Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
Last weekend's 55-52 meltdown against Rutgers left Indiana football fans with a case of deja vu. It was a story that all of Hoosier Nation has seen before. One where IU starts out so promising, a 4-0 start, a 52-27 lead, only to be left with only disbelief and disappointment. This may be what Indiana Football is, but why does it have to be like this? It was not always like this, but the constant heartbreak and broken promises has torched a fan base that has grown numb to it all. Indiana is past the point of needing a program changing win. It is long gone. What the Hoosiers need is a program changing season.
This team has five games left to do something special. Five games to change the ending. It may not start this week in East Lansing, where the Hoosiers have not won since 2001, but it could. Heck, the Cubs and Mets, the two franchises who have screamed ineptitude over the last decade, are playing in the NLCS.
Head coach Kevin Wilson said Monday, "To me there was some signs of there's a lot of fight in this team. There's a lot of buy in." He has said something along these lines since training camp and it is now time for this team to show the fans, who have come to ignore these statements, that it is not just coach speak. Fans want to see this fight on the field, they want to see this team play with the anger that they feel after Saturday.
It may take more than a win Saturday to get some of these fans off the ledge. And it should, because the Hoosiers haven't earned the trust of this fan base where one win will win their hearts back. Indiana needs to end the season with six wins and a bowl berth. They cannot let the Rutgers loss define the season or Kevin Wilson's tenure. This team needs to change how the story ends. Change the meaning of 'This is Indiana Football'. If the Hoosiers cannot do this, then the program will be in the familiar position of looking for a new head coach after a lost season that ended at Ross-Ade Stadium.