I am a 44 yr old Boiler fan stuck here in VA (moved from Oak Forest IL in 2001). My father is a Purdue Alum (class of '67) and I was born on campus in '67 (which kind of gave me honorary alum status). For my entire life I have followed the Bolermakers football team and have suffered the ridicule from Michigan, Ohio St., and Illini fans for years. I sat watching ESPN this year and couldn't believe the crap our coaching staff forced our players to put on the field. I lived through the Jim Young era, was happy with the Joe Tiller era, but this era needs to end, and we need to re-focus on what made the Gold and Black a better Big Ten team. Here are my thoughts:
1. FIRE THE ENTIRE COACHING STAFF!
Danny Hope has shown nothing but incompetance from recruiting to game plan. The games we won this year weren't a tribute to his coaching but the performance of our athletes. Who cares if we bowl this year. Clean house and go back to our roots. When I was in IL, there was a powerhouse HS in Joliet (Joliet Catholic) that made the state playoffs EVERY year. The guiding force behind them was a coach named Gordy Gillespie who was at the helm for 30+ years. He had football players BEGGING to come to his school, and as such, he got to pick and choose the cream of the crop. Purdue needs to hire an Indiana HS coach like that, someone who when you mention his name, players will WANT to attend our beloved. Give him a 5 year contract and no pressure to build a winner.
2. STOP THE FLORIDA AND TEXAS LOVE AFFAIR RECRUITING
Why in the world are we fighting just about every BCS school to recruit kids from these states. We have some of the best players in the country in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa. Why not recruit locally where kids actually know where West Lafayette is. If you don't think we can build a team let's not forget one of the most beloved coaches in PU history (Gene Keady). He never went across country to recruit. He lost kids to Bobby Knight, but he stayed local and still got quality kids and was a POWERHOUSE in the B10. For years I've seen HS football players coming out of this area and when you go to scout.com or ESPN you see that the Boilermaker coaches haven't even considered them. STAY LOCAL AND WIN THE KIDS WITH THE HEART TO PLAY NOT THE DESIRE TO BE ON ESPN!
3. PICK A STARTER, PICK AN OFFENSIVE/DEFENSIVE PLAYSET AND STICK WITH IT!
Marve or TerBush, Terbush or Marve. Let's run the ball, no let's pass the ball. 4-3 no wait 3-4 not let's try the dime. All these things that Hope and staff thought were great, SUCKED. Either Marve or TerBush could run the offense, so LET THEM. Pick one, look him in the eye, and say "Run my offense and score". Instead Marve plays the first quarter, then TerBush, then Marve. This doesn't utilize both, it hurts both, plus the offense. One guy has a cannon arm, the other is a scrambler. What message are you giving our offense. Our strength is the run. Run the ball. Force the other team to stop us, don't just give us a 10 run count then say it's not working. We lost games because we couldn't establish ANYTHING. Same with our defense, we were aggresive and could force bad plays, but Hope's staff thought we needed to play conservitive football.
Go back to the basics that made Purdue football great and the rest will fall into place.
P.S. After reading the blog about bowl bids and listening to XM, we are in. There are 36 BCS bowls (72 available team slots) and according to the BCS computer only 71 teams are "eligible". Guess that means we sneak in this year.
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