In a discombobulating year that has turned everything from the world economy to a simple trip to visit your relatives upside down, it’s not particularly important that many college football teams were able to eke out a full season—but it was an impressive feat nonetheless. And no team was more surprising than the Indiana University Hoosiers.
Although the team clearly was on an upward trajectory under fourth-year coach Tom Allen, its ascension to the nation’s top 10 with a 6-1 record in the Big Ten was almost surreal. The good news for IU: The team has booked the Outback Bowl on Jan. 2 with Ole Miss. The bad news: Allen is one of the hottest coaches in the nation and is being pursued by upper-echelon schools with plenty of resources.
This is an unusual position for a program that historically has been the Big Ten’s doormat, at least in part because it hasn’t invested enough in football to stay competitive. In this week’s edition of The IBJ Podcast, host Mason King and longtime IBJ sports reporter Anthony Schoettle discuss IU’s prospects for keeping Allen, factoring in his contract buyout clause, his stated loyalty to the program and IU’s new philosophy on investing in gridiron success. But as Schoettle points out, IU needs Tom Allen right now a lot more than Tom Allen needs IU.
You can read more of Schoettle’s analysis in his story for the Dec. 18 issue of IBJ.
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