Though the news broke within the last hour of Hope's official departure, which came as a shock for Purdue players, it seems like the Athletic Department already made up their minds. Not after the Minnesota or Ohio State loses, but after the Wisconsin game.
GoldandBlack.com had learned that it was the second of those blowouts, a 38-14 loss to Wisconsin Oct. 13, that essentially sealed Hope's fate and compelled Purdue to decide a change would be made following the season.
Before the Michigan game, Purdue was riding high and looking to win the Leader's Division until those 2 blowout losses to Michigan and Wisconsin. Even after the Michigan game, Purdue had the chance for redemption against Wisconsin, but only put forth the effort to win the game in the first 30 seconds of the game. I ended up leaving that game in the 3rd quarter and said "no mas."
It seems like Burke had the same reaction as well.
It's understandable. It was the homecoming game. This is the one game that is suppose to draw in the alumni with the name alone, and facing Wisconsin in a divisional game also brings in recruits. Purdue finally had enough of Hope after this game and began moving forward.
Who knows, maybe we'll find out who will replace Hope within the next month, and maybe find out who is on the short list tonight.
And in recent weeks, Purdue, as it did a year ago prior to extending Hope's contract, mobilized for a coaching search, researching potential candidates and asking for monetary contributions, seeking to put together a war chest of a targeted amount of around $4.5 million for its pursuit of its next staff.
Among the coaches Purdue is interested in, according to sources, are Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones, Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes, Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren, Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich and others.