I got off the plane late Sunday afternoon at Orlando International Airport expecting to go to my brother’s to watch the Colts/Cardinals game on DVR. De-boarding, I got this text from Flyer sports editor/fellow season ticket-holder/tailgate partner-in-crime Jake Thompson:
“What a disaster,” it said.
With that, I didn’t have to know the exact details of the Colts’ nauseating ineptitude in Arizona. After seeing similarly horrendous outings for most of the last few weeks, I didn’t need to.
Even the most optimistic of Colts fans has to know there’s big trouble. Head coach Chuck Pagano certainly does.
“There’s blood in the water right now,” Pagano said after Sunday’s 29-point trouncing.
The offense, defense and special teams have been equally bad. In a symbiotic relationship, no hand is washing the other. As projected here after the Denver game, injuries are the main culprit. The loss of Reggie Wayne has been catastrophic on multiple levels. The leadership and performance void is glaring, and outside of Andrew Luck’s tirade at halftime against Houston, no one has stepped up to fill it. Truth be told, no one can.
The Colts will make the playoffs, but with the current depleted roster, it’ll probably be a short stay, even in this less-than-impressive AFC.
TIME FOR REAL CHANGE: This week brings state title games in high school football. For the first time, there’ll be six championship contests. While that’s new, the total end result won’t be.
With Carmel and Warren Central in the Class 6A game, the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference will get its 11th big-class title in 13 years. While I have no problem with that, because that’s where the top talent and enrollments are, it’s what’ll happen in the lower classes that I take issue with.
Private schools, which make up a small percentage of Indiana schools, will most likely win at least three of the five remaining classes, four if unbeaten Columbus East is upset by Fort Wayne Dwenger. The time has come to separate schools that are tied to geographic boundaries and those who aren’t. The solution – a private-only tournament, in all sports, with its own classes.
Any of you who are against such a thing, please save the calls and emails, because I’ve heard all the arguments before. The fact is there is not a level playing field, and anyone who thinks otherwise should ask Danville, which has had its season ended by a Catholic school 15 times since 1997, including 12 by Chatard.
In an age in which class separation has altered the face of the IHSAA postseason across most of its sports, this idea isn’t all that radical. Multipliers and “tradition factors” don’t work. This will. It’s time to put the apples with the apples, and oranges with the oranges.
TRUTH TIME FOR BU: In addition to hitting various Disney parks, my week will include Butler’s three games in the Old Spice Classic. If the 4-0 Bulldogs get by 2-2 Washington State on Thanksgiving Day, they’ll meet No. 7 Oklahoma State, which should easily top Purdue. That would provide a true measuring-stick game.
There’s a lot to like about this Butler team and its future, except for one very un-Butler-like stat – their 59-percent free throw percentage. More than anything else, that has to improve if the team is to be successful in its first Big East campaign.
— Brent Glasgow is a sports writer with the Hendricks County Flyer and Westside Flyer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (317) 272-5800, ext. 190. Follow him on Twitter @BGlasgow37.