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Defend That, Digger!: Week 6 (With some Boilermakings notes as well)

Just because we lost does not mean this feature over. Far from it! Wisconsin is a very good team that defends its home court like Pablo Escobar defending himself from the CIA. It is far from a bad loss. We're also bailed out by his beloved Dukies, losing yesterday. Digger crowed about how they were clearly one of the best four teams in the nation on College GameDay yesterday morning. Well, they will not be the team taking our number four spot in the polls.

Exhibit A: Georgia Tech 71, Duke 67

Even though Georgia Tech is ranked like Wisconsin, this gets mentioned because of the way Digger looks at Duke. I am talking freshman buying his first Playboy level of looking. He believes they are invincible at all times unless they are facing North Carolina. I'd like to thank a team that tastefully dons gold and black for proving him otherwise. Defend That, Digger!

Exhibit B: Arizona State 68, Washington 51

We have a rare shift to the Pac-10 because of Washington, who was supposed to walk all over us in the NCAA Tournament last year. They were the Pac-10 favorite once again, but have stumbled to a 1-2 start in conference play. Arizona State did lose to Duke earlier in the season, so that make them okay. Making matters worse, Washington lost tonight to Arizona. The vaunted Pac-10 can't miss favorite is now off to a 1-3 start with the only win coming over an awful Oregon State team. Defend That, Digger!

Exhibit C: Tennessee 76, Kansas 68

Tonight's earlier Fanshot is just an example of how stupid some of the media is. Yeah, Kansas is a very good team, but saying Purdue doesn't even deserve to be mentioned with them is ludicrous. Purdue beat Tennessee this season. The Volunteers were not shorthanded at the time, either. I won't even mentioned how Kansas struggled mightily with Cornell at home this week. Defend That, Digger!

Boilermakings notes:

Dustin Keller goes nuts in Cincy - First he helped my fantasy team win a third consecutive championship. Now he is helping the Jets in the playoffs. Keller had three catches for 99 yards and a touchdown in his postseason debut. His touchdown was vintage Keller in that he carried about three guys into the end zone. He also had a long catch and runt hat set up a field goal and a key block that freed fellow Big Ten alum Shonn Greene for his 39 yard scoring run.

Anthony Spencer lives up his first round pick status - As much as I dislike the Cowboys, it was a joy to see Spencer have a great game yesterday. He has really come on late this season for the Cowboys defense and, as usual, is having a light snack of quarterbacks during games.

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton Returns to women's basketball - Unfortunately, it is not as a player (stupid NCAA 4-years of eligibility). She will be filling in for assistant coach Martin Clapp, who is taking an unspecified medical leave of absence. On the court, the Ladies lost to #3 Notre Dame this week 79-75 and at Wisconsin 64-51 to fall to 7-8 (2-2 Big Ten) before hosting Northwestern today.

A way too early bowl projection for next year - At least we have a bowl projection.

More on the future schedules - the biggest news with football lately is the announcement of the home and home with Marshall. This locks up our non-conference roads games through the end of the decade now. In even numbers years, it is Notre Dame as usual. In odd numbered years, it goes as follows:

2011 at Rice (finally completing the home and home started in 1998)

2013 at Cincinnati

2015 at Cincinnati

2017 at Marshall

2019 at Oklahoma State

I still think this is subject to change. Sometime early in the summer I talked about a potential home and home with a Florida school in order to give all of our Florida recruits a game in their home state. With three New Year's Day bowls in Florida now affiliated with the Big Ten it is a strong possibility that there will be a postseason game in the sunshine state, but I would like a regular season game.

The two games at Cincinnati are the most likely candidates to get moved. First of all, we only played the Bearcats once. That was in 2001. Their return game to Ross-Ade was filled by Syracuse in 2004 because Cincy wanted to play a Big East team as it prepared to move conferences. It is now a 2-for-2 after being listed as a 2-for-1 for years, but we could push one game at each place further out. Pushing the away game out allows us to get a Florida opponent sooner, while moving a home game can avoid another tricky schedule.

Ideally, I would like to either cancel or move the 2013 game and replace it with a game at Florida Atlantic, Florida International, or South Florida. South Florida could make some sense because they are the Big East and could easily slide in for their conference brethren. We could also slide the game at Purdue into the open slot on the 2012 schedule between Notre Dame and Marshall. We already have 1-AA Eastern Kentucky on that schedule, so it would be different from MAC opponent du jour that will likely fill that spot. South Florida for 2012 and 2013 makes more sense too because Indiana has them scheduled for 2011, 2015, and 2016.

Miami could also be a possibility in one of those slots. They have empty slots in those years. Slipping them in at the 2012 slot allows for Robert Marve to be gone before facing his old team. Of course, this would end my marriage, so let's move on.

Regardless, the 2016 season appears to be the most difficult non-conference schedule in the history of Purdue football. I don't know who the fourth non-conference opponent could be, but it won't be nearly as challenging as Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, and at Notre Dame. When Notre Dame is your third toughest non-conference opponent you have a salty schedule. Another consideration for that year is that it could be the first year the Big Ten has a 12th member. If we move that home game with Cincy like the earlier road game it allows us to avoid a poor start before an even tougher conference slate.