It's Hard To Adjust To Being Irrelevant, Part 2

Yesterday, we shared with you some thoughts on the state of Notre Dame football. You know, our non-rival who is no more successful than Purdue over the better part of the past decade. Today, we'll take a look at the IU basketball program. I hadn't been planning to crush them like this, but there has been way too much obnoxiousness thrown our way by some in the IU homerdome. So suck it. You know who you are. The gloves are off.

Creamed Crimson

We could begin our IU evisceration by discussing the absolute joke that Indiana University football is. We could start there and point out that two sub-.500 Purdue teams have now hung 100 points on the Hoosiers over the past two Bucket meetings. And how they actually think this was a step forward with some positives to draw on. Let me make something clear. When you go 1-7 in conference and 4-8 overall and there is anyone who thinks this is a bright season, you're a joke.

No, their football program hasn't been relevant in an even longer time than Notre Dame's. Their basketball program, though, is a once-proud pillar of basketball history. And no, that's not sarcasm. Five national title banners hang in Assembly Hall. The oldest is 70 years old this season. The most recent is 23 years old. That legendary team that Bob Knight took to an undefeated national title? That was in 1976, 34 seasons ago. They used to be a really, really good program.

One clown at another site actually took Purdue fans to task and, among many ill-informed things, said that Purdue's success in Big Ten championships was before the modern era of the NCAA tournament (implying they meant less, I guess), as though the modern format of the NCAA tournament has anything at all to do with success within your own conference. But if we want to use that barometer, one might also point out that if achievements largely accumulated before the NCAA tournament went to its modern format count for less, that eliminates all but one of IU's banners.

Times are a lot different now than they were in the '40s, '50s, '70s, and '80s. For one thing, talented players don't think Indiana and their circus warm-up pants and toilet of a gym are anything to get all gooey about. For another thing, racism is a lot less tolerated than it was back in the good ol' days. Am I right, Cletus?

Okay, I kid a little bit, but they (IU slack-jaws) can pretend all they want that Mike Davis being black had nothing to do with their lack of patience for him, but this is still a guy who (it appears) was a pretty honorable man who took a very pedestrian IU team to the Final Four in 2003 and still got run out of town.

In a true "You reap what you sow" scenario, IU brought in Kelvin Sampson to be the savior of their program (hey, look, ya'll, he's not even white!) and he was going to fix everything. Sure, he'd been a confirmed cheater at Oklahoma, but that was in the past. He's a good man! He's going to do things the right way!

Partway through Sampson's second season at the school, he was fired for cheating again. I state this so that those who read while moving their lips can even see it in print. This is a fact. He was fired. For cheating.

IU homers would tell you -- for a while -- that it was "just a few phone calls," and that it was being blown out of proportion. Then he was canned (costing IU a nice, big buyout) and once Sampson was gone, all problems were blamed on him and it was clear that all would be good again once the stain of Kelvin Sampson had been pushed out the door. (By the way, Coach Sampson's Web site is "currently being redesigned.")

Eventually, Coach Crean was brought in, to save the day once again. Crean is a good guy, it seems, and appears to be able to build a winner (he got guys to come play at Marquette, after all). But the suggestion that IU is anything more than a second-tier Big Ten team right now is silly. Oh, the mouth-breathers down South will still suggest that their program has some kind of cachet (after they look up what "cachet" means in a dictionary -- or have someone who owns a dictionary look it up for them), but that's simply not true. You know why? Because it's not 1975. Bob Knight is long gone, and Hoosiers is an old movie. Many, many, many other programs passed IU by in recent years. And unless Crean can catch lightning in a bottle again and get the next Dwayne Wade, what makes anyone think a return to glory is forthcoming?

To demonstrate their ineptitude, IU went down to Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and promptly got slapped by Ole Miss, BU and George Mason. Way to represent the Big Ten well, boys! This after they won their first two games at home, one of them a squeaker by 8 points over "USC Upstate." Who? Exactly.

Take a look at the IU schedule. Do you see any way they get to fifteen wins this season? I sure don't.

Ah, but you'll keep hearing "Just wait....Crean will have us back at the top soon!" But what is there to make us think this is the case? History? Ancient history? I don't know. One thing I do know is that there are at least seven programs in the Big Ten alone that are in a better situation and have a brighter future than Indiana. Yes, Crean could get them back to the top theoretically, but they're just like everyone else now.

So let them tell you about their banners if they must. Let them live in the 1970s. Let them accuse you of being jealous. Let them make up falsehoods about Purdue's history or IU's honorable nature. And then pity them. Because IU basketball, as they fondly remember it, is long gone.

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