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White Out themed Roundtable

It’s time for yet another Big Ten Roundtable, as this week’s edition after a short hiatus is being hosted by the Penn state blog Nittany White Out. The view from the top must be good this week as we have some great questions to discuss.

1. We're approaching week 9 now, are you pleasantly surprised or
already waiting for basketball season?

I wouldn’t say pleasantly surprised. I am surprised, but it is more a disgusted kind of surprised that comes from seeing once high hopes fall even further than the so called experts predicted us to fall. The cruel thing is that if we can turn it around this week and beat Minnesota, I’ll still believe something can be salvaged out of this season. Minnesota is, after all, a ranked team. A victory would end our streak, give me hope we can steal a road game at Iowa or Michigan State, and hold serve at home against the two teams that might be worse than us to sneak back to Detroit for a bowl bid. I have to be losing my mind to think back to back Motor City Bowl and a potential blowout by Ball State or round four vs. Central Michigan is success this year.

In short, basketball season cannot come fast enough. Florida Southern tips us off on Halloween night.

2. Describe one specific play from this season you would alter for a
different outcome if you had the chance to.

It really is a tie. I would choose either Chris Summers making the game-winning field goal against Oregon at the end, Painter finding a wide open Kory sheets in the first overtime for the win, or Brandon King not getting tackled from behind as he looked to have a sure pick six in the same game. If he goes all the way there we lead that game 14-3 with even more momentum. As it was, he was tackled from behind and we only managed a field goal. Mr. Sheets had his own issues this week with Painter not finding him open. While Kory is right, it is a sign that this team has disintegrated like no Purdue team before it. There are a number of plays that could have given us a different outcome in that game, but those are the three largest. I wonder how different this season would look had we won that game. It is the only loss this season that one play would have made a difference.

3. How could it (#2) possibly impact the way your season is going?

Well, being 3-4 at this point would certainly look a whole lot better. It would also mean our streak against ranked teams would be long gone (and a whole new one would have started!), we could still go bowling without winning a road game at all, and there would have been a marquee win to build on. It almost feels like this team blew its load in the Oregon game. We played our best game of the season, yet still beat ourselves with too many mistakes and honestly dumb play calling at times. We absolutely dominated them for almost three quarters, but they turned the game around with a huge punt return for a score when we probably should have gone for it n 4th and 1 from midfield when we were getting five yards per run.

4. Big Ten player you just can't stand, why?

Interesting question. At the moment there isn’t anyone in particularly I dislike. I’m not in a position as a Purdue fan to really call anyone out, either. If I can reach into the past I would have to go with Michigan State’s Drew Stanton and Iowa’s Drew Tate. I’m not a gambling man, but if I had been when they were playing I would have lost a ton of money. Drew Tate had a Curtis Painter-esque senior season in terms of hype and not living up to it. Stanton was just the type of player that was supposed to be dangerous, but could never deliver when needed. He may be the best Big Ten offensive player since Mike Alstott to never play in a bowl.

5. Boo'ing your own team (we've seen quite a lot of this across the
Big Ten this season), your feelings on this.

I usually don’t do this, but I have been known to yell a thing or two toward the sideline in my day. The funniest story comes not from me, but from something I witnessed at a Purdue game.

Facing Northwestern in a night game at Ross-Ade during the 1995 season Purdue was trailing, but was still in that window where a quick score would have made things interesting. My brother-in-law and I were leaving, but decided to poke our heads in through one of the student section entrances to see what was going on. I think Purdue was down like 14 with about 5 minutes to play. In typical Colletto fashion, the "offensive genius" had his team taking its sweet time in the huddle and on the field. As we’re watching (with Purdue’s sideline being on the student section side at the time) some student well into his cups bellows, "WAY TO WORK THE CLOCK, JIM! YOU’RE A REAL MASTER AT IT!" above a nearly silent crowd. It still draws chuckles whenever Brian and I talk about Purdue football to this day.

In short, a clever barb like that is much better than a straight out boo.

Bonus Round

1. Number of beers or alcoholic drinks consumed by week 8 (or a good

Before or after games? So far the only game I have been able to drink beforehand was the Oregon one. Some fine Sam Adams Octoberfest and Breckenridge Brewery Avalanche gave me an elevated sense of self esteem on my way into the stadium. Considering that was the best half of football we’ve played in years I should probably drink more often. As far as after games, they have been necessary. I would say there have been about 20 total drinks consumed through seven games, thus not making me a total lush.

2. Most annoying commercial seen this season

I am really getting annoyed by the Nissan "saved by zero jingle". I don’t know why, but it rubs me the wrong way.

3. Your prediction for the next coaching change in the Big Ten (Joe
Tiller exempt)

Bill Lynch seems to have taken all the positive momentum that Terry Hoeppner built and flushed it right down the crapper. Even I as a Purdue fan will admit that I expected better from the Hoosiers at this point. I wasn’t thinking 10 wins as some deluded fans were hoping, but I certainly expected them to be a 6 or 7 win team and be much more competitive in losses. Indiana hasn’t even been close. You know it’s bad when the Hoosiers returned a pair of All-Americans in Greg Middleton and Austin Starr, yet the Hoosier Report itself said they wouldn’t need to worry about being All-Americans this year. I’ve tried to be upbeat in my disgust at Purdue. John hasn’t been, and rightfully so. Hoosier fans were teased with a taste of victory last year, only to have it washed away just when it looked like something very good was brewing.