|Coach Hope continues to fight...and see things the rest of us do not|
We told you on the Handsome Hangout two Sundays ago that things could actually get worse. Well, the drumbeat goes on, as Purdue gets pasted by Penn State over the weekend, a game many of you earlier in the season felt was a near-lock win. Now, many of you aren't paying attention any longer and for that I cannot blame you one bit. But for those who get their sustenance from college football and/or are masochists who are still watching and will continue to watch, it will continue to get worse.
Purdue looks utterly hapless. As B-dowd detailed, they have no idea what's gone wrong and they seem utterly confused when they get their brains beaten in. I have no doubt that the players are still practicing hard and believe they can win. I do however bring this all back to the place it all always goes back to -- coaching.
As detailed earlier on this site, Gary Nord continues to angrily defend his play-calling and decisions, despite all evidence suggesting he should be a tad more humble. Coach Hope continues to talk about good practices and believing they'll win and sounding like a man who is drowning. There's a sort of unwritten rule in coaching that you don't hear about much, but it does exist -- when a coach essentially admits he doesn't know what else to do, that's when you cut ties, no matter how nice a guy they are. Because if the captain of the ship is throwing his hands up and saying he doesn't know what to do next as the water rushes in, you know you're cooked. Or sunk. Pick your metaphor.
Coach Hope does not have a handle on things. He and the staff don't know what to do next. They don't know how to prepare for anyone. And they have not seen any significant level of success since they've been here. One thing we pointed out to a particularly thick-headed Purdue "fan" on Twitter the other day was that you can't act like this is all new this season. It may feel like it's new, but it only feels that way. Purdue has lost five straight in 3 of Hope's 4 seasons, plus last year they had their worst day on defense (vs Wisc) in the program's history. And that was in Hope's golden season of 7 wins! These are not new problems.
And as I said above, it's getting worse. Purdue how has games at Iowa and at Illinois, before finishing at home (where they're currently an uninspiring 3-3) against IU, who actually could be playing to go to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game. A lot of you probably hate the idea of IU seeing success, and while I will root for Purdue over IU until I draw my last breath, I will say that IU making the Big Ten title game would also get the attention of a lot of Purdue donors and influencers. At least, I would hope so. It won't happen, since IU will lose to both Wisconsin this weekend and PSU next weekend, but it's still in the cards for them and they still control their own destiny, as the saying goes.
I looked back at my angry post following the Michigan game, when Purdue was 3-2 (0-1) and while I usually think quoting oneself is the height of arrogance, I will make an exception here:
Next week, Purdue is going to be embarrassed once again at home by Wisconsin. There will be 10,000 fewer fans in the stands than there were this weekend... Then the Boilers will go on the road at 0-2 in the conference and play at Ohio State... They'll then sit at 3-4 (0-3) and Danny Hope will still be talking about the positives he saw out there and how they're moving in the right direction and doing a lot of things well. And you and I will be screaming and pulling our hair out -- not even primarily because of Purdue's record, but because you and I will be more upset about things than the head coach, who is really just thrilled to be coaching a major conference program. Winning games would just be icing on the sweet cake of being the coach of Purdue.
Danny Hope has continued to do exactly that, as the wheels come off around him. He's riding on the axles, wondering why he's grinding into the pavement and no longer moving, while traffic flies by on both sides, dangerously close to finishing him off.
The funny thing is that Iowa fans are referring to their team as not good and the season as a "shitshow," and yet Purdue is going to go into Kinnick on Saturday and cure what ails them. The linked article there has complaints about play-calling, defense not living up to its billing, poor QB play, etc. It's like a mirror of crap! A crapmirror!
Well, things will get partially better on Saturday, OMHR fans; you won't be thrilled with things, but at least Iowa will be .500 with two games to go. Purdue will be circling the drain at 3-7 and the Purdue bus would have rotten fruit thrown at it upon its return to West Lafayette, except that nobody will waste their time because everyone is now turning their attention -- and rightfully so -- to basketball.
Purdue plays the Hawkeyes on the BTN at noon this Saturday. Watch if you dare.