IU press release and transcript of Bill Lynch press conference:
Letters to the Indy Star re Lynch's future at IU: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071125/SPORTS/711250389/0/LOCAL
Terry Hutchens' take on the contract extension at the Indy Star: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071126/SPORTS0601/711260393/0/LOCAL
Ditto, Doug Wilson's take on it at the Bloomington H-T: http://www.heraldtimesonline.com/stories/2007/11/26/iusports.qp-1049475.sto
Frankly, all these weeks later, I'm STILL trying to digest and make sense of IU's very frustrating 36-31 homecoming loss to Penn State on Oct. 20th, in what was a very winnable game. http://iuhoosiers.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/102007aae.html
A classic "trap game" for Penn State one week before their home game against Ohio State.
A win would've gone a long way towards confounding the low expectations that so much of the country still has for the program, especially after a bad 52-27 loss at Michigan State.
(My feeling following that loss to the Nittany Lions was the exact opposite of my mystification at the Hurricanes' improbable victory over FSU up in Tallahassee that same weekend: pleasantly surprised!
Honestly, as a devout Hurricane fan since I was ten-year old in 1971, attending my first 'Canes game, the infamous "Fifth Down" Tulane game, I ask this question: has anyone ever fallen out of favor quicker at the U-M with coaches and fans, and gone straight to 'goat' status quicker than erstwhile 'Cane QB Kirby Freeman after the FSU victory, wherein he was hailed after being pummeled on his winning TD toss, but then could only muster one completed pass a week later at home in the Orange Bowl against a middling North Carolina State team? I think not!
For my two cents, I still think Freeman can contribute, but my suggestion is that he do so by putting on some weight and trying to channel former Dolphin TE -and Boston U. QB- Jim Jensen, one of Dan Marino's favorite targets for so many years, who as any Dolphin fan can tell you, was always clutch with a capital "C."
See Dave Hyde's 1992 Sun-Sentinel piece on Jensen's indispensable role with the team and why fans embraced him: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/football/pro/dolphins/sfl-dolphinsteamjensen07,0,6981786.story
It may come to pass that Kirby Freeman finds that his emotions work better for him as the recipient of a completed pass, rather than as the man behind center. I hope so.)
I'm still upset with Coach Lynch and IU's offensive coordinator , together, channeling former Dolphin head coach and current University of Pittsburgh head man, Dave Wannstedt, late in the second quarter when trailing 20-14.
Pocketing three timeouts while running two ineffective running plays in a row to end the first half, knowing that YOU have to kick off to Penn State to start the second half?
The rather predictable result of this bad strategy after Penn State's first drive of the second half, suddenly trailing 23-14 -and lost momentum!
It's really not brain surgery.
It reminded me of Wannstedt's infamous clock management skills and overall conservative play-calling, which befell the Dolphins so many times over the years.
In particular, it reminded me of a game at Minnesota in 2000 against a terrific Vikings team just beginning to show their offensive prowess, with Daunte Culpepper, Chris Carter and Randy Moss.
It was the second game of the season and I was temporarily in South Florida for a week, after flying to my dear friend Shannon's wedding near Dallas, where it was only near 110 degrees everyday in the shade, before heading back up to my life in Washington, D.C.
Now any honest and realistic Dolphin fan -not always the majority to be sure- would've told you before the game that IF you could hold the high-powered Vikings to a single field goal in the first half, you'd have taken that in a heartbeat, and taken your chances in the second half.
And that was exactly the situation the Dolphins found themself in, trailing 3-0 with about two minutes to go in the first half.
Close to mid-field right before half-time, Wannstedt pocketed time-outs rather than putting the team in a position where Olindo Mare could at least try a field goal on the last play of the half to tie it, which would surely have given the team a much-needed if only temporary morale boost.
Long story short, Daunte Culpepper, in his second career start, threw for 355 yards in a game the Vikings narrowly won by a margin of 13-7.
It was yet another of a series of never ending missed opportunities I witnessed with the Dolphins, Redskins, Orioles and Hoosiers of that era.
Roughly at the same time as the Penn State loss, I also failed to note the pride I felt in seeing the two lengthy CBS News segments that examined the IU football team's role in the Sideline Response System (SRS), research being done in Bloomington on head injuries and concussions. http://iuhoosiers.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/102307aab.htmlThe official CBS version of this, complete with video, is titled "An Electronic Eye On Hard Knocks, New Helmet Can Detect Concussion By Measuring G-Force — And Alerting Doctors" is well worth seeing.
I first heard about this development in this Ken Kingery story on January 26th, right before the Super Bowl down here between the Colts and the Bears.
"IU’s squad now equipped with helmets that gauge impact"
See this story, with an excellent photo, in M.I.T.'s Technology Review magazine: