Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Bad Old Days Are Here Again; Boilers Relinquish Bucket

Congrats, you just beat a horrible Purdue team. Party like it's 1996!

The Boilermaker football team is nothing if not creative. Week after week, this team finds really creative ways to lose ballgames.

Start the season looking kind of flat, yet win a few games... Yay.

Then lose to a MAC team. At home. Boo.

Start the Big Ten season 2-0. Yay.

Get lambasted by OSU. Boo.

Expect to get railroaded by Wisconsin, but lead them at the half! Yay!

Get torched in the second half. Boo.

Feel like the season is over... but then come ready to play against 9-1 MSU and look great for three quarters. Yay!

Fold in the fourth quarter. Boo.

And then there was today's 34-31 loss in OT. "Boo" doesn't quite do it.

I'm getting tired of coming up with new ways to describe Purdue's football failures. IU is a terrible, terrible football program. Not just a bad team -- a bad program. And if I just read that sentence and liked IU, I might say, "Well, then what does that make Purdue?"

Indeed, a good question. Purdue just lost to a horrendously bad football program. So what does that make Purdue?

You can stop now with all the "if only" talk. There were injuries, yes, I get that. But how many games do the players and coaches need to get the team ready to beat IU at home? Again, I don't want to hear blame on the injuries. Rob Henry is a Division I football player. So were all the guys out there. Purdue wasn't starting walk-ons and volunteers. Other teams had injuries, too. You move forward as a unit.

Another thing this does is eliminate any of the consternation over missing a bowl game because of the loss to Toledo. 4-8 isn't even close to a bowl game, Toledo or not. In fact, losing to Toledo and IU in the same season should make you ineligible for a bowl game even if you finish 10-2.

I feel terrible for guys like Dan Dierking and Ryan Kerrigan. Seniors who played their asses off for this program but finish with three straight losing seasons. These guys (and others) deserve better.

Another thing I keep seeing is a stream of complaints about the officiating. Let's just knock that off. The officials did not give IU this game. IU beat Purdue, plain and simple. Yeah, you could maybe argue about some of those pass interference calls, but I think only one was really a bad call. The others were legit pass interference. You can't tangle the receiver up or grab him before the ball is there. Simple as that. And again, the refs didn't give this to IU. Let's not forget they threw an IU player out fo the game for a scuffle. I don't care if you get bad calls against you -- you need to be able to beat IU if you're going to be even a marginal program. Purdue is not that right now.

For a change, I didn't think the coaching was a huge problem today. Play-calling seemed okay (not great, but okay), but the problem seemed to be execution. Maybe it was preparation. Maybe it was -- and this is hard to believe -- overconfidence. Whatever it was, Purdue's defense gave up 34 to IU. And Purdue's offense only manage 31 against a truly terrible defense. I blame everyone.

Those of you crusading for Hope to be fired, you might have more traction now with the loss to the Hoosiers, but I still don't think you should expect anything to change. He'll get next year to prove himself, at the very least.

As of now, when we think of Purdue football, we get to think of this image for the next 9+ months.

This should make you very angry.


rhiles2760 said...

You mention that coaching wasn't the problem today. However, you also mention that preparation may have been a problem. If preparation was the problem today, then that is a coaching problem, because that is the main job of a coach is to prepare his team to win the game.

COD said...

Toledo is 8-4, and I assume they will go bowling somewhere? We should still never lose to a MAC team though.

The OX said... to go halfsies with me on He'll get a bye this year with injuries, but I think we've seen enough inconsistency and lack of preparation out of this coaching staff to say that Danny Hope really is not a quality D1 coach. Losing to a team at home that has a 12 game conference losing streak is just beyond unacceptable.

Benjamin said...

Whatever happens with Hope, I HOPE Purdue pours a ton of the money reserved for the football program into upping Painter's contract and shoring up any facilities relating to the b-ball program....

I know we have some renovations soon to be completed, but let's just admit the smart strategic move for Purdue athletics in general would be a concerted effort to become a basketball school with no questions about it...

IceT said...

Just when you thought things couldn't get worse for this program...

What an embarrassing and terrible way to finish the season. This football TEAM (coaches and players alike) has been thoroughly nauseating to watch.

If we thought Ross-Ade looked empty this year, I can only imagine how vacant it will be next year. I'll give Hope one more year (only on principle, logic be damned). Nothing short of 8 wins next year will be acceptable. Thank God it's over

Shaun Phillips said...

Those who want to give Hope a pass because of injuries or any other reason are missing the boat here. It's very simple: watch the games and ask yourself if you're watching a well-coached football team. It's not in the stats, it's not in the recruiting ratings, it's not in the injury report: it's in the eyes. Just as anyone who knows anything about basketball can see that Matt Painter trots out an extremely well-coached basketball team each night, anyone who knows anything about football can see that Danny Hope trots out a team that is not well-coached.

