Tracy Smith enters his eighth season as head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers. IU went 32-28 this past season, including 14-7 in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers fell 6-5 to Purdue in the Championship Game of the Big Ten Tournament. A native of Kentland, Ind., Smith led Indiana to the 2009 Big Ten tourney title, the first for the program since 1996 and second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.


A 1989 graduate of Miami (Ohio), Smith posted a record of 317-220-1 (.590) as head coach at his alma mater. His RedHawks put together eight consecutive 30-win seasons.


Smith has a keen eye for baseball and a keen ear for music. He will give us his thoughts through the spring on Indiana baseball and on American Idol. Follow Smith on Twitter at @HoosierBaseball.


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Jan. 16, 2013


Disappointing Leadoff Hitter


In my excitement to watch American Idol tonight so I could report back to all the Idol fans in my Journal, I committed an absolute "no-no": I watched it live. I NEVER watch it live. I always TiVo it. My goodness, there are a lot of commercials. While I'm on the subject of commercials, did you see the one tonight where the dad is teaching his son to throw a baseball? Classic! I played that thing back about 10 times, mainly because it is hilarious, but also so I could TiVo-speed myself through the next set of commercials.

Let's get down to it. American Idol Season 12 kick off show can be summed up in one word: disappointing. The first 20 minutes of the show was Nicki and Mariah bickering at each other. I don't know if it was staged or what, but it was getting really old, really fast. I think I am like most people in America who tune in to the show - we want to hear people sing. I hope Idol writers and producers eliminate the cat fighting in future episodes or I fear they will lose viewers.

Diva Fighting aside, there were a couple singing highlights, but not many. My first "goose-bump moment" of the season came with the 21-year-old girl named Christina Isabelle. She was the one who said she was overweight in high school. Did anyone else think she resembled Erin Andrews in the face and hair? I did. She was a fantastic singer. However, it remains to be seen if she possesses the confidence and total package to be THE American Idol, but I liked her.

I loved the story of the young man, Evan, who had cancer and ultimately had his leg amputated. He was not afraid to try and certainly overcame more significant obstacles and fears than a live vocal audition. While I believe the judges 100% got it right when they said he wasn't quite "Idol material", I still loved his attitude and humble reaction to the judges' rejection. He was a far cry from the typical "get the bleepin’ camera out of my face" contestants that make me laugh every year. Do they honestly think we will buy their record or hear them on the radio some day? Not!
My "ironic moment" of the evening came when Keith Urban told the "Turbanator", who I really liked, that he had a soft, airy voice that lacked power. I like some of Keith Urban’s music, but I am not a huge fan of his stuff because I always think his voice is soft, airy and lacks power.

I hate ripping my show, but it was weak. It was stale and predictable as we had our same old cast of characters: the cute, inaudible Asian singer, the untalented Michael Jackson impersonator, and the person who sings on the subway. Maybe I just need to get used to the chemistry of the judges. I don't know, but something was definitely off. Come on American Idol, I know you are better than this. The judges tell contestants all the time, “this is a singing competition.” Well, I couldn’t agree more, so let’s get back to singing!

Oh, I almost forgot: To the guy who said he is the "Biggest Idol fan" alive . . . I say this:"Puh-Leeze." You didn't even know William Hung's rendition of She Bangs was from Season 3!!!


(photos courtesy of IU Media Relations Office)