It's mailbag time! I'm sure you all have important questions and we have IMPORTANT ANSWERS.
@crimsonquarry Mexican, Italian or Indian food tonight?— the hefferman (@Tip_Daddy) November 20, 2015
The answer to this question is always Mexican. I guess if you just had Mexican (for, like, lunch) then you could go get some Indian food to switch things up. But the fact you're even considering not eating your weight in tortilla chips BEFORE you consume an entire plate of refried beans and some combination of meat / cheese / starch has me very mad online.
Also, it's Friday, you probably don't have to work tomorrow. Ergo: margs.
@crimsonquarry odds that Howard or Feeney leave early for the draft?— Jason Varey (@jjvarey) November 20, 2015
I think Howard is definitely gone. He was banged up this year and still has put in an incredible season. The injury probably served as a cold reminder of a player's typical shelf life in this game, and there really isn't any way to improve his stock. Teams either like him as a player or they don't, the only thing he could do by returning to school is put more miles on his tires and risk an even worse injury than what he's suffered this season. Given his ability to see lanes, hit them, and generate yards after contact, he's as pro-ready as he's ever going to be.
Feeney, on the other hand, probably comes back. Gives him an opportunity to add strength and bulk to handle the pro game. My analysis is pretty straightforward: Jason Spriggs came back for his senior year despite a stellar Junior campaign. I think offensive lineman stand the most to gain by staying in college and maturing, you always see four-year starters going in the mid rounds and a year or so later they're the key piece to the offensive line that wins the Super Bowl.
@crimsonquarry I'm going to the game this weekend. What are the odds I die of a chaos endured anxiety attack— IUFB_FANS (@IUFB_Fans) November 20, 2015
@crimsonquarry Comment on the parachutes dropped in Assembly Hall last night.— Greg Ingram (@IngramGreg) November 20, 2015
They were there in case Troy Williams decided to get really fancy on a fast break.
@crimsonquarry LOTR or Star Wars— IU Bonko (@ElBonko) November 20, 2015
I ain't no nerd. Star Wars.
@crimsonquarry thanksgiving food power rankings— sad IU football fan (@VT_Ben) November 20, 2015
OH YES THIS IS MY TIME. Also this list is inarguable.
- GRAVY - I'm from Indiana, this is a contractual obligation.
- MASHED POTATOES - Literally any kind. Real. That weird powder from a box. Don't care. Gimme.
- PIE (non-Pumpkin division) - You can't go wrong here. Well, you can, and I'm getting to that later.
- MEAT (Non-Turkey Division) - If your family is brilliant enough to provide a different meat option at Thanksgiving, congratulations. Your family is awesome.
- SWEET POTATOES - it's dessert but you get it during the main course. Whoever decided to do this deserves to be King of the World.
- ALL OF THE VEGETABLES - Green beans, carrots, brussels sprouts, whatever. Just throw them all together. (I'm covering them in gravy anyway)
- STUFFING - Getting kind of overrated these days, but still a fine role player when you manage its minutes.
- TURKEY - You have to do so much dang work to make a turkey even remotely good. I'm gonna be boiling allspice berries and black peppercorns while jamming aromatics into a body cavity thinking "You know what's easier than this and already tastier? Literally anything."
- PUMPKIN PIE - Do not @ me.
- CRANBERRY SAUCE - Grow up.
@crimsonquarry why do people think Yogi is a bad defender— IU Bonko (@ElBonko) November 20, 2015
I do not know how the "Yogi is a bad defender" narrative got started. He's certainly not going to be vying for any Defensive Player of the Year awards but there's a few stops on the train between that and "bad defender." He had a coming out party in his sophomore campaign when he locked down Nik Stauskas in a year when pretty much no one was locking down NIk Stauskas and has shown a knack for denying the catch. His size will always be a limitation but, overall, I think he's a more than adequate defender for his position. That said, playing defense is a team effort at this level, and with Indiana being as bad as they were last season, they'll all have to share the blame for it, fair or not.
We talked about this on our staff a lot and I think the general consensus is that, unless Indiana has a quarterback that can step into Sudfeld's shoes immediately, there will be a backslide. I know it sounds funny to describe the season following this one as a "backslide" given that Indiana could realistically finish at 4-8, but we've seen the Hoosiers without Sudfeld and (likely to depart) Jordan Howard on the field, and it was not pretty. If Indiana can't get / develop a signal-caller to play at Sudfeld's level and the defense continues its run of abysmal play, things could get even uglier next season.
