Tracy Smith is in 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.


The Hoosiers went 3-0 this past weekend at Baseball at the Beach. IU defeated West Virginia, Coastal Carolina and UMBC to improve to 6-2.


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March 7, 2013


One of These Things Doesn't Belong


There's a lot choices for TV viewers these days. Primetime network shows like American Idol must compete with a wide array of shows and sports on the endless cable channels available. Also in the mix, you've got whole seasons of shows packaged on DVD and available on subscription services. I know I'm a little late to the game, but my current TV show obsession is the backlog of Breaking Bad seasons. Our Hoosier baseball team has already spent a lot of time on the road this year, and that's afforded me the opportunity to log a lot of viewings of past Breaking Bad episodes - this show really is as incredible as I'd been previously told by folks already tuned in to it. But, Idol I haven't forgotten about ya.


This week American Idol featured one night of the final 10 girls, one night of the final 10 boys, and then one night of fan voting results to cut the field in half, sending 10 finalists back to Hollywood.


Trimming the field by half is like one round of the NCAA basketball tourney -- I can't wait to see the bracket and for the hoops madness to begin in a few weeks. 


I'll start with the girls. For me, and likely for a lot of fans, the Sesame Street song "One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn't belong........" kept running through my head. Zonette got the girls’ night started with a painfully memorable performance -- a performance that Randy called a "mess." With all due respect Randy, I think the expression you were going for was "...a HOT mess!" Fortunately, the remaining nine girl contestants ranged from good to fantastic. Particularly noteworthy were the beautiful vocal performances of Amber and Candace. Also, the girl who played piano

(Angie) is an incredible talent. It will be difficult for voters to choose their top five out of these nine; but, there is ample talent there to give us five quality entrants into the show's 10 last spots.


Random Observation: For a few of the girl performers, if they don't win American Idol there is a career waiting with the Radio Music City Rockettes.


Now, on to the guys. The guys seemed to follow the girls’ formula -- nine fairly decent performances and one that clearly wasn't up to par. They say that Rock 'n Roll will never die; however, by the time we made it to the last screeching notes of Charlie's performance, Rock 'n Roll was on life support. I wasn't blown away by any of the other male performers and as a group they reaffirm my thought that the American Idol season 12 winner will come from the girls’ pool. I did like the unique sound and delivery of Burnell and hope that he survives the vote into the final 10 -- despite the fact that he wore his ball cap backwards.


Random observation:  If Ryan Seacrest were a ball player, he'd be a second baseman.


The Hoosier baseball team road show continues this weekend with a three-game series in Gainesville, Fla. vs. the University of Florida Gators.


It will be a big challenge for our team; but, it's a challenge and a trip south that we're looking forward to -- especially as I look outside and see snow on the ground here in Bloomington.   


Speaking of music, Indiana, and Gainesville, one of Gainesville's greatest native sons, Tom Petty, gave a nice "shout out" to the Hoosier state in song - or at least a girl from the Hoosier state anyway.  I'm sure all the folks down in Gator country will be just as hospitable to us this weekend.


(photos courtesy of IU Media Relations Office)