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Roundtable: Who are IU’s actual rivals?

Our staff dives into Kentucky and a few other noteworthy Hoosier adversaries

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Auston Matricardi: Alright boys here’s the subject matter:

I’d like to start by saying if you think IU-Purdue is even close to UC-XU, you’re either an IU fan. a Purdue fan, a dork, or some combination of the above.

Andy Wittry: At least two of those are redundant,,, folks!

AM: UC-XU should be played in a max security prison because they get the hell after it. They go for blood every damn time.

Mike Miller: As a rivalry should be

*A real rivalry

AM: UC-XU is a steel cage match, meanwhile IU-Purdue is dinner at your in-laws. Just slightly contentious and you can’t wait to go home after.

AW: *Court-ordered dinner at your in-laws.

**TV court, like Judge Judy, ordered dinner (leftovers from Red Lobster) at your in-laws.

MM: In the words of the late Grantland dot com, UC-XU is two hours of butt-clenching intensity. IU-PU is _________.

AW: Two hours of butt.

AM: Trying to imagine the blarge happening without Cincinnati being burned down and I just can’t see it.

AW: Last decade, the Hamilton County Prosecutor had to announce he wasn’t going to file charges after a Cincinnati-Xavier game. Meanwhile these are the Big Ten rules regarding trash talk when Purdue plays a road game.

AM: Imagine the columns that would be written if Archie Miller literally tried to fight a player on the other team a la Mick Cronin. Speaking of which, Crick Monin.

MM: I’m imagining a scene where Matt Painter and Archie Miller actually chuck those knucks.

AM: That might be the saddest event in the history of American sports.

AW: We’d never get this moment or this tweet from IU-Purdue

AM: Imagine being the social media person to pitch that tweet and actually get the green light. That’d have to be the most powerful feeling.

AW: That’s the thing, that rivalry inspires real feelings.

AM: Other than existential dread and nausea, that is.

AW: Do Purdue fans feel anything when they chant “IU sucks” against Eastern Michigan? Because we know IU fans sure as hell don’t. There’s something to be said about growing up in Indiana and having some of your best friends from high school go to Purdue, but then you just see them when they come to Little 5 every year.

AM: Speaking of rivalries that inspire real feelings...

MM: Yeah IU-PU is cute, but it’s not a good rivalry. So it begs the question: who are IU’s actual rivals?

AM: There’s a very easy answer here.

AW: A second-half lead in football.


AM: Well yes, but I also want to put John Calipari in a trash can. Mark Stoops too for that matter. BRING BACK THE BOURBON BARREL BABY!!!

MM: Quick aside re: Kentucky… someone mentioned this to me once and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it: every state hates/thinks less of the state below it. Think about it!

AW: Woah, I’m going to need to take a walk after that one.

AM: Well Florida is at the bottom so that makes sense. And Texas has (checks notes) Mexico.

AW: Let’s not get started on florida’s thoughts on the land below it.

MM: Folks

AM: Andy, hello.

AW: Speaking of Kentucky, IU is 17-16 all-time against Kentucky in football. that checks all the boxes:

-Competitive series

-Started a long time ago

-Stopped randomly, probably for a stupid, dumb, terrible reason

AM: Also, IU-UK is awesome in more or less every single sport. The baseball and men’s soccer rivalries are so much fun.

AW: I feel like there’s a pretty strong case there, not even including [gestures wildly towards Christian Watford’s ESPY].

AM: Yeah Kentucky is the easy answer. Let’s pay our respects to the old site management by mentioning that IU-Illinois is better than IU-Purdue.

AW: When I say Eric Gordon, you say Illinois’ baseline out-of-bounds game-winner in 2013. Now both sides are good and angry.

MM: Then all we got were those classic Tom Crean-John Groce matchups. “Buddy, did you say Brad Underwood vs. Archie Miller? I’M ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT.”

AM: Bad Underwood, thnx.

MM: The end of the Kentucky series feels like it’s completely John Calipari’s fault, objectively speaking. But I’m disappointed that IU didn’t continue some of its other budding rivalries, like the one that was surely taking shape with the National Guard in 1909. The National Guard has a 1-0 series lead over IU after toppling the Hoosiers, 24-21, in Bloomington that year. Some guardsman named “McCullough” fouled out of the dang game, according to the Indianapolis News, but he refused to leave! He kept playing, taking it to the Hoosiers. You gotta think IU would like another crack.

AW: IU is 4-20 (and 1) against Chicago and that feels like a helluva rivalry.

AM: I can’t stress this enough — replace rutger with UChicago.

MM: Hell, I’d settle for DePaul. IU leads the series 14-8 all-time in basketball, but it’s a 5-5 split over the last 10 meetings. (They haven’t played since 1996, but the road team won both games of a home-and-home in 95-96.

AM: DePaul should be right in Archie’s non-con scheduling wheelhouse since they’re notably Not Good.

MM: Sometimes I wonder if Crean ever tried to schedule DePauw.

AM: (fires up the public records request machine)

MM: Speaking of in-state, need more games against the Terre Haute Trees. IU and Indiana State have each won five apiece in the 10 games played since 1924.

AM: Imagine voluntarily going to Terre Haute. I could never.

AW: Buddy, you’d have to drag me there kicking and screaming. Which probably happens a lot considering there’s a federal correctional institution there.

AM: Folks

MM: Is there any other school or entity that we’re forgetting?

AM: Michigan State. Though the way the shooty hoops boys took care of Sparty last year it wasn’t much of a rivalry.

MM: Definitely not a basketball rivalry. Too one-sided in recent years. But IU is about to supplant Sparty as the borderline third-best football team in the East.

AW: I think the state excise police would fall under entity, but besides that, I think that’s about it.

AM: The Spittoon game is pretty fun.

AW: The 17 years pre-Dantonio (seems like a cherry-picked stat but talking 1990 through the year before he was hired), Michigan State won eight or more games just three times and more than eight games once. Saban won 10 games and then got the hell out of there. not sure there’s really anything institutional there that’s propping them up as a football program.

AM: I’m going to show some self-restraint here.

MM: The only other rivalry I can think of is This Blog vs. Smokey the dog.

AM: Smokey is a war criminal.