Awful first season for Hazell and his staff...but just how bad? Read below to find out.
Purdue is currently 157 in the latest Sagarin rankings. For perspective:
The next lowest BCS team is USF at 149. The next lowest BCS team from a real BCS conference is Kansas at 123. Purdue would be predicted to finish in the middle of the pack in the IVY League, behind Princeton, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Brown.
The next lowest Big 10 team this year is Illinois, at 73.
Since 2007, Purdue has finished
In that same time period, the worst BCS team ever was Colorado in 2012 at 156. The worst Big 10 teams were Indiana 2008 at 125, 2007 Minnesota at 123, Indiana 2011 at 139, and Illinois 2012 at 126. So, we are currently the worst BCS team in the last 7 years and by far the worst Big 10 team in the last 7 years.
I don't have time to look it up, but a drop of 86 spots in the rankings would also have to be very close to a record.
The point of all this is there is a very legitimate concern over the current coaching staff. During this 7 year period, plenty of bad BCS teams have changed coaches, none have fallen near the depths of Purdue. (In 2012, Colorado was on the 3rd year of Jon Embree.) The talent is not great on this team, but Purdue returned 13 starters (according to ESPN) from a very average team. That team went from very average to historically awful in one season.
Note, I'm not advocating the termination of Coach Hazell. We're stuck with him for better or worse for at least 3 years. I like what he stands for and how he represents the university. And, I hope he can turn it around. However, I do believe significant staff changes are needed, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I also believe that criticizing the current coaching staff does not make me a "bad" fan.
(Ed Note: I read this on the Knucklehead Board and asked if I could publish it here as I think it's noteworthy. Guest poster "Faneidde" was kind enough to allow me to post his research. If you felt like you were watching a historically-bad Purdue team, you were correct...Not just for Purdue, but for all of the BCS conferences.
Thanks very much to Faneidde, who is a BS reader, for the post!)