Gotta Play To Win

I like Danny Hope...I'm excited about the change that's upon my alma mater's football program. A lot has changed around Mollenkopf, but some things seem to be stuck in the old way of thinking.

Hope made a bit of a splash in his first year recruiting players to West Lafayette as he landed 4-star back, McBurse...he wrestled Gabe Holmes away from FSU and others, he got Eric Williams to buy in over Nebraska and Ole Miss, and Coach Hope got former blue-chip QB and current knee injury patient, Robert Marve to call Ross Ade his home stadium.

These guys and others show that Danny Hope can recruit, and the players that have chosen to play for coach Hope as well as those that used to play for him as a positions coach speak glowingly of the man...All positive.

But, the Joe Tiller way of recruiting seems to still be prevalent. Cowboy Joe believed he could do big things at Purdue, but Coach Tiller of the latter seasons in West Lafayette didn't buy into the old story any longer. He stopped going after 4-star (and higher) players because of guys like J.B. Paxson and Selwyn Lymon. He seemed to think all talented and highly-touted players weren't worth the trouble. And while Tiller's wisdom is somewhat correct in the fact that the majority of these blue-chippers are huge fans of themselves, not all of the highly-touted players are destined to be bad team mates and uncoachable troublemakers.

In the top-40 players list (according to, Purdue currently has one offer on the table...and that guy has already decided to play at UNC. Granted, in the 41-100-ranked players, the number jumps WAY up to three offers. So, Coach Hope and company have given 4 offers out to the top-100 players in the nation. Huh.

I'm not saying that star rankings are everything- if you visit here regularly, you know that we don't believe recruiting magazines make the college football world rotate. But, undeniable talent can make a world's worth of difference to a program in a hurry...And where is the harm in offering a kid who fulfills a need? I know there are only so many hours in a day to spend traveling around the nation and scouting players, making living room visits and watching game tape, but just like selling-out on the field, the staff needs to think big and put in big-time effort.

I love my alma mater...but the pervasive mindset of small-time thinking within the athletic department has bothered me for years. Sure, most blue-chip players end up at Florida, USC and other storied programs of that ilk, but there are some coaches who don't buy into the Joe Tiller philosophy of football recruiting.

Here are some of the schools that have offers to players in the top-40- Kansas State, South Florida, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Duke, Tulsa, Louisville, Pitt, UConn and Rutgers- who specifically has a ton offers in front of a ton of the top-40 players.

You might say, "Give the coach time..." And I am- I'm not judging the man solely on the recruiting classes. But, BT coaches like Ron Zook and Tim Brewster both were able to sell blue chip recruits the idea of early playing time in a BCS conference in the first two recruiting seasons of their careers at their current schools with positive results.

For Danny Hope to have a high-level of success...and to achieve the proverbial, nebulous "next level" of success, it's not only going to take solid players, it's going to take some world-beaters as well...I know, I know, I'm getting way ahead of myself, but what else am I going to write about in July?

The Boiled Sports Party Bus?

Pasadena 2011, Here we come.