Indiana Week. Yes. Right.
What do you think so far? Are you enjoying the immense ennui of Candystripes, who has gamely soldiered through previewing a season that wjll merely distract the few remaining Indiana football fans from the sweet beginning of basketball season? It’s a damn hero’s effort that I think we never appreciate enough—how writers like Thump and Candystripes, writing along about their programs for Off Tackle, keep the faith and keep churning out pieces for you to take in.
Go check out those pieces in the sidebar, if you haven’t already! Today we’re talking about chugging Kool-Aid or milk, and whether Indiana football should make a bowl in 2019.
Question 1: WSR has a milk thing
Food: Since I was all car-raced out after watching the (far superior) Monaco Grand Prix, I missed the Indianapolis 500 and didn’t see <insert champ here> chugging milk. [Candystripes’ note: It was Simon Pagenaud, who also won the Grand Prix of Indianapolis earlier in the month, and was the pole sitter for the 500. You’re welcome.] Which beverage would be downed by the winner of your state’s signature sporting event?
Candystripes: Um, milk. We just covered this. Are you feeling OK?
MNW: Oh my God. I would pay money to watch the winners of the Minnesota Boys’ High School State Hockey Tournament down a Grain Belt at center ice.
Underage drinking laws are ruining America.
Boilerman31: Monaco superior than Indy? Wake me up when someone actually makes a pass in Monaco that isn’t related to a wreck, a restart, or someone making a Pit Stop. If I want a parade at high speeds, I’ll throw in some tape of NASCAR during the CoT Era.
Thumpasaurus: I see that bait. And I’m gonna go ahead and hook myself on it anyway.
The most exciting part of the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix was when Max Verstappen was dropped from 2nd to 4th after the race due to a pit lane penalty. Otherwise, like all but three Monaco GP’s since 2008, the dude who started first never relinquished the lead on the track.
So those three must have been pretty exciting, right?
Well, in 2017, Kimi Raikkonen was ordered to let Ferrari teammate Sebastien Vettel pass him because he was ahead in the championship standings. This was the only pass for the lead that occurred. OK, but 2016! That time it wasn’t the polesitter OR his teammate! Well, that lead change was because Team Red Bull came out for the pit stop with the wrong fucking tires, causing a delay that lost Daniel Ricciardo the lead. He still finished second.
OK, but 2015! Well, Lewis Hamilton had this one in the bag until the Mercedes team called him down pit road late in the race to make sure nobody with fresher tires could catch him. However, they apparently did a pretty simple rate problem wrong because he came out third.
In other words, the only times in the last 10 years where Monaco hasn’t been won by the dude who started first were one case of team orders and two cases of a race team doing something almost too stupid to believe for a multi-million dollar organization.
I still definitely want to go, and it’s cool to see on TV, but generally I like my sports with a small amount of uncertainty.
Maybe it was different when there was more difficulty in driving the cars at Monaco; maybe it was different in NASCAR when 600 miles in one race actually meant a lot of mechanical failures, but here in 2019, the Indy 500 is by far the best Memorial Day Weekend race for watching.
LPW: I’d love to see the next professional teams that wins a championship in Chicago down all the beers from Revolution Brewing and not be insane and drink shots of Jeppeson’s Malört.
Jesse: /reads indy 500 commentary Yeah, but like… Monaco is just baller as hell.
Anyhow, if the Nebraska GP or the Nebraska 500 were a damn thing, the winner would definitely have to douse themselves in a big ol’ trophy full of Kool-Aid which means the Nebraska racing tradition is 100x better than everything else.
Beez: Wisconsin? Milk duh. North Carolina? I’d say Cheerwine, which is delicious and you should have (the bottle variety made with cane sugar!) if you haven’t already. Or maybe they’d just chug a bottle of vinegar-based bbq sauce, hard to know for sure.
Stew: So you really want to watch a bunch of Iowans chug Busch Light and Bud Light at El Assico?
Question #2: Record Predictions
Football: It’s a light non-conference for the Hoosiers, as they take on an FCS team, a glorified FCS team, and also Balls Tate at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Woof. [Or “Meh,” as Ennui Husky would say.]
Add to that crossover games with rebuilding Nebraska, always-suspect Northwestern, and rivals Purdue, and this has the looks of a potentially-bowl-eligible team by early November.
So tell us: How good is Indiana going to be?
Bonus: Indiana is down to two rivalry trophies--the Old Oaken Bucket and Ol’ Brass Spittoon--after IU and Kentucky officials retired the Bourbon Barrel Trophy after the alcohol-related death of a UK player in 1999. Revive an historic rivalry for your team, and give it an appropriate rivalry trophy.
MNW: It’s bowl game or bust for Tom Allen and the Hoosiers in 2019, and, to be honest, I’d consider giving the guy the heave-ho if it’s an underwhelming 6-win season. [That’s probably unrealistic, but you tell me that 6 wins here shouldn’t be the baseline for a program that would like to be anything better than mediocre.]
This is as good as it’s going to get for Indiana in the foreseeable future, with Western Kentucky replacing Ball State soon and Cincinnati hopping on the schedule, so strike while the iron’s hot. Of course, this being Indiana, it’ll come down to 5-6 IU vs. 5-6 Purdue for the Bucket this year. Wins over Balls Tate, EIU, UConn, Rutgers, and Maryland are followed by a four-game collapse to the finish. IU loses in West Lafayette, goes 5-7 (2-7), and Tom Allen is sent packing.