Hope's teams are unprepared. Hope's teams are lost when time-management is a concern. Hope's teams are continuously up against the play-clock because the plays don't come in on time or players aren't lined up correctly. Hope's defenses don't know their assignments. Hope's offensive lineman under-perform. Hope's quarterbacks don't know how to read a defense. Hope doesn't know who his punter is. Hope punts from the opponent's 32 on 4th and short with possibly the biggest leg in the country for his kicker. Hope's special teams look like the special olympics.

It's a shame because he has brought in some talent. But all the talent in the world doesn't mean anything if you don't coach it up.

Watching Hope over these last two years, one thing stands out above all else: dude is really stupid. Stupid people shouldn't be coaching a Division I football program. They're position coaches.

dozer8589 said...

"play calling seemed okay"?!

You mean, "three straight run plays after returning a punt to the opponent's 25-or-so okay"? Same calls as MSU, same result.

At the very least, Nord and Hagen need to go.

Ross-Ade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ross-Ade said...

I read this blog, and other Purdue based media on a regular basis, but have never commented on any of them until now. I am a lifelong Purdue fan. I grew up in a Purdue house and have two Purdue degrees (BS ’01) and MS (’06).

Today, I had the great fortune (or misfortune) of sitting in the 11th row on the 40 yard line directly behind the Purdue offensive bench. Great seats, I haven’t had any that good since the magical 2000 season when I was a student. For most of the first 3 ½ quarters I sat calmly discussing the ebb and flow of the game with my Dad. Both of us enjoyed watching the coaching staff interact with the players, an element not available from row 73. I gave Hope the benefit of the doubt all of last season and this season until the Illinois game. I wanted to give it to him for a minimum of 4 years. However, I went to Illinois and to hear Hope admit on the radio that basically he and the staff had no game plan if Henry couldn’t go made me wonder whether he was the right person for the job. Today made me sure that he is not. Here’s what I saw that led me to this conclusion.

The only coaching that Hope did during the course of the game was to walk up and down the sideline once before the kickoff of each half and yell indiscriminately at the team. As best I could tell Hope had zero personal interaction with Nord the entire game. When the offense comes off the field Nord pulls Henry aside and coaches him. I like this. However, while Nord works with Henry the O line typically sits with only a token comment from the line coach. No one appears to talk to the WR’s, TE’s or RB’s on a consistent basis. Nord might wander by for a few seconds when he’s done with Henry, but that’s it. I saw Ken Plue go on a profanity laced tirade to the O-line, while coaches watched from a distance. I loved the passion, I hated the fact it was not channeled in a proper format. I saw players having more fun during shout than any phase of the game. I was thrilled with the enthusiasm, but hated the fact it should a complete lack of discipline. Why are some players in the huddle and others dancing? I saw no player get taken out of the game and corrected, even though Purdue had over 100 penalty yards. I saw players who wanted to win and have someone bottle their enthusiasm. Perhaps most importantly I saw a head coach with no emotion and an absent stare.

I made the comment to my Dad on the way to the game that last week’s loss was not caused by injuries; it was caused by poor coaching. I said those who used injuries as an excuse were simply making an excuse and ignoring the facts. I agree with that statement even more after the game. Yes, I will concede that perhaps the Toledo loss was due to injuries. However, the Notre Dame loss was with a full strength team (minus Bolden). Additionally, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, and the IU game were winnable with the talent available. Yet, all of those games were lost due to coaching. I am more convinced of that today than I was at any time this season.

I love Purdue and I will support them no matter who the coach is next fall, though I really hope somehow someway it can be Kevin Sumlin.

Handel said...

and it continues with the bball team.... just purge this day seriously

Michael R. said...

Was going to comment what Handel said, I think this may go down as the worst day in Purdue sports history, double losses on winnable games. Without the special teams the IU game could of been much worse, it was a disappointing offensive and defensive effort on the field. Purdue should of lost this game by 10 or more.

boilerdowd said...

Michael- this is no where near the worst day in Purdue sports history. Hell, it might not the be worst day in Purdue sports this calendar year, in my opinion.

But it stinks, no doubt.

Michael R. said...

Boilerdowd- I'll give you the Hummel acl tear at the Minn game...then again at the Minn Football game. Player injuries aside, how could you expect two games that should of been won by double digits come to loses, other than Ross-Aid said or to what the post game show caller said that conditioning is in question as they seem not to play after 1/2 time.

Ben said...

Regarding what Shaun Phillips said-

Yes. I agree.

And position coaches- they are a cast of thousands. Head coaches are not.

dozer8589 said...

The SEVEN and five Hurricanes bagged their coach today, after a loss to an inferior team.

There is talk of the bowl-eligible Wolverines buying out Dick Rod's contract.

