Indiana Retains the Old Oaken Bucket For Another Year


The Indiana Hoosiers are 6-6 and bowl bound after retaining the Old Oaken Bucket for another year. IU throttled the Boilermakers 54-36 in West Lafayette.

Finally. This is what every Hoosier said or thought right after the 54-36 win for the Oaken Bucket. Finally the time came for Kevin Wilson on that cold, damp autumn day in West Lafayette, of all places. It has seemed like forever, the time Wilson and the Hoosiers, especially the senior class, have been waiting for. An Indiana program that hasn’t had postseason action in eight years.

It was about time Kevin Wilson fulfilled his promise he made four years ago to make Indiana a bowl-worthy program. Not only did the Hoosiers beat the Boilermakers for the third straight time – the first time this has happened since 1947 – but they get to do something this program hasn’t been able to do since 2007, and twice since 1993, the Hoosiers are going bowling!

This has been a work in progress ever since Fred Glass signed Wilson to a contract four years ago. Before the coach Wilson era, Indiana couldn’t even breathe the same air as Ohio State or Michigan. The improved recruiting, the ability to keep games competitive against elite football programs. Wilson has 20 wins in his five years in Bloomington, eight of which are against Big Ten opponents. A coach of that record would instantly get fired, but Indiana is not an ordinary football school. After a 6-6 season, Wilson deserves to stay at Indiana and finish rebuilding the Rock.

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Having stability and identity in the program is quintessential — it attracts transfer players, recruits, and an opportunity for television time. Wilson probably has the toughest power five job in the nation. He has to recruit in a state against a school with rich and prestigious football tradition in Notre Dame, and convince other B1G football recruits to give IU, the leader in Division I losses, a look. But each of the past two seasons, the Hoosiers has won a non-conference game against a double-digit win team.

Missouri fell victim to Indiana last year, and this season, Western Kentucky finished 10-2 and might just end up in the top-25 team next week. The chance to grab the big win is there – it just hasn’t quite happened in the conference yet, but it will soon.

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Did I mention that Indiana has now won the Old Oaken Bucket three times in the row for the first time since the late 1940s?

So why make sure Wilson is locked up for the next five or six years? It’s simple, stability and identity. For Glass to blow this up, or let Wilson take another job, wouldn’t make sense. It would set the program back another 13 years. Again, it’s all about stability and identity — and right now Indiana has that.

Finally, the Hoosiers took care of business, they did what they needed to do in a situation where they could have folded against Maryland and Purdue.

The last time I saw IU in a bowl game was in middle school. They have something to build upon in Kevin Wilson. The foundation has been laid. Finally.

Next: IU and Purdue Battle for the Old Oaken Bucket

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