Usually, the Gumbo posts are all B-dowd, but today I've tossed in my own special spices to entertain you.
Even Pat Forde Knows The Boilers Are Cooked
Pat Forde is not what I would call an astute columnist. Most of his observations are of the obvious variety. He also has his "Forde-Yard Dash" column, wherein he numbers the topics he discusses... which... why?
Anyway, in this edition, he acknowledges the smoldering wreckage that is Purdue football:
Purdue (6). Coach on his way out: Danny Hope. The Dash has been told that third-party feelers are going out, whether Hope has been informed or not. Why: When the high-water mark in a tenure is a 7-6 season and narrow victory in the Little Caesars Bowl – and the other three seasons are all losing records – that's not good enough at a place that had enjoyed long-term respectability under Joe Tiller. Hope was an uninspired choice from the beginning, after middling success at FCS Eastern Kentucky, and a 0-5 Big Ten record this year seals his fate. How good is the job: Purdue has a reputation for being cheap – part of the reason Boilermaker basketball coach and alum Matt Painter nearly left for Missouri in spring 2011. If it stays cheap, this job will continue to slide in the Big Ten hierarchy.
It's interesting, because it almost sounds like Patrick reads BS. I mean, has anyone else openly criticized Purdue's athletic department for being cheap or come up with a list of potential candidates to replace Coach Hope besides us?
Also, the "I know something you don't know" implication of his "third-party feelers" comment is also likely bogus. I love it when know-nothings say obvious things like this... things that require no backup and are impossible to prove. They go in the same bucket as this sort of nugget, regarding our top choice, Sonny Dykes:
Sonny Dykes (16), Louisiana Tech. Record: 21-13 in third year with the Bulldogs. This season: 8-1, with a two-point loss to Texas A&M. Potential jobs: Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Auburn, Purdue.
So basically you took a known hot commodity and said his "potential" includes... every decent job at a major program in America. Solid work, Pat! (And again -- how does Purdue wind up on this list if not for Purdue fans talking about Dykes? I'm not saying, I'm just saying.)
And how about this:
Dave Doeren (18), Northern Illinois. Record: 19-4 in second year with the Huskies. This season: 9-1 and leading the MAC West. Potential jobs: Purdue, anything else that may open up in the Midwest. What it would take: Boilermakers likely would have to pony up more cash than they're paying Hope.
Purdue and... ANYTHING ELSE THAT MIGHT OPEN UP. Hey, you're bound to be correct, Pat! That's a wide net! Also, the Purdue connection again. Who else mentioned Doeren? Huh.
Michael Pointer of the Indy Star Says Talent Is The Issue
In this column (which, to be fair, is more well thought out that many at the IU Star), Michael Pointer discusses the sorry state of Purdue football. Somewhat interestingly, he comes to a different conclusion than most of us have about the reason for this abysmal season. Pointer points to a dearth of talent and really makes nary a mention of the dreadful coaching we've seen for going on four years:
Added cornerback Ricardo Allen: “I’m just lost. I really don’t know. I guess we don’t have the football gods on our side. We go out and we play hard all night and stuff just doesn’t go our way.”
With all due respect to Allen, one of the team’s best players and a true leader, there’s a reason the Boilermakers aren’t getting the breaks. It’s become painfully evident.
The talent level isn’t very good. They’ve been outscored 116-36 in three Big Ten home losses and have allowed an average of 520 yards per game — and no one is comparing the Big Ten to the SEC West this year.
We here at BS whole-heartedly disagree. The talent level will never be that of Ohio State, we'll grant you, but that's only because Purdue won't pay the salaries that the Bucknuts will. Purdue does, however, manage to recruit three and sometimes four-star guys who somehow turn into two-star guys when they get to West Lafayette.
And why might that be? Could it be that everybody comes in with a base level of talent and then needs motivation, coaching and advice to advance to the next levels? Did Drew Brees come in as preternaturally good at playing QB as he is now? Of course not. He learned. He improved. He was brought along. None of that happens at Purdue anymore. Ricardo Allen, for all his accolades, has not gotten noticeably better in his three years of college. Has Caleb TerBush? Has Kawaan Short? Or are they just as talented, give or take, as they were when they arrived?
The problem isn't talent. It's how that talent is used and developed. Which is to say, not at all.
Tom Schott Thinks Weather and Holiday Weekends Contributed to Bad Attendance
Our old pal Tom Schott makes an appearance in the Gumbo today and yes, that headline isn't a joke. In this article from WLFI, Schott actually does weakly try to suggest that the poor attendance (which even he can't deny at this point) might have other factors at play than the unwatchable product on the field:
So far, overall attendance is down about 2,000 per game compared to 2011. Schott said bad weather and games on holiday weekends could be a factor for low ticket sales, but he said he knows other factors do come into play.
"Well, I would be naive not to understand that low team performance greatly affects ticket sales," said Schott.
Yes, I'm sure it was the holiday weekend games, of which there were two if you count Columbus Day, that contributed to nobody showing up last weekend. Wait, what?
One thing Schott got right is that he is naive -- willfully naive. The next quote though tells you even more about the mindset of the athletic department:
Yet, Schott said with an average attendance between 40,000 and 50,000 per game, he's not too concerned. He said to date, ticket sales for the IU game are at 38,000, but that's in a stadium that holds more than 62,000.
Schott said he does believe tickets sales for the IU game will be more than 40,000, but he said no matter what, they're expecting much better news next season.
"Our goal will be to sharpen our pencils and get ready for 2013 once we close the books on 2012," said Schott.
Yes, that's right, he's "not too concerned" since the average is 40,000 to 50,000. Oh, and let me tell you something else: "Sharpen our pencils" is not the kind of phrase anyone should want to hear if you're hoping Purdue will open the purse strings just a bit to get a qualified head coach and staff in here.
As we keep hammering away at, the mentality within the athletic department is curmudgeon-like and wholly lacks enthusiasm and it is killing Purdue athletics. But hey, at least 38,000 tickets are sold for the Bucket game.
Recruit David Yancey Is Excited To Get Started
The Purdue Exponent has a nice feature on David Yancey, a running back who intends to graduate high school in December and enroll at Purdue in the spring to he can be ready to contribute by the fall of 2013. It's a nice story about Yancey's excitement at making an impact.
But true to Purdue athletics, there is this tidbit:
Yancey’s senior season was cut short when he suffered a knee injury in Lake Central’s regular season finale.
Sigh. Welcome to Purdue, David. You'll fit right in.