Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Do Not Tell Me "It Can't Be Done"

Whenever we lament the state of Purdue football, someone almost always tries to educate us on our lot in life as Purdue fans. They point out that the facilities are limited, the stadium is among the smallest in the Big Ten, it's a tough place to recruit, there isn't a history of winning, etc., and so forth, lather, rinse repeat. In the end, it can be summed up with "We're just Purdue."

Well, as we've said before here, we reject that out of hand. For one thing, Purdue has competed, and in different eras. The 1960s Purdue teams were a force, culminating in a Rose Bowl win over USC. Then, of course, there was the Tiller resurgence in the late 1990s into the early oughts, where Drew Brees and others carried the Boilermakers to the Rose Bowl once again. And less highly-thought-of, of course, was the short era right after that, when Purdue was now considered a major player and high-potential guys would gladly attend. The door was open and the mantra of being the cradle of quarterbacks was reignited -- guys like Kyle Orton stepped in and the pieces seemed to be falling into place. We all know what happened next and it's not worth re-hashing once again... but the point here is that, while the windows can be tighter and harder to open, it can be done.

And that's the issue for me. I'm tired of being told it can't be done or hearing about the limitations our school faces. Limitations only get legs when people begin to rely on them as excuses for a lack of success. This applies anywhere in life, not just in college athletics. There are stories about people overcoming incredible odds all the time and the consistent theme is always rooted in two factors: hard work and perseverance. If you work harder than others and you never stop trying, good things will eventually happen. It's not a complicated formula.

Morgan Burke and the athletic department at Purdue are happy with staying profitable -- it has never been worth it to them to wade into the deep end of the pool and shoot the moon. That would take more money, more risk, etc., and why do that when you're comfortable in the black?

And for anyone who points to the successes they've recently (last 15 years) enjoyed, let's recap once again.

Burke got lucky with Joe Tiller. Tiller wasn't a young, up-and-comer and as Bdowd reminded you all, Burke wanted Bob Davie. Tiller had enough energy left to go hard for a while and he had the cowboy swagger that is absolutely necessary to succeed at a place like Purdue on the metaphorically uneven field that is football.

Burke got very lucky with Matt Painter. Painter, for those who have forgotten, was hired as the associate head coach and successor to Gene Keady in 2004 at the age of 34. Matt had one season as a head coach at any level before coming to Purdue. Granted, it was a 25-5 season at Southern Illinois, a top 15 ranking and an NCAA Tourney appearance season, but it was one season from a very young coach all the same. Most of us look at Painter as the right guy for Purdue basketball now, but it's easy to see how this could have gone the way of Todd Lickliter, for example.

Burke got it wrong with Danny Hope. I think it's fair to say that now, as we've seen four years of middling to excruciating football out of the Hope regime. We've been complaining about the same missteps and inconsistency for four years now. It's fair to give a guy the chance to right the ship, but he's done nothing of the sort and only punched more holes in the hull. But the point of this post isn't to rehash the Danny Hope era.

Back on the theme of not wanting to hear it anymore, let's look at five programs who frankly have the same excuses that Purdue does (or similar ones) and yet find a way to produce success. Nobody here is suggesting that Purdue should be competing for the national title every year -- but how about a ten win season every 10-15 years? How about strings of 7-to-9 win seasons, which suggest you're knocking on the door and with a break here or there might bust through to a BCS bowl game?

The following programs are examples of what Purdue could be doing.

Rutgers

Boilerdowd likes to say that I love Rutgers because I live near the school and occasionally attend games. What can I say? I'm a sucker for awesome campus food and lukewarm fan support of a college football team?

