Husk That Corn, You Naughty Cornhuskers: The Nebraska Predicto
As you know if you visit here often, the mood has gotten a tad, shall we say, dark in the halls of BS when we discuss Purdue football. Rather than allow us to ignore Purdue football for a while, the bye week simply made us more angry somehow and we rained our version of fire (truth-fire) upon the Purdue athletic department. Are you ready for some more blunt truth trauma? 390 days since Purdue defeated an FBS opponent 1,031 days since Purdue's last bowl game 1,069 days since Purdue enjoyed back-to-back wins 1,069 days since Purdue's last win over IU 1,069 days since Purdue’s last home Big Ten win 1,402 days since Purdue's last bowl win 4,685 days since Purdue's last bowl win not in Detroit
Sorry, did you just vomit a little bit? Isn’t it amazing that no matter how bad it gets, we’re able to show you something even darker?
Well, buckle up, because the Predicto is back and it’s not pretty.
Unlike us. We’re all very pretty.
Aneesh the Swamy:
I don't have fun watching Purdue football, I don't have fun writing about Purdue football, and I'm sure people aren't having fun reading about Purdue football.
THANKFULLY PURDUE BASKETBALL IS AROUND THE CORNER.
I'm sure I'll have a much more long-form exploration of this thought closer to December, but even if Purdue basketball disappoints they should be interesting to watch. Purdue football is the opposite...they're disappointing and mind-numbingly awful to watch, and there's no reason a bye week will prove otherwise.
So, I'll spend my free time writing about basketball because it's way more fun, and the team is way more fun, and the coaches are way better, the newcomers should be way more impactful, and they haven't disappointed me in a health-effecting way since March.
Thank you God, thank you Big Dog, thank you Nemanja Calasan for giving us basketball. Now we can let Purdue football lose in peace.
Nebraska 32 Purdue 14
When Nebraska fired Bo Pelini for ... not being Tom Osborne, I guess, they ended up drawing Mike Riley from Oregon State. While it seemed like an upward move at the time, if for no other reason than to get out of the shadow of the Nike Monster, less than a year later, nobody seems happy. The Beavers continued their downward slide (Portland State actually has more Pac-12 victims this year than OSU), and even though Riley has made Nebraska football exciting again, so far it's been for all the wrong reasons. Never mind that Nebraska is a handful of plays from being 7-1 or 8-0: they're 3-5 now, and that's most definitely Firing Territory in Lincoln. (If you've guessed that a significant percentage of the Nebraska fan base still acts as though they're part of the Big Eight, you are correct. To be fair, the loss to Miami looks a lot worse now than it did at the time.)
Mediocre though the Huskers may be, it's P5 mediocre we're talking about here, not ... uh ... anyway. 34th/57th in S&P+, 28th/62nd in FEI, Nebraska is the kind of team that a lot of fans wouldn't mind rooting for, with good offense, OK defense, and special teams that don't cost them points often ... it's those intangibles that are bringing them down, the kind of things that make the whole of the team less than the sum of its parts. Illinois and Miami are well below NU in F/+, while BYU and Northwestern are roughly their peers; only Wisconsin is clearly ahead of the Huskers, so it's hard to see how Riley's teams keep losing in these situations. (Even their wins are over significantly weaker teams: Minnesota, Southern Miss and South Alabama.)
Because Riley's teams seem to struggle in the final minute or two of close games, what they need is an opponent who can't keep the game close for that long. Purdue is that opponent. The one thing in the Boilers' favor is that Tommy Armstrong is still listed as questionable; if he's able to play, NU's passing game will be a considerably stronger threat, even setting aside the struggles Purdue has had against opposing QBs.
Everything else? Well, Nebraska's 28th in S&P+ run defense, which means you'll probably see a lot of second-and-long on Saturday, especially if D.J. Knox isn't 100%. Shoop has a habit of running Knox into the line over and over again just to make sure he can use those precious 2nd-and-8 plays he knows so well. David Blough has been Shooped already, so until the Good Guys face a pass defense as bad as Bowling Green's, the passing game won't be able to keep Joe Schopper off the field. Unfortunately, during the bye week, things changed just enough that Purdue's special teams are dead last in FEI. woo. If you see Nebraska fans getting excited because their special teams don't look average, politely remind them of the level of their competition. We wouldn't want to get anyone's hopes up.
