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Big Ten Bloggers’ Roundtable Week 12

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This week's Big Ten Bloggers' roundtable is hosted by one of the many Ohio State blogs in mourning this week, Around the Oval. He takes time from hating Michigan and hurting over the loss of the Illibuck trophy to post his questions so we can fire away.


1. Call me crazy, but it seems like the refs have been even worse this year
than usual. I've noticed what seems like an unusual amount of questionable
calls/non-calls go against the Buckeyes this season, but then, I am just a
little biased, and the only referee performances I notice are the crappy
ones. What have you thought of the Big Ten refs this season? Do any
especially bad calls stand out to you?

I thought things were pretty good until the last couple of weeks, but there are have been some sketchy calls in the last two games against Penn State and Michigan State that have caused me to question the sanity of some officials. Both here and at Boiled Sports there were several critical calls from the Penn State game, but they would not have made a difference had Purdue played more disciplined football. There were also some bad, bad calls against Penn State in that game as noted by Black Shoe Diaries, so things may have evened out.

Against Michigan State I felt the officials had another bad day, but again Purdue's poor play made more of a difference. The 15 yard face mask on the fake field goal was a shock to me, but we made too many other stupid mistakes for one penalty there to make a difference. Essentially in both games Purdue was undone by their own mistakes more than the officials', but those official mistakes certainly didn't help matters.

2. How is recruiting going for your team? Any incoming players that
opponents should be concerned about for 2008, or will the cupboards be left
bare? (Note: If you don't follow recruiting, please post an entertaining
picture of some sort at this point.)

I do follow recruiting a little, but I know it doesn't matter much for us since the few four and five star guys we get don't end up working out. The last five-star guy we got was Kyle Williams, who played part of one season before injuries knocked him off the field. He then went crazy, was involved in three different assaults on women including one while awaiting trial for the first two, and is no going to be in jail for a long time.

So far Purdue has two four star guys in Roy Roundtree, a receiver from Ohio, and 6-8 offensive tackle Ken Plue from New York. Almost every true freshman we get redshirts anyway, so Roundtree may be one of the few to see the field next year with the departure of Dorien Bryant. The rest of the class is our typical haul of two and three star guys we hope to be diamonds in the rough. We've had most of our success from this type of player in the past. Another guy to consider is four star Juco transfer Brian Ellis who is not playing this year due to academics. He could be an impact player for us.

The only recruit I have seen in person is Carmel, Indiana receiver/tight end Jordan Brewer. He's only a three star guy, but he reminds me a lot of current tight end Dustin Keller. He also has a basketball pedigree for a bit of a Antonio Gates element to his game. I saw him in one high school game I covered and he only had three catches, but two were for long touchdowns over the middle that he made look easy. He's had a highly recruited quarterback throwing to him the last few years, and that player, Morgan Newton, is also being sought by some of the better programs in the country. Brewer also could end up playing basketball for us at some point.

3. The OSU-Michigan game is taken pretty seriously 'round these parts. For
at least this week, the rivalry is all-consuming for just about every OSU
fan I know. But let's face it, there's plenty more to hate (or at least
dislike) in college football than our rivals. So, other than your team's
current rival(s), what team, person, rule, concept, intangible object, etc.,
would you like to declare a rival, the better to focus your hatred on
them/it?

This one is a bit off the wall, but there is one athlete I hate above all others. His name is Zach Randolph, and it is appropriate he plays for the hated New York Knicks.

I am an Indiana high school basketball fan at heart, and my love for my Kokomo Wildkats goes so much deeper than my love for the Boilers. Growing up I dreamed of being a Wildkat and winning a state championship. When I was a junior we made the last ever true final four in Indiana before they went to class basketball, so I came very close. As a senior we won our sectional and played Randolph's Marion squad in a one-game regional in our gym. Now Kokomo's Memorial Gym is my favorite place on earth, and this would have been my last game there regardless. Marion was one of the best teams in the state, our bitter rival, and had pounded us in the regular season. There was a huge crowd as well, perhaps the best for a home game I have ever seen, making the atmosphere even better. We were actually leading by 2 with about 20 seconds to go in regulation when our best player got a rebound and got fouled. If he hits both shots he can almost ice the game away.

Of course, he misses the front end of the one-and-one and guess who rebounds. We ended up fouling him with 12 seconds left as our one post player who could play against him picked up his fourth foul. The sophomore Randolph hit the first shot, but missed the second. On the rebound our same post player picked up his fifth foul and was done. Marion hit one of two to tie, and we missed a shot to win at the buzzer. We ended up losing by four in overtime in a game that still makes me feel hollow inside thinking about it even ten years later. To add salt to the wound they got to celebrate in our house for my last game, went on to the state championship game where they lost in a close game. Two years later Randolph would win a state title over Jared Jeffries. I can't stand watching him play and boo him any time I see him in person at Conseco Fieldhouse.

I know I am not rational about this, but that's what my Kats do to me.