This week, an excerpt from Andy’s Sunday column, which you can read in its entirety with a subscription to the Herald-Times or HeraldTimesOnline.com.
Lee Corso sent his first Indiana team to Memorial Stadium in scarlet double-decker London buses — late for kickoff, due to snarled traffic. The players had to scramble down what was then a grassy hillside at the northeast corner of the stadium to get lined up for the referee’s whistle. Having barely avoided a delay-of-game penalty before the game even began, they proceeded to absorb a 28-14 loss to Illinois.
There were 51,433 fans in the Memorial Stadium stands that day, watching an IU team that would finish 2-9 overall and winless in league play.
This year’s Indiana team figures to provide a lot more bang for your entertainment buck, because, while all the bells and whistles AD Fred Glass can add are nice, this might be the first time in a while the product on the field is the biggest and best attraction. No gimmicks required.
People in the stands Thursday saw history made in any number of ways, not just in terms of points scored in the 73-35 victory over Indiana State. It marked the first time ever, for example, an IU team amassed over 300 yards both rushing and passing.
Sure, it was Indiana imposing its will upon an inferior opponent. And one game does not a case make, in terms of gauging just how good this Indiana team will turn out to be. But this team is probably going to score a boatload of points, entertainingly.
That doesn’t guarantee a crowd. Not for IU football. I still haven’t figured out exactly why more people didn’t come out to watch Antwaan Randle El, who was basically worth the price of admission by himself, but it’s obviously not easy to overcome a legacy of losing.