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Indiana Daily Student

OPINION: The emotions of an IU football fan after a 4-0 start

IU football is 4-0 and ranked No. 9 in the country. Sorry, I just feel like I have to keep affirming that or else it will suddenly become untrue.

Even though the Hoosiers are yet to sample failure this year, the sour aftertaste of decades of disappointment still lingers on fan’s tongues. While some are hesitant to embrace IU as a top-10 program, others are doing Simone Biles levels of mental gymnastics to convince themselves the Hoosiers are the real deal.

Here is a smattering of the emotions IU loyalists are processing after four outings with a daunting contest against Ohio State rapidly approaching. 

Just happy to have a season

You guys do recall we’re in the peak of a global pandemic, right? Trust me, if I wanted to feel guiltless about my television viewing habits, I wouldn’t devote my weekends to watching a sport in which life-ruining brain disorders are an assumed risk. Still, this may be crossing a line.

Last week, 15 matchups were either canceled or postponed. It isn’t unrealistic to think there will soon come a Saturday on which more games are canceled than actually played. 

For now, let’s savor the fact that any football is happening whatsoever and head coach Tom Allen and his athletes seem to be staying safe. With Ohio State on the horizon and cases spiking nationwide, neither IU’s undefeated run nor the season as a whole seems destined to last very long.

Still doubtful

Everybody has gotten way ahead of themselves. 

If a certain referee had been paying closer attention on the final play week one against Penn State, this magical campaign would have fallen apart like a card trick at an eighth-grade talent show.

We’ve seen plenty of programs build eye-catching records on lackluster competition, and picking up four wins over opponents of a combined 3-13 is a bigger red flag than the one waving over Memorial Stadium.

Ohio State won the lottery by having its most important ranked matchup of the season come against a team that hasn’t sniffed the top ten since houses were built with lead and asbestos. If the Buckeyes are going for style points to impress the playoff committee, it could be a long afternoon for the Hoosiers.

Cautiously optimistic

I could probably be persuaded this Hoosier squad is the best in school history. That being said, I would love to see it actually beat a competent opponent.

I keep waiting for IU to take down a true goliath and solidify itself in the Big Ten’s upper tier. I thought that would be Penn State or Michigan, but at this point, it looks as if Ohio State and Wisconsin are the only true upset possibilities remaining on the calendar.

The Hoosiers could get flattened by every formidable unit on its schedule and still finish 6-2.

When it comes to sports, your opponents are like a malfunctioning vacuum cleaner — try as you might, you simply can’t control how much it sucks. IU has put away subpar team after subpar team, which is exactly what good teams do. 

Completely sold

The “Penix reach?” More like the “Penix obviously thrusting his arm a yard beyond the goal line.” IU broke Penn State and hasn’t let go of that killer instinct since.

Sure, I haven’t seen junior running back Stevie Scott III do much of anything this year, but from what broadcasters tell me at the start of literally every game, he’s one snap away from returning to freshman form. 

Who cares if the Hoosiers’ rush offense is 12th in the conference? Statistics are just meaningless figures that failed former athletes talk about on their early afternoon ESPN radio show. 

Listen up nerds, the only number that matters is the one in the win column, and IU’s is the highest in the Big Ten East. What more evidence do you need?

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