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Indiana State pregame.

Indiana State Sycamores
2006 record: 1-10
2006 Sagarin: 211
Conference: Gateway
Coach: Lou West (3rd season, 1-21)
Series: IU leads, 2-0.
As this blog enters its first football season, I really haven't decided how to structure game week entries. This week will not be a good test. First, I'm on the road for the next three days, and while I expect to have the opportunity to post, it won't be an ordinary week. Second, I am trying to finish up the 2006 season retrospectives. Obviously, I envisioned those posts as filling up the summer doldrums, not encroaching on the lead-up to the season. At this point, I am doing them for myself as much as anything. I'm refreshing my memory on last season and aggregating that information into a handy blog category. So, I hope you enjoy them, but if not, I'm going to finish them anyway.
In any event, the Hoosiers do have a game this week, against I-AA (nope, Myles, I'm not even going to consider using your stupid new labels) Indiana State of the Gateway conference. As the week goes on, I plan to find out and tell you more about today's ISU Sycamores. For now, here's some history. The Sycamores have been playing football since 1896, and like IU, have lost far more games than they have won (345-443, .440). (As always, much of my historical data comes from College Football Data Warehouse, the best site on the Internet. Here's the ISU page). Like the Hoosiers, the Sycamores haven't had a successful season in a while (last winning season: 1996). ISU's only championship of any sort was a co-championship of the Heartland Collegiate Conference in 1964. As best as I can tell, the Sycamores' only postseason appearances were in 1983 and 1984, when they reached the quarterfinals of the I-AA playoffs in consecutive seasons.
Because the NCAA now allows Division I-A programs to count wins against I-AA teams, ISU has begun playing teams from major conferences with more frequency. The Sycamores played at IU in 2003 and lost 33-3. The only other meeting between the schools was in 1925. IU won, 31-0. Here is how ISU as managed against current members of BCS conferences:
Florida: 0-2 (astoundingly, ISU lost 17-13 at Florida in 1983); (1983, 1988)
Georgia Tech: 0-1 (1987)
Indiana: 0-2 (1925, 2003)
Iowa St.: 0-2 (1986, 1999)
Kansas: 0-2 (1985, 1986)
Kansas St: 0-1 (1991, 1996, 1998) (but only lost by 1 in 1991)
Louisville: 3-5-1 (wins came in 1939, 1942, 1984)
Maryland: 0-1 (1982)
Minnesota: 0-1 (1989, 1993)
Mississippi: 0-1 (1995)
Oklahoma: 0-1 (1999)
Oklahoma St.: 0-1 (1992)
Purdue: 0-2 (1926, 1990, 2006)
Texas Tech: 0-1 (2005)
In sum, other than some wins against Lousville long before the UL became a significant football program, ISU has never defeated a member of a major conference. Given ISU's recent struggles, a loss to ISU would supplant Southern Illinois 2006 as the worst loss in school history. Other notes:
  • Indiana State lost 60-35 at Purdue last season. ISU scored more points only twice all season. Although Purdue ultimately won comfortably, it wasn't a walk: ISU trailed 26-21 at halftime and 33-28 late in the third quarter. The Sycamores managed 387 offensive yards against Purdue.
  • Astoundingly enough, ISU does not seem to have updated the roster on its official site, but the two heroes of the effort against Purdue, quarterback Reilly Murphy and running back Tony West, were juniors and will be back.
  • Tony West, a graduate of Penn High School near Mishawaka, is the son of ISU coach Lou West, who was an assistant at Notre Dame in 1999 and 2000.
  • The Terre Haute Tribune Star would seem to be the main source for hometoown coverage of the Sycamores.