And so begins our annual countdown to football. It started as a way to get some cheap content during the summer when news is thin. Now it continues to serve as a way to get to know every player on the roster a little bit better from top running back Markell Jones all the way down to the little known walk-ons.
This year is no different. The incoming freshmen have not been added to the roster of yet, so we will not be able to begin our player countdown until Monday with No. 96, Jake Herr.
So let's begin with a very, very general outlook as we come into the season. In short: it is not good. The only team in a major conference with worse prospects than Purdue is Kansas who had an imperfect season at 0-12 and their overall preview from Bill Connelly was titled, "They Will Probably Win a game this Year".
There are a lot of reasons we are here: Darrell Hazell struggling (to stay the least) in his first three years. John Shoop and Greg Hudson being complete disasters as coordinators. Morgan Burke. Mitch Daniels. Recruiting. Etc. In many ways the 2016 season feel like a year where we are merely marking time. We're waiting for Morgan Burke's replacement to be named and hoping he or she can right the ship throughout the athletic department starting with football. The fact that Darrell Hazell is still coach is merely an afterthought because as soon as the season is over (assuming a new AD is in place) he will be fired.
There are reasons for optimism, however, and it is hoped that they stand out more as we begin this player countdown. Generally, we always side with the players when it comes to assigning blame. Yes, they make individual mistakes, but Purdue's current fate is hardly their fault. They can only do as well as they have been taught, and we have seen that teaching has not gone well.
So follow us as we countdown the players. Each is busting his hump to do his part in turning this mess around. If enough get better maybe they can salvage Darrell Hazell's job this year with a surprise season.