There's this guy who visits our site regularly who defends Tiller and really refuses to say how bad things have become...yet, he will fully admit that IU's football team is not good and is poorly coached. Our pals over at the Lafayette J & C printed an article that might be of note to the shrinking group of people that keep telling us everything's fine.
Make no mistake, the situations that both Purdue and IU are in are deplorable...and they both can be attributed to poor coaching and preparation. Last year, Lynch used the memory of a former coach to motivate the players...it took the same deceased coach's wife to help the Hoosiers get the win versus our Boilers back in November. Now, they're unmotivated...
In the same way, Purdue's head man has lost motivation...his team can see it, heck, about anybody can read it in his quotes and inconsistent answers given to the media. On one hand, Tiller is given credit for being an offensive genius...on the other hand, he refuses to call plays when his offensive coordinator doesn't call the game to his liking. One one hand, he says his team's effort has been lacking, on the other, he won't make personnel changes when they seem to be an absolute must.
Both IU and Purdue's fanbases thought at least a low-level bowl would be in their futures coming into this season. Now, just past the midway point, neither Purdue's once-feared, Senior-laden offense nor IU's Charmin-soft schedule could help either team to a winning record. In fact, they're both well-under .500 and seem to be on their way to a date with destiny...or a date with a trip back in time anyway. At the end of the season at Ross Ade, it looks like we'll all party like it's 1996...The only difference is, neither fanbase is as accepting of the sub-prime* efforts their respective teams have been showing this season.
Now, both teams will welcome two programs on the rise to their stadiums on Saturday for Homecoming...both opponents are ranked and both seem to be unworthy of being mentioned with the other 23 teams in the top-25. It seems like the opportunity is ripe for IU and Purdue to shake the cobwebs loose and remind the fans why they believed not-too-long ago. But they probably won't. Afterall, Lynch no longer can motivate his young men with the ghost of a leader of men, and Tiller seems to be a Zombie version of the man who used to inspire never-say-die effort from the Boilers...Kind of fitting in this ghoulish season, don't you think?
There is a silver lining, at least up North...While Purdue has looked like dogmeat this season, there is a definite change coming next year...and, our basketball team provides a diversion reminiscent of the mid-90s as well. Conversely, IU's football team is in a no-win sitation as firing Lynch seems imminent, but a buyout will once again cost the Hoosier athletic department...something they don't need as they continue to build the 10,000 additional perpetually-empty seats**...and we won't get into a lot of detail about the state of their basketball program. I will say this though, the NCAA has still not ruled about the punishment of the Candy Stripers in the wake of Kelvin's antics...Oh well.
The really bad news, if you're a sucker for Purdue football as I am, is not only will it be cool on Saturday in West Lafayette...it's also going to be rainy. I guess it's fitting though- the gray skies are a fitting backdrop for a horror story.
*yes, I just paralleled the crash of the market with the crash of Purdue's program
**except for games in which the Hoosiers host aOSU, aka photo day