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Indiana 23, Purdue 16: Can It Get Worse?

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At the bottom with few signs of hope on the horizon, how bad can Purdue get?

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

24 months ago Purdue fans were disgusted with Danny Hope and he was fired after the Boilers went a tissue-soft 6-6, beating only a marginally good Marshall as a decent team in those six victories. A few weeks later, Morgan Burke opened the war chest and hired Darrell Hazell, who performed a miracle in nearly getting Kent State, possibly the worst FBS program in the last 50 years, to a BCS bowl. Hazell said and did all the right things, including a rally on the Circle before the season opener at Cincinnati last season. It appeared the momentum was finally in Purdue football's favor after years of mediocrity.

Since then:

  • Purdue is 4-20 overall
  • Purdue is 2-20 against FBS programs
  • Purdue is 3-11 at home
  • Purdue is 1-15 against the Big Ten
  • Purdue is 0-8 at home against the Big Ten, losing all but one game by double digits
  • Purdue is 0-2 against Indiana

Our beloved boilers are now a far cry from even mediocrity after Saturday's 23-16 loss at Indiana, and I have no idea how we can even get back to that level. We lack the raw talent to even compete with most teams in the Big Ten. We have lost consecutive games to Indiana for the first time in 20 years. Here is the list of Big Ten teams Indiana has beaten in consecutive seasons in that time:

  • Illinois in 2012 and 2013 when they lost over 20 straight B1G games.
  • Iowa in 2006-07
  • Illinois in 2005-06
  • Wisconsin in 2001-02
  • Iowa in 1998-2000

That's it. That's the list.

I wish I could comment more on that actually game today, but the thing that stands out the most is this: After Akeem Hunt's 82-yard touchdown run the entire Purdue bench, which I was sitting behind, started acting as if the game was over. Indiana did not. They erased the lead in seven minutes after doing nothing all day and if not for a Tevin Coleman fumble Purdue would not have even come close to scoring the rest of the way. Even tied 13-13 and 16-16 there was no urgency whatsoever. When Indiana is out-working you in football there is something seriously wrong with your program, and now Purdue has consecutive last-place Big Ten finishes to go with it.

What we are seeing is the culmination of the mis-step of hiring Danny Hope and going cheap after Joe Tiller retired. Hope's first team was at least promising, but then it was wrecked by injuries before underachieving. That left a roster devoid of talent that now can't even compete even with an allegedly better hire. Today is the first time I have ever questioned voting with my wallet and ending my JPC donation, but I don't want to take scholarship money away from kids who are getting an education thanks to the JPC. Morgan Burke has wrecked Purdue football since 2007, and I hope he enjoys it. At the bottom with few signs of hope on the horizon, how bad can Purdue get?

It is a dark, dark time for Purdue football. You have an administration (President and AD) that does not care about investing in the program, a coaching staff that is struggling and overmatched, a roster devoid of talent, and all three are combining to make sure that recruiting does not bring in any elite talent needed to turn things around. That makes the following Tweet I had today quite prescient: