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Big Ten Blogger's roundtable and Boilermakings

Since the Big Ten bloggers’ roundtable this week is a little shorter and more unorthodox than normal we get a long overdue extended Boilermakings in this space. Also, Jason from Eleven Warriors may have a submission later on after I do tomorrow’s Ohio State preview. I do want to go on record as saying this right now, even though it will probably jinx us, but I have a very odd feeling about Saturday’s game. I feel like something unexpected will happen. That’s not saying much considering that there have been no expectations for this game all year, but I just feel like there might be something worth watching Saturday from a Purdue perspective.

Big Ten bloggers’ roundtable

This week’s roundtable is hosted by Beuford Bixel over at The Only Game That Matters. It’s a little different than most, as it is done Jeopardy-style. That is, he provided the answers and it was up to us to provide the questions. Here are my responses:

Answer: Jay Paterno and the Spread HD
Question: What is an advanced form of Preparation H for octogenarians?

A: Joe Tiller's Mustache
Q: What is the only thing that is the same as his 1997 debut with the team?

A: The Color Purple
Q: What is the state of Purdue fans’ b**** as they continue to wait for the recovery from "The Fumble" We’re well beyond blue here.

A: Brains
Q: What are used by swimmies? FYI: Swimmies are guys like the fifth string punter. They have astronomical GPAs and keep the collective GPA of the team high. They keep the team as a whole from drowning like an inflatable. (And yes, I did read Tom Wolfe’s I am Charlotte Simmons. No, I don’t mean Purdue's tradition of inflatables)

A: Hawkeye State
Q: What is the home of derelict individuals who have trouble fitting with society and receive an inordinate amount of attention every fourth February (and that is BGHP, Slipknot, and Caucuses all in one!)?

A: Rudy
Q: Who is Notre Dame’s latest celebrated 5-star savior recruit?

A: Knee Ligaments
Q: What is the most fragile part of the human body in Eugene, Oregon?

A: Terrell Pryor
Q: Who is a stud that is guaranteed to rush for 150 yards this Saturday?

A: Mark May
Q: Who is someone I pretty much ignore?

A: Rich Rodriguez
Q: What are guaranteed results without any proof they will ever actually come?

Blogpoll is now the CBS Sports blogpoll

As many of you may have noticed on Monday, the blogpoll has now officially been picked up by CBS Sports. Personally, I find this very exciting. This is one step closer to legitimacy (read: world domination) by the blogging public. CBS will be releasing a preliminary poll on Monday mornings, followed by a final poll later in the week after the readers of each blog comment on the preliminary ballots. This is the first year I have had an official ballot, so I am very excited to be on board. For you Boiler fans out there that want to make your voice heard in this poll, please feel free to comment on the preliminary ballot, which will now be published on Sunday evenings.

Much of the credit goes to Brian over at MGoblog. Brian is pretty much the unofficial leader for all of us since he has worked so hard to make his little corner the gold standard of college football blogging. He organizes and compiles the blogpoll every week, so he is responsible for this latest development.

Football picks up new recruit, aims high on another.


There was finally some good news on the recruiting front last night when the Boilers picked up its highest rated recruit to date. 3-star defensive tackle Eric McDaniel from Georgia announced he was headed to Purdue. I am not naïve enough to believe a 3-star recruit is expected to be a program-savior, but I am very encouraged by this commitment. He’s big at 6’2", 300+ and he has good speed. We need all the help we can get on run defense, and this kid could certainly help in that department. Good programs are built on guys like him as a base in a recruiting class that builds into something better once they arrive on campus. The other guys in the class certainly have some promise and indeed could be improved to three stars before they arrive. This not a huge step forward, but it is a step forward. I'll take that and I welcome him to West Lafayette.

Speaking of welcoming to West Lafayette, the biggest news on the recruiting front before this announcement was that Bryce Brown, the nation’s top rated running back will visit during the year. He has already verballed to Miami (Michigan fans, I am already aware of the irony here), but if he is going to visit there certainly is at least a chance he will end up in West Lafayette. I am in the unique position as a fan of both programs that I will likely be pleased either way. The Canes have the advantage that his brother is already there as a linebacker. I doubt he will change his commitment to Purdue, but I hope he does because we certainly have more of a need for him. Can you imagine pairing him with a healthy Jaycen Taylor next season?

