Being unemployed has few perks, but one of them is the freedom to watch DVDs all day long with little consequence. Yesterday's feature was Notorious, the biopic on the Notorious B.I.G. yes, I am a white boy from Central Indiana that represents the West Side (of Kokomo), but I have a certain respect for the giants of the old school rap game. Biggie and Tupac were certainly greats, so I can respect their talents.
Today I ventured into my DVD collection for my 247th viewing of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. This is a movie that is funny on every single viewing. It also allows me to squeeze out random content on a slow Friday afternoon. It has been awhile since I have looked at Purdue's 2010 football schedule and done a win-loss projection. Today ends that drought, complete with a special quote for each team.
September 4th at Notre Dame
"I don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal. I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." - Ron Burgundy upon meeting Veronica Corningstone
I think it is safe to say that Notre Dame is the Ron Burgundy of college football. They were at the top of their game three decades ago. They have an over-inflated air of self-importance. They've been replaced by better looking, more talented teams (with Florida being Veronica Corningstone).South Bend smells of rich mahogany.
That aside, I really like our matchup with them. Dayne Crist is coming off of knee surgery and has not taken command of the Fighting Irish offense. He saw the most significant action of his collegiate career against Purdue last year when he was 5 of 10 for 45 yards. The offense stalled with him in charge and there is no golden Tate to bail him out with the Wildcat anymore. If Purdue was playing the Irish later in the year I would be more concerned, but they are still learning a new system on both sides of the ball.I am concerned about our secondary, but this is far from a polished passing game we're facing.
Offense hasn't been Notre Dame's problem, either. They have yet to field a defense that can stop anyone and Brian Kelly isn't exactly a defensive minded coach. If our defense can finally stop a running game and we commit ourselves to running I like our chances. I like Robert Marve's experience over Crist as well. Even with Ralph Bolden's injury I am confident Al-Terek McBurse can run the ball and give Purdue balance. I say Purdue shocks the nation, but not me, with a win in South Bend. Purdue 27, Notre Dame 20
September 11th vs. Western Illinois
"Don't get me wrong, I love the ladies. I mean they rev my engines, but they don't belong in the newsroom." - Brian Fantana
Don't get me wrong. I love seeing Purdue march up and down the field, but Division I-AA teams have no business being on our schedule. Western Illinois is an awful 1-AA team at that. How awful are they? They lost to Indiana State last year and went 1-10 by only beating Sam Houston State in their opener. If Purdue wins by less than five touchdowns this should be counted as a loss. Purdue 52, Western Illinois 3
September 18th vs. Ball State
"Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San DiAHgo, which of course in German means a whale's vagina." - Ron Burgundy to Veronica Corningstone
This really has nothing to do with Ball State other than linking one of my favorite lines in the entire movie (which also mentions genitalia) to one of the Division I programs that is linked to genitalia on name alone (the others being South Carolina and Oregon State). Yes, like most bloggers, I have the mentality of a 12-year-old boy when it comes to jokes like this.
In terms of serious football analysis this should be another easy Purdue win if Purdue is going to have a successful 2010 season. Ball State was 2-10 last year in a pretty weak MAC and lost to I-AA new Hampshire at home. There should be no excuse for losing to them, just as there was no excuse for losing to Northern Illinois last year. Their only wins were against traditionally bad Eastern Michigan and a sorely underachieving Western Michigan team. Their only win over a BCS conference team ever was against Indiana in 2008. The Cardinals are also 0-7 all-time against Purdue with their closest game being a 38-28 loss in the last meeting. Purdue 38, Ball State 17
September 25th vs. Toledo
"We've been coming to the same party for 12 years now, and in no way is that depressing!" - Ron Burgundy
That's one of the sad parts of Big Ten scheduling. You know you're going to see many of the same MAC teams year after year after year. This marks sixth time in the last 20 years Toledo has played Purdue. It's been surprisingly competitive too as the Rockets have won a pair of those games.
The Toledo defense had absolutely no answer for us last year when we were less experienced than we are now. Aaron Opelt went apeshit by continually throwing over the middle, but he has graduated. That leaves Austin Dantin in charge, who played in the final four games of last season as a freshman. I like that this is a third straight relatively easy game for Purdue's untested secondary to get better. Purdue should have a better defensive performance against a third straight team it has no business losing to. Purdue 42, Toledo 17
October 9th at Northwestern
Ron Burgundy: "Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast!"
Champ Kind: "It jumped up a notch!"
Ron: "It did, didn't it?"
Brick Tamland: "Yeah, I stabbed a man in the heart!"
Ron: "I saw that. Brick killed a guy."
That is probably the most accurate explanation for last year's game against the Wildcats. Things were going fine, then Purdue couldn't hold on to the football. If we don't hand them 13 points before halftime Purdue has a win and a bowl game. That has been the story in each of the past two games against northwestern. Purdue has pretty much spiked themselves and Northwestern played error free football.
This is a major swing game for us, just as it has been for the past two years. If there is one thing I have learned it is that you should never bet against Northwestern in a close game. They have an uncanny knack for finding ways to win. This is probably our toughest game in the first half of the season, but it is certainly winnable. If we cut down on our turnovers I think we get it. It will also be interesting to see how we handle a bye week for the first time in years. Purdue 27, Northwestern 24
October 16th vs. Minnesota
"I'm going to punch you in the ovary, that's what I'm gonna do. A straight shot, right to the babymaker." - Ron Burgundy
This feels like a very important game. Minnesota is a team that certainly hasn't looked good in Big Ten play lately, but we've played two terrible games against them. Most projections have them fighting Indiana and Illinois for last place coming into the year. It is the type of game that has to be a win if we're going to move up in the conference pecking order.
