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BTB Roundtable.

It's been a while, and since I don't have to spend much time breaking down IU's bowl prospects or NCAA Tournament seeding scenarios, here's my contribution. This week, the roundtable is hosted by Nittany Whiteout, who wrote the questions and will be posting a wrap-up later in the week.

1. We're approaching week 9 now, are you pleasantly surprised or already waiting for basketball season?

Heh. Basketball season. I never completely give up on an IU football season, believe it or not. Even a dramatic turnaround wouldn’t be enough to salvage a bowl bid at this point (the trip to Penn State is unwinnable), but with remaining games against Northwestern, Central Michigan, Wisconsin, and at Purdue, IU has a bunch of games that are within the realm of winnability, if the Hoosiers can show even a glimmer of what they had last year. But at this point I’m rooting for improvement. Otherwise, this season is toast.

2. Describe one specific play from this season you would alter for a different outcome if you had the chance to.

IU has been so bad in its losses that it’s hard to target a single play that would have turned a game. Accordingly, I wish Ball State’s Dante Love hadn’t broken his neck in IU’s game against Ball State. In IU’s only reasonably competitive loss, at Minnesota, I would target Kellen Lewis’s fumble deep in Gopher territory and the borderline pass interference call on third and long that extended Minnesota’s game-sealing drive.

3. How could it (#2) possibly impact the way your season is going?

Not very much. IU’s offense has been so inept that I’m not sure the extra chances against Minnesota would have led to anything. Still, 3-4 is much more palatable than 2-5, so if either of those plays had turned that game, I would be able to rationalize for a couple more weeks.

4. Big Ten player you just can't stand, why?

It feels like piling on given the way his season has gone, but I have never bought in to the Curtis Painter hype. Has he ever had a good game against a good team? His position in the Big Ten and Purdue record books is an affront to history.

5. Booing your own team (we've seen quite a lot of this across the Big Ten this season), your feelings on this.

Generally, I don’t approve. Occasionally, as a spontaneous outburst of disapproval over a particularly awful performance by a team that should do better (e.g., Ohio State trailing Ohio at the half), I can live with it. I don’t approve of picking on a clearly overmatched team or turning a particular player into a whipping boy. Perhaps the worst example I have ever seen was in 1992, my freshman year of college. Trent Green, after a strong junior season, struggled as a senior. He was having a particularly rough game against Iowa that year on what happened to be Parents Weekend. At halftime, IU introduced the seniors parents, and a minority, but sizeable enough to be heard, booed his parents. Green, who still is in the NFL 16 years later and is the only legitimate NFL starting QB that IU has ever produced, got the last laugh, but it was a low moment, and illustrates just how petty and wrongheaded booing can be. Green was great as a junior, so unless he suddenly forgot how to play, other factors must have led to his subpar senior season. Yet, the backup QB was the most popular guy on the team that year.