Purdue Football 2018: A Look Back and a Look Ahead

Purdue Football 2018: A Look Back and a Look Ahead

(Photo credit: Purdue Athletics)

In addition to a predicto for the Music City Bowl, let’s look back and answer some questions about the 2018 season and Purdue football heading to 2019:

Compared to your outlook at the start of the season, how are you viewing 2018 Purdue football? 

If I can promise you 3 more years of Rondale and 1 of Brohm OR 3 more years of Brohm and only 1 of Rondale, which are you taking?

Why are 6-6 Brohm seasons so much more exciting to you personally than 6-6 Danny Hope seasons? 

It's never to early division: looking ahead to 2019, what's your early expectation, hope, dream?

Please feel free to share your answers as well. We like seeing how we stack up against you crazies.

But for now, here is how the BS braintrust felt.


Compared to your outlook at the start of the season, how are you viewing 2018 Purdue football? 

Dave: 2018 turned out far better than I thought it would, even though I did predict a 7-6 record that is reachable with a bowl win; I was also preparing for the possibility of a 4-win season, and at one point that didn't seem too far off the mark. Two things happened that changed my outlook: 49-20*, and Louisville giving Petrino the boot so early in Brohm's tenure. While UL is unpredictable, they're unlikely to set the new guy loose after fewer than 3 years, which gives Brohm more time in West Lafayette to continue building, and if you've been tracking today's signings, you can see that he's continuing the job just fine. I'm already looking forward to seeing guys like George Karlaftis and Marvin Grant in Purdue uniforms.

*the last link if you google 49-20; I'm a little disappointed but will concede that the Bible has been around slightly longer

Boilerdowd: I thought Purdue would win 6 or 7 games...just not exactly these six games. The season was a roller coaster ride, things are trending the right way. I would not call the season a rousing success by any means, but not a failure either. Next year, the Good Guys might flirt with that 9 (+) range that J thought would happen this season.

Big picture: Kept Brohm, got the '19 recruits signed. Smaller picture: Went bowling. Lil' picture: Kept the Bucket. Successful season.

Aneesh: If we're being 100% dispassionate, Purdue underperformed by a game or two on the field. Given the strength of this year's offense, and the close games the Boilermakers ended up losing to begin the year, this team should have been able to win 7 or 8 regular season games, so ending up with 6 would qualify as a 'disappointment'.

But before the season started, I was calling for 5-7 wins, a fun Rondale season, one memorable win, Brohm's return to West Lafayette for 2019, and the entire 2019 recruiting class to be signed (including David Bell). Let's check back in on that list: Purdue got 6 wins and a nice bowl opportunity vs Auburn. Rondale Moore is the most electrifying Boilermaker most of us have ever seen, and he's got at least two more years in old gold and black. The OSU win on Tyler Trent night was the most memorable sports win I've experienced, and I wasn't even in West Lafayette. JEFF BROHM TURNED DOWN LOUISVILLE TO STAY AT PURDUE, and the 2019 recruiting class was inked in mid-December (with Bell expected to sign in January). Though it took a route I couldn't see coming, this season was everything I could've hoped for.

Michael: https://gph.is/Zeq0fl

J: Well, I was the one who called for a 10-win season and while it didn’t happen, my logic was sound. I felt like the Jeff Brohm era wouldn’t last much longer and so it was time to push the chips in before Nebraska and Wisconsin got really good again. Turns out that looks smart but I couldn’t have predicted those three season-opening close losses and the strange collapse against Wisconsin. Similar to 2017, but for some breaks (and perhaps a little more talent), Purdue could truly have been in the 8-10 win range. So I’m still feeling great and as confident as ever that this is the right guy.


If I can promise you 3 more years of Rondale and 1 of Brohm OR 3 more years of Brohm and only 1 of Rondale, which are you taking?

Dave: You can't promise what you can't deliver, and since Rondale isn't spending three more years here unless West Lafayette gets an NFL team, let's say for the sake of argument that you're offering me 2 of him and 1 of Brohm, which still isn't going to happen because Brohm almost literally just finished talking about sticking around to finish what he started. Also, since Moore didn't enroll early, he can't leave after 1 year because he has to wait 3 years total, and ain't no way he's transferring out of this offense. Oh yes, you knew I would answer it this way, didn't you?

Boilerdowd: Unless NCAA rules have changed, we get Rondale for two more...so I guess an injury would be in the one more year scenario? I don't want that. I think one more will be enough to get him invited to the Heisman presentation...two might win him the damned thang.

