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Indiana football: Week five mailbag

You ask, we answer

NCAA Football: Indiana State at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

With Indiana set to take on Maryland to fully open Big Ten play (They’re currently 0-1 after a week one loss to Ohio State) we’re bringing back the mailbag format.

We’ll do our best to keep this going throughout the season as things get... interesting.

On confidence heading into the matchup:

Uhhhhh good question.

The only thing I can think of that could fill you with confidence is the almost (should’ve been) home loss to Akron. There’s a way to spin that as fuel for the next game with the team looking to prove that’s not them.

The program is well-aware of the outside noise around it, from the postgame singing of the school song to the visit at Tom Allen’s radio show. That’s about it though.

On performance and the current staff:

A win. That would help.

In seriousness, what needs to happen in this game probably isn’t realistic. I don’t think the offense has what it takes for a massive bounce-back performance, it probably just is what it is at this point.

No amount of adjustments can fix what’s gone wrong here. You’re not suddenly going to get better play-calling in week five out of nowhere. The only other option at play caller would be Anthony Tucker (former offensive coordinator at Utah State) but by all accounts he’s here in Bloomington thanks to a background with Walt Bell.

The defense would need to prove it isn’t the unit that surrendered 400+ yards to Akron as well. Great performances on both sides of the ball would be absolutely necessary.

There’s really just too much, I’m going to be honest.

On cold, hard cash:

This is an interesting question that’ll take a bit longer to answer. Stay tuned.

On the seriousness of it all:

I’m going to be honest here, I think the powers that be have cared and do care about the program a pretty fair bit. You can’t just ignore one of the main sources of revenue for the department.

I think Indiana is here right now due to the wrong decisions more so than care put into the program. The staff was able to put together an NIL package to retain Jaylin Lucas, Allen alluded to it at media days, so it’s not like there’s a dry well.

That being said, Indiana is going to need to do some more spending on assistants in the future than it is now. Walt Bell makes considerably more money than Nick Sheridan did and even then he trails behind the offensive coordinators at Purdue, Maryland, Illinois and Rutgers. Tom Allen’s annual salary is on par with programs at similar levels around the conference.

That assistant pool is not going to cut it moving forward.