Saturday, October 06, 2012

Same Old Purdue Crushed 44-13

Same old Boilers. Sure, the uniforms might change over the years and players and coaches come and go, but for the most part, this is the same Purdue we've been watching for many years. And I'm tired of it.

Barely 200 yards of total offense. Under 60 yards rushing. 1-for-11 on third down. Four more turnovers. A 44-13 home ass-whipping.

That was an embarrassing display in Ross-Ade Stadium this afternoon. Truly shameful. There's simply no way Michigan is that much better than Purdue. And to lose like that at home? In the first conference game of the season? When there are high hopes and getting off to a good start could quite possibly catapult you into the Big Ten title game? Much more easily than in most years? To come out like that and just stink up the joint so disgracefully?

I don't know who to be more irritated at, because now word is some of the players were bitching about the fans on mediums like twitter, as well as in texts and comments to others close to the program.

On that subject, they need to worry about their own responsibilities. Lecturing the fans should be pretty f-cking far down the list. And really, you're going to lecture and/or complain about the people who actually come out to witness that kind of horseshit performance? Those people are the real mother-fricking fans! They are the ones you should be apologizing to after that kind of display of what I guess we're obligated to call football.

Fans are allowed to be irritated and should be encouraged to be truthful. This isn't a one-way street where the people who pay to watch and drive many hours round trip to see games or who set aside time in their lives to devote it to Purdue football only are allowed to kiss asses and tell the team how great they are. If the team does something that earns them accolades, they know damn well they will get it. Hell, wins over irrelevant programs get the fans excited and talking title game. Title game. After some barely-impressive wins over terrible teams and a close loss to a decent team. Wow, print up the banner. And yet the fans got excited and started dreaming big. So I don't want to hear a damn word from the players -- past or present -- on whether or not lifelong, loyal fans (and students/alums, mind you) have the right to be angry after seeing their school piss themselves for three hours. Being a longtime, loyal fan means you do have the right to call a spade a spade and be pissed off when the school you love looks like a doormat.

All that said, I don't entirely blame the players here. When a team comes out for big games (and many non-big games, too) as completely flat and/or confused looking as Purdue does, you have to question the coaches and their ability to prepare. As we've said over and over, we like these guys a lot. But we've also been told that this is Danny Hope's best team ever, right? The best assemblage of talent that he's had at Purdue. And this is what Danny Hope's best damn team can do? THIS? I'll say it right here and right now: if this represents the absolute apex of talent and ability for Danny Hope, then I hope everybody is happy with mediocrity as the goal. Not of being mediocre -- of mediocrity being the goal. Because here's what's going to happen.

Next week, Purdue is going to be embarrassed once again at home by Wisconsin. There will be 10,000 fewer fans in the stands than there were this weekend, although Wisconsin travels well so maybe they'll fill the extra seats and it'll be an even worse home atmosphere than it's been. Then the Boilers will go on the road at 0-2 in the conference and play at Ohio State. Urban Meyer's team will de-pants the Boilers how ugly it gets will depend on Urban's level of mercy. They'll then sit at 3-4 (0-3) and Danny Hope will still be talking about the positives he saw out there and how they're moving in the right direction and doing a lot of things well. And you and I will be screaming and pulling our hair out -- not even primarily because of Purdue's record, but because you and I will be more upset about things than the head coach, who is really just thrilled to be coaching a major conference program. Winning games would just be icing on the sweet cake of being the coach of Purdue.

Then the Boilers will win one of their question mark road games or maybe the Penn State game at home. Suddenly people will start saying, hey, if we win a couple of these, this team could go to a bowl! And that would be good after the 0-3 conference start! And we'll all talk ourselves into that being acceptable. Maybe Purdue will somehow maybe scratch it out and wind up 6-6 (although I still think my 5-7 prediction from the summer is where they'll wind up) and end up in another shitty bowl game against a directional MAC school. They'll win the game in a shootout and then embarrassingly celebrate like they just did something that matters or should be respected.

I'm tired of mediocrity, but I can deal with it if it's all part of a grand path to somewhere. But when being mediocre and winning a few games here and there and going 4-4 in the conference is considered a successful season, I have a problem with it. And that's where we are. We're looking at what everybody says is Danny Hope's best team, and that can't even stay within thirty points of an unranked, 2-2 Michigan squad with a QB who would be lucky to return kicks in the NFL.

When was the last time Purdue won a big game? When was the last time the showed up? And don't give me Ohio State in 2009 when Purdue was 1-5 and the stadium was half-empty. Everybody had already (and rightfully) quit on that season, so whoop-dee-do. There was no pressure. The Boilers were the speedbump for Ohio State and, yes, OSU overlooked them and Ryan Kerrigan nearly won that game by himself.

Don't give me Ohio State in 2011, either. I'm talking about a game that mattered when hopes were high. A game like the games Drew Brees won in '98-'00 or the games Kyle Orton won in 2003 and 2004. Has it been that long? Probably. I don't remember the last time they went into one of those defining games when they could actually state to the conference and the college football audiences that they'd arrived, that they were back, and did anything but crap the bed. That's another part of what is so infuriating -- they don't just miss the mark in those games, they get curb-stomped.

