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The Preseason T-Bag

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You had questions. T-Mill had answers.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

I promised I was going to do a mailbag today and even sent out the bat signal for it, then got completely distracted by real work. So, better late than never. Here are the preseason questions for the T-bag.

We can only hope, but Morgan Burke continues to balance the budget and has improved facilities. Unfortunately, his 75/25 plan has been a massive failure. As Boiled Sports pointed out about a week ago, Purdue was nowhere even close to reaching the top 25 in every sport in sponsored by last season. In fact, just about the only sports sports Purdue is even close to that mark is in volleyball, women's golf, and women's track, with the men's basketball team projected to be close this coming season.

Purdue will not be better until Morgan Burke is gone, but that is not to say he is awful. He has done a lot for Purdue. He presided over two of the three all-time national championships, has greatly improved almost every single athletic facility, and has done a good job in balancing budgets and taking in Big Ten money. Unfortunately, that only goes so far. Until Purdue has an athletic director that makes football a priority because it is the engine that  drives the machine, the entire Boiler sports department will remain at this plateau.

Realistically I can see them getting as many as seven. I know most people don't see it, but if there is as dramatic of improvement as the coaches are saying in terms of this team actually looking the part of a Big Ten football team compared to the past few years I think it is a team that can surprise.

There are really only two games I would be absolutely shocked if Purdue won: at Michigan State and at Wisconsin. As for the other 10 games, there is definitely a chance because those teams are all flawed in some ways. Marshall and Bowling Green are all offense/no defense teams. Virginia Tech is the opposite. Minnesota has virtually no passing game at all. Nebraska has a bunch of defensive questions, especially at linebacker (and we know all too well how that works out). Illinois sounds like an absolute mess right now. Northwestern and Iowa are rather bland. Indiana is Indiana. There are definitely some chances there, especially if Purdue is now at least improved enough to compete with the middle of the conference.

Well, of course I think they CAN. The WILL is much harder. Maryland is going to be awfully good this coming season. Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State will be tough as always. Michigan and Indiana have a ton of talent and can shoot well enough to beat anyone one a given night to overcome other massive liabilities (such as Michigan having no backup if threes aren't falling and Indiana is allergic to defense). Iowa and Minnesota are good enough to be feisty. Even Northwestern is pretty dangerous.

I would say Purdue has about a 20% to win the Big Ten, mostly because Maryland is going to be really, really good and we lack consistency in the backcourt. That is still a pretty damn good chance.

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