News & Views: Lots of Good News, But a Huge Football Concern, Too
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — It's been a hectic week, so let me throw my two cents in the pot on a few Indiana football topics.
Let's get right at it:
The Tom Allen contract
NEWS: Indiana signs Tom Allen to a new 7-year, $27.3 million contract, locking him up in Bloomington through 2026 at the minimum.
VIEWS: This is great news for everyone involved. When Allen took over as head coach, he vowed to change the culture at Indiana and make the Hoosiers competitive in the Big Ten. He's done that, with this year's 8-4 record a sign that Indiana is heading in the right direction.
I opined Friday about how this long-term contract raises the bar for Allen, and it surely does. What I liked best about this deal is the timing of it. There are 11 days left before the first National Signing Day, and it's critical that the Hoosiers close out this recruiting cycle with a bang, They've had the two best recruiting classes in school history the past two years, but even those classes were just middle of the pack in the Big Ten.
It's great that there's continuity with the head coach now at Indiana. Since Bill Mallory left in 1996, no one else has lasted more than five years in Bloomington. That looks like it will change under Allen, because his next three years are fully guaranteed. Most importantly, he WANTS to be at Indiana. It will be interesting to see how far this program can go.
The concerns over Fresno State
NEWS: Jeff Tedford retires as the head coach at Fresno State, and rumors swirl immediately that Indiana offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer is the top candidate to replace him.
VIEWS: DeBoer has done wonders with Indiana's offense in his first year as coordinator, and people around the country have noticed. His name has come up often with OC openings around the country, and I've argued the past few months that DeBoer wouldn't leave Indiana for just another OC job.
But being a head coach might be another matter, and that's what scares me about the Fresno State opening, because DeBoer just spent two years there and knows Fresno well.
Hopefully, the BAD THINGS about the Fresno State situation will dissuade him from wanting to jump at that opening. Their facilities are a mess, and they've had difficulties raising the money to make improvements. Fresno was just 4-8 this year, and the talent level isn't very good, and might get worse with Tedford not around to close out this early signing period. I've enjoyed him this year in Bloomington, and I hope the Hoosiers can keep him around.
Picking through the transfer portal
NEWS: Graduate transfer Dylan Powell from Stanford has committed to Indiana.
VIEWS: You can never have enough quality offensive linemen, so this is a good get for the Hoosiers, grabbing the 6-foot-3, 285 pound guard/center. He will graduate next month from Stanford, so he will be immediately eligible in the fall and will be able to take part in spring practice.
We learned this year that you can never have too much depth on the offensive line, and with center Hunter Littlejohn and guard Simon Stepaniak graduating, this is a good fit for the Hoosiers.
Powell redshirted his first year at Stanford, but then missed all of this season with an injury. He played 11 games last year and started three. He's hoping to petition the NCAA for a sixth season so he can play two years at Indiana. It's impossible to guess what the NCAA will do with that, because they've been brutally inconsistent with their ruling the past several years. This will be worth watching, as it will of Indiana left tackle Coy Crunk decides to come back for a fifth year. Adding BOTH to the 2020 mix would be huge for the Hoosiers.