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Closing Arguments 2022: Will the Real Indiana Please Stand Up?

Ugh...I don’t have warm and fuzzies about this.

Bringing back some sad Tom Allen.

1. Case History and Opening Statement

A. Opening Statement

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. I hope this closing argument finds you all well and in good health. Except you, Mr. Barta. Eat a fat one.

Good Kind Average people of OTE, I throw myself before you today to make a case for something that probably won’t amount to much in the end. Something that hasn’t ever really been that promising but also something that generally hasn’t been as stinky as it was last year. Something that is colored in crimson. That something is the 2022 Indiana Hoosiers.

The Hoosiers have their work cutout for them as well. Facing off against a rather evenly matched Illinois squad to start the year, Indiana will quickly show us whether the 2021 season was just a blip or if the previous run of Indiana football late last decade was the real fluke. With 25+ new players, 2 new major coordinators, and a fanbase that actually hasn’t been accustomed to sub .400 football in a while, Coach Tom Allen has his work cutout for him.

Can the Hoosiers rally, or will we be staring two straight 0 win conference seasons in the face? We will see very shortly.

B. Case History

Prior to the beginning of the 2021 season, Indiana had enjoyed over half a decade of .500 football. Indiana went into 2021 with a full head of steam fresh off a second place in the B1G East finish and a nice little ranking in the AP and coaches poll. Then they had to step on the field and from the first drive where Iowa broke a 50 yard run followed by a Mike Penix pick 6, Indiana never got the train back on the tracks. Indiana would not muster a B1G win in 2021, and would only crack 10 points in conference play 3 times.

Following the season, OC Nick Sheridan was blasted into space and DC Charlton Warren abandoned ship. 25 plus Hoosiers also fled the chaos. Walt Bell, mustache and all, was hired as the new OC and Chad Wilt was hired as the new DC while Tom Allen decided he would call plays in 2022. The Hoosiers replaced a third of its squad with transfers and freshmen.

Not much else needs said. Indiana was overhyped garbage last season. Receivers couldn’t catch. The line couldn’t block. Backs couldn’t hang onto the ball. QB’s couldn’t stop throwing pick 6’s. Defensively, things were actually promising through 6 games. In fact, the defense was the reason that the team was even in games such as the Cincinnati game or the Michigan State game. They also gave themselves a chance against Penn State. The offence was really the problem in 2021. We’ll see if that fixes itself a bit in 2022.

2. Discovery

A. What We’ve Written About Indiana This Offseason

Cocktail Party Preview

Potluck #1: Diagnosing What Went Wrong

Potluck #2: Did Indiana Miss Becoming a Regional Power

Potluck #3: Walt Bell and the New Offense

Potluck #4: Records Predictions


The Podcast Preview

B. What We Can Learn from Pop Culture

“Oh no! We suck again!” Rob Schneider in The Waterboy

3. Schedule of Events

4. The Verdict

Shit….I’ll take 6-6 but we’re likely looking at 4-8.

5. Emotional Plea

I really have no emotional rambling here. After 6 good, average years Indiana was god awful last year. There’s really nothing that’s been done to make me thing they’ll be even halfway back to the desired baseline of a 6-6 program either. The Walt Bell hire, mustache and everything, was really uninspiring. Keeping Hiller on as the OLine coach was deflating. Had last year simply been a 6-6 season, we would all be expecting a clunker of a year while Indiana restocks anyway. Now, we’re stuck in a purgatory for at least 2 years of shitty football. Hell, it took Allen 3 years to finally get through that 6th win in a season.

But when we got through it, boy was it a good time. Ya know what, let’s see how this season shakes out. I can really live with a competitive, 4 or 5 win team. Maybe beat someone we shouldn’t. Lose to Rutgers again would be okay if you picked off a Michigan State or Purdue.

Really, it boils down to this concept: do you believe that the 6 year stretch from 2015 to 2020 is the baseline for the program or do you think that the 2021 season was what should be expected of Indiana more often? Is Indiana the same basement it was for 20 years before the Pinestripe bowl season, or has it evolved to a solid, .500 level program that’s worth respecting? Will the real Indiana, please stand up?