I've been trumpeting a composite computer ranking as a relatively-fair and level-headed way of looking at rankings. BUT, has anyone checked out the RPI recently? I know that it's unbiased, which is good, but in my opinion, the formula doesn't, nor has ever really matched reality. It's a good tool at the end of the year, along with other factors, to try to figure out if a team is a top-68 team, but, it shouldn't be given the stand-alone respect it receives.
-Duke, which to me seems to be the best team in America, currently stands at 10th. aOSU, the clear second-best team in the land at this point, is 15th.
-4-loss G'Town is third, 3-loss Kentucky is eighth, 4-loss St. John's is 11th, 4-loss WVU is 13th and 3-loss Florida is 14th. My eyes simply don't agree with with the formula...but it should come out in the wash in the next few weeks.
-The Forces of Good dropped after their 23-point drubbing of Iowa, to 12th.
Purdue's current CCR is 7th.
As you all know, my first and foremost passion in football is our Boilers. Of course my alma mater is my priority, plus, I just like the college game more than the pro game. But, I root for the Colts, albeit more casually, but I like to see the team I grew up on win.
But, for many seasons my Boilers and the horse have had some pretty unusual similarities. Years ago, Manning and Painter (when he was a Boiler) were torching their competition, until they reached the elite...then they would kinda wet the bed. Both teams had prolific offenses and no defense to speak of. It's not a coincidence that they both lost big games, mind you.
Recently, I've watched the Colts flounder as injuries plagued them to the point that they were almost unrecognizable. Granted, Manning was still playing and Purdue no longer has a sure-fire signal caller, even before injuries, but stick with me.
Special teams were a problem for both teams all season, specifically kickoff returns. Also, both teams had big problems with stupid penalties at bad times. Atop that, Danny Hope was prone to calling asinine timeouts this season.
All three of the problems killed the Colts on Saturday. From a dumb running into the kicker penalty, to a massive 47-yard kickoff return at the end of the game by the Jets, to an unbelievable timeout called by Caldwell in the Jets final possession. It was probably a combination of these factors and the injuries that killed the Colts. And like the Boilers, the margin for error was just too slim for the Colts for them to overcome fundamental errors.
Like Hope, I think Caldwell deserves a season of healthy players before he can be evaluated. But both have a ton of self-induced scrutiny on them after this season.
Perhaps I'm being overly-analytical and the comparison between the black and gold and the Colts isn't warranted...but I'm already looking forward to Spring ball...especially with Brees no longer in the playoffs.
Danny Hope looks like he's done it again. Purdue has gotten a solid verbal, late in the recruiting season from a defensive player that a ton of good programs really wanted. Just as Bruce Gaston was a highly-sought after player who decided to commit to playing to hope late last year, Armstead Williams chose Purdue over a lot of very good offers.
Williams, from Pennsylvania, had offers from Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and others. He might see the field right away, especially on special teams, depending on what type of shape he's in when he arrives on campus...but at linebacker there will be competition as four former starters return and a ton of young talent is already on campus.
I like Hope's class quite a bit- a lot of solid players with good offers from other schools. With the defections of Reese and Melton after the first semester, Hope has one or two more spots available...so this class could be as big as 16 signees. I'd like to see a non-JuCo safety or a true offensive lineman, if I had a vote.
The jewels of this class (along with Williams of course), in my opinion are:
-RB Marcus Caffey (offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss, WVU, others)
-QB Russell Bellomy (offers from Boise State, Minnesota, South Florida, others)
-WR A.J. King (offers from Iowa, Ole Miss, WVU, others)
A few guys that are a bit off the beaten path that I like are:
-WR Shane Mikesky
-CB Taylor Richards
The biggest question mark is definitely DE Randy Gregory. With the off-the-field issue, academic concerns, he might not make it on campus...but, if you've seen him play football or basketball, you know he has a ton of athleticism...Hopefully he can get his head and heart into what he's doing.
We've been saying that Danny Hope deserves a season in which his team is mostly-healthy...I think he'll get that next year. And his team will be loaded with speed and depth almost everywhere.