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Indiana University: Lynch’d

It’s not a secret that Indiana University’s football team isn’t what some would consider “competitive” in the Big Ten. Empirical evidence of this was last season’s heaping helping of failure the Hoosiers lumped on their collective plates en route to a 1-7 finish in the conference and a 3-9 record overall, a season that included losses to two MAC teams.

The lone bright spot for the Hoosiers was QB Kellen Lewis, a multidimensional talent that what he lacks in throwing power makes up for with elusiveness and an ability to scramble, a trait which comes in handy with Indiana’s porous offensive line play. Lewis has the ability to take over games, strap the team on his back, and walk off with a victory, given even the smallest semblance of talent around him. That talent just simply isn’t there, so a quick look at their record is nowhere near a valid indicator of his success or failure as a QB, team leader, or field general.

In what comes as great news for the rest of the conference, Indiana head coach Bill Lynch has virtually assured another penciled in W against the Hoosiers this fall by announcing that Kellen Lewis will no longer be taking snaps at QB, and will instead shift to WR for the Hoosiers. Ben Chappell will be QB1 for IU, and they apparently will be shifting more to a pistol formation.

Uh….

This is Lynchian football at its absolute finest. He has voiced publicly that having both Chappell and Lewis on the field together provides the Hoosiers the greatest opportunity to win. Counter intuitive, sure, as usually having a QB that is capable of scurrying out of whatever busted play the Hoosiers attempt to run is of the utmost importance as well as having your biggest playmaker touch the ball every snap, but this is Bill Lynch we’re talking about here, so regular rules for football mortals simply don’t apply. Apparently neither does simple logic, common sense, or even the most basic of football strategy. It also isn’t the only position switch for the Hoosiers, as WR Ray Fisher, a three-year starter, makes a move to corner.

The mantra on Lynch is a Tubby Smith-esque “He’s a great guy but not so great a coach”, and frankly, this latest idea might take the cake. It would be akin to moving Nate Davis to tight end so Cory Sykes could take some snaps. One Indiana alum told me, “This is without question the worst decision I’ve ever seen. Can you guys please take Lynch back?” Former players and fans alike are all puzzled with the decision.

The good news for Hoosier fans is that in typical fashion, IU opens the season against a cupcake Eastern Kentucky team. However, that could very easily be their only win next season. MAC opponents Western Michigan at home and at Akron are on the docket, as well as a road date with Virgina to close out their non-conference schedule. In conference play, making their appearance this season after not appearing on the 08 schedule will be Michigan (away) and Ohio State (home).

In some respects I feel sort of bad for Indiana. They had a football winner being built before Terry Hoeppner passed away, and then the Gods of Sports Karma totally shat all over their strawberry shortcake. Kelvin Sampson wrecked the basketball program, Lynch did what Lynch does best, and one of the great athletic programs in recent memory is simply a shell of its former self. I’m not sure what the answer is, but I can promise you it isn’t “Bill Lynch”. In fact, I can’t think of any answer where “Bill Lynch” would be a good one.

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