1. What was your biggest surprise of the season (positive)?
Honestly, answering this question is a difficult proposition for me. Very few things positively surprised me, sadly...But, Chris Summers was not only consistent this season, he was flat-out good. So good, that I forgot we had a kicker...That's the way I think it should be.
2. What was your biggest disappointment of the season?
The offense. No doubt about it, I thought that this unit with its many weapons would be close-to-impossible to defend. Sadly, it wasn't. In fact, as the season progressed I waited and waited for the playbook to expand and "set up" plays from earlier in the season to create new wrinkles for opposing defenses. It never happened. And, once again, the offense couldn't compete with good defenses.
3. What are you excited about for the '08 season?
I'm excited to see what a healthy Jaycen Taylor can do again...Plus, he makes Sheets better. They should be a pretty good tandem next season. Man oh man would I like to see Purdue use Siller in short-yardage situations (but it won't happen).
4. What are you least looking forward to in the '08 season?
Another Joe Tiller "never-too-high, never-too-low", "managed expectations", "only gotta win by one" season. All that crap has been old for about three seasons.
5. What effect, if any, will a bowl have on Purdue's football program?
I don't think it will change anything...things are what they are right now. This bowl is fitting for a team that underachieved. A win will not move the program forward a loss will only remind us that we're not what we used to be.
6. How and when will Joe Tiller's career end at Purdue?
Tiller will resign after Purdue's last game next season triumphantly holding a record that should belong to Fat Jack.
7. Who frustrated you the most this season?
Many frustrated me...Sheets fumbling early in the season while jumping for extra yards, Spack's defense bending and breaking v. good teams. But I really thought Painter would progress to a greater degree this year; especially with Keller, Orton, Lymon & Bryant all as targets, I thought he'd be the best, if not one of the best QBs in the league.
8. What team and/or player opponent of Purdue this season was least impressive to you?
Minnesota was pretty lousy. Heck, they couldn't even score when unabated to the end zone.
9. Despite all the grousing we do, is Purdue football on the right track (If not, what would get the program back on track)?
No. I used to think another gritty, tough-competing quarterback with a fire in his gut would make Purdue great again...Sadly, that guy wouldn't be allowed to see the field because Tiller probably wouldn't allow it. He likes system guys (ref. Orton & Painter). Stinking Brees called too many audibles!
10. Looking at next year's schedule, what's your early thought on critical games?
Honestly, I think they're all critical because it's a much more difficult schedule. We'll be playing CMU for the third time in a calendar year and then Oregon and Notre Dame. This isn't the cream-puff-filled pre-conference schedule that we saw in '07. Tiller's calling card losing streak may actually begin the season rather than end it in '08. That could put a ton of pressure on the Boilers who will be trying to return to Detroit at the end of next season.
11. Does it ever get old making fun of Fat Charlie the Manatee?
Absolutely not...not even a little. There was one point, when UND was 0-2 and Charlie was acting somewhat humble that I said, "Hey, this guy is an OK loser." It seemed like he heard me because the very next week he got back on to his normal asshead comments and I got back to firing across the bow of the God's School and its arrogant coach.
12. Will Purdue win a football national championship in our lifetime?
No. Sadly, as long as people like Burke & Tiller are making decisions, the idea that Purdue is a red-headed step-child in the ranks of the teams in the NCAA will have a strangle-hold on the program. The more I talk to wealthy JPCers the less I think a change is on the horizon. That said, maybe when those who graduated between 1997 & 2000 are old and rich, maybe they'll change the corporate culture of Purdue's athletic department.
13. What is more likely for the Boilers and why: a football championship or a basketball championship?
Basketball...it's a basketball school, afterall! Back in 2000, I really thought Tiller would be able to contend for a national title before he left. Sadly, he didn't...but Painter will, probably in the next 3-4 seasons.
14. After Tiller retires (or is fired), would you rather get a coach that is a better recruiter or is a better game day coach?
I guess it'd be pretty neat to actually have talent that was as good as anybody's. I honestly can't remember a Purdue basketball or football team that wasn't forced to overachieve to win a league championship. So, for a change, let's get a good recruiter in here...but nothing in the least bit questionable (ref. Zook, Tressel, et al.).
15. If you had to choose another coach from the Big Ten to coach Purdue, who would you pick?
I like Beilema, Ferentz & Dantonio for different reasons...But, I think I'd like to see Beilema and Tiller switch places. Beilema builds around defense and big uglies...you win and lose games in the trenches, so I think he'd be my pick. Plus, wouldn't it be refreshing to see Purdue as the tougher, more physical team on the field?