Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Look Back and a Look Ahead

It's not much fun right now on Saturdays for us, either.
(credit GBI's Tom Campbell for the pic)
Twitter, message boards and this site's comments are calling for Hope to be gone...and while we haven't come out and do that, many are requesting we do so.  Do we dare wield our massive power with the athletic department to focus on Hope being pushed out the door?

Well, since we have no power... and the season is only half over, the short answer is no.

We're not going the other way either; Hope deserves no vote of confidence nor blind, unwavering support...Being critical of the head coach and his staff is absolutely in order at this point, in our opinion.  I didn't have the heart or the time to watch the videos of the press conference just yet...I might later, might not.  But what I'm hearing is Hope looked beaten up and defeated and the talk of being inches from victory and success was gone. Good- it shouldn't have been in his lexicon last week either.

While a few of Hope's players are whining and bellyaching via Twitter about ridding themselves of all negativity, their head coach finally has his eyes open to reality...after five-straight halves of simply awful football.  Like we've said over and over and over- this isn't an offensive issue, a defensive issue, a special teams issue, a coaching issue or a personnel's a Purdue football issue and the failure has been rampant and across the board.

I still think the last two weeks were Purdue's best chances to make a statement about the program in the last few seasons.  They made their just wasn't what I thought or had hoped it'd be.

So with 7 weeks down and six games behind them, Purdue's football team has six-straight weeks of opportunity to play well and pull themselves out of the outhouse hole that they've lept into head-first.  The stakes aren't quite as high as the division championship is out of their hands, but, not every team they play from here out is garbage.  The stakes are still kinda high though- if the players love Coach Hope as they seem to, this is their chance to sell the idea that he deserves to be coaching them next season.

Morgan Burke doesn't fire coaches in the middle of the season...hell, Burke really doesn't like firing all that much, especially in the big revenue sports.  It probably comes back to his aversion of spending money when he can avoid it.  BUT, if you think he hasn't made a note of the empty seats in Ross-Ade, and the continuous drop of sales of the rich guy seats, you're crazy.  He prides himself on keeping the program in the black, and that is an impossibility with the loss of revenue each and every Saturday in God's Country during the fall.

If Hope can't reach 7 wins during this regular season, I think Burke will be forced to find a new coach for the football program- not just because of the record, but because of the lack of support for the program.  Plus, he's made public statements of how six win seasons really aren't successful in this era of football.

Purdue's players and coaches can't afford to play one more quarter of football like the last 10...let alone another entire game.  The problem is, they're facing the best team in the conference on their house.  aOSU has been scoring 40pts/game...Purdue has been allowing 41/game for the last three- sounds like a match made in hades for the good guys.

I don't think Saturday is a must-win for Purdue as it'd be beyond foolish to expect that.  But, for the team's psyche, they have to play with the Bucknuts...IU just nearly beat them.  By the way, in case you want to discredit IU, don't- they're playing well.  They still have the same amount of losses the last two games as Purdue, but unlike Purdue, most of their leaders return in '13.  Purdue needs to win this season...IU's fans and AD know that they're on a journey, and have a goal.  Purdue's coaching staff has been on a similar road for too long to be in the same category, and in a similar standing, in my opinion...but they absolutely are at this point- a cellar-dwelling also-ran.

So Purdue has six games to win four...and five are absolutely winnable.  Granted, if you're like me, you might have seen a few of those as wins a few weeks ago; I see none of them as guaranteed, left column games, regardless of the opponent.

Ex-Boiler, Rosie Colvin, sent a note to a bunch of current Purdue players yesterday via Twitter telling them that they were the only ones who could change the trajectory of the season (in so many words)...and he's a guy that knows a thing or two about performing under pressure, winning and changing the complexion of a program.  They should listen to him.  Not only has he walked in their shoes, he's been a public cheerleader for them via BTN's Friday night show.

At BS, we have a hard time believing this coaching staff can change things (based on what we've seen this season and those prior to this one).  But instead of constantly complaining about Hope and company, we're offering solutions.

This post is the easiest solution to the problem: Win now and this coaching staff will have earned another season.  Transitions are generally messy and painful- Joe Tiller's first season at Purdue and Kevin Sumlin's first season* at A&M are the exception, not the one really likes to see an overhaul of the football program, if it can be avoided.  But squeaking by, going .500 and beating the bottom of the conference and crappy out-of-conference foes simply isn't acceptable for this team.

We'll be offering a few more solutions to the problem in the form of coaching candidates if things don't change.  We've been asked by a few people who Purdue could hire...and we're not talking dream hires in which budgets and infrastructure changes overnight.  We're talking Purdue in '12; our alma mater.

Stay tuned this week...join the discussion.

*Yes, I went there...and it hurt.


Headphones_on said...

Offering solutions? There is really only one solution at this point; Fire Hope. He's clearly incapable of coaching a team to be even somewhat competitive with the upper echelon of the B1G. At this point in his career, Danny Hope cannot do any good for the Purdue Football program, he can only do harm. The sooner this clown is out of West Lafayette, the better

jbrunner said...

bdowd- Great post.

