Alright, let’s get the first point out of the way.
If Indiana is indeed asking Louisville to cancel the planned 3-game football series set to begin this fall, as WDRB’s Rick Bozich is reporting, it’s a really bad look for the program.
Jeff Brohm was nigh unstoppable in the Old Oaken Bucket series with Purdue when he was in West Lafayette, so it’s understandable to think this would mean more about his hiring at Louisville. Louisville fans will say Indiana is running scared, and they won’t be entirely wrong about that.
Now to the second point: who cares.
This is Indiana football. It’s not Michigan or Penn State looking for a lighter schedule to preserve a College Football Playoff berth, it’s Indiana. Winners of all of one Big Ten conference game in the past two seasons.
The program is still trying to build itself. Say what you will about what that means entering year seven of the Tom Allen era, but that’s where the Hoosiers have found themselves. It’s going to have to build, with Allen in the near future or without him after. And you can’t do that with Power Five teams like Louisville on the nonconference schedule.
Why schedule a likely loss or roll of the dice when you can find a Group of Five/FCS program that’ll help get you to six wins? It just doesn’t make sense for the stage that Indiana is in as a program.
This probably won’t help next season. As Bozich reported, it’s likely too late to do away with the game at Lucas Oil Stadium this fall. Cancelling the next two games, which are set to be played at each campus, would be mutually beneficial.
Indiana gets to find a weaker opponent to try and get to bowl eligibility. Louisville gets $2 million and another home game in 2025, and who knows what Brohm will have cooking by then. Either way, it’s money in Louisville’s pocket.
But you wanted to go to Louisville? Or Cards fans wanted to go to Bloomington? That’s a short trip and you can probably put something together. I’d definitely enjoy a trip to Louisville, but I’d imagine Indiana fans would enjoy saving that money if a bowl berth is on the table.
It’s the right move, no matter how bad it may sound.