In Point/Counterpoint we’ll be identifying each team’s x-factor, and then offer arguments both in support of and contrary to the assertion said x-factor will spur the team towards glory. Today we sit back and debate the effect Indiana’s new coaching staff will have on their 2011 season.
Point: The addition of Kevin Wilson and his staff will help Indiana realize gridiron success in 2011.
This point is predicated on a very subjective notion of what constitutes success. Nobody is (or at least nobody should be, lest they be) predicting a BCS bid for the Hoosiers, but a bowl invite in Year One is realistic. A quick glance at the schedule shows at least seven winnable games. Unlike his more immediate predecessors (Bill Lynch and the late Terry Hoeppner, whose resumes included recent stops at Butler, Depauw, and Miami of Ohio), Wilson has far more big program and big conference experience. Similarly, his staff includes people hired away from the likes of Northwestern (Kevin Johns, passing game coordinator), Michigan (Rod Smith, co-OC and QBs coach), and Nebraska (Mike Ekeler, co-DC and LBs coach). A staff not only versed in the culture of the Big Ten, but also battle-tested in the trenches of heated rivalries (Michigan-Ohio State, Oklahoma-Texas, etc.), championship games, and BCS appearances, should provide Indiana an edge we haven’t seen in the program since…….well, ever. Indiana should be able to win at least seven games, and maybe even put a scare into some of the heavy hitters on their 2011 conference slate.
Indiana is Indiana: expect everything from basketball, get nothing from football. Right? While the new coaching staff looks nice on paper, the unknown variables pose a set of questions that appear to have unsavory answers. Wilson and Johns will be deploying the spread offense that places an inordinate amount of pressure on a quarterback to make the right decision. Not only is there no Sam Bradford waiting in the wings, they must also find a replacement for Ben Chappell. Adding insult to injury, standout receiver Tandon Doss opted to forego his final year of eligibility and declare for the NFL draft, leaving an already hamstrung offense in an even worse position.
*h/t to Chadnudj for a few pointers on the Wilson offense
TUESDAY | Point/Counterpoint
WEDNESDAY | 4th and 3
THURSDAY | OTE Potluck
FRIDAY | Keeping the Enemy Close - Rival Blogger Interview