The Predicto Asks, Which Lovie Is Your Favorite?
The battle for the tiniest cannon ever is in its rightful spot during the 3:30 window on Saturday. The BS crew discusses their favorite Lovie...contenders include:
Evil twin mustachioed Lovie
Staring through the scoreboard Lovie
It’s so hard to pick just one because Lovie is so lovable. But let’s see what everyone thinks about that and, oh yeah, the game.
Santa Lovie for sure. I’m feeling festive.
Also I hate these fake rivalry games and their dumb trophies. I’m going to complain about every one. No fan was made to feel any intensity towards a B1G because of these things. I’m gonna complain about it every time. [Editor’s Note: The Purdue Cannon has been awarded to the winner of the Purdue-Illinois football game since 1943.]
Also, the Illini aren’t very good and Purdue is hitting their stride, I think. A week off is a godsend for a team like Purdue: young, but talented and equipped with a competent coaching staff installing the right system. I predict a slow start and a fast finish.
Purdue wins, 34-17.
Evil Twin Mustache Lovie is the greatest of all because of the hijinx and tomfoolery that comes with him each time he’s in town...zany play calls...library book theft...attempts to get media members to call him Love Dove Smith.
Regarding the game, Blough wanted to play THIS opponent this season...wants a chance to finish versus Chief Illiniwek. Hopefully, cheap shots aren’t still this defense’s M.O.
If Purdue’s defense takes away the run, Boilers will win big.
I’m having Rugger flashbacks from ‘17...fighting urge to worry...
Purdue 38, Chief 27
It is probably not the case that Illinois AD Josh Whitman is actually a deep-cover Purdue spy, sent by forces unknown to undermine one of Purdue's secondary rivals and ensure that the Purdue Cannon stays with its namesake. Would someone actually reach out to a Harrison grad and encourage him to head to Illinois, later to return as athletic director and spend a ridiculous amount of money to hire a guy who hadn't even been an assistant at the NCAA level in more than 20 years? Probably not.
It's much more likely that Whitman jumped at the chance to land an available big-name coach, didn't put much stock in his short tenure in Tampa (given what Greg Schiano did to the franchise prior to Smith's arrival, that would have been a wise decision), and assumed that if nothing else, Smith's name would help attendance.
About that - there was a small uptick in attendance in 2016, but after a 3-9 campaign, attendance fell off by more than 6000 per game, dropping the Illini under 40,000 and to 13th in the conference, ahead of only Northwestern. (Yes, Rutger - and Maryland - averaged just slightly larger crowds last season.)
So the hire has been great so far, but for Big Tenteen West opponents more than for Illinois. The Illini dropped from 61st in S&P+ in 2015 to 95th the following year and 118th last season; they're currently 100th. Smith deserves to finish the season out and maybe get into 2019, to show what he can do with a roster filled with his recruits, but given what's happened so far, it wouldn't be a surprise if Whitman's hand is forced. Lovie's teams have beaten Rutger twice, Michigan State (the bad 2016 version), Ball State, Kent State, and Western Kentucky. Look at their remaining schedule - nothing jumps out as a likely win. Will Lovie record a third straight season with 9+ losses?
If he does, then the Illini will have to lose Saturday. Are the Boilers a winnable game for Illinois? Let's ask Vegas ... what's that? 10-point favorites? Oh, you mean Purdue is a 10-point favorite. Never mind then. The Good Guys are on the right track, sitting at 48th in S&P+, right between Virginia Tech and Temple (think about that for a minute). Illinois is ... not that.
Purdue 44, Illinois 16
Also the obvious winner is Evil Twin Mustachioed Lovie.
A 10.5 point spread is way too many points, and I actually think this one might be a little too close of a finish on the road against a team desperate for the whiff of a bowl game. Just as Purdue has no room for error remaining on their march towards a bowl, the Fightin' Lovies need to grab three more wins from a slate that includes homestands Purdue/Minnesota/Iowa, and road trips versus Wisconsin, Maryland, Nebraska, and Northwestern.
Purdue will be rested and ready after a bye, but let's hope the bye doesn't have them too rusty (just as confidence was starting to be built among the Boilermakers). Most of the game stays close, but David Blough pushes Purdue over the line for the W in Champaign.
(Also I died seeing Mustachioed Lovie but I will pick John Amos because long live Admiral Percy Fitzwallace.)
Purdue 35, Illinois 32
I cannot get enough of Santa Lovie. He looks like such a nice man.
Being responsible for the Predicto each week for years now has meant adding to my weekly to-do list to follow up with these clowns. So this year I said let’s just keep it simple and we’ll do a score predicto and see how everyone stacks up in a grid-like, quick-read format. And so what happens? These clowns now send in their write-ups the way I had always asked them to. Short and efficient, like DJ Knox.
Purdue 42, Illinois 32
100% of our readers polled called for a Purdue victory in the preseason. Let’s see if that holds.