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The Future of Purdue Football in 2022

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Let’s look into the future.

Washington v Purdue Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Five years is a long time in college football. Five years ago Purdue had Danny Hope as its head coach, and if not for late collapses at Notre Dame and Ohio State, he probably survives at least the 2012 season. That means we never hear the name Darrell Hazell, we never lose four straight Buckets and win just nine games in four years, and never fall to the bottom of major conference football as Morgan Burke’s cheap gamble will have (at least partially) paid off.

Say what you will about Hope, but at least his teams could beat someone.

So now we have a new coach after Hazell only lasted 3.5 seasons and practically stole $12 million in the process. What will Purdue football look like in five years?

The Schedule

Oddly enough, 2022 is the only year of the next 10 where we have no idea what the schedule will be. The Big Ten has only identified schedules through 2019. Purdue has home-and-homes with Boston College (2018 and 2020), Missouri (2017 and 2018), