Our Number One Candidate
Just to review, we still don't necessarily think Hope is a dead man walking. There are a few reasons behind that- Burke doesn't have a history of firing coaches and Hope can still salvage the season. Sure, the signature win(s), if Hope can correct things, would be against depleted Penn State and Iowa squads, but a 7-win regular season is pretty respectable...and there is no way Hope could/should be fired with that record heading into a bowl.
I feel like when we write, some people read the headline, the first sentence and the last sentence...then respond via Twitter. For those people, nothing that's written matters anyway. For others of you that are reading this and trying to figure out the back story for this post, here are the posts that led to this:
Even though the first list posted was slightly more-pricey, we think there are some pretty good names on these lists...and if Burke's hand was forced and he needed to seek candidates for this job, this would be a great final three:
Rutgers HC, Kyle Flood
Northern Illinois HC, Dave Doeren
...and finally, without further ado...
Louisiana Tech HC, Sonny Dykes
A few of you also think Dykes is a great candidate, but we think he might be the best candidate.
First off, if there's one consistent opinion within the majority of the Purdue fanbase, it's that Purdue's heritage as a program lies in the passing game...and Purdue should have an offense that is built around passing the football. Plus, if there's any chance to keep Purdue's QBs that are on the roster and on the way in, a new offense would have to be sold to them. Sonny Dykes pedigree and current offense would be attractive to most quarterbacks, we believe...and Hope's focus on speed in the skilled positions would play quite well in Dykes system as his offenses are a bit more balanced than Tiller's early teams were. What Dykes' teams really do is just score and move the ball up and down the field. In fact, his offense might make Cowboy Joe Tiller of 1997 blush a bit.
They're currently 1st in points scored, 8th in passing yards and 12th in rushing yards. Before coaching for LaTech, he was OC in Arizona, but he really learned what he knows in his previous 6 seasons coaching under Mike Leach at Texas Tech.
Those jobs are another reason that we like Dykes. Coaching in the state of Texas, but not for UT or A&M is a challenge...same goes for coaching in Louisiana and not wearing purple and yellow. The recruiting and resource situation at Purdue will be similar to two of his previous jobs...the one thing Dykes doesn't seem to know too well is colder weather...but we think that isn't a deal breaker.
Dykes turns 43 in a few weeks, makes 3/4 of a million dollars right now, and his buyout is about what Hope's is right now (estimated; can't find the exact number).
From what I've read, Arkansas fans have also noticed Dykes resume and ability to recruit the state of Texas...something that Purdue fans can appreciate as well. The point is, if Burke waits long on Dykes, he won't be available either...like the other two names on the list, he's a great candidate and would be a pretty solid fit for Purdue.
Like many of you, I'm still hoping Purdue wins out, including the bowl, then there'd be no doubt that no change is warranted.
The apathy that seems to have settled within the Purdue fanbase is noteworthy and widespread...it'll take something like a five or six game winning streak to awaken us from our early hibernation.