Yes....that title is a political pun as well....
As I have been on the anti-Hope bandwagon like most folks for about half the season; I probably shouldn't be writing this. However, it has occurred to me that we seem to be going after Coach Hope with pitch forks; where he may be no different than Coach Tiller (who we perceive to be a great coach during an exciting era for Purdue football). Coach Tiller was blessed with what turned out to be one of the best NFL quarterbacks ever (Breesus), as well as a serviceable NFL QB in Kyle Orton. Even with these QBs, his win percentage at Purdue was only .584; Coach Hope's win percentage is .438. Granted, the difference in win percentage is the difference between a winning and losing record, but we are looking at .500-level-ish performance from both. I doubt if Tiller would be much better than Hope without one of the greatest QBs who ever lived having played during his tenure. And you cannot say that this is because of a poor recruiting efforts from Coach Hope; even in the most storied college football programs, NFL caliber QBs don't just rotate in and out. Having such a prospect can make a .500 team into a good team (such as Purdue during the Brees / Orton period), and can make a good team into a great team overnight (look at the Freshman QB at Texas A&M this year). Unfortunately, in Marve, Terbush, and Henry, we are not looking at even Orton-eske level of talent (even if ACL tears never existed); they are serviceable talent at the college level - big difference.
I've decided to drop my Hope pitch-fork, as getting another head coach from a mid-major conference, directional-U, or Big East 'up-and-comer' will not result in anything different. Unless Purdue is willing to get a name that has won big at major programs previously or has a national championship notch under their belt, the needle may move the fan-base for a couple years, but the result on the field will be similar and it will only be another short term fix for a long term problem. In order for Purdue to make a change from a .500 program to a good program (even without that special QB that is talented enough to play at the next level); it will take a big name, that by name alone, will make the program into a relevant discussion in the sports media and can land 4/5 star recruits through such notoriety alone (in much larger numbers than we currently do).
I do think that Gary Nord needs to go, and in a world where ego's don't get into the way, I could see Purdue keeping Coach Hope on board if they did shell out the dough and found a major player for the head coaching position; moving Coach Hope to a coordinator position. Sure, it would require Coach Hope to swallow some pride, but he has been a part of the Purdue family for years now and may be willing to take a back seat. Since he is already making what O and D coordinators make in other programs, it may make sense, and it would also give him the opportunity to leave with honor and respect from the fan-base if he stayed in such a capacity for at least two more years. Additionally, he seems to be a good recruiter and relates with the athletes well; if we never backfilled that football recruiting position (that guy left to fill the same role at Alabama this summer), he could stay on dual-'hatted' at O Coordinator and football recruiter. Perhaps this is just 'sillyness' because this is not how coaches usually get let go, but it is not unusual in corporate positions for key individuals to take tenure as the CEO of a company for awhile before giving someone else the opportunity later, while remaining on, as a senior board member. Does it have to be black and white in college football, just because nobody else seems to operate this way? Hell, they had a military-like turnover for a year between Tiller and Hope, I don't think that is a traditional method when hiring a new coach. Anyone else have thoughts on this and the initial points raised?
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