But Rutgers is an afterthought in the minds of most NJ sports fans. Their stadium -- which was renovated in 2011 and is a great place to watch a game -- only holds 52,000 (up from 41,000). And they have almost zero football "tradition," in terms of success on the field. Rutgers went 0-11 in 1997. They went 1-11 in 2002. But then Greg Schiano began building something and just three years later, they were in their first bowl game in 27 years. A year later they won 11 games and rose as high as #7 in the nation. Starting with that 2006 season, Rutgers has won at least eight games in six of seven seasons (2010 was the lone hiccup, at 4-8), at least nine games in four of them and if they win one more this year (they're 9-1), they'll have won double digits twice in that span and are likely to get to a BCS bowl game this year. Sure, sure, it's the faltering Big East, I get it -- but I don't care how you get there... you still need to win the games on your schedule.

Boise State

Yes, we had the Broncos forced upon us for years as the little engine that could and the small-time program that could play with the big boys. For all the fun that could sometimes provide, Boise's success probably did more harm than good with regard to things like the BCS. Supporters of the idiotic end to CFB's season pointed to Boise State as evidence that everyone did indeed get a fair shake. It's nonsense, of course, as Boise has most certainly not gotten a fair shake or a legit chance to dethrone the big guys. When they have gotten such an opportunity, they've cashed in, winning two BCS bowl games (the Fiesta Bowl in '06 and '09).

There is no way Boise has more in the way of opportunity than Purdue. It's Idaho, plus the recruiting ground they are near is also shared with Pac 12 programs like Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, USC, UCLA, Stanford, etc. Bronco Stadium only holds 37,000. Oh, and hey, it's freaking Idaho.

Yet despite all of this, the Broncs have held onto Chris Petersen and are about to have their seventh straight double-digit win season, 10th in their last 11 season and 12th in their last 14 years. I don't care where you play -- that is reeeedonkulous. They have 15 losses in the last eleven years. The point of all this? Success can happen.

Cincinnati

You want something a little closer to home and the midwest? How about Cincinnati? They have below-average facilities according to everything we read, their stadium (Nippert) holds 34,000 and bills itself as the "Wrigley Field of college football" (which maybe means they have drunken fans who like a poor product, I guess?), and they of course have to recruit in the same state as O$U. Yet they just keep winning.

Entering 2012, the Bearcats have won double-digit games four of the previous five seasons. They're 7-3 in 2012 with two games remaining plus their bowl, so ten wins is actually still possible. They've also done all this despite having three different coaches since 2006, as they're becoming a popular team to poach from. With their facilities and conference alignment, it's unlikely that Cinci can make themselves any more appealing for a coach to remain at for more of a career. Yet again, they win games. Crazy!

Northwestern

Let's hit even closer to our hearts. The Wildcats are no football powerhouse, to be sure. There are some who feel they've never truly fit in the Big Ten, what with their snooty, private school image, low enrollment (around 8,000) and smallest-in-the-Big-Ten football stadium (47,000). And yet, Coach "Fitz" has the Wildcats knocking on the door of a -- brace yourself -- ten win season. They are 8-3 this year with Illinois and a bowl game remaining. Sure, they turn back into the Mildcats come bowl season (haven't won a bowl in over 60 years), but they fact remains, they're seemingly always bowl eligible anymore (six straight years and nine of the last ten) and Fitzgerald has won at least eight games three times in his seven seasons. Not incredible, I realize, but not shabby, either.

Fitzgerald is a good comparison in another way, too, in that he has only had one bad season in Evanston, which was his first one, when he went 4-8. Every single other season he's had has been a bowl eligible season. Legendary success? No. But putting them in a position where a few breaks gets them into a conference title game or a top tier bowl? It certainly improves the odds, let's leave it at that.

Stanford

My final example is the Cardinal, a proud school with high academic standards that has managed to become a power player in the Pac 12. Standford has had a lot of mediocrity in their history -- more than Purdue, some might conclude. And yet, with the right coach (Jim Harbaugh), they quickly built a program that not only wins, it wins huge.

Stanford is about to have its third straight double-digit win season, assuming they can either beat UCLA or their bowl opponent. They're also going to play their fifth top-15 team this season, and they've already beaten #1 (Oregon, last weekend), #2 (USC, September 15) and #13 (Oregon State, two weeks ago), while very nearly beating current #1 Notre Dame in South Bend on October 13. That, my friends, is a program on the rise.

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In closing, I'd like to say once again that I do not want to hear it cannot be done. It can be done, my fellow Boilermakers. It can and it should be done. I realize these aren't all perfect apples-to-apples comparisons -- that's why I provided five of them. These are programs that for whatever reason have the odds stacked against them in today's college football landscape, yet find creative ways to be successful -- some to extreme levels that even dreamy fans probably didn't dream of.

At Purdue, we want swagger back. We want excitement back. We want players and coaches who want to be here and who aren't interested in excuses. We want to see effort, preparation and creativity. You provide those ingredients and the fans will show -- as they have before -- that they will come into Ross-Ade and make even that marginal stadium a true home field advantage.

Make it happen, Purdue. We're all ready.

37 comments:

Boilergal said...

Nice post! I like this line of thinking and agree! I am sick of the excuses and even more sick of the attitudes I see by fellow Purdue fans (especially the past few days)! This was a nice read compared to the recent "Purdue football will never succeed", "Painter needs to be replaced, he sucks as a coach and can't land a big recruit", "Purdue is a prime candidate to be kicked out of the Big Ten and not belong to a conference". Most of the fanbase seems to be unhinged, nice to see my realist BS buds are still maintaining a level head.

Purdue Matt said...

Give me a coach that understands modern football strategy, understands you have to take risks to be successful at Purdue, and will go for it on 4th and short. Don't give me a coach that benches the best QB because he wants a game manager and is afraid of risk.

Purdue Matt said...

What Mike Leach did at Texas Tech is also a good example.

Matthew Podgorski said...

Excellent article. Now I have some hope for Purdue.

Plang said...

Hrumph! Hrumph! Hrumph!

Bob said...

Great article. Can't agree more.

I don't want a coach that goes for it on 4th and short, I want more than 1 passing yard in the 1st Quarter, against Illinois(Illinois (facepalm).)

All those programs that you mentioned didn't get there by good game management, they took chances and got a few good players and used them at what they are good at.

Look at the success Boilermakers have had in the NFL. There were/are a lot of starters from the Tiller era. I can't believe that bringing a kid on campus and showing them all the players that went from top recruits to draft choices can't help with recruiting. How many former Wildcats are there on NFL squads now?

BoilerByBlood said...

Rumor Alert: I've now heard from 4 different people today that Jim Tressel was on campus this morning. I hate rumors as much as the next guy, but this has me very intrigued. If anyone else has further info, please post right away!

Ryan said...

I heard the same thing about the end of last week...but he's a boring-looking guy.

The question is- did he have a gold vest on?

J Money said...

There is no way Tressel would get hired by Purdue. None.

James said...

Jim Tressel? Now you're talking! How badly does he want to be back in the game?

I grew up in Northern Kentucky. The Cincinnati Bengals began when I was 14. It is amazing the similarities between how the cheapskate Brown family runs the Bengals and Morgan Burke runs the Purdue Athletic Department. Both teams break your heart. I'm STILL angry about Super Bowl XXIII! Every time I see a clip of Joe Montana throwing a TD pass I turn to another channel.

Both the Brown family and Purdue athletics are too clever by half. They are unwilling to roll the dice and go for it all. Both want to compete with the big boys but don't want to pay for it.

Since we've lived in Indiana Purdue has won two NCAA championships, women's basketball and golf. This is nothng to sneeze at, of course. You may have noticed that Carolyn Peck got out of here before the trophy had a chance to collect a little dust. Golf is great and everything, but it doesn't put seats in the seats. Purdue baseball was great last year as well.

Hiring Jim Tressel would be great. Maybe, just maybe, he's the next athletic director. There's no way Morgan Burke will hire him as the head football coach.

BoilerRick said...