This coaching staff should be ashamed of this. But they won't be. Danny Hope will stay upbeat and will slap the guys on the back and tell them to get ready for Wisconsin and that they're all champs in his eyes, or some such nonsense. No, I'm not in the locker room, but the players all love him and that's because he's a player's coach. He's not a guy who lays into them and inspires them to be better by being hard on them.

I'm not going anywhere as far as being a Purdue fan. And neither is anyone else reading this, I'm sure. But I'm disgusted with the state of things because they are no different in 2012 than they were in 2009. Hell, they're no different than they were even further back than that. Mediocrity and underwhelming performances in big games have become an absolute guarantee. They're automatic. Sure, if you rack your brain you can think of the 2009 games against Oregon and Notre Dame, when Purdue gave you some serious hope that they could compete with those programs and on that big stage. But that's the last time I remember that happening and lest we forget, Purdue lost those games.

I don't have any solutions. I don't know if calling for changes is even the right thing. How high does the problem go? How pervasive is this culture of mediocrity? Have we entirely accepted it? What will it take to change it? I mean, really change it. I don't know for sure. But I know I'm sick of this crap.


ATL_Boilers said...

Well said. I'm still too angry to put together any kind of decent thoughts that don't involve a bunch of 4-letter words.

I will say that one of the small things that really ticked me off early was that the defense seemed to not have the right cleats/studs for the field as they were struggling to get traction and sliding around. Michigan got the shoe choice right, on the road, with limited access to the field over the last 24-48 hrs (despite the weather yesterday). How did the home team miss on what is seemingly a small part of being prepared for the game. I'm probably nitpicking but but that's something that just shouldn't happen at home.

BoilerFitz said...

I was surprised to see that the "I'm pissed" tag has only been used on four posts. And one of those was about the Masters.

As a Boiler fan, I can tell you that "I'm pissed" has been my prevailing thought way more than three times over the past several years. Good restraint not going to the well more often with that one.

And thanks for the rant. It's somehow therapeutic to read somebody else's description of the rage I'm feeling. Especially when I know that Coach McSunshine's comments during his coach's show are going to make me want to break stuff.

kgruber-boilermaker said...

I'm too upset to really add anything constructive to this conversation, but I just had to show my appreciation for this post.

J Money said...

Thanks, guys. Glad it helped sort of.

BoilerBloodline said...

J Money, As an avid BS junkie I have read MANY of your blogs. Not that I don't see your true passion for Purdue Athletics in all your blogs, but I felt this one and agree with you 100%. As a 38 year old lifelong fan of Purdue, it is so refreshing to feel that I may not be alone in seeing a half empty glass rather than a half full one, as I use to. And I think you may have hit the nail on the head with Danny Hope telling his players that it's okay (with a pat on the back) and to get ready for Wisconsin. And his players do love him. BUT, Danny Hope was not hired to be friends or be liked by his players. He was hired to win football games. In his eyes, they are a successful program and just his attitude alone (as you've said many times) makes you want to believe. But the Danny Hope "positive posse" has been revealed as nothing more than just that....a lot of hot air and thin skin that masquerades themselves as worthy of praise, when realistically we have accepted mediocrity as the norm of Purdue Football. Nothing will ever change until the fans make a stand. If teams like Boise St, TCU, and Utah can turn their programs into forces to be reckoned with, then Purdue should be able to as well. The ONLY way to get the attention of a "floating turd" program like Purdue's, is to stop going to games. Just like the Cubs...why pay for a coach and facilities if the fans keep coming? Football is Purdue's "cash cow". Regardless of what many believe, if we show our disapproval with our feet, they will at the VERY LEAST, hire a known coach. That alone is a BIG step in the right direction as most of us know by now that Danny Hope is/was far from a known head coach, let alone just a head coach. Thanks again J Money for the honesty. If the culture is to change, it starts with blogs just like this.

J Money said...

Thanks, BB. If we're able to have a positive influence, that'd be great. But for now, at least it's an outlet for us and you all where nobody is pretending all is well and on the right track.

Thanks for the passion.

Anonymous said...

I am a boilermaker grad who travels several hours every home game just to be let down every weekend. Purdue should really take as much pride in its football program as it does with the rest of its campus. As an alumni I take pride in being a boiler and defend them whenever required, but I have given up on the football program once again. Not only does Danny Hope need fired but so does Morgan. He is a cheapskate athletic director. Who extends a coaches contract with a loosing record. Purdue does. It is to the point where I do not even look forward to the 2.5 hour drive. I would rather tailgate with friends than watch the game.


We were once an elite program that alumni were glad to call their own. Purdue football is a disgrace and needs to be revived now.

zlionsfan said...

The only way we'll ever end up with anyone resembling an elite coach is if it's from a dumb-luck hire, and even then, it'll only last until a program with deeper pockets steals him away. Hope's contract extension, which effectively locks him in place for at least two years, is a perfect example of faint praise: his Big-Ten-low minimum compensation goes up by a whopping $25K per year, each year from now through 2016. There are bonuses, of course (haha! Good luck earning those), but even with those, I think we get an idea of the root cause of this.

