Homecoming week 2009. We open the Big Ten campaign tomorrow against Indiana. We have already equaled our win total from last season by beating up on EMU last saturday. This week we look to take another big step towards bowl eligibility. We have won the last 15 games we have played against them and have not lost a football game to Indiana since 1987 and hold a dominating 50-9 all-time series record against them. Here is what you need to know about our friends from Indiana:
History: The 1816 Indiana state constitution required a "general system of education, ascending in a regular gradation, from township schools to a state university, wherein tuition shall be gratis, and equally open to all." It took a couple of years, but the institution now known as Indiana University was formed in 1820 as the “State Seminary.” Part of the reason for the delay was an ongoing battle between Indiana’s existing land-grant school (Vincennes University) and this new state-controlled public university (Indiana University). This battle raged for many years eventually ending up in the US Supreme Court, where it was decided that the state could not pull the land-grant charter from Vincennes. The state legislature eventually got it’s way in 1889 when it “clarified” the mission of VU vis a vis Indiana's other institutions of higher education by re-chartering VU from a four-year university to a two-year university. Ouch.
They didn’t start putting up any buildings until 1822, the first professor wasn’t hired until 1823, and the first classes weren’t offered until 1824. The first graduates received their degrees in 1830 -- establishing Indiana’s long held tradition of the “six year plan”.
When it opened the State Seminary was an all-male school. In 1828 the school was renamed Indiana College, and then in 1838 it became known as Indiana University. In 1867 iU became one of the first state universities to admit women (Michigan admitted its first woman three years later).
Other notable events in the history of IU: Like many schools of the era, a fire destroyed the main building in 1883 and was rebuilt in another part of town. That same year, they played their first intercollegiate sporting event (baseball). And finally, Indiana’s first president Andrew Wylie actually died while he was in office in 1851 after chopping off his own foot in a wood cutting accident.
Location: Bloomington, Indiana is located in south central Indiana, about 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis. As you would expect, Bloomington is dominated by the university culture. In 1991, Thomas Gaines, a landscape artist, published a book, The Campus As a Work of Art, in which he named the Bloomington campus one of the five most beautiful in America. Most of the campus buildings, built by the WPA during the Great Depression, are made of local Indiana limestone.
The 1979 movie Breaking Away, which won an Academy Award for best screenplay, was filmed on location in Bloomington and the IU campus. The film featured a reenactment of the annual Little 500 bicycle race filmed in the "old" Memorial Stadium on campus, which was demolished shortly after the filming of the movie. The Italian restaurant in the film is now a Thai restaurant (Siam House at 430 E. 4th St). Dave Stoller's house in the film is located at the corner of Lincoln and Dodds. Other scenes were filmed outside the TriDelt house (818 E. 3rd St).
Nickname: They call themselves Hoosiers. Quite simply, it is the official demonym for a resident of the State of Indiana. Although residents of most states typically adopt a derivative of the state name, e.g., Texan or Michiganer, natives of Indiana never use these demonyms. It is important to note, that down the river in St. Louis, the word is used in a derogatory fashion (nicely translated into "white trash").
Before its use in America, Hoosier was used in England to refer to someone who lived in the hills or mountains. In colonial America, the term was widely used to refer to white farmers who did not own slaves or large plantations. In general, these poor subsistence farmers owned small plots in the hills and mountains. By the early 1800s it was widely used in Indiana to refer to poor farmers or ignorant, rustic people in general. As sometimes happens, a nickname that originally had a negative connotation was adopted and used with pride by the bearers of the name. By the time of the Civil War this nickname was firmly established to proudly describe anyone from Indiana.
Mascot: Indiana is one of the few schools in the country that does not have a characterized mascot. Unless you want to count the chair throwing monster in the red sweater, they have never attempted to put a cute costumed farmer or tree on the sidelines to hold the attention of children in the stands. I applaud them for this.
Colors: Officially the Indiana colors are Cream and Crimson. Most of the time it looks to me, they just wear Red and White. I guess given the fact that we claim Maize and Blue, and wear Yellow and Blue I should keep my mouth shut. In 1958 the football team actually played in light blue jerseys. They upset West Virginia 13-12 and decide wear the jerseys at home for the remainder of the season.
Logo: The Indiana logo is a classic Interlocking I and U. The university has used the same logo for a very long time, although the football team had used a block “I” on several different occasions. I searched and could not find any other official historic logos for IU.
Helmets: For a school that has had the same logo since the dawn of time, they sure do change their helmets a lot. Indiana is yet another example of my correlation theory of football helmet designs and program status. Simply put, the more often you change your helmet design the less successful your football is. In the Big Ten you need to look no further than Indiana, Minnesota, and Michigan State for solid evidence. Since 1983 Indiana has made major changes in helmet design no less than six times, including a five year dalliance with black.
Fight Song: The name of their fight song is Indiana, Our Indiana. The lyrics were written by IU band director Russell P. Harker to the tune of "The Viking March”. It was first performed at a 1912 football game against Northwestern, which according to their media guide they lost 6-21. The song has since been played at every Indiana football and basketball game.
Indiana, Our Indiana,
Indiana, we're all for you!