There is absolutely no reason that Purdue can't be ultra successful in football, they just have to want to do it. Don't give me the budget BS, that is a chocie not a given You've listed some great examples, but just being in the Big Ten should be enough reason to be successful
I'm really tired of the fans and AD accepting mediocrity

U-P Boiler said...

NOBODY at Purdue would be SO stupid as to stick their tongue in the light socket and go after Jim Tressel. Puh-LEEEEESE.

Kansas State is another example - if anyone's been to Manhattan, Kansas, you'd know what I mean.

Bottom line is, Purdue cannot, for the forseeable future, play straight up in the Big Ten. So they have to have coaches that hang it out on the edge of the envelope, try things like (GASP) misdirection on offense, play riskier defense, try to strip the ball, onside kick often, and gamble.

If/When the recruiting picks up more, do even more of the same thing.

zlionsfan said...

Going for it on fourth and short is exactly what we should be looking for in a coach: now because it represents someone who'll take a risk, and in the future as more coaches figure out that in most cases, you want to keep that ball, not punt it or kick it. 7s add up faster than anything other than 8s.

Boise State and Northwestern are successful in large part because they do not do exactly what the other schools do but with less money. Petersen and Fitzgerald both have distinct philosophies, and they both have been good at finding players who fit their system.

It's basically the same idea that Tiller had when he came to Purdue: find recruits that the big schools don't necessarily want (you can win a few of those battles, but not many), use them in ways people aren't accustomed to, and stay with it until you do it well.

Kansas State is another good example: their revenue is about the same as Purdue's, their stadium is significantly smaller ... and yet they have had, for the most part, solid records under Snyder.

Purdue will probably never have the pockets to compete dollar-for-dollar with Michigan, Ohio State, and so on, but they don't have to spend like those programs to win, especially not with Rutgers and Maryland probably joining their division (that means fewer games against Michigan and Nebraska). They just need to find a head coach who can win in this situation. Hope is not that head coach.

Michael R. said...

I'd agree with your argument here. According to the newly updated wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Ten_Conference

Purdue has the fewest varsity teams (18) in the Big Ten, yet has 3 times the endowment fund as Rutgers who has 27 varsity teams. I honestly think there is something wrong with Burke's check writing pen.

zlionsfan said...

Rutgers' athletic department also took $27 million from the university in 2010, the last year for which budget info was available. They're joining the Big Ten, like Maryland, in large part because they can't afford not to.

If Burke spends more money short-term, it probably needs to be on revenue sports. Spending it on additional non-revenue sports is just going to make it harder to break even. Build football and money will be there for hockey or lacrosse or whatever else they want to add.

The Accidental Expat said...

Not going to linger on this Tressel meme any more than I have to, but his NCAA show-cause stipulation effectively keeps him off sidelines until 2016-- any program who hires him as a coach before that time opens themselves up to NCAA scrutiny, sanctions and penalties as well. Here's a good synopsis: http://es.pn/tEpcBp

Great examples of programs who have risen above their circumstances to field competitive teams-- Kansas State and Oregon State were synonymous with futility for decades before they got the right coaches and an administration committed to believing that .500 football was NOT a reason to celebrate. Washington State administration and alumni rolled the dice last year on Mike Leach. WSU is by far the financially weakest member of the PAC-12, but they have an excellent and aggressive AD in the form of Bill Moos (a guy that gets my undying respect by being only person to stand up to Nike's Phil Knight back when Moos was AD at Oregon, and Knight was being a bully) who wouldn't take years of rot and mediocrity for an answer, got the alums to pony up the money, and found the best coach on the market. If a place like Washington State, with inherent recruiting negatives-- very little history and located in one of the most isolated and desolate corners of the country-- can get an A-lister like Leach, why NOT dream big?

Brad said...

Okay, there's one very simple, very visible, problem with this entire article's premise that's clear to anyone who's taken a course in logic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

When you look only at the winners, what you don't see is that a lot of the losers were employing the exact same strategies as the winners. So do you credit the strategy, or the fact that some folks might have gotten lucky?

