Thursday, July 12, 2012

Purdue Football: The Wrong Kind of Optimism

Now it's time for the Panda to weigh in on the upcoming football season...

Purdue football has had a tough few years. After finally breaking the bowl drought, the Boilermakers got a big 5 dollar hot and ready pizza for winning the Little Caesars Bowl. Although not very impressive, it's a start.

The big news so far has to be the lack of injuries (knock on wood). The past few seasons the Boilermakers have been having some serious issues with losing key players due to injuries, this year it might just be limited to the Where Else? Bar. I know I won't be sad to see that place disappear soon, and I doubt Morgan Burke sheds a tear either. Barlow on the other hand might just find his wallet.

It seems as though everyone is being extremely optimistic [Not everyone.:-) --J] about Purdue's chances this season in the Big Ten, but I just can't fully see it. Sure I see that Ohio State is ineligible for the upcoming post season and Penn State is in shambles, but that still leaves Wisconsin to look for.

Wisconsin will reload as usual, and the only thing going in our favor is that we don't have to play up there this season.  Either way though, Purdue is going to face criticism even if they do win the division, due to the lack of competition.  Not something I'm very optimistic about.  As a diehard fan my entire life, I want to beat the best, and beating the best means winning when your opponents are full strength, not at the state Ohio State, Penn State, or Illinois is in right now.  Now luckily we will be able to face Indiana at full strength, but that's not saying much.

The optimism for this season seems to really rub me the wrong way.  In one way I'm glad to see it, but on the other hand it's hard to accept that the only reason we are in the running for a division title is based upon others' expectations or faults. To me optimism should be about the promise we have in this team this season.

Watching Kawann Short have a terrific senior season should be something to be optimistic about, or seeing what Hope can do with a healthy roster that will hopefully not face any injuries.

With Rob Henry being back in playing shape it should be interesting how this season turns out.  One thing I'm surely not optimistic about is our chance in a BCS game.  That might just get ugly.  Although Purdue might be able to turn the corner and get back to something of that caliber again, the Boilermakers are a few years away from that.

As for this season all we can really hope for is to improve on last season's performance, and build on the bowl victory, even if it was the pizza bowl.
(Not a Little Caesars Pizza)


Unknown said...

For the record, Where else is not closing, but is moving buildings. But who knows, maybe the current where else was built on a burial ground and the now one will be free of athlete stupidity.

Purdue Matt said...

Barlow didn't "lose his wallet."

zlionsfan said...

Unfortunately, the conditional optimism has justification. Purdue's chances are always measured in terms of other teams because that is how they have fared.

In 1929, Purdue went 5-0 in the Western Conference and won the conference title. That was their first outright title.

Today, they have ... one. (All the other Big Ten titles since have been co-championships.) And since Brees graduated, Purdue's not had a team that was, on its own, a legitimate contender. So there's really no reason to expect people to give the Boilers unconditional credit.

It sucks, but that's how it is. Purdue will struggle to build a strong program anyway, given the strength of other schools around them. The stadium isn't big enough to bring in big $$, the team isn't good enough to fill the stadium, Burke doesn't seem willing to shell out money to attract better coaches or assistants (see Texas as an example of the importance of assistants). In that environment, the best we can hope for is that the rest of the division will come down with something so that Purdue can sneak in and grab it ... which is why people are suggesting that this year.