Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hopeless...Again.

"...take this from a guy who remembers Burtnett, Akers and Colletto quite well- The bad ole days are here again.  There's simply no denying it..."

Man, today started out with a ton of promise.

It looked like it might be a perfect day for football- Around 50 degrees and only a 40% chance of rain.  Friends and family all sitting together for the game...and right away, Purdue was on the board.

On the first offensive play of the game, the pocket held up, TerBush went through his progressions and Edison's vertical route yielded instant results.  Purdue was up 6-0 two plays into the game.  A moment later it was 7-7...and then Bucky began to do what they do against Hope's Purdue's squads: manhandle them.

As Wisconsin flexed its muscle, they took the lead...and Purdue floundered...and a few drops of cold rain began to fell.  Wisely, I headed to get a few ponchos...as I did it, Wisconsin scored again. Robert Marve came in...and had similar results as TerBush- both were running for their lives and getting few positive yards.

As the half drew to a close, the rain began to fall...and with it, Purdue's hopes of conference or even divisional relevancy seemingly washed away.  It was only a 10 point differential...but it felt much worse...turns out, it was.

Purdue couldn't move the ball on offense and wasn't a speedbump for Wisconsin on the other side of the ball.  Sure, Ball did what he does- slap Purdue defenders around...but the walk-on Frosh QB, Stave, did just enough to keep drives going as he found Wisky's tightend time and again.

But like UM the week before, Wisconsin didn't really need a QB with a functioning ball joint in his throwing shoulder...the just needed to keep it on the ground. As J already told you, they smartly did.

Tim Tibesar told Purdue fans, as did Nord, as did Hope, that Purdue was mere inches away from success last week.  I called 'bullcrap' then...and in advance...I'll call it again for their comments to the press this week.

That defense is not close to being one that garners respect from the rest of the mediocre B1G conference...and the offense's production is now comprable to that of the Purdue team two years ago that utilized a pair of true Freshman QBs who shouldn't have even been playing in the conference. Oh, and Gibboney's punt team had another one blocked.  Neato.

This one stings...and for the second week in a row, I actually regret going to the game...and I'm not the only one who's thinking that way based on Twitter exchanges and message board posts.

Like a lot of you, I have two kids.  I really want both of them to have the passion for Purdue sports that I have...but my son was miserable today.  Sure, the rain didn't help, but before the rain was falling, he wasn't enjoying himself...and neither was I, quite honestly.  I loved spending time with my family...but could have done that back home...and had a better time while doing it.  My wife, a fellow Purdue alum goes to a game or two a year (a few years ago, she was a season ticket holder)...but this year, the one game we were going to go to together now looks like it'll be a tough sell.

Guys like Edison, Johnson, Hunt, Shavers and others deserve our support...no doubt about that.  And guys like Marve, Bolden Henry, Gaston and Russell who are fighting current and previous injuries should be playing in front of more than 500 fans.  But, make no mistake, fans deserve more too.  People that plan their lives around Purdue sports and spend hard-earned money in an awful economy on sports entertainment should be entertained; at least a bit.  And if they can't be entertained, they should be able to get behind a bunch of young people who are selling out for one goal.

But, for the second-straight week, Purdue wasn't prepared to play in a college football game.  And unlike last week, some of the players seemingly gave up...And that's something I've never seen from a Hope squad.  Hope's players' coach mentality and nothing-but-good-vibes tactics didn't pay off this week...It didn't even come close, in fact.

I talked to a guy who played on the team last year after the game...and he was shocked at the lack of heart the team displayed.  He thought, like I did, that they looked beaten very early in the first half.

If Danny Hope can no longer motivate a team, he's as worthwhile as your fancy smartphone in Ross-Ade on gameday*.  Not worth much at all.

Homecoming has, once again, become a reunion with a football game in the background which you try to ignore...And take this from a guy who remembers Burtnett, Akers and Colletto quite well- The bad ole days are here again.  There's simply no denying it (as J said earlier).  The sad thing is I didn't leave RA angry today...but kinda apathetic.

When teams are bad, they look slow, perpetually-young and overmatched. When teams are bad, inclement weather feels worse to fans and the players alike. When teams are bad, people stop working their games into their schedules, and more-importantly for Morgan Burke, their budgets.

Sadly, Purdue's no contender; not even close. In fact, my Boilers aren't even a competitor any longer.



*(Sidebar- neither my phone, nor my sister-in-law's phone could even get the weather or send texts for much of the game; she's on Verizon, I'm on ATT.)

6 comments:

boxercr said...

