Monday, December 05, 2011

Boilers/Hope Get What They Deserve: Trip to Detroit (and B1G Bowl notes)

Last night when Purdue was given the news that they'd be making the short trip to Detroit to play Western Michigan, many players weren't celebrating, but instead were complaining about the draw.  Hours, if not minutes later, the tune changed...and this morning that continued.

Hope and some of the Seniors weighed in on GBI saying they were grateful for getting the invite...and honestly, they all should be.  Two teams eligible for bowls, Ball State (6-6) and Western Kentucky (7-5), didn't receive bowl bids...but everyone who was eligible to go from the B1G got an invite.  That's right TEN of the 12 teams in the conference are going bowling.  That's the most ever invited from one conference.  But is it something to brag about when four of those teams are .500? I think not.

If you've listened to the Handsome Hour the last few weeks, you've heard me say that you have to be nearly trying to not get into a bowl in this era...this year is another case in point.  Illinois lost six of their last six games and was rewarded with a trip to San Francisco to play UCLA...yes, the UCLA team with a 6-7 record (FYI- they're the second team ever to go to a bowl with a losing record).  Quite an honor, indeed.  These two teams played so well this season that both coaches got fired.  So two interim coaches will square off in a bowl that their fan bases probably don't care too much about in the cold, drizzly San Fran a baseball stadium.  Dream come true.

Our Boilers were invited to play in Detroit v. Western least it's indoors.

Purdue's opponent has only one win versus a team with a .500 record- Ball State.  And like Purdue, when their defense failed, they left no doubt.  They allowed MAC champ Northern Illinois to score 51 points and lost a heartbreaker to a solid Toledo team 66-63.  During those losses, they allowed their two opponents to rush for over 400 yards.  Also noteworthy, the Boilers & Broncos shared two opponents- Michigan and Illinois.  The Michigan game was odd because most of the fourth quarter was simply canceled due to lightning as WMU lost 34-10 (Purdue lost 36-14 in a full contest).  When they faced a hot Illini team in Champaign, they lost a nail-biter 23-20 (Purdue won at RA 21-14).  We'll talk more about the game as it approaches.

The players who complained on Twitter were bothered that Northwestern got to go to Texas to play in the Meineke Bowl v. Texas A&M, and even more pissed that an Ohio State University got to play in Florida v. Florida in the Bowl. But the thing that really blew up Purdue's chances for playing in a warm-weather climate was the Sandusky sex scandal.

A lot of bowls and their corresponding sponsors openly-expressed trepidation about inviting PSU.  But as PSU fell from grace and down the bowl ladder, the Ticket bowl caught the Lions.  That bowl had expressed on multiple occasions that it wanted the Boilers due to Purdue's large alum association in the Texas.  So the Ticket City Bowl ends up with a team that was nearly in the BCS and another that probably deserved to be a second-tier bowl as Houston will face PSU on Jan. 2.

Iowa will face the disappointing Sooners of Oklahoma in Tempe in the Bowl.  Nebraska gets South Carolina in the Cap One Bowl. MSU plays the weakest 10-win BCS conference team ever in Georgia in the Outback. Michigan gets VaTech (very weak 11-win team coming off of a sizable loss...and only two quality wins) in the Sugar...and Wisconsin will play Oregon in the Rose.

I'm not sure if I've ever cared less about a bowl season than this one...maybe it's just me.
Detroit Dreamin'

So back to our Boilers.  Some fans on message boards and Twitter joined the players in the complaining saying Purdue should have rejected the invitation to Detroit...Are you flipping kidding me?

I'm positive they're talking about the same Purdue team that hadn't been to a bowl since their last trip to the Motor City in '07. They're also talking about the team that was manhandled by Iowa at home in a game that would have put them in a more-respectable/attractive bowl game.  Yeah, this is the same Purdue team that got drubbed by Wisconsin, Michigan and Notre Dame...and probably most-noteworthy, lost to the powerful Rice Owls. Sure, my favorite squad beat aOSU, Illinois...but we can no see these games for what they were- wins over fellow mediocre squads.

I have a very hard time hearing any fellow Purdue fans or current players talking with any hint of entitlement in their words.  Purdue played just-well-enough to get into a bowl...and in turn, we all got a bowl that is barely a bowl.

