And, it happens to be the first name of their quarterback...
III. Emotional Plea
A. I Hate Indiana
Maybe its because he's lived too long in the South, where hatred is a tangible commodity, but Bama Hawkeye has felt his hatred for Big Ten rivals boiling. Here's why he hates Indiana.
I hate Indiana because they act like they don't care about football. I hate Indiana because I still remember watching Randle-El shredding the Hawkeyes on busted plays. I hate Indiana because James Hardy just beat a slow Hawkeye corner again. I hate Indiana for losing to multiple MAC teams and making us all look bad. I hate Indiana for that lame alternate logo they trotted out ten years ago. I hate Indiana.
B. Why You Should Love Indiana
Because they really did have things moving in the right direction when Coach Hep passed away...Because they have made investments in their infrastructure in order to compete...Because they may have the most beautiful campus in the Big Ten...Because they'll defend the conference's honor in basketball soon enough...Because the football team could use a little Bobby Knight...Because they're in the Big Ten.
A.The Rivalry, Esq. Calls the Games
Graham Filler Picks
Law Buckeye Picks
Bama Hawkeye Picks
B. Bama Hawkeye Calls the Bowl Game
The Big Ten has nine bowl eligible teams by the end of the season. When you go 2-10, there is only one bowl for you.
V. On Appeal
Words from an SBNation blogger on their team. Here's some thoughts from John M about the competitiveness of the Hoosiers over at The Crimson Quarry...
Again, even with the win against Northwestern included, IU's average Big Ten game was a 26 point loss. IU's conference point differential in 2008 was 100 points worse than that of the 1984 team, Bill Mallory's first, a team that went 0-11 and played a nine-game Big Ten schedule. I don't mean to reopen old wounds, or to suggest that point differential is the ultimate means of comparing teams. Teams score more points these days, so my guess is that blowouts are uglier than they used to be. Still, this remarkably uncompetitive season came against what Sagarin ranked the #83 schedule in Division I. No BCS conference school played an easier schedule. IU has a long, long, long way to go.