Tom Allen was fired up.
About the final College Football Playoff rankings. About the New Year’s Six snub. About the fall to the Outback Bowl. About a lot of things related to Indiana’s place in the college football orbit.
In his Sunday evening Zoom meeting with reporters, Allen said a lot while saying a little.
- On the College Football Playoff selection committee: “There will be a time and place to address that. I don’t think this is the time or the place.”
- On using Sunday’s series of snubs to motivate the Hoosiers for the bowl game: “I think you know me well enough, and I think this fan base knows me well enough, and I think this program knows me well enough that this football team will be ready when we take the field on January 2 at 12:30 in Tampa, Florida. Period.”
- On what he would say to Gary Barta, given the opportunity: “This would not be a good time. So. This would not be a good time. That’s for a later time.”
- On whether it was satisfactorily explained why Northwestern received the Citrus Bowl bid: “It was explained to me, but not necessarily to my satisfaction.”
Two weeks ago, on the day that the Big Ten reversed the six-game minimum rule, Allen shared a glimpse at his frustrations with the CFP ranking process while stumping for his team on his weekly radio show. He may not want to dive too much deeper right now, but we may not have to wait too long for more on this topic. After each season, Allen typically sits down for one-on-one conversations with local reporters, and in my experience, he’s always been candid, open, honest, and reflective in that setting. And with IU set for a season-opening matchup with CFP chairman Gary Barta’s Iowa program next season, you can bet Allen will be offered plenty of opportunities to further address the New Year’s Six snub.
In the meantime, Allen’s objective is to channel the program-wide dissatisfaction in Bloomington into something that can be used on the field against Ole Miss. That’s a process Allen said he kickstarted shortly after IU learned its fate on Sunday afternoon.
“The reality is we can’t control some of these things, and I’m always going to do things the right way,” Allen said. “I’m going to show them how you respond in this kind of situation. You respond in a way that reflects the love you have for the men in this room that represent our team. That’s how you respond. It’s never out of emotion to somebody else that you can’t control. It’s about the guys on this football team who you play for, who you love and who you truly care about. We get a chance to be together here and create some awesome memories as a football team in Tampa, Fla. That’s what I’m gonna focus on. That’s where we’re at.”