One thing's for sure: this game features possibly the two most disgruntled fanbases in the conference. No matter the score, neither side is likely to be happy with the outcome ... but I suspect we Purdue fans will be more disgruntled after the game.
Nebraska 31 Purdue 13
There's no reason to think that the bye week will have any appreciable impact on Purdue's ability to play competent football. The team is struggling in all phases, and the coaching staff appears at a loss for how to right the ship. These are the darkest days of the program.
I will watch the whole game, of course, but I won't be happy about it. I have no idea what offensive scheme we'll toss out there. Maybe we'll run the ball all the time? Maybe we'll try to get the WRs involved? Maybe it'll be something really cool that I don't even know about. Changes are, whatever we do won't work anyway.
Our defensive unit has been abused by damn near everyone, and that trend will surely continue as well. I just don't have any faith in this team to play well enough to beat a Big 10 foe, and I certainly don't have any faith in the coaching staff to put them in the best position to do so. So, fair warning, I'll be picking against Purdue in the remaining games. Only one team can win a given prize in college football, whether that prize be division championships, conference championships, or bowl championships. All others that fall short of that prize leave disappointed, although not all are discouraged. Hope is the true currency of sports fandom, and any morsel that indicates in any way that the team is headed in the right direction will be fervently seized upon and kept precious. In West Lafayette, what little hope remained headed into the season has been extinguished. There is simply no reason to believe that things will be better any time soon, nor can anyone reasonably put stock in assertions that the team is close to being less horrible than they currently are. Purdue is the JV squad of high major football, and to deny our place is little else than willful ignorance.
I want nothing more than for Purdue to show me something, anything, but the odds are not in my favor. Oh well.
Nebraska 27 Purdue 13
It’s all been said to this point. Purdue is underachieving and the coaching staff sounds like they’re in over their heads. It’s particularly frustrating when you believe what I believe, which is that this team has enough talent to, at a minimum, be better than this. This is not the 2013 team that couldn’t even hope to move the football against even mediocre Big Ten teams. This squad has talent and some size and, honestly, with the exception of Bentley, they’ve had good health, too. You can’t blame the 1-6 record on anything other than scheme, execution, preparedness and management. In other words, the brain trust.
I was fooled once into picking a win I shouldn’t have (Minn). But I won’t be making that mistake again. Just think how different your perspective might be right now if they’d only held on vs Marshall and not choked away a great opportunity versus Bowling Green. Even with those alone and a 3-4 record, it would feel like progress and you’d have a little voice in your head saying dreaming of a bowl game wasn’t yet out of the question.
Just think how you’d be viewing Nebraska right now if Purdue had shown you glimpses of progress by way of a couple more wins. Nebraska is wounded right now, but don’t worry – Purdue is the elixir that cures all. The Huskers will get right in a hurry even though their fans deserve nothing but misery.
Purdue’s coaches go from needing to narrow the playbook versus Wisconsin to wanting to open things up versus Nebraska. If this doesn’t scream “We don’t know what we’re doing,” I don’t know what does. John Shoop is like a nervous teen trying to unhook a bra on prom night in the dark. He feels like he’s so close to a huge success but for some reason it never happens.
Nebraska is reeling, Purdue has some talent, the playbook may be wide open and Purdue just came off a bye week. The perfect recipe for a comeback win!
Nebraska 28 Purdue 17
I'll keep it short and sour.
Two weeks ago, Purdue took the second most conservative approach on offense that I've ever witnessed as a Purdue fan (first was Henry's Freshman start versus Northwestern under Hope)...and the 2015 edition ended in a lopsided loss. A slow, painful, lopsided loss.
This week, Shoop and Hazell still think they're soooooooo close...and Hazell has decided that it's time to release the hounds!!! No more Mr. Conservative super-nice, sharply-dressed Purdue coach guy...here come the big, bad, ultra-aggressive mean, new-look Boilers!!
Armstrong is hurt and questionable (doesn't matter, he's not very good throwing the ball anyway). But my prediction is their second string QB comes in and throws for 900 yards and 50 TDs...and then fades into Bolivian the following week.
If you're a struggling team, there simply is no better cure than a Purdue football game to make everything right...I see no reason to believe that changes this week.
Hide your wives, hide your children...Purdue loses to everybody.
Nebraska 27 Purdue 10