Hey, it's about time we posted something relating to Purdue sports around here. Sure, we're not exclusively a Purdue site but we do like to delve into the Boilers as much as possible. But, hey, it's May...what do you want us to post about? The baseball team?
Recently, Scout.com released their season preview for the 2007 Boilermaker football team. Now, we can't really get much comment on this from the team since Joe Tiller has declared war on pseudo-media types like those golsh-darn blogs.
However, we can take a look at what Scout.com says and of course encourage you to read it for yourself and let us know what you think.
I was hoping boilerdowd would weigh in with a post about this and hopefully he still will. But in the meantime, you get me, analyzing Purdue football from 800 miles away. And really, maybe that's a good thing. b-dowd is too close. It's like he and Purdue football are lovers -- he can't be objective.
As he pointed out, however, this preview reads like Dorien Bryant's mom wrote it.
...now the offense should be unstoppable with everyone back, led by underappreciated star receiver Dorien Bryant.
Really? He's underappreciated? I think we appreciate his skinny, fumble-prone ass plenty. But I am digressing.
On the list of Purdue's "ten best players," which is stupid in itself because it's hard to rank the value of a good WR against a good OL but whatever. Bryant is listed first there. Fine.
Later there's this:
Best Offensive Player: Senior WR Dorien Bryant. Over the last two seasons, just one player in America has caught more passes than Bryant, a sure-handed gnat of a route runner who’s got the speed to go the distance on short hitch routes. A lethal all-purpose threat, he’s also scored six rushing touchdowns in his Boilermaker career and is very dangerous on kickoff returns.
Wow, get a room, you two! And... "a sure-handed gnat of a route runner..." Wha? He's a "lethal" gnat anyway. Shall we start calling him "The Lethal Gnat"? I think we should.
Anyway, the writer of this article, Pete Fiutak, starts out with this:
There was a time when Purdue was the Big Ten’s rising star. Thanks to Drew Brees and a thrilling passing attack, the Boilermakers went to the Rose Bowl and had Big Ten folks worried about trying to keep pace with the high-octane offense. Somewhere along the way, however, the idea of generating more balance and more of a running game kicked in, right about the time when the Purdue defense went completely into the tank.
Wow, man, very topical. Drew Brees? Do you realize his last season was 2000? Seven years ago. And yes, yes, high-octane offense... let's just call it basketball on grass, you know you want to.
I also wouldn't say our defense "went into the tank" -- I'd say our defense has never lived up to its potential under Brock Spack. And I'd leave it at that.
The team didn’t take advantage of all the experience it had over the last two years, and it really didn’t make the most of the monster scheduling break, missing Michigan and Ohio State.
Oh, holy hell. I am so glad we're playing Michigan and Ohio State this season because I am SO TIRED of hearing about how we didn't have to play them last year and it was our chance at a great season. Fine, we get it, they're good. Of course, the last time Purdue played them both, in 2004, they lost by two on the road at Michigan and beat OSU. So, there's that.
What I kind of don't get is how his overall thoughts are that this might be the year that Tiller has to break through and that with the overall experience coming back, that just might be possible. So that would lead one to believe that Purdue football is at a critical time and perhaps needs a 10-win season to climb the ladder to a bit more relevancy... would you agree? Let's see what Pete Fuitak says:
The season will be a success if ... Purdue wins eight games. That might be setting the bar way too low for a team with an offense like this, but the defense is still extremely suspect, and the schedule is potentially too nasty to expect any sort of flirtation with double-digit wins without a few big upsets.
Alright, his points after his prediction are valid but then how could this be a "successful season"? I'd say this is more "A likely season," or "What Pete Fiutak expects from Purdue this season." I think we can all agree Purdue has been in the 7-9 win range for a while and needs to bust through. Will it happen? Probably not. But with Curtis Painter a junior and The Lethal Gnat a senior you just never know.
I took the liberty of looking at the 2006 Purdue Preview as well -- also written by Pete -- and noticed that he said last year that it would be a successful season if Purdue could win eight games. Which they did. And then this year he talks about how Purdue's been a disappointment recently. I agree that they have been, but then why keep saying eight wins is a "success"?
I do also like that with Notre Dame, Michigan, OSU and Penn State on the schedule, the key game is.... Sept 22 at Minnesota. Hmm, yes, that will be critical. But I think the next three (ND, OSU, Michigan) are FAR more critical. If Purdue has lost before them, then whatever, we just hope for some fun this year. But if they're 4-0 and can plow through those three games and only lose one, well, then we might have a special season on our hands.
What do I think? Well, I'm glad you asked. Even though you didn't. Let's look at the schedule:
Sept. 1 at Toledo -- Win. It's on the road and they could lose focus but you simply can't lose to this kind of team at this point in the season with this kind of upperclassmen leadership.
Sept. 8 vs Eastern Illinois -- Win. If we lose this game... I don't know what I'll do.
Sept. 15 vs Central Michigan -- Win. Not a pushover but should be a win.
Sept. 22 at Minnesota -- Win. It's going to be tough now that Tubby Smith is coaching.
Sept. 29 vs Notre Dame -- Win. If we don't beat Fat Charlie's team this year, we don't deserve to ever beat them. I also want to see gay blade Jimmy Claussen face down as much as possible. And not in the way he likes to be face down. (Thanks to Every Day Should Be Saturday for the pic.)
Oct. 6 vs Ohio State -- Win. This is where I don't know what to say. I don't think OSU will be as solid this year, obviously, without their own Lethal Gnat, Troy Smith. But beating OSU is always an albatross for the Boilers. However, as I pointed out earlier, they did beat OSU at home in 2004. I'll say win because I'm an optimist.
Oct. 13 at Michigan -- Loss. Almost no chance we win this game. Lloyd Carr could prove me wrong and give us the game but Tiller wets his pants whenever he even sees a picture of the Big House. Of course, if Purdue is really 6-0 at this point, who knows? GameDay could be there.
Oct. 20 vs Iowa -- Loss. Should be a win but the Boilers always manage one complete stinker at home. This will probably be it.
Oct. 27 vs Northwestern -- Win. Come on, it's Northwestern.
Nov. 3 at Penn State -- Loss. Another place where the Boilers just don't seem to be able to get past a mental block. The Nittany Kittens will be marginal this year but it's still a tough road game in the hicksville fields of Nappy Valley.
Nov. 10 vs Michigan State -- Win. The Boilers seem to simply have MSU's number. Sure, they won't have John L. Smith to kick around anymore but this game is in West Lafayette, so there will be less thug MSU fans in the house than if this were up in E. Lansing.
Nov. 17 at Indiana -- Win. Purdue will have more fans there than IU and if we want to take your lame-ass rock, we will.
So that brings us to 9-3, which sounds about right to me. I mean, doesn't this just sound like a Purdue season that starts with high hopes? A blazing start only to lose a couple tough games and perhaps at least one that they shouldn't lose? With this schedule, ten wins would indeed be a fantastic season and, truthfully, I think 9-3 would be excellent as well and I would not be disappointed. I mean, unless we were 9-1 heading into the MSU game. Then I'll be pissed if we wind up 9-3.
Truth is, I am being optimistic about our start. The liklihood is the Boilers will cough up one of those early games so I'd say my official prediction is 8-4, with 9-3 being a good season and 10-2 (or better) being outstanding.
I welcome your thoughts on this subject, gentlemen.