After the crappy BCS gets its pick, the auto-tie-ins grab the next layer of teams...then, every team is at the mercy of perception.  'Does that fan base travel? Is their offense exciting? Do they, as a team, have an 'it' factor that the average fan wants to tune in to?' and of course, 'Which team will make us the most money?'

That's what all of the bowl games are about at the end of the day. That's why EsPN champions the losing cause of the awful BCS system that holds college football fans hostage. That's why there are 35 stinkin' bowls...check that.  There are about 17 or 18 stinkin' bowls...the rest are fine.

But at the end of the day, Coach Hope had this right- Purdue fans and players alike should be grateful for the bowl bid we received.


J_Moore said...

Guys... we WON the Illinois game at Ross-Ade 21-14.

Paul Hauser said...

It's not a sex scandal, he raped children.

CaryNW87 said...

I soooooooo wanted to see Hope v. Sumlin.

Oh well, a 3-point nail-biter win/loss v. the Broncos might be enough for a "best of both worlds" scenario: post-season play AND a new coach.

I'll go ahead and call this one now:

"Bored" team + Sub-par coaching =

WMU 27
Boilers 24

Zorak84 said...

When you haven't been to a bowl in 4 years you go.

When you go to a bowl every year and get stuck with a Detroit bowl that's when you reject it.

I'm glad for the seniors on this team they'll be lucky enough to experience the postseason. Boiler Up!

CalTravelGuy said...

The upside to the 70ish Bowl games in Dec & Jan is economic... and not just for the schools. Yeah, two 6 win teams will play at AT&T park - a baseball stadium - but it's right in San Francisco. Steps from great museums, hotels, restaurants, etc. All of these Bowl games will provide some sort of economic benefit to tourism in these tough times. Four B1G teams at 6-6 who get to play in a meaningless Bowl game? What else and I going to watch on TV during the Holidays? The Kardashians? I'll take all the football I can get...

As for Purdue in Detroit, it was the right call. Texas isn't warm in the winter anyway... remember the Super Bowl?

Am I going? No. (I've got Rose Bowl tickets here!)

boilerdowd said...

J Moore- go back and read again...that's what we said.

zlionsfan said...

Bowl games aren't an economic boost for schools, at least not at the crappy end of the spectrum. Ticket guarantees frequently wipe out any "profit" schools might make, although it's possible that in the Big Ten, that loss is deducted from the overall postseason revenue pool. (I'm assuming everyone takes their winnings or losses and pools them, then everyone gets an equal share, except for whatever affects Nebraska until they're a full member financially.) Even BCS bowls can cost schools a substantial amount of money, depending on the school. Ask Connecticut about that.

I'll definitely be interested to see how much the Big Ten gets this season. Three teams, Illinois, Northwestern, and Purdue, are heading to bowls that could end up costing the conference money. (Such is the cost of sending .500 teams to postseason play.) Of course having two teams in BCS bowls will more than make up the difference. Thank you, Houston, for making that possible.

I am very glad Purdue didn't get the bowl in Dallas. It would have been interesting to play in a second-tier New Year's bowl (remember when playing on New Year's - or on the 2nd on a year like this one - actually meant something?), but not against Houston, not unless we could get the teams to switch coaches at halftime and then accidentally forget to give Sumlin back after the beatdown that would have ensued.

Aaron said...

I heard BYU will spend more on going to a bowl than what they would make. It is something about talking 90 men plus their wives (no pun intended).

With 68 chances, we should go every year. 6-6 is the least you should ever do. Why do you think the big names schedule weakly? After 4 wins, they only need 2 more. I knew Rice would bite us in the end. This is the problem I have with Purdue athletics. We have the arrogance to suggest a certain bowl is below us. For the most part we are "fine" with mediocre results. Damnit you take it and say "Thank you!" and hope we go again. Notre Dame at 6-6 said no a few years ago. I considered that a bold move considering the seasons they were having. Purdue hires bargain basement coaches hoping they pay off. I don't care if Hope is a nice guy or reads Shakespeare before bed. You win. In an era with big money, weak schedules, and 68 chances; you do what it takes. Hanging on against a mid-major is not enough. We should draw more than 40,000 a weekend. You win, they come. You win, you get recruits. You win, get respect. Beg the students to come, we know no one else cheers. Take a risk! If it pays off and we win. Yay. If it doesn't, so what? We were probably going to lose anyway. GR anger.

J_Moore said...

The cons of my speed-reading powers.