In regards to Headphones_on, is calling Hope a "clown" in any way constructive? Yes, in the last few weeks I've been converted to the "Fire Hope" side...but Danny seems like a good person outside of coaching. I don't want him coaching my team, but that's just not right if you don't know the guy personally.

BoilerWhat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BoilerWhat said...

I will be appeased if Coach Nord is relieved of his duties at season's end. Burke isn't canning Hope with 2 years (I think) on the table. Not sure what the buyout is, but Burke is not going to do it.

This is where it has to start. The horrific play calling leads to 3 and outs and a worn out defense. The defense is not beyond reproach, but it is the offense that constantly places the burden upon them. It has to be disheartening to have a good defensive stand only to be back on the field after a few minutes of poor offensive production.

CalTravelGuy said...

Spend the rest of this season doing things that inspire you... something other than Purdue Football. That's what I'm going to do. I'd love for Ross-Adeo to be REALLY EMPTY for the next game. Notice I said "next game" because I seriously don't know who Purdue plays next at home... and I don't care. Like most things in life, if you want to really send a message... hit 'em in the pocketbook. Maybe that will wake people up.

U-P Boiler said...

Hope is reminding me a bit of Colletto in that he is a very good coach of the offensive line, and also a pretty good recruiter.

But a terrible head coach. Especially on game day.

I am hoping (against all hope) that Burke will fire Hope and bring in a "Tiller" type (but YOUNGER) who can feast on Hope's recruits (as Tiller did) and win.

That being said, I think that the idea of recruiting a "Purdue" guy in football might be the biggest flaw in the entire Purdue football philosophy.

I am sure part of it was getting someone who understands Purdue, but I also think that might be a nod to the budget.

I don't subscribe to the Pay Big Bucks and Get A Stud Coach philosophy, but when you ONLY look at coaches with Purdue ties, you severely restrict the talent pool.

There's a narrow-mindedness that just drives me nuts. Just because someone never lived in Tippecanoe County doesn't mean he doesn't have the same values as Purdue University.

On the contrary, with few exceptions, Having A Purdue Connection in football means mediocrity. There have been some exceptions, but not enough to continue that train of thought.

BoilerBloodline said...

CalTravelguy, I couldn't agree with you more. The Misses and I had planned far in advance to be in attendance Saturday. She (being a fairly green Boiler she) couldn't understand why I wouldn't continue to root for my team in person. I ended up having to give up my Sunday NFL games for a trip to the Indiana dunes to get out of going to the Wisky beatdown of our Boilers. That's how much I believe in that strategy. When all else fails, stop paying those that are failing. For some really odd reason, it always seems to work. And from what I've heard from MB over the past's the ONLY thing he cares about. He didn't hold his cards close enough to the vest on that one. Sorry Morgan...gigs up.

BoilerBloodline said...

Student football season ticket holders. Although you may not be the highest paying Purdue Football season ticket holders, (yes counting your tuition) you are certainly the most vocal and most visible. The students need to be heard on their level of dissatisfaction of the coaching staff/AD. Start a "Vacate Ross-Ade" strike of sorts as a way of demanding change. You never know. Sometimes it just takes the news to pick it up to gain ground. The players don't deserve it, but they won't still be watching this mess 10 years from now either. Just a thought as I am still stirring over the last two weeks. I really hope someone tries it.

KevinB said...

BoilerBloodline - Great strategy. The problem with that is that the people that you really hurt are the players. They spent all their time in the offseason working hard and trying hard, and then they come to an empty Ross-Ade because people want to get rid of the coaches. I understand what you are saying, don't pay for mediocraty, but the players are the ones that you are hurting.

J Money said...

U-P Boiler -- Outstanding points on the nonsense about finding "a Purdue guy." Unless you're bringing in Drew Brees to coach, I don't care if it's a Purdue guy.

Sumlin would have been fantastic because he's both a young, excellent coach AND a Purdue guy... but I agree with you -- who cares?

CaryNW87 said...

From GBI:

Post-game comments from"Coach":

"We made some errors from an assignment standpoint moreso than we have throughout the course of the season. I DON'T KNOW WHY. We thought we had a good game plan..."

On Ter Bush:
"I DON'T KNOW that pulling him out and having him sit out all that time and putting him back in later on in the second half, that's a long time to sit out as a quarterback. He was significantly less-effective performance-wise in the second half than he was in the first half. I DON'T KNOW WHY."

I bought season tickets this year, I DON'T KNOW WHY.

BoilerBloodline said...

KevinB - I totally understand that...and from what I have seen, I actually like pretty much every player on the team. BUT, they've all played in sparse crowds their entire careers at Purdue and they saw the RA crowd dwindle to around 500 at the end of the Wisky, their play has been pretty downright terrible. I don't like undercutting a student athlete, but at the same time, if Purdue actually makes a HC change, how many of those players are going to stay at Purdue anyway?