In two seasons, Hope is 9-15.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

jfiandt said...

I have been witholding my opinion of Hope until after next season concludes and I still reserve that right.

I have sifted through the records/stats he exhibited while HC @ EKU and saw a trend of a flat non-conference performance and a strong conference finish during his tenure. That trend fit with last year and was bucked this year. I spoke with several EKU die-hards and all came away with a glowing review of Hope both as a coach and a person. Patience was stressed. Despite several inquiries to the contrary, they all stated he has a plan and is following it, even when he appears to be off-base. I will trust in that at this time, but I find it harder after each successive week.

The injuries do hurt us, both figuratively and literally, and DOES give us opportunity to instill depth when the healthy bodies come back. However, that's putting alot on guys coming back from serious injuries. I have a hard time believing this team will be a miraculous 8-4 or 7-5 team next season with the schedule we have. If they are; all the better. If not, it brings into question just how off a hire Danny Hope may have been for Purdue.

Our O-line will be back. Henry, when healthy, is lethal and will most certainly push Marve for playing time. Bolden will be back, but his reps will most likely be limited. ATM has been a bust thus far; how does he respond? OJ Ross, Edison, and Bush can be very good, but none are blocking recievers and none seem too heady out there. TE will be a work-in-progress with Adams and Lindsay gone. Who will step up?

Defensively, this team looks good on paper, but if we can't manufacture a pass rush against IU, that does not bode well. Gooden is nursing various injuries, Maci has glimmers of being good, Gaston is solid, Short had a down year, Taylor is starting to come on a little after the injury bug, Pamphile is on the mend, Isaac will be a stud, and Higgs may pull an Avril and do double duty as both LB and situational rush end.

Linebackers will be solid with Higgs, Beckford, Lucas, and Gilliam, but who steps up after those guys? Secondary will be strong with Charlot, Johnson, Allen, and Aristide. Thomas has also stepped up a bit.

As for the staff, look for Landholm to be either moved to LB and Hagen gone, or both removed. Gibboney will be seen exiting stage right. Nord will remain. I think he was severely hamstrung with his crew being dismantled. He has prepped several good QB's in his time. He needs a shot at getting some guys ready throughout the year.

I think we have 1 year to see what this team is comprised of. Burke is not one for the quick hire and fire and sticks to a contract of his own design barring any catastrophic off-field issues. If Hope's squad comes out next year and goes flat again, Burke will see that. He's no dummy; despite some of our more flagrantly-opinionated "experts" who like to post around this fine establishment. He knows loyalty must be shown with a good scorecard in place, or else NO ONE will want to enter their name into the hat. Burke's move makes sense in hindsight, but the results have been hit-and-miss. Hope's a Purdue guy, he's a solid recruiter, he has HC experience, he got glowing reviews from former colleagues and players, and he interviewed well. Rest-assured, Burke will wipe the egg off his face if it comes to that. However, let's do as we have been and keep rooting for this team. They're our guys and we are with them; thick or thin.



The Man said...

1 more year for Hope. I don't think I can take much more after that.

Chad said...

When in overtime and you have the option to pick sides, who the heck picks the visitors sideline over their own student section sideline?!?!?!?!?!?!?

MrAnonymous said...

Sheesh, senior QB throwing to Doss, vs freshman QB without top three receivers, or RB. But hey, other teams had the same injuries right? Right? So we can discount them.

I get it. You don't want to hear about that because you want you pound of flesh. Perhaps you guys will get your pound of flesh before next season.

The OX said...

Judging from the press conference, it looks like Hope must be smoking the crack rock if he believes special teams made great strides (MSU anyone?). This doesn't lead me to believe there are any changes coming in the coaching staff for the off season.

J Money said...

Mr Anonymous -- Uh, if IU was so stacked, how come they were 0-7 in conference? Are you actually suggesting we should be okay with this team's performance?

Goodness. I love optimism, but there's a line between optimism and delusion.

What would be acceptable? a few more 4-8 seasons? Another 16 year stretch without a bowl game? Because the program's heading more in that direction than the positive one.

MrAnonymous said...

Nice straw-man argument, dumbass...

Well geez J Money, all I'm saying is have a little perspective here. My God, I would love for our fifth stringers to go in and be able to tear through the Big Ten like a virgin in a whore house. IU is not good, but no amount of hiding your head up you ass will mask the fact that Chappell and Doss are good. And our offense is terrible because we have nobody left.

Let's not look at the fact that we were close in games where we were using a 3rd string QB who could not throw because he had an injury to his throwing hand. Because other teams were using the same, right? Because this does not matter, right?

I know, you want success, and you want it now, damn it. So, let's find someone to blame. Let's grab pitchforks and run out of town a coach in year two, who held a team together with tape and gum.