Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

'New Era' in Big Ten, Same Old, Same Old for IU, Purdue

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

'New Era' in Big Ten, Same Old, Same Old for IU, Purdue

Article excerpt

Now that the Big Ten's football era of Legends versus Leaders is over, everyone at Indiana University and Purdue can relax. Certainly, if nothing else, the pressure of living up to such high expectations no longer exists, right?

Purdue did a free fall to the Leaders Division cellar in 2013, capping an 0-8 conference record with a 56-36 loss to IU last November. While the Boilermakers salvaged a win in the second game of the season by beating Indiana State 20-14, even that sparked a ton of trashtalk from Bloomington.

After all, IU beat the Sycamores, 73-35, just 10 days earlier.

But that was last season. Those bragging rights no longer pack the same sting.

And now, with the rivals residing in different divisions - Indiana in the East and Purdue in the West - it really is a new era in the Big Ten for both schools.

For one thing, fans of the two programs no longer will have to track the standings each week and fret over which of the two rivals is looking up at the other. Unfortunately, it also means they both could finish the season looking up at the rest of their respective division foes.

Now is not the time to stress over final outcomes, though. It's the talking season in college football, when positive vibes are flowing freely and every team has an unblemished record.

"Really like the direction the team is going," said Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson, whose squad finished last season with a 5-7 record overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten, moving one more step toward respectability entering his fourth season with the Hoosiers. "(We're) really getting ready and prepared to have an outstanding preseason. We'll need one."

Yes, he said "outstanding preseason." But Wilson wasn't the only coach at this week's Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago who stressed the importance of finishing August with confidence and momentum.

Addressing his disastrous 2013 debut, Purdue coach Darrell Hazell also did his best to spin positive energy going forward. …

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