Hi, Chris Creighton. What are you up to?
Oh, and the rivalry? Since Northwestern’s shillelagh with Notre Dame is held in private hands (some great reporting by SBN sister site One Foot Down on this one) and Northwestern lacks other real historic rivals besides UChicago, I will pivot to basketball and once again demand the creation of the Battle for the Mayor’s Key between NU and DePaul. (I’d really just like another trophy that’s in the case as regularly as HAT.)
Candystripes: Just about every year, the schedule sets up favorably for Indiana to get to 6 wins if they catch a break or two and beat everyone that you’d think they might be able to beat. And many of those years, IU catches no breaks and fails to beat someone that looked like easy pickings in August. So, keeping this firmly in mind, IU is going to go 6-6, and somebody is going to finally drop a game that Indiana has no business winning, because it’s been long enough and we absolutely deserve it. While I don’t really want to believe that another 5-7 season gets Tom Allen fired, I also wouldn’t be surprised if he did get canned if such a thing happened. Given recent precedent, you think Kalen DeBoer might be interested in the job if it opens?
Townie: I think Indiana can sweep the non-conference slate. None of Ball State, Eastern Illinois, and Connecticut should challenge Indiana.
However, since they are in the B1G East, the schedule doesn’t look great. I think they get two conference wins out of their games against Rutgers, Maryland, and Nebraska. I think they can steal a win from either Michigan State or Purdue. However, the OSU, Northwestern, PSU, and Michigan games are out of reach, even for chaos team.
Thumpasaurus: Look, I know this sounds rough, but tell me, Indiana fans, if this doesn’t sound like the most plausible possible season.
Breeze through the non-conference slate, lose to Ohio State (ohhhh you almost had ‘em!) then lose a close dumb game to the Spartans before taking down The ‘Gers and Maryland in back-to-back weeks to move to 5-2 (2-2).
Then lose out, with every game being a one-possession heartbreaker except a blowout in the Bucket game.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. World without end, Amen.
Anyway, let’s revive the Indiana-Illinois series and have a trophy of a football made out of basketball hide and see if we can’t make our fanbases pay attention to football when basketball struggles.
Jesse: So fun things to think about for Indiana. Their defense was probably worse than Nebraska’s last season but instead of partnering that with a dynamic offense like they usually do, they threw a lot of times and sorta ran the ball semi-effectively-but-not-really. On an upside, that non-con, yeesh. I’m predicting 3-0 because SERIOUSLY DO NOT LOSE A GAME IN THAT SCHEDULE GUYS.
Anyhow, I’m going 3-6 the rest of the way with wins over… I don’t really even know. How about Rutgers, Northwestern for no apparent reason except they need a dumb loss, and Purdue for the bowl game appearance because again, why not.
Lastly, if I’m getting a historic game back on the schedule regularly for Nebraska, it’s gotta be something outrageously dumb. I’d like to go with Iowa State, but Iowa already has dibs on that terrible idea every year. So, in the name of the great WIUFA Conference, I’m going Missouri (because Kansas doesn’t have a football team any longer, or so I’ve heard). Yes, as Nebraska’s original conference foe - non-Iowa division - the Missouri Tigers would be super fun to have a dumb trophy again. Not the bell. That was silly. I dunno… maybe water rights? Look, I don’t have good trophy ideas because our old conference was bad at this.
Beez: Indiana’s going bowling this year. 4-5 in the conference (wins over 4 of Maryland, Rutgers, Nebraska, northwestern, MSU, Nebraska) and sweeping the non con means Indiana fans will spent late November deciding if they want to go to Tulsa or somewhere for a mid-December vacation.
An historic rivalry? It’d be fun to revive the historic Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry, although winning 14 of 15 or whatever it is has been pretty fun.
Stew: That sure does seem like a 3-0 non-con but I just can’t see any way they get that 3rd conference win necessary to make it to sunny Detroit in December. I’m not going to disrespect Indiana fans by blowing smoke up their asses that they’ll catch someone this year. Sorry, but 5-7 is just the way it’s gotta be.
As for historic rivalry that I’d want to bring back. How about bringing back Iowa/Illinois?
But seriously, gimme Iowa/Mizzou in a battle over a beehive/honey trophy. IT WAS OUR GODDAMN HONEY. GET YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF IT! Though, they can certainly have Keokuk now, if they still want it.
WSR: I’m with Stew in that I just don’t see the 3rd B1G win. Northwestern? Purdue? Ehhhh, I just don’t feel comfortable with either of them. If it were to happen, I’d bet on something stupid like Michigan State because why the hell not?
And as for an old Minnesota rivalry I’d like to see restored, there are 3 teams we’ve played more in non-conf games than any other. First was Nebraska, because Minnesota and Nebraska are just awesome together (since nothing beats a bunch of olds talking about how great they used to be), Iowa State (which we don’t want to play because that’s Iowa’s little brother), and...Washington.
Minnesota and Washington used to play quite frequently in the 1940’s and 50’s, and assuming we got a tisch better I’d really really love to go see a game out in Husky Stadium.
How will Indiana finish in the Big Ten 2019?
This poll is closed
5-4 or better
How will Indiana finish overall?
This poll is closed
4-8 or worse
8-4 or better