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Boilermakings for 8/8

In today’s Boilermakings we don’t have a lot of news, and what news there is isn’t necessarily good. Training camp won’t be starting until the end of this week because Purdue doesn’t start its season until a week after everyone else, so there will likely be more news next week. Until then, there are a few important things to hit on.

Redskins cut Stuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

This is the most distressing news of the coming football season so far. As a Purdue diehard and adopted Miami fan, I was looking forward to having Stu take over at safety for the late Sean Taylor. My wife was very excited when she heard Stu signed with the Redskins. She knew Taylor’s girlfriend personally from her time at the U and had heard of me talk often about Stu being one of my favorite Boilers. She got to see him play in a handful of games (OSU 2002 and Iowa 2003) while at Purdue and felt he could live up to Sean’s place. When I found out last night that he had already been cut after one preseason game, and the most meaningless one at that, I was shocked.

As you’ll see from my coming primer on our defensive backs, we are desperately in need of another player like Stu. He has long been one of my favorite players, maybe second in stature only to Drew Brees. I’m just shocked that he cannot seem to find a place in the NFL because he can play both the run and the pass. He also has very good size and has clearly demonstrated that he’s a ballhawk. At least this came early enough for him to end up in another training camp somewhere. It does seem too premature for it to totally be an on the field issue. Sadly, off the field issues have been in his past.

A.E. Staley is no longer the only one in the rendering business.

Anyone who has spent any amount of time in West Lafayette is more than aware of the rendering plant smell that can linger over campus. This week Purdue announced its own renderings, and these are certainly ones that we want to hang around. Some new sketches and designs of what the completed Mackey Arena project have been released. I’m not sure exactly how they are going to keep everything in the area, including the arena itself, open during this project, but it will be worth it when it is done. We made it through the Ross-Ade renovation just fine, so we can do this. Ross_Ade went from one of the worst Big Ten stadiums to one of its nicest, so I am excited about what this will do to Mackey.

I am slightly disappointed that nothing has moved forward on the Lambert Field of Dreams project. Because of the scope of the Mackey project, it will likely delay anything for baseball as well as the addition of the upper deck to Ross-Ade. It is a positive though that the University has so many projects lined up. It means they are committed to having some of the best facilities out there, and that the programs are growing instead of dying. I certainly wish I had a spare couple of million in order to have something named after me. Until I win Powerball that is merely a dream.

New dining hall set to open on campus

This has nothing to do with athletics, but I just found it very interesting. The new food court just south of Wiley Hall will be opening soon and it sounds like it is nicer than a number of upscale restaurants in the Lafayette area. I especially like the idea of using two swipes for a nicer meal than normal. When I was a student I always had leftover meals even on the 15 meal plan at the end of the week. You had better believe that I would have gone over to this place from the Quad and had a steak if I could have.

There is the added bonus of a meal being just $9.02 for the general pubic. The public is welcome, so this may have to be a stop after a game this fall. Lovshack can come home with us that night instead of being consumed at the restaurant.

ESPN releases Big Ten Power Rankings, Purdue 7th.

It’s not a huge surprise, but Purdue is seventh in ESPN’s pre-season power rankings. This position seems to be the general preseason consensus with a 7 win season managing our expectations. I want more, and think 10 wins are possible if everything breaks right. I am a Purdue fan though. Everything rarely breaks right. If it had there would be a 1994 National Championship banner hanging in Mackey Arena.

The Big Ten is full of questions though. Just because we’re ranked seventh doesn’t mean we will finish there. Here is how I see us stacking up against the other teams:

1. Ohio State – No chance of winning unless we play out of our minds. Painter wins the Heisman if we win in Coumbus.
2. Wisconsin – bonus that we don’t play them, so who cares
3. Penn State – Things are not getting better in State College. A new quarterback is needed and they come to Ross-Ade. We have a good chance after the way we played in Happy Valley a season ago. Their distractions won’t help.
4. Illinois – see Wisconsin. They have a history of bombing after big seasons
5. Michigan – They’ll either be higher or everyone will take their shot at them this year. They come to Ross-Ade, so we might win since we don’t have to go to Ann Arbor. Any trip there is a loss in my mind until we finally win.
6. Michigan State – I can’t decide if this team scares me or if they will struggle needing new receivers. At least playing them late in the season we will know. This is our second toughest road game.
7. Purdue – I might have gone higher, but I can understand why everyone is so guarded when it comes to us. It is certainly deserved.
8. Northwestern – I believe in what Lakes the Posts is saying the Wildcats feel dangerous to me, but I still expect to win in Evanston.
9. Iowa – This is the only list that seems to have Iowa about where they are expected. People are expecting a resurgence, but I am not drinking the Iowa Kool-Aid again. Beware the curse I have mentioned. I expect our first win here since 1992.
10. Indiana – They might be more dangerous than Northwestern with worse coaching. Seriously. You have an incredibly talented quarterback and you change to an offense that doesn’t suit him? That’s about as dumb as moving Randle El to receiver. Expect a win in West Lafayette.
11. Minnesota – Tiller knows how to win homecomings. Minnesota will be better, but we’ll win at home.

Recruit No. 4 in the fold

It’s another two star guy, but the general consensus from my fellow Purdue bloggers over at Boiled Sports is that player like Shayon Green are the guys we need. It is not so much the star rating, but the teams we’re taking these guys from. Danny Hope is not afraid to go down into SEC country and get some of that mythical SEC speed that seems to have everyone in awe.

That make four commitments, and all of them are two star guys that are allegedly on the rise. I doubt they’ll jump into four star range, but three star is certainly within reach with a good senior season. If you look at our history, however, we should have three four stars and a five star leading the way as seniors this coming season. Two never played a down at Purdue (Jason Kacinko and J.B. Paxson), one was kicked off the team (Selwyn Lymon), and one will be in jail for a long, long time (5-star Kyle Williams). Again, we won’t know about these guys for a year at best, likely two, but I welcome Shayon.

Enlightened Spartan follows my lead

Some of you may remember that my Game Day Guide to West Lafayette was published here in July and was recently submitted to College Football news. The Enlightened Spartan has followed my lead and posted a game day guide to East Lansing. This is a very handy guide for anyone heading north to watch the Boilers on November 8th.

Scott’s guide has given me some ideas for revising the West Lafayette one. Once a couple more of my bloggers post theirs I may go back and do a 2.0 version, as there were some pretty good ideas from you readers in the original article.