We will fight for the cream and crimson,
For the glory of old IU
Never daunted, we cannot falter
In the battle, we're tried and true
Indiana, Our Indiana,
Indiana, we're all for you!
Academics: According to the 2010 version of the U. S. News Ranking of America's Best Colleges, Indiana is tied for 71st. The other schools at #71 are Virginia Tech, BYU, UC-Santa Cruz and fellow Big Ten schools Iowa and Michigan State. There are over 40,000 students (31,000 undergrads) at IU and they accept about 70% of the applicants. IU was ranked as one of the top five wired universities in America according to Princeton Review and PC Magazine.
The Jacobs School of Music is the largest of its kind in the US and has been ranked #1 in the country tied with Juilliard and Eastman School of Music. Indiana leads the Big Ten public universities in the number of endowed faculty positions, with 333 chairs, professorships, and curators.
Alfred C. Kinsey was an acclaimed zoologist at Indiana University when in 1938 he turned his research interest from gall wasps to human sexuality. The findings of Kinsey and his small team of researchers first appeared in the 1948 publication Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, which became a best-seller after selling 200,000 copies. Today the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction is one of the a leading sources of contemporary human sexual research. The story of Alfred Kinsey was brought to the popular conscience in the 2004 biographical film named Kinsey.
Football program: Indiana isn’t what you would call a football powerhouse. They started playing football in 1884, but they did not win their first game until 1891. They became a member of the Big Ten conference in 1899 and in subsequent 110 years they have won exactly two conference championships (1945 and 1967). They have never had a football coach that has won more Big Ten games than he has lost. On the bright side, the Hoosiers have been invited to nine bowl games, the first being the 1968 Rose Bowl and last being the 2007 Insight Bowl.
The best football coach in the history of the school (in terms of wins) was (Doug and Mike’s dad) Bill Mallory. He finished with a career record of 69-77-3. Current ESPN clown Lee Corso was the head football coach for 10 years, leading them to their first bowl win (1979 Holiday Bowl) and he finished with a .378 winning percentage.
They have a fierce in-state rivalry with Purdue and have competed for the Old Oaken Bucket since 1925. It really isn’t much of a rivalry as Purdue leads the series 68-35-5. They also play Sparty for a silly trophy called the Old Brass Spittoon. MSU leads that series 40–12–1.
They have produced six College Football Hall of Famers and two current well known NFL players: Antwaan Randle El and Trent Green.
Other sports: When most people think about Indiana, the first thing that comes to mind is basketball. The Hoosiers have won five national championships (the last in 1987), which is third most in the NCAA. They’ve made eight Final Fours (7th all time) and have made the tournament 32 times (5th all time). The 1976 Indiana Hoosiers were last college basketball team to go undefeated (32-0), finishing the perfect season by beating Michigan in the Finals. Legendary coach Bobby Knight still casts a shadow over the program even though he was fired nine years ago. They have produced a bunch of NBA stars, including Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas.
But Indiana isn’t just a basketball school. The soccer team has won seven national titles, including the 2004 championship. The swimming and diving team has six national titles and has produced an incredible 79 individual NCAA titles. They were so dominate in the 1970’s that a writer from Sports Illustrated once said “a good case can be made for the 1971 Indiana swimming team being the best college team ever--in any sport." That team was led by Olympic superstar Mark Spitz.
The Hoosiers have never won a women’s NCAA team title.
Famous alums: Indiana has an impressive list of notable non-sports alumni, particularly in the entertainment area. Emmy award winning sports announcers Joe Buck and Dick Enberg, Oscar award winning actor Kevin Klein, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ernie Pyle and TV host Jane Pauley are all Hoosier alums. The Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors spent some time on the Indiana football team before he was asked to leave following a fight in a fraternity house.
Business leaders include Cisco CEO John Chambers, Whirlpool CEO Jeff Fettig, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, sports rating system guru Jeff Sagarin, and outgoing MLBPA head Donald Fehr. Most people have never heard of Scott A. Jones, but he was the guy that invented voicemail.
Jared Fogle, the famous Subway fat guy turned skinny was going to school at Indiana while he lost all that weight. John Thompson worked on a bunch of military weapons and invented the Thompson machine gun. And finally, cult leader and mass murderer Jim Jones went to school there, but did not graduate.
For those of you keeping score, Indiana has produced one astronaut, a Doctor named David Wolf. They don’t have any US presidents, but they have had at least two presidential candidates: Wendell Willkie, Republican in 1940, and Michael Badnarik, Libertarian, 2004.
The Game: Indiana has quietly started 3-0 also, with wins over Eastern Kentucky, Western Michigan, and Akron. They have an experienced defense and a pounding running attack on offense. If former IU star Kellen Lewis had not been kicked off the team this summer, I might be a little more anxious about this game. But, he is not going to be field and we don't have to worry about him running all over the place. Indiana is not terrible, but they are not very good either.
Typically, there is a reason you schedule certain schools for homecoming. Most of the time you schedule a team you know you can beat -- and keep the returning alumni happy. I don't think we have much of a chance of spoiling the fun this week and improving to 4-0. Our offense is going to keep moving the ball into the end zone and our defense is not going to give up as many points as we will score. Look for a big game from Tate to a bunch of different receivers.