I haven't answered the question- I want 3 more seasons of Brohm and his staff, regardless of the attachments. 

Aneesh: I love you, Rondale, but give me three more seasons of Brohm. We'll build two statues after Purdue's 2019 National Championship, so in reality they'll both be Boilermakers forever.

Michael: 3 more of Brohm, absolutely. Coaching is king in college football.

J: Yeah, I think I’ll take Brohm for 3 because as amazing as Rondale is, it’s increasingly likely that he can recruit another Rondale.


Why are 6-6 Brohm seasons so much more exciting to you personally than 6-6 Danny Hope seasons? 

Dave: I see we're getting softball questions, it's a little bit early for those. 6-6 seasons under Brohm are exciting because he has the best offense I've ever seen at Purdue, including the entire Brees era, and he doesn't even have all the right parts in the Lamborghini yet. If he gets the car completed, look out! Hope had that crazy power over OSU, but other than that, 6-6 basically felt like his ceiling - he wasn't an innovator or a great recruiter, he didn't really have anything new to bring to the table, and he wasn't really going to get much better. Brohm, on the other hand ...

Boilerdowd:  Easy- they're a threat to win every week (save Minnesota) under Coach Brohm. Let's not forget that Coach Hope's squad was getting shellacked with regularity in his 6-6 season. Also, the offense is dynamic and still utilizes the gadget plays. PLUS, Brohm beats ranked teams more than he loses to him...also a contrast to Coach Hope.

Aneesh: When people hear "Purdue football", they typically have one of two reactions: laughter (Akers, Colletto, Hazell) or offensive wizardry (Tiller 97-05). Coaches like Hope and Burnett were exactly middle of the road, with no discernible style of football and little promise of growth. Brohm was our #1 choice in 2016 because he represented a promise to return Purdue football to it's brand of high-octane offensive football, and his two 6-win seasons feel like the start of something special, not the peak of his possibilities.

Michael: Because they score points, play exciting games, and don't lose because of dumbass coaching decisions.

J: It’s because these 6-6 seasons feel like they’re just scratching the surface. Sure, potential and excitement don’t sustain you forever, but when you’re Purdue, this is damn exciting.


It's never too early division: looking ahead to 2019, what's your early expectation, hope, dream?

Dave: 2019 was the year I thought Purdue would break through. Ohio State and Michigan are off the schedule, James Franklin should be just about done converting Penn State to simply an above-average team, Kirk Ferentz has already done that at Iowa, and Wisconsin played Minnesota only slightly better at home than the Boilers did on the road. As long as the Iowa game isn't at night, there isn't a single game on the schedule that's unwinnable. The Good Guys do play their three main division rivals on the road, but in Year 3 of the Brohm Era, we can expect good road performances. The Boilers should be legitimate West Division contenders, and if they get the kind of boost from the incoming freshmen that Brohm is talking about, they could well end the regular season with 9 or 10 wins. This year, a couple bad breaks kept them from being an 8-win team (Connelly had them as about a 7.5-win team). Next year, if those breaks even out, the Good Guys could be playing for a 12th win.

Boilerdowd: 8-9 wins, second place in the division, Outback Bowl and end the season ranked. The dream is a trip to Indy, then beating Harbaugh and whatever happens after that. 

Aneesh: Expectation: 8 wins, Sindelar seamlessly stepping in as tarting QB, a young and aggressive defense, and a freshman class productivity Purdue hasn't seen since 2003/2004.

Hope: 9 or 10 wins and a New Year's Bowl, and Brohm doesn't even entertain the overtures of schools like Auburn (or low-tier NFL teams) that might be looking for a new HC.

Dream: 2019 Big Ten Champion Purdue Boilermakers

Michael: I expect 8 wins, I hope they get to 10, and I dream of them winning a conference title. DON'T LET YOUR DREAMS BE DREAMS LET'S DO THIS JEFF

J: Anyone who knows me knows I want a ten-win season. Yes, I want to see Purdue in a conference title game and yes, I want another Rose Bowl one day. I definitely expect an 8+ win season (it makes complete sense that 2019 is when it all comes together and those breaks regularly go Purdue’s way), I hope they can win their division and the dream is of course whatever is beyond those fun yet possible milestones. Whooboy, I already feel like I did after the Foster Farms Bowl – ready to start the season.


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