2010 basketball class now set

Matt Painter continues to do a great job on the recruiting trail by stepping out of state to pick up 4-star guard Anthony Johnson from Chicago’s Whitney Young High. Johnson is an excellent shooter as well as ball-handler. His class appears to be shaping us as a very nice compliment to learn the ropes as freshmen from our current core of guys. He can take over as a scorer once E’Twaun Moore departs and be paired with Lewis Jackson to form a very dynamic backcourt. He’s rated as one of the top 50 players in the country overall, so this is a very good pickup. The 2010-11 season is looking almost like a perfect storm for Purdue basketball in terms of experience and young talent.

Basketball schedule analysis:

Before I get too carried away in dreaming of the 2011 National championship I wanted to take a look at the current slate we have facing us this year. It is a schedule with some chest hair befitting one of the nations best up and coming programs. Last season was nice as it had some challenges in Louisville, Missouri, and others while still having plenty of easy games (Wofford aside). This year getting to 20 wins is more than expected since it will likely be Big Ten title or bust. Because almost any Big Ten game can go either way I won’t touch on those for now, but I think a goal of 10-11 wins before the conference season is very reasonable.

The Boiled Sports "Put it in Sharpie"® wins:

Detroit Mercy, Eastern Michigan, Loyala (IL) (if in preseason NIT) Coppin State, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, IPFW, Valparaiso: If we don’t win these games there are some serious issues.

Potentially frisky: Indiana State, at Ball state, Georgia (if in preseason NIT): Each team is listed here for a different reason. The Trees beat us two years ago and played us tough at Mackey last season. Games at the smaller schools in the state are always trap games because the crowd is really up for it. Remember, 2 years ago we were supposed to easily break our long road losing streak and look what happened. Georgia just cares the bejesus out of me after what they did in the SEC tournament last year. How did we get them if we’re the supposed #1 seed for the NIT? We should win all of these, but they could all be tough games.

Excellent tests: Davidson, Duke, Preseason NIT semifinals and finals (Boston College, Oklahoma, and Arizona are favored): Ironically, we could end up facing Davidson twice within about three weeks on two separate neutral courts. Stephen Curry will likely miss his point guard and big center from last season, but he is still a phenomenal scorer. Any team with one of those is very dangerous.

I will attend the Duke game no matter what. I don’t care how much I have to pay for a ticket or if I have to go by myself. I can’t pass up a chance for one of the biggest home games ever at Mackey. I didn’t go to the women’s home game against Tennessee to start the 1998-99 national title season and I’ve always regretted that I didn’t see what was a fantastic ballgame. That game started the run to the title, and this one could too.

The NIT games in New York are hard to call simply because anything can happen with them. Butler swept their way to the title two years ago. And, who could forget Gardner-Webb ending up in New York in a similar tournament last season.

Kyle Orton gives middle finger to critics

Last night I had the NFL Monday Night pregame show on and the same critics who have been bashing Kyle Orton for years had nothing but praise for him. Just a quick internet search found some glowing articles about his play in recent weeks. Sunday he lit up Detroit. This was after a three touchdown game on Sunday Night Football against Philly. He has given the Bears an actual passing offense to be respected. I was even surprised this morning to see on my fantasy team that Orton, as my backup, outperformed my starter in Mr. Brees.

This just goes to show that anyone who criticizes a quarterback in the first 3-4 years of their NFL career is full of crap. Very few NFL quarterbacks do much in that time. Peyton Manning was 3-13 his first season. Ben Roethlisberger won a Super Bowl, but didn’t have huge statistical numbers. Our own Drew Brees was considered so washed up after his third season that the Chargers drafted Eli Manning and traded him for Phillip Rivers. Now Brees is one of the best in the league. No one has patience with these guys anymore. Orton has learned and the game is finally slowing down for him some. I hope he continues to improve with both middle fingers directed toward Bristol, CT.

Women’s Soccer in first place:

After a tie with Michigan and a win over Michigan State the women’s soccer team is in first place in the Big Ten at 3-0-1 and 9-3-2 overall. This is a very good sign considering that this was supposed to be a rebuilding year after winning the Big Ten Tournament a season ago. They have yet to play Penn State and Ohio State who both sit behind them in the standings as their main competition. Both of those games come at the end of the season at home. As long as Purdue stays on this course they should return to the NCAA Tournament, but not as highly ranked as they were last year when they were upset by Indiana in the second round.