I think Sudfeld is a solid second day guy, maybe I'm overrating him but he checks the boxes of everything you look for in a pro passer. The only thing he's missing is the results, as his record as a starter is going to be, uh ... not good. But any close inspection of his career will show that Suds was rarely the reason Indiana faltered.
@crimsonquarry Is Thomas Bryant better as a freshman than Cody Zeller was as a freshman?— Ben Moir (@hoosierballer) November 20, 2015
This is hard to answer because they're such different prospects. Bryant has shown a lot more polished offensive game as a freshman with a confident, good-looking jumper and an array of post moves. If he can get even better with his vision and passing back out of the post (like he showed against Creighton) he's gonna be tough to handle by anyone. I liked Cody more on defense as a freshman than Bryant, who tends to get lost at times and forget about his guy (but who doesn't on this team AM I RIGHT?). I'll have a better evaluation once we get more of Bryant's first season in the books, but through three games he's shown the makings of an offensive monster, with plenty of talent and size to turn into a great defender as well.
Bottom line: Through three games (which isn't a very big sample), Bryant looks like a bigger offensive threat than Cody, but Zeller was probably the more complete player when he stepped on campus. Maybe.
I don't want to assume a guy was making a dirty play, but I am curious what he was trying to accomplish there. It seemed innocuous when I saw it live, just a guy trying to get out of the way of a swinging person and failing, then someone pointed out that they thought it was dirty, which I could see why on replay. I think you can make a case either way, I'm just glad Troy didn't get hurt.
@crimsonquarry is hot dog a sandwich— Nick Csizmadia (@CheesyCheesy2) November 20, 2015
Without a doubt. I don't know how this is a debate.
@crimsonquarry Should I be tweeting recruits to tell them they made the wrong choice?— IUFB_FANS (@IUFB_Fans) November 20, 2015
Why just tweet? You should look up their address and bang on pots and pans at 3 AM. They have wronged you, personally. Are just gonna sit there and take it?
@crimsonquarry Where would IU rank among the best backcourts in the country?— Ben Moir (@hoosierballer) November 20, 2015
Obviously, I'm an IU guy, so there's going to be some inherent biases. But I'll put it to you like this: I don't now which backcourt I'd take over Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. Both are dynamic scorers, protect the ball, and while Yogi is one of the best distributors in the nation, even JBJ is starting to show off a little passing prowess, particularly last night. I think they complement each other well and represent one of the many reasons pundits like the Hoosiers chances this season.
If I had a good answer to this question, I could probably get onto Kevin Wilson's staff. I think Brian Knorr is a good defensive coordinator, he fielded competitive units at Wake Forest, who is in a similar situation as IU (historically bad team in a Power 5 conference), so I can't explain why we haven't gotten similar results in Bloomington. It's amazing how low the bar for this defense is; I'm not so sure they even have to be mediocre. Below-average would probably be enough to propel them to 7-8 wins with regularity, but unfortunately, they've been closer to abysmal.
I think it comes down to recruiting and developing depth. The Hoosiers have a handful of decent players on the defensive side of the ball, particularly in the front seven, but just not enough talent overall. Perhaps we see a big jump in year 3 of Knorr at the helm (assuming he's given the opportunity), which would give him enough time to get the right guys in the right places after implementing the 3-4 last season.
@crimsonquarry final score of Iowa/Purdue tomorrow?— shane. (@realshanecozz) November 20, 2015
Give me the Hawkeyes over Purdue, let's say ... uh ... 9000 - 0.
So glad this question got asked. ESPN actually projected the MOST LIT bowl game of all time earlier this week.
Imagine that game! There'd be 150 total points in THE FIRST HALF. You think the grass in Santa Clara is bad now? Wait until these teams run their three hour track meet across it. They'll be playing on sand by the 4th quarter and still hitting 80 yard bombs to wide open guys. I hope it goes to thirty overtimes, and the NCAA just starts inventing new rules with each subsequent possession just to try and get someone to not score a touchdown, even if by accident.
That game would be cocaine dissolved into a Monster drink and fired into the sun via trebuchet. I would love each and every minute of that game as if it were my own child. I have to go take some Xanax and lie down, just thinking about the game makes my heart flutter dangerously close to what a doctor would call "exploding levels."
I have nothing else for you people.