Already the coaching carousel in the Big Ten alone has greatly affected Purdue. Look at this article from Grantland:
So, to summarize, the Big Ten West is composed of:
1. A coach (Tim Beckman) who believes his team was only 10 plays short of defeating Purdue.
2. A coach (Kirk Ferentz) who made approximately $582,142.86 per victory this season.
3. A coach (Pat Fitzgerald) who referred to his own team as "an embarrassment."
4. A coach (Darrell Hazell) whose team lost by three touchdowns to Central Michigan.
5. A coach (Mike Riley) who is, you know, like, a really great guy.
6. A program bereft of a coach for the second time in three years ...
... and Minnesota. Which means a team that hasn't qualified for the Rose Bowl since the Cuban Missile Crisis is now the most stable and promising program in this whole confab of misfit toys.
We were the worst of that entire group. Once again, there is nowhere to go but up, but at least there is a chance that a big turnaround can come if year three is the "the year everything clicks".
Illinois reaching a bowl may have prolonged the inevitable for Tim Beckman, and they still lost at home to a pretty bad Purdue team. Northwestern and Iowa were hardly great. Mike Riley never did great things aside from one game per year at Oregon State and that has Nebraska in flux. Wisconsin is probably self-sustaining with their offense and offensive line, but a third coach in four years could still have a profound effect. Then you have Minnesota, who we weren't that far off from beating this season.
I am not saying we're going to win the Big Ten West in 2015. Far from it. There are at least now some external reasons to have a little hope for progress. That, and we still get to play Indiana.