Thinking of leaving this up as a running blog, assuming there will be more coaching changes to come this offseason.
Less than 24 hours after yet another miserable effort from the 2021 Indiana football team, Tom Allen announced that he was taking a pay-cut and firing offensive coordinator Nick Sheridan. Probably the best or most significant part about this is the apparent urgency on Allen’s part, since there was some concern that he could be reluctant to fire a good friend.
The offense this season finished second to last in the Big Ten in points per game, scoring fewer than ten points on six separate occasions, including being shut out by Penn State. A lot of this falls on the offensive line, so Hiller should be gone soon as well. I would expect Indiana to be involved with any and all offensive linemen who enter the portal this offseason.
The defense started to look a little suspect there towards the end of the season, but they were, like the offense, significantly hampered by injuries. Giving up 38 points to Rutgers was particularly alarming - Indiana was the only FBS team outside of Temple (3-9, 9th in American Athletic Conference) to allow more than 20 points against the Scarlet Knights.
The way the entire team appeared to have quit towards the end of the season can make it hard to know how harshly to judge some of those defensive performances, especially when the offense actively worked against them so often. Like in that Rutgers game, when Donaven McCulley fumbled on the first play from scrimmage.
The lack of fight in the latter half of the season does raise concerns about Tom Allen’s ability to keep a team together through adversity. He probably has enough good will built up from 2019-2020 to be safe with Scott Dolson, who is only in his second full football season as athletic director. Still, Allen will need to address this in some capacity, maybe starting with abandoning or somehow reclaiming #LEO, which has become low hanging fruit for cruel people online who feel the need to make a tortured fanbase have an even worse time on twitter dot com.