Wednesday, November 19, 2008
[Editor's Note: What follows is BS editor Tim's editorial on Joe T. I just did the posting. As you were. -- J]
What I will most remember about the Tiller era is how he actually created a football program that we could have any sort of expectation of success about. Yes, that means it's hard to take a season like this. But why is that? Is it because we now know that it's possible to have success? I think so.
I was a student during the Colletto years, and let me tell you, those teams were just terrible. There was no excitement on campus regarding the football team. Yes, there were the occasional upsets and the "graveyard" of teams they beat, but they were few and far between.
I can't tell you how cool it was to go to the Alamo Bowl that first year. Then they beat Oklahoma State in that game and it was great. It culminated with the trip to Pasadena. I'm one of the few Purdue people that can say they've been to a Rose Bowl game that Purdue played in. Sure, they should've won that game but gave it away by repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot, but they PLAYED IN A ROSE BOWL. New Years Day bowl games became the expected.
Our expectations were raised. The talent level was raised. Some of the players went on to play on Sundays, and quite successfully at that. The Tiller era never brought us to the top of the peak, but we did get close enough to taste it, and that's worth something. How's the saying go? "Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." I'd rather have a program that nearly got to where we all wanted it to go than to have toiled away with 3-5 win seasons forever.
That's what I'll remember about the Joe Tiller era. He enabled us to believe that success is possible.