The moment to get rid of Hope passed last Sept. after the Rice game. Burke should have offered Sumlin whatever he wanted then. But, no. Hope gets an extension. Does anyone think Burke is going to buy out Hope's contract? Hell no! Which means we have at least a couple of more years of Hope, plus a year or two of rebuilding the wreckage he leaves behind. And forget football being a revenue sport. Volleyball will be making more money very soon. At least basketball isnt too far away.

Vandarth said...

I actually feel really bad for coach Hope. He may not be the caliber of coach that people want to see, but he did get handed a football program with huge disadvantages. He didn't have big program experience, but that doesn't mean he couldn't run a Big 10 program effectively if he had the right tools.

I think the football budget is actually the biggest thing keeping us from competing. The last time I saw the budget, I think Ohio State was over the 30 million mark and Purdue was either 4 or 7 million. How are we supposed to catch up with that? I wonder if Hope would have accomplished more if he had more money for assistant coaches. Consider what happened when Wisconsin fired their O-Line coach a few weeks ago. They replaced him and saw a drastic improvement almost instantly. If we were to change any of our assistant coaches out right now, it'd probably be an equal replacement and not an improvement. We just don't have the money to lure better assistant coaches. The staff turnover has been a problem and replacing assistants every year messes with staff chemistry.

Here's my theory on the QB situation: Everybody knows the O-line is our weakness. The coaches knew this was a question mark at the start of the season. Hope has said that his problem with Marve is that he doesn't make the right protection/screen checks. They can't protect our QB long enough for receivers to get downfield without being sacked or rushed. Marve puts himself at risk by not making adjustments to the protection. Sure, he used to be able to manufacture something, but he really can't do that anymore with a bad knee. I seriously thought maybe the O-Line would step it up when they put Marve in during the Michigan game. I thought they'd play harder to keep Marve from getting hurt, but nope... that didn't work either. We've made a huge deal about the QB situation, but really, the whole team is bad across the board. What we probably needed was a huge budget increase at the end of last season and new assistants from Big Ten caliber programs. Everybody we hire is pretty much unproven in Big 10 level play.

I watched Hope's press conference after the game. It was pretty depressing. Hope looked terrible and pretty much every ounce of optimism was gone. This quote pretty much sums it up: "We didn't play good football today in any phase of our game," Hope said. "Maybe there's an individual or two who may have played pretty well (Saturday), but I certainly didn't see it." I seriously can't watch the guy get destroyed anymore. My frustrations are entirely with Burke now.

Man, I don't care if he is or isn't the right coach for the job, Morgan Burke threw a good guy into a doomed situation and demoralized him. If we're going to advocate for something, everybody needs to push for a competitive budget. Unfortunately fan opinion alone will probably doom Coach Hope. Would he have been able to accomplish something with a better budget in the first place? I don't know. But the odds would have been a heck of a lot better. The only way I can see him getting the fans on his side is if Purdue wins out and wins a good bowl game.

BoilerRick said...

I also remember Burtnett, Akers and Colletto quite well-and also Bob Demoss (great QB bad coach)
I also remember Jack Mollenkoft who was hung in effigy for going 8-2 instead of 10-0 back when Otis Armstong was there (as was I).
My point is that picking a new coach is not that easy. Sumlin was such an easy choice but that is gone now. The approach that seems to work is to hire someone with head coach experience from a smaller school that has had great success (such as Urban Meyer first at Bowling Green and then Utah). I don't follow the small schools so I don't know who to go after.
It won't actually cost that much more than now but we can get an energetic win first coach.
Also obvious Burke is not a win first AD, he's an accountant. Also tough to pick a great AD, Florida lucked out with Foley, how do we find the next Foley. I hope someone has the right answers because I sure don't.

T-Mill said...

Make it three services. I have Sprint and service was terrible yesterday.

COD said...

I have Virgin Mobile - which is really Sprint, and could not get a signal in the stadium. BTW, I drove 12 hours each way for that debacle. We left at halftime and retired to the Lafayette Brewing Company.

And damn do I miss West Lafayette bar prices.

Plang said...

Apathy - tastes like a cold, wet hot dog while standing in the rain.

Apathetic - caring more about that cold, wet hot dog in the rain than what is going on in front of you.

I struggled to watch the entire first half of the game on TV. Exactly 5:32 into the third quarter I got up, turned off the TV, and started doing work on my house. Didn't yell. Didn't throw things in a fit like a I used to. Just got up and started doing something else. My wife asked me why I turned off the game. I just told her that there were better things to do. Like eat a cold, wet hot dog in the rain.