Our hosts for this weekend's game have a few wonderful blogs of their own...check the lower right column for proof of that. One of them, Boiled Sports, has taken over the BBC for a short while (it's OK, I took over theirs too).
I asked J Money over there a few questions about Purdue football, and their thoughts. No, nobody talked about predictions for this Saturday's game.....
So, I'm going back to watching Game 1 or the Indians playoffs! Here's where I give control to my friends at Boiled Sports! WOW! CC just made Jeter practically fall over swinging at a fastball strikeout. Lemme go back to my game now.....
1) Purdue, despite a somewhat easy schedule, has surprised a lot of the country by being 5-0, and by playing strong football in the process. Is there a shared sense of excitement amongst Boiler fans, and when the talk gets serious, what are the expectations for the rest of the season?
We think most Purdue fans aren't too surprised at what they've seen thus far...most of our friends thought Purdue would be, at worst, 4-1 at this point...but it turned out that the teams that looked tough in the pre-season are just dogs. Nothing Purdue can do about that. Our feeling is that most everyone is optimistic, but not yet "doing back flips" due to their excitement. Most are talking Jan.1 Bowl...honestly, we haven't heard about anybody talking Rose Bowl, yet.
1a) If Purdue beats OSU and is 6-0, what becomes of the expectations?Now you're talking.
While we're not ready to look to UM yet, we can say we'll start thinking "something special is going on now" if our Boilers can beat the Bucks. Plus, the symmetry of the horrible loss v. Wisconsin back in '04 might make some think that the program has reversed the curse that started with Orton's fumble that night...maybe. The program really hasn't been the same since.
2) Curtis Painter may be the Big Ten's best quarterback nearing the halfway point of the season. Where do you rank him among the rest of the conference, providing specific details, and where do you rank him among former Purdue quarterbacks, especially Kyle Orton and Drew Brees.
First off, we would rank Drew Brees the best of the three Purdue QBs. Painter compares well with Orton as a Senior, but he's still going to get better...better than Brees though, that's doubtful.
As of right now, it seems to us Painter is the best of the drop-back passers and his accuracy has been amazing for about 80 percent of the season. Boeckman's pretty close (but Robo has made some super-human grabs that help out quite a bit) and if Henne was healthy, he'd be right there as well. Morelli is as overrated as any QB in the nation and while both he and Christensen were both blue chips, we don't see either commanding their offenses, at this point. Juice Williams and Kellen Lewis are both elusive and fit well in their systems, but they're not great quarterbacks. Adam Weber might be as good as anybody in the next two seasons...but he needs a supporting cast.
3) With an easy Big Ten schedule, Joe Tiller had the road to success two years ago, and Purdue ended up failing early and often. Tiller's head was on the chopping block, but survived. What will it take from the Boilers this year to garner forgiveness in the eyes of all Boiler fans, or has that already happened?
First, he's already done a lot to get people off of his back. Much of it has little to do with what's happening on the field...Seeing Purdue players on the police blotter angers fans and alums alike. Since spring, things have been cleaned up pretty well. Also, a few seasons ago, tremendous egos like one of the quarterbacks and a DB made it tough for many of the alums to embrace the team. This team seems to not have those problems and we're not seeing the pouting and whining.
We really believe Tiller could retire whenever he'd like, and until then keep going to mediocre bowls, if the players were good guys and good students. Sadly, Purdue's A.D. (Burke), alums and most fans completely accept things just as they are because many people think it's either this or back to Burtnett, Akers & Coletto-type results (83-96)...But to resign the program to the middle of the pack seems pretty sad, to me. Some old guys might remember Purdue ranked in the top-5 in the country for three consecutive seasons...but it's been a while.
Coaches like Alvarez, Beemer, Rodriguez, (even further back) Frye and others believe(d) that their program has/had no ceiling. Purdue, its coaches and its fans should be no different.
All that said, we (Boiled Sports) want character guys, but are really ready for the program to take a step forward. We honestly don't think Purdue has grounds to fire Tiller if we're winning 7-8 games a year...but another Sun Bowl-type bowl makes me think, "You ready to go fishin', Joe??" What our expectations have become are a Jan. 1 bowl every three seasons and a bowl victory every other season (at least)...We don't think thats too much to ask. And if every now and then (like in 2000 and 2004), we can creep into the national consciousness and the top ten in the country, that'd be nice, too.
Thanks to Boiled Sports....good luck on Saturday, guys!
I'll be back in Ohio Saturday morning, everyone. Be good, and GO TRIBE!!!!!