Burke doesn't seem to want a good coach. He wants a cheap coach. Hope was signed to an extension because he agreed to be a cheap coach ... and we know Burke is too cheap to buy out anyone's contract, so it'll be four more years of paying an underachieving coach.

I definitely support the idea of exerting pressure on Burke to let Hope go after the season - please, not during the season; do you want Nord running the whole show? - but I don't know that it'll make much difference, not unless we can get the ears of some top-level JPC members.

Even then, it might not matter. With Daniels in place soon as president, even if Burke were handed a check with Hope's buyout clause figure on it, Daniels probably would nix the payment - if anything, he'll be worse than Burke. And that means we'll be stuck with Burke for a while as well.

Maybe we'll get lucky and some kind of scandal (not the PSU type, please) will sweep away all three of them, and Purdue can have an AD who can grow football as well as the rest of the sports. Until then, I suspect it'll be .500 records and bowl games in Detroit if anywhere ... and I take back what I said about possibly sneaking into the conference title game. If Wisconsin can't finish ahead of this Purdue team, they should give up the sport.

ATL_Boilers said...

Just saw some comments about the game in other areas of the cesspool that is the Internet and there's some talk that this loss should motivate the team and coaches... Seriously. WTF?! The motivation should have happened all last week not now. Like has been mentioned in both posts, I'm over the "we're still working on it" line that Hope takes and it's offensive to even remotely knowledgeable fans and alums not to mention all of us that invest time, money, and emotion into each and every season. At some point enough has to be enough and I don't know what that'll look like until we get there but we've got to be pretty close. Next week will be another big game and I don't think I'm going to set aside the time to watch like I've done for the last 10 years and I agree with the sentiment that there'll probably be 15k or so empty seats (or worse, filled with red shirts).

Yesterday was literally sickening for me to watch (im sure the shots didnt help either) and even with a night's sleep and some time to decompress I'm still beyond hot about the lack of preparation and all around embarrassment.

The Accidental Expat said...

It's taken me a full day to think clearly enough to address my feelings. While I have taken a "wait and see" attitude towards the increasing chatter of a B1G championship appearance, I made the mistake of mentioning to my wife at Saturday breakfast that if Purdue won (and some oddsmakers whittled the spread from 3 points down to 2.5 by kickoff), there was an outside chance that Purdue could sneak into the Top 25. Yes, I was that cautiously optimistic-- I think a lot of fans were. But that was Saturday morning.

Amazing what one game can do-- Robinson is now back in the mix as an (outlier) Heisman candidate, and 3-2 Michigan is a B1G power broker again and back in the Top 25. Really, Hoke should send a fruit basket to the Purdue coaching staff who crapped the bed on what very well could have been their coming out party as Boilers 2.0-- the return to relevancy. Preparation? Halftime adjustments? All lacking. Yes I know Michigan is loaded with blue chips (give RichRod some credit, Hoke walked into a well-stocked locker room), and Robinson will play on Sundays in the near future, and they had a week off to stoke their anger over the ND loss... but the Boilers looked confused, flat-footed and flat horrible out there. Look no further than Appalachian State or even UL-Monroe to show what a well-coached, properly motivated team can do against supposedly "superior" talent. Feh.

Burke likes to hire guys on the cheap, that has been proven time and again. This coaching staff has the 2nd lowest payroll in the conference (Hope only makes 4% more as a coach than IU's Wilson). Yesterday's game aside, Tibesar has been a pleasant surprise, though I doubt he'll be here for long if anybody else wants him because Burke can't-- or won't-- get into a bidding war. So basically this coaching staff is a group of rejects (indeed, Tibesar was on Ron Prince's staff at Kansas State during that regime's sub-.500 run), newbies and out-to pasture guys who are just happy to be coaching in D-1. Nord's time as a head coach (at UTEP) was an unmitigated disaster with a .292 winning percentage, and he's just too flaky as an OC to be the answer.

As always, I will continue to root for my Boilers, and watch and cheer them on to the final whistle. We have some talented kids here who have won games and gone to a bowl in spite of who's at the helm. There are some winnable games remaining-- and even Wisky has proven to be beatable this season-- that I believe we can still have a good finish in spite of this weekend's terrible performance. But-- and this is the first time I've said this on the board-- it's time for a change of leadership that includes Danny Hope, and his bosses as well.

conk said...

I was so pumped for this game thinking that Ross-Ade would finally be packed. Instead I was surrounded by UM fans laughing at our attendance. I remember when the visitor fans only filled the western most bleachers of the south end zone. Instead, the south end zone stands was the Ann Arbor embassy to West Lafayette. Boycotting the games does NOTHING to help recruiting. I've driven up 3 hours from southern Indiana for 2 games now, and I'm really going to have to dig deep to go up again this season, because it definitely is PATHETIC. The disappointment when the score went 21-0 after 2 3-and-outs and a muffed kick was Wisconsin 2004-esque. Anybody in favor of lobbying for Mark Richt after they run him out of Georgia?