I tried to post earlier, but Blogger didn't want me posting angry, I guess. So after some time to take a deep breath and reflect, I can honestly say, things aren't as bad as I thought...they're worse.
After my alma mater gets crushed in football in basketball, the last thing I typically want to do is jump on the computermaphone and read about what transpired...yesterday was no different. But this morning, I was ready to consume some knowledge, so I went to GBI's Brian Neubert for perspective. Neubert is typically level-headed and can talk me off of the ledge when I'm feeling in the dumps. He's kind of the anti-Boilerdowd in that way. My excitability tends to push people more toward the brink (especially when I am being completely honest) as you might have heard on The Handsome Hour this week. But Neubert was no help at all.
He told me that the 62 points allowed by Purdue in Madison last night was the most EVER by a Purdue team. I found that hard to believe...I mean I remember the horrible teams (and defenses specifically) that Akers and Colletto put together. I guess my memory of Ohio State and Notre Dame beating Purdue by 100 are childhood exaggerations.
But at 36, the hyperbole is no longer there. I'll admit that I got more emotionally-invested in this game, at least early on. As Raheem Mostert did everything possible to keep Purdue in the game and Purdue hung around for an entire quarter, I got angry at typically-awful B1G officials missing blatant pass interference calls. But after I found my Om and found a trance-like state of malaise, I could say with confidence that this Purdue team wasn't ready to compete with 11 lifesized Wisconsin players sculpted out of cheddar, let alone a bunch of really fast, really strong, really motivated Badgers fed by the bloodlust being spewed by their faithful at Camp Randall.
I've heard people having the gall to blame the players, and that flat-out pisses me off. As Wisconsin's coaches made adjustments, Purdue's coaches did too. Wisconsin's coaches had their kicker blast the ball into the corner or completely avoid the hot-handed Mostert. Purdue coaches ran vertical routes on 3rd and 4th and one. Wisconsin coaches dared Purdue to stop their powerful running attack by running up the middle, time and time and time again...Purdue coaches refused to load the box with every beefy Purdue player in the line-up and instead kept the contain halo around the Wisconsin pocket.
But then again, would it have mattered? It seemed that Russell Wilson would have completed as many passes as he wanted to...and if he wanted to scramble, he was going to get 15 easy yards as he stepped out of bounds untouched. On the other side of the ball, the guy who has a big arm was directed to stay within the system and run screen passes, while the guy who's been accurate and effective in the short stuff was throwing 15 & 20 outs.
For once, the special teams really did nothing poorly on this day and Gibboney is off the hook. But EVERY other coach is stuck on that hook. And Purdue fans who once were yelling to be patient with Hope and company are abandoning that ship. The record says Purdue is a near-.500 team, my eyes tell me that they just got beaten like a rented mule by the 20th best team in the nation...and get this part- it could have been much worse. Bret Beilema was merciful...and still managed to beat my favorite group of football players by 45 frickin' points.
I haven't checked the stats yet, might not do it for a day or so. And I won't be watching a DVR'd version of this game because I destroyed that in the second quarter...but there's no need to watch film of this one, right? Remember last season when Purdue got hammered two weeks in a row by Ohio State and Michigan and everyone, myself included, gave this coaching staff a pass because of the tough situation injuries left them in? It's not happening this time.
I watched an undermanned, and flat-out lousy Northwestern team beat Nebraska on the arms and legs of a quarterback who not only is a back-up, but probably would never see the field at QB if he came to Purdue...that's coaching.
I watched a motivated Minnesota squad take MSU the distance on the back of smart play calling...and the arm of an inaccurate quarterback who would be a safety or slot receiver at Purdue (his final two were Purdue and Minny, by the way).
I watched a Freshman quarterback (who Purdue tried to snag, but couldn't) lead IU into Columbus and play toe-to-toe with Brutus for three quarters in only his second start.
And I watched a beleaguered Iowa squad kill the momentum that UM had created beating a patsy last week as they became bowl eligible by just gutting out a hard-fought game.
But Purdue kept to script and didn't compete to the big, mean Badgers...at least one thing in the unexpected world of college football can still be counted upon.
Even 18 hours later, I probably still shouldn't be posting simply because I can't be level-headed in my assessment...or maybe, my assessment is precisely the medicine we all as Purdue fans need to be taking right now. We're back in the bad ole days.