How will former USF assistant Tom Allen fare at Indiana?
Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo doesn't sound particularly optimistic about Tom Allen's chances of keeping Indiana competitive in his first year as the Hoosiers' head coach.
"He has some challenges," DiNardo said.
DiNardo should know; he coached the Hoosiers from 2002-04.
DiNardo said some of the same problems he faced in Bloomington remain, like the support staff and structure. But Allen - whose coaching career began at Tampa's now-defunct Temple Heights Christian School - also has another challenge. The former USF defensive coordinator and plans to continue calling signals on that side of the ball. Few coaches have done that successfully, because it's hard to control the tempo of a game that way.
"That's a tough organizational format," DiNardo said.
It's tough, too, because of the situation Allen faces in the rest of the Big Ten. After a few seasons of struggles, the league is again one of the best in the country. IU's East Division is brutal, with Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State. The Hoosiers' schedule begins with a home game against the second-ranked Buckeyes followed by a trip to Virginia. And in-state rival Purdue seems to be on the rise, thanks to some new, football-only facilities and the somewhat splashy hire of Jeff Brohm.
"I think we're all pulling for him," DiNardo said. "He's a good guy. We want the conference to be as strong as it can be. But the timing's not great."