After all, the strategy Burke was using in hiring Danny Hope was promising -- the "managed transition" for a coach going into retirement had successfully brought Bret Bielema at Wisconsin and Matt Painter at Purdue. Since then, it was the model I believe was employed by Mike Bellotti bringing on Chip Kelly at Oregon.

But it didn't work at Purdue. Does that mean the "managed transition" is a bad strategy or a good strategy, or does that merely mean it was a bad hire?

I'm with you on one point: it can be done. And we need to absolutely try to do it. I agree that the athletic department hasn't exactly shown a willingness to make winning a priority, and should be roundly criticized for it. There's no room for the "we're just Purdue" excuse. But there are 119 other teams trying to do it too, and there are going to be successes as well as failures.

Patrick said...

If Cal fired Tedford, then Hope really has to go. Best analogy so far...

Kodiak33 said...

I brought a comment about Hope being picked by Tiller on Hammer and Rails, and someone said that it wasn't true.

Does anyone have evidence for this?

BoilerBloodline said...

Another great blog fellas!!!

There is NO WAY Jim Tressel would A) Coach at Purdue. B) Get hired by Purdue C) Or even be successful at Purdue. His offensive schemes are about as caveman-like as can be. And in order to have it work, you must have 11 Blue Chippers playing on each side of the ball....which unless John Calipari and his money minions join his recruiting staff....there's no way this happens, and if it did, I would be pissed because it would be a big mistake and it WOULD NOT WORK!!!!

BoilerBloodline said...

Brad...I don't need to take a course on logic to be logical or even make logical decisions. What you should have taken from this blog is that you GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR...period...end of story.

Unknown said...

I love the blog and truly love hearing the sentiments that mediocrity is unacceptable. I went to Purdue right after Drew Brees graduated and only missed 1 home game in 4 years. I think those four years after Brees are proof that success is possible for Purdue and that we shouldn't expect any less. We are 1 of two schools who have had three different QBs win superbowls. Drew Brees is one of my personal heroes, and some said he would never amount to much. We need a coach who can lead and a mentality that winning is the only thing we want to see. It's like Gene Hackman said in the replacements: "Winners also want the ball when the game is on the line."

Unknown said...

I love the blog and truly love hearing the sentiments that mediocrity is unacceptable. I went to Purdue right after Drew Brees graduated and only missed 1 home game in 4 years. I think those four years after Brees are proof that success is possible for Purdue and that we shouldn't expect any less. We are 1 of two schools who have had three different QBs win superbowls. Drew Brees is one of my personal heroes, and some said he would never amount to much. We need a coach who can lead and a mentality that winning is the only thing we want to see. It's like Gene Hackman said in the replacements: "Winners also want the ball when the game is on the line."

zlionsfan said...

I thought it was common knowledge that Hope was basically chosen by Tiller. I don't think it's possible to get definitive proof, short of getting Tiller himself to admit it, but there are references to that effect on various sites that go back at least to 2009.

Kyle said...

Excellent post, sir.

One of the common themes I've seen in online comment sections, ok Hammer and Rails, is that Purdue is in the middle of nowhere, doesn't have tradition, and has sub-par facilities.

First, we're no more in the middle of nowhere than many other Universities. Norman, OK? Manhattan, KS? Ames, IA? Boise, ID? Come, on. We have Chicago 2 hrs away and Indy less than an hour away. Plus, Lafayette/WL is a nice area with cheap housing and good schools with low crime. Plus, we have one of the best brewers in the state along with a group of folks dedicated to making downtown better.

Tradition? What of Griese, Everett, Colvin, Brees, Orton, Ayodele, Tiller, Woodson, and many others I can't think of right now? Sure, we're not a program steeped in the history of Michigan, aOSU, Texas, LSU, etc. but that doesn't mean we can't get an up and coming coach from a solid coaching tree.

As for the sub-par facilities: the student-athlete academic center built by Brees; the new Mackey additions and upgrades to Mollenkopf; a large and good workout room; a new press box at Ross-Ade along with fancy new brick facade; a new Grand Prix track; a new tennis center; a new co-rec; a new baseball field; and more. Say what you want about Burke, but he's invested in infrastructure for our sports teams.

L2F said...

The reality of the situation is that Purdue is cheap and will remain cheap when it comes to athletics. What we need is a coach who realizes it and can win despite that. It is going to take someone innovative and extremely hard working.

conk said...

The right coach can change everything, and at Purdue too. K-State is the best analogy when you're talking about programs in our boat who have still made it big. Purdue is ridiculously similar to K-State in a lot of ways: Rural midwestern roots, surrounded by corn, a town only its own graduates consider God's Country, doesn't carry the fanbase in their own state because the other school has such rich basketball tradition that they get a free pass on their crappy football, the list goes on.

Also K-State and Northwestern (and Purdue with Tiller) prove you can hit the jackpot by choosing coaches from your school's family tree, even when you're not Alabama.

Boiler Up! and no matter how bad it's been, LET'S BEAT IU!!!!

boilerbugle said...

If I was Purdue's AD, this would be posted on my door and be required reading for my staff. For the guys talking survivorship bias: Wouldn't you rather watch a football team fail spectacularly? Give me a deep pass that gets picked over 3 draws and a punt any Saturday. Give me a defense that hits hard and fires off the line and goes for the sac every play over a prevent that gets run over for 5 yards every play.

Bill McGee said...

I love the message of this post and I certainly believe that Purdue can win and win big again. However, I don't like the fact that the current athletic administration is getting no credit.

You can call Tiller a lucky hire, but he was the #2 guy and Burke took a chance on an alternate style (several people have mentioned this as a necessity at Purdue) and won big with it.

As for Matt Painter--how can you applaud Northwestern for hiring Fitzgerald and call Purdue lucky for basically doing the exact same thing. Sure, the circumstances were a bit different, as the passing of Randy Walker thrust Fitzgerald into the role, but he was ready for it (as their athletic administration decided) and so was Painter.

Yes, Hope was a bad hire, but the money generated by the Tiller-led football program allowed the facelift on the athletic facilities across the board. Now, clearly the football team needs to improve and if a new coach is hired, it had better be a big splash to generate some revenue or I will question the administration as well. However, I think we owe it to them to see where we go from here as this current athletic department has made improvements that their predecessors could only dream of.

J Money said...

Brad up above says "I'm with you on one point: it can be done."

Well, that was the point, Brad.

And to the many who have pointed out Kansas State, yes, they were on my mind when I first conceptualized this post a while back... yet somehow in my pea brain, I left them off the list as I was working on it. No excuse there. They're probably the very best example.

J Money said...

Bill -- Fair points, but to also be fair, I didn't applaud NW for hiring Fitz. I actually thought he was in over his head at first... but he's proven to be the right guy. But yes, they got lucky, too. I'm not saying whatever their formula is is what Purdue should follow -- just that it's more proof consistent success can be had.

Bill McGee said...

J Money - I agree completely--especially about Fitzgerald early on. I believe consistent success can be had as well and this next hire (hopefully after this season) will determine whether it is sooner rather than later.

Brad said...

BoilerBloodline,

How many "expensive" guys do you want to point at that have been failures. Just about everyone at Notre Dame from Holtz to Kelly weren't "cheap", but they didn't get it done, *even* with the natural advantages the Domers have.

I'm not saying we should be cheap. We obviously have picked the wrong guy in hindsight and need to find someone new. We should try to pick the right guy without letting the purse strings become too much of a hindrance, as we've sometimes done in the past. But whether the "right" guy and the "expensive" guy are the same guy is still to be determined.

boilerbugle,

I also agree that given some of our disadvantages, we should be looking for more of an "outside the box" guy, like we did with Tiller. Hell, maybe we should go old-school and just be a triple option team!

J,

Yes, but the evidence for your point was looking at only the successes -- when I hardly accept the rationale that many of the failing programs over that time frame were doing things *that* much different from the guys on your list.

It's like looking at Bill Gates & Mark Zuckerberg and suggesting that dropping out of Harvard will help make you successful. It ignores that plenty of people drop out of Harvard and go on to live mediocre lives. They've never made the news, so they don't get counted as the "anti-Gates" or "anti-Zuckerberg" story.

zlionsfan said...

Brad, the post was in response to people saying "it can't be done". All that's necessary is to point to examples saying that it can be done. There's no need to bring up programs that have struggled in this situation: we've seen one on 11 Saturdays this fall.

BoilerBloodline said...

Brad, I agree with being "SMART SHOPPERS". I don't believe looking at the TERRIBLE hiring by ND over the years actually applies here...I mean, did you really believe ANY of those men were good hires??? The ONLY coach that I thought may be good for them is Brian Kelly...and even though they are on the verge of playing for a national title, I'm still not convinced he is coaching his best at a place like ND. That being said, I ALSO thought Kelly was a good fit for Purdue and truly believe he would have made some noise here. Some coaches are just really good at getting more out of less...(IE Joe Tiller, Gene Keady) I think Kelly is one of these guys and he had to adjust to having a lot of talent and the plays he was using to get those players in space.
I'm not someone who thinks "WE" as Purdue need to hire a coach that views Purdue as a destination job. If he comes here and takes us to 2 Rose Bowls in four years and moves on to say Texas, I'll be annoyed that we lost him but happy he was here. Kind of like Gary Barnett at Northwestern. Hell, they haven't stopped talking about Steve Schnur and Darnell Autrey in Evanston and that was the mid 90's. So, did the program as a whole benefit from a coach being there a few years?? That is a resounding YES. So what I'm saying is take the BEST COACH at THE BEST PRICE. That is NOT what ND did. They looked like fools while throwing all these coaches millions of dollars....BUT they did finally seem to get it right...and if Purdue stays in pursuit of excellence (just as ND did) on the football field, I am happy. Letting a bone head like Danny Hope float smoke signals for 4 years IS NOT pursuing excellence. Spend the money in the right places and Purdue will be rewarded.

James said...

The counter says "35 chunks of gibberish," so many readers won't make it this far down to read this screed.

I've suggested that Purdue hire 1)Dale Mueller of Highlands High School, Ft. Thomas KY, 2) Phil Fulmer, formerly of Tennessee, and 3) Jim Tressel as AD. But today I think I saw Purdue's next head football coach, Kevin O'Shea of Lafayette Central Catholic High School.

Now before the older readers say "Jerry Faust," Kevin O'Shea is a winner. How about 67-3 over the last five seasons? How about four straight state championsips? The school could hire Jim Tressel or some other experienced football coach as AD who could serve as a mentor. Wisconsin and Oregon are successful with former football coaches as AD's. O'Shea wouldn't even have to move.

Yes, it's crazy. Most of the readers probably think this is what Dad called a "hare brained idea."

If not Kevin O'Shea, how about Jeff Tedford of Cal? He rebuilt a program and oversaw the expansion of the athletic facilities. Oh yes, he trained two quality quarterbacks, Kyle Boller and Aaron Rodgers. He's 50 and has a lot of experience. Plus Cal Berkeley is one of the best state universities academically, so he know how to work with a school that has high academic standards such as Purdue.

Enough! Go Boilers! The Bucket belongs in West Lafayette.

Purdue76 said...

I've followed Purdue football for 40 years. Coaches have come and gone with little change in results. Only two have had moderate success in that time. Clearly there is a problem that goes beyond who the head coach is. Perhaps it is the budget, the fact that the program gets no financial support from the University, or the facilities. Danny Hope may have some legitimate complaints about why it is difficult to succeed at Purdue. Danny will likely be fired as head coach today or tomorrow, but don't expect that alone to improve the success of the program.