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Welcome back, Gerry. Central Michigan 37, Indiana 34.

Really, that's not fair. Gerry DiNardo never lost to a MAC school. Neither did Terry Hoeppner, Cam Cameron, Bill Mallory, or Sam Wyche. Bill Lynch, who honed the craft while at Ball State, is now 0-2 against the MAC as IU's head coach, and this latest lost is among the most embarrassing in school history, certainly the most embarrassing since IU blew a big lead and lost to Southern Illinois in 2006 (incidentally, Lynch was the acting head coach for that game). The sub-25,000 crowd was the worst since the DiNardo era.

The loss in itself, while disappointing, isn't the embarrassing part. Upsets happen, and Central Michigan is one of the best teams in the MAC this year. Better Big Ten teams have lost to worse Big Ten teams. The embarrassing part is that CMU won without even giving its best shot. The Chippewas' star quarterback, Dan LeFevour, was apparently available, if hobbled by ankle injuries. CMU elected to hold him back and started backup Brian Brunner, who promptly passed for a school record 485 yards. Four hundred eighty five yards to a backup MAC quarterback. Pathetic. Here are the stats. The overall numbers are fairly even: CMU out-gained IU 522-485. Still, IU's offense bogged down when it counted. IU gained only 27 yards in the fourth quarter.

Finally, while it's hard to blame Lynch for this one, the sudden demise of Austin Starr's kicking ability is truly stunning. He missed a 31 yard field goal attempt and shanked an extra point, literally the difference in the game. The key sequence was when IU led 28-21 midway through the third quarter. IU intercepted Brunner and apparently tied the game with a touchdown pass that (correctly) was overturned by replay. That drive ended with the aforementioned missed field goal and CMU tied the game before the end of the quarter.

IU now stands at 3-6 with three games remaining. The outlook isn't good. Wisconsin has a terrible record in conference (1-5) but has been competitive in 3 of its 5 losses. In addition to IU, the Badgers play home games against Minnesota and Cal Poly, so the Badgers are very much in the bowl hunt and will be motivated to play. The Penn State game will be unfathomably ugly. Purdue, while mostly terrible, has shown some signs of life in games against Oregon and Michigan. We will be decided underdogs in all remaining games. If things go to form, IU will finish 3-9 against a really weak schedule. This is an inexcusably awful outcome considering what IU accomplished last year and should be grounds for a tough evaluation of the football staff. fortunately for the future employment of that staff, IU has a lame duck athletic director and a new one who will start on Jaunary 1. This season has been sufficiently embarrassing that IU should consider moving Fred Glass's start date forward. To today.