Yesterday was all about everything coming together under Darrell Hazell in year one for a best case scenario. Yes, 14-0 and a National Championship is always the best case scenario. It is also not going to happen unless the entire college football world goes completely crazy. Purdue has one of the toughest schedules in the country with three of its four "easy" games all at the end.
The only way Purdue goes undefeated is with an insane amount of luck. I am talking about tons of turnovers that benefit us, no major injuries, all the bad injury luck we have had suddenly being transferred over to our opponents, and everything clicking under the new coaches as multiple players have breakout seasons out of nowhere.
By breakout seasons I am talking about Rob Henry becoming Billy Dicken, Ryan Russell becoming Ryan Kerrigan, Brandon Cottom becoming the second coming of Mike Alstott, and all of our big receivers becoming Chris Daniels.
So that is a long shot. In reality, I think 6-7 wins are a realistic goal with anything more being a resounding success. Things happen, however, and that is why we're going to talk about the Worst Case Scenario today:
August 31 at Cincinnati - The Bearcats had one of the best defenses in the country last season and won 10 games. They are expecting bigger things this season with Brendon Kay as a solid senior QB leading the way. Purdue's offense looks out of sync, Henry throws three interceptions, and the linebackers are constantly confused in the middle of the defense as Cincy cruises to a 31-10 win.
September 7 vs. Indiana State - Last season the mighty Trees nearly followed Shakir Bell to an upset of Indiana in Bloomington. They later knocked off now two-time FCS champ North Dakota State on the road and have Bell back as well as former Western Michigan QB Mike Parrish. Purdue wins 35-31, but mostly because they have a lot more depth. Bell has a career day in throwing a scare into the Boilers.
September 14 vs. Notre Dame - The Tommy Rees that made the game-winning drive for the Fighting Irish last year shows up for four quarters and Notre Dame plays with a vengeance to prove last year's near miss was a fluke. Purdue's woeful night game home record continues as Notre Dame walks to a 35-10 win behind a very strong defense.
September 21 at Wisconsin - Austin Appleby gets his first career action at quarterback in the second half after another three-interception performance by Henry. James White and Melvin Gordon run like crazy on a defense that still is shuffling undersized linebackers. The Badgers easily continue their dominance over Purdue 41-13.
September 28 vs. Northern Illinois - Just two words: Jordan Lynch. The MAC has produced some great dual threat quarterbacks, but only one successfully took a team to a BCS bowl. Lynch is back and is legitimately one of the most exciting players to watch. He shows why as the Huskies get another 28-21 win in Ross-Ade Stadium.
October 12 vs. Nebraska - If Purdue has troubles against Lynch it will struggle against Taylor Martinez. Both teams enter with opposite momentum but coach Hazell rallies the troops for one more strong effort. It is close going into the fourth quarter, but a TD run and a TD pass by Martinez give Nebraska a 31-14 win.
October 19 at Michigan State - The Spartans may have the conference's best defense and Purdue has a ton of questions on offense. That leads to Purdue's first shutout since 2010 as Michigan State takes a drab affair 13-0.
November 2 vs. Ohio State - The Buckeyes, with tons of printouts of my articles talking about how Purdue owns them in Ross-Ade, finally say enough is enough. The game plan to stop Braxton Miller is shredded when he throws for four scores and runs for two more as The Buckeyes have no trouble slaying their West Lafayette demons 52-6.
November 9 vs. Iowa - Completely demoralized and now 1-7 on a six game losing streak Appleby gets his first career start. Both teams struggle to move the ball but Appley hits Shane Mikesky on a post route with two minutes left. The losing streak ends with a 27-21 Purdue victory.
November 16 at Penn State - Making his first road start Appleby gets the jitters. Penn State pulls off a 16-13 win thanks to a late interception. Purdue does finally start to come together after trailing 16-0, but making a nice second half comeback to get within a score.
November 23 vs. Illinois - The Fighting Illini come in on a 20-game Big Ten losing streak and Tim Beckman has already been fired. For the first time all season the defense looks excellent, but mostly because an Illinois offense barely averaging a touchdown per game is so putrid. Appleby throws for three scores and Purdue wins 31-10.
November 30 at Indiana - In a sellout at Memorial Stadium by real, live Indiana Football fans (who had a pre-game bonfire of Tommy Rees jerseys beforehand) the Hoosiers come in needing a victory to reach the Big Ten championship game. They don't have a great defense, but have gotten just enough behind a prolific no-huddle offense to reach the Bucket Game at 10-1. IU comes in off of a stunning 52-49 upset in Columbus a week before to control their destiny after playing a very weak schedule. Tre Roberson and Cameron Coffman blitz Purdue for 52 points as Indiana takes the Bucket back by force after years of getting drilled by their Black and Gold rivals. The 52-31 final has Purdue finish 3-9, while Indiana goes to the Big Ten championship game on the back of an 8-0 home record and road upsets at Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. IU then gets revenge on Michigan in the title game. Upsets across the country get them into the BCS title game against Alabama where Nick Saban's abhorrence of the no huddle is his Achilles Heel. Kevin Wilson is named National Coach of the Year and the entire IU basketball roster announces that they want to play under a competent coach by transferring to Notre Dame to play under Brad Stevens, who trades one shamrock for another. Ronnie Johnson, Bryson Scott, and A.J. Hammons join them and the NCAA grants all immediate eligibility. The Fighting Irish roll to an undefeated National championship in basketball.
Up is Down. Black is White. Winter Wonderland is played at the gates of Hell. The Cubs Win the 2014 World Series.
Well, at least it all wouldn't be bad...