Alright folks, here’s the deal. As we go through the majority of this week, you’re going to notice quite a pattern develop. If you’ve read ANY of my stuff on this site, you might already know, but I’m not in fact a fan of Tom Allen as a coach.
Woah there keyboard warriors. I didn’t say I hated the guy. I didn’t say I wished he wouldn’t win. I just said I’ve evolved to not be a fan of him. However, there are tremendous segments of the Indiana population that do love Tom Allen. I think those people are loons, but they have some good merits.
As a Big Ten 2023: Indiana Week special report, let’s go through the case FOR Tom Allen as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers to see if, perhaps, I have gotten things wrong and should cut this team and man some slack.
Point #1 – 2019 and 2020
2019 and 2020 will ALWAYS be a main point for anyone who wishes to pump up Tom Allen as a great coach. While we can go over who actually recruited who, it remains true that Tom Allen guided the Indiana Hoosiers football program to two seasons of great success. In 2019, Indiana went 8-4 with a heart breaking Gator Bowl loss to Tennessee and in 2020, Indiana reached the modern day pinnacle of Hoosier football by going 6-1 in the regular season before losing to Ole Miss in the Outback Bowl. That Hoosier team spent a majority of the second half of the season ranked and exercising demons as they beat Michigan, Wisconsin, and Penn State that season and came within a touchdown of beating Ohio State.
I’ve been an Indiana football fan since Randle El. Those two years were perhaps the most enjoyable years of Indiana football I’d ever watched. Seeing the Hoosiers be competitive each game and just having fun with the seasons was part of the reason I joined in here at OTE. No matter what you want to say about Tom Allen, you can’t ever take away the success of those two seasons.
Point #2 – Tom Allen Recruits Well
Let’s face it. Tom Allen has recruited well at Indiana. Not looking at player development or transferring out, the Hoosier recruiting model under Tom Allen has been an enormous success. Each year of Tom Allen, Indiana has ended up in the top half of the country, and between 2018 and 2021 Indiana was between top 40 and top 25 for a lot of the recruiting cycle.
Recruiting isn’t just it though. Indiana also has navigated the transfer portal well. Cam Camper. DJ Matthews. Even Connor Bazelak. Tom Allen isn’t an inept recruiter in either market. Pair that with a program that is also investing a lot of money into the football facilities, he’s done well bringing in talent.
Point #3 – Tom Allen
That title just says it all. Part of being a coach is being able to sell yourself. Tom Allen has sold himself very well at Indiana University. He sold himself well enough he was able to get his first D1 head coaching job at Indiana after the untimely firing of Kevin Wilson without even a coaching search.
From all accounts, Tom Allen is a genuine nice person as well. You hear a ton of stories of people meeting Tom Allen. They all say he’s such a great person. You see his energy. You see his personality.
Perhaps the biggest part of this is that he also genuinely wants to be the coach at Indiana University. Hell, he’s from New Castle. He was the coach at Ben Davis for a while before jumping to Wabash. He wants to be here and isn’t treating this program like a stepping stone. That part shows and it’s one of the strongest things keeping him here in Bloomington. None of my issues with Tom Allen are related to his personality. None of it is about the energy and gimmicky LEO stuff he brings to the team. As a person, I genuinely like Tom Allen’s fit in Bloomington.
Now that I’ve made my points for Tom Allen, what do you think? Let us know down below!!