I'm also reminded of how much of a dick a Minnesota fan in my section was two years ago. He actually cheered when Curtis Painter got hurt. He was the type of guy that deserves a punch in the ovary if he had them. That, and we owe the Golden Gophers a punch in the ovary after the Robbie Hummel injury up in the Barn. Purdue 30, Minnesota 24
October 23rd at Ohio State
"What? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole... wheel of cheese? How'd you do that? Heck, I'm not even mad; that's amazing." - Ron Burgundy
Purdue upsetting Ohio State last season was about as surprising as having someone poop in your refrigerator. Since the Horseshoe is now the home of our longest drought in Big Ten play (no wins since 1988) winning there would be the equivalent of eating a whole wheel of cheese. If we are 6-0 at this point as I predict we'll probably be ranked, but I doubt we'll be given much of a serious chance.
If we do pull it off we can dream of Pasadena thanks to a schedule that lacks Penn State and Iowa as two of the main Big Ten contenders. Unfortunately, Ohio State is likely going to play with urgency after we ruined their parade last year. They won't be looking past us, but I do expect it to be a tight game. We always seem to play the Buckeyes much closer than we should. Ohio State 20, Purdue 14
October 30th at Illinois
Ron: "Brick, where did you get a hand grenade?"
Brick: "I don't know."
I had to go with a Brick Tamland moment because Illinois football is like Brick. All you hear about is how they have such a fertile Chicago recruiting ground and how Ron Zook is a great recruiting, yet they constantly underachieve. Can't you picture Ron Zook shouting LOUD NOISES on the sidelines as another Illinois turnover happens? Something just isn't quite there for the Fighting Illini, just like Brick isn't quite all there.
This is another series that Purdue has dominated recently, not losing since 2002 under questionable circumstances. Last year's game was fairly dull as Illinois played musical quarterbacks and Purdue did just enough to win. There isn't a lot of hope for Illinois this year, and Zook could already be on firing watch by this game anyway. Purdue 27, Illinois 14
November 6th vs. Wisconsin
"No. She gets a special cologne. It's called Sex Panther, by Odeon. It's illegal in 9 countries. Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good." - Brian Fantana
The only logical excuse for Purdue's horrible play in Madison last season has to be that Wisconsin's ball carriers and the ball itself were coated in Sex Panther. How else to you explain Purdue's lack of tackling ability and all the dropped passes? Few teams have out-physicaled Purdue in recent memory as badly as Wisconsin did last year. In fact, Wisconsin regularly is stronger and tougher than Purdue. It is just a bad matchup.
Strangely, I feel more confident about playing Ohio State than I do Wisconsin. The Badgers have totally dominated us since The Fumble, while we've still played Ohio State well. Wisconsin is going to be another good team, but will they suffer once again under the weight of preseason expectations? This is the most confident I am in picking a loss, and that includes the trip to Ohio State. Wisconsin 30, Purdue 17
November 13th vs. Michigan
"Why don't you go back to your home on Whore Island?" - Ron Burgundy
That's just about the only thing that hasn't been said between Danny Hope and Rich Rodriguez at this point. I would love to see RichRod shout it though. That would be a great way to rise this somewhat budding rivalry another notch. Unfortunately, unless Michigan finds another defense they could come to Ross-Ade with the potential of another bowl-less season.
It's been over 40 years since Purdue won three straight against the Wolverines, but it had been over 40 years since we won in Ann Arbor before doing so last year. Michigan is just not as scary as they used to be all thanks to RichRod. Lloyd Carr owned us, losing only once on a last second field goal while often blowing us out. Since this is New Orleans' bye week I also expect Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees to be in town to lead Shout. The last two games have been fun shootouts, so why not one more? Purdue 45, Michigan 42
November 20th at Michigan State
"Mr. Burgundy you have a huge erection." -- Veronica Corningstone
Okay, I have Purdue sitting at 8-2 at this point. That's not an incredible stretch of the imagination, as all eight teams I have wins over aren't exactly world beaters. If we come into the Michigan State game at 8-2 the entire fanbase will have a figurative erection hoping for a New Year's Day bowl. Unfortunately, I don't have a good feeling about his game against the Spartans.
Last year mistakes killed us against Michigan State. With a double digit fourth quarter lead we promptly gave up a long touchdown play and froze up defensively. I think Michigan State is a rising team that is just slightly better than us right now. They'll probably edge us in this game to get that New Year's Day bowl and continue our curse of not being able to get 10 wins in a season. Michigan State 27, Purdue 24
November 27th vs. Indiana
"People call me the Bry Man, I'm the stylish one of the group. I know what you're asking yourself and the answer is yes -- I have a nickname for my penis. It's called the Octagon. But I also nicknamed my testes -- my left one is James Westphal and my right one is Dr. Kenneth Noisewater. You ladies play your cards right and you just might get to meet the whole gang." - Brian Fantana
In two of Indiana's last three visits to Ross-Ade they have failed to keep Purdue under 60. Their defense also lost seven starters from a unit that wasn't exactly that good in the first place. The Hoosiers should have a good offense, but the defense won't do much. That means James Westphal and Dr. Kenneth Noisewater could see some garbage time action as we cruise to another Bucket win. Purdue 48, Indiana 28