This week's game is a blessing and a curse...It's a blessing because Goldy is probably a year away from being a legit ranked opponent, so they're beatable. It's a curse, because they're still ranked...and Tiller's teams are still sans-victory in the last 17 contests versus teams that have earned spots in the national rankings.
Let's all be very honest though- If Purdue played a well-coached, mid-sized high school team...and made the amount of mistakes they did last week, they'd get beaten. I know, I know, the coordinators have done a good job and only someone as intellectually mature as Joe himself could really understand that it's more about effort than wins and losses at this point...But our Boilers looked simply lousy last weekend...Not like the Coletto Era, but like the Akers Era, friends.
The question is- Was what we saw in Evanston the bottom of the recent nosedive? Here's what we're thinking about this week's Homecoming Matchup v. Minny.
Good for Purdue
-It's been 18 seasons since the Gophers won at Purdue.
-Purdue hasn't dropped five in a row since losing six straight in 2005 (has it really been that long? *rolls eyes*)
Bad for Purdue
-Purdue has a 17-game losing streak to Top 25 opponents
At this point it doesn't matter who the f Purdue plays. They're done. Should they win this game? Absolutely. Will they win this game? Absolutely not.
They freaking should win 45 - 10. They will, however, snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory.
The wheels are off the train and the train is on fire and the conductor is taking a nap. F you conductor!
Minnesota - 38
Purdue - 20
Talent-wise, this should be a great game, probably another shootout. But reality-wise, with the way Purdue simply hasn't shown up lately.... I can't imagine why I would pick them to win.
This game is a lot like last week in that part of me believes Purdue wins...Sure, that's the completely illogical part because this is not the same Minnesota team of last season...So, I'm going with logic. Tiller-coached teams of late have played way-down versus poorer competition and risen to the challenge for close losses versus good teams (awesome sports psychology, by the way).
Until they prove otherwise to me, I don't know how I can pick my alma mater. I'm seeing flashbacks of Reggie Fogie-era greatness from Goldie...I mean Tony Dungy-era greatness...and on the other sideline, Fred Akers and his gigantic hat might once again be stalking the sidelines of Ross Ade...or at least it will feel like it. (Put in Downing!) You have to figure Minnesota is due for a victory in West Lafayette...
Will Tiller end his career with a 19-game losing streak versus ranked opponents? It certainly looks that way right now. The magic formula of (Purdue continues...