For once, the Indiana Closing Argument is coming near the end of the preseason hype. Unfortunately, that has much less to do with how Indiana’s 2017 went, and much more to do with how, somehow, no one else took the last slot on the calendar until I did. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.
I. Case History and Opening Statement
A. Case History
Seasons come and go. But mediocrity? Mediocrity never changes.
B. Opening Statement:
Ladies and Gentlemen of the comments section, this is the fifth time I attempt to convince you that Indiana football is not just something we use to pass the time until basketball season. I fear that, as always, I’m fighting an uphill battle against both history and my team’s own fanbase. This year, it’s worse, because for the first time since 2014, Indiana actually took a step back in the business of winning football games. It’s not inconceivable that they could do so again, just as it’s not totally out of the question that they make it back to a bowl game. This is Indiana; if the football season doesn’t end with somewhere between 5 and 7 wins, something’s either gone terribly wrong, or unbelievably right.
A. What We’ve Written (and Talked) About Indiana This Offseason
Indiana Preview, Predictions, and Outlook
Indiana Is Almost Perpetually There [Off Talkle Empire]
How Do You Judge a 2nd Year Coach?
Everything You Wanted to Know About Indiana (But Were Afraid to Ask)
III. Timeline of Events
As ever, Indiana’s schedule is like one of those optical illusion puzzles. Do you see 4 wins? How about 5? 6? If you look closely, do you see 7 wins? 8? Or do you not see any of those, and are just skipping down to see what the rest of our crack writing staff thinks?
IV. Emotional Plea
Every year, I use this section to plead for the one major win Indiana desperately needs to become an actually relevant program. Every year, Indiana comes agonizingly close to finally exorcising this demon. Every year, they come up short.
The only emotion I have left to feel is pain. Because joy isn’t coming. Not this year. Not any year. You want to root for Indiana? Go right ahead. Maybe if enough people share the pain, it’ll hurt just a little bit less. Go Hoosiers.
V. OTE Staff Predictions
Good? Bad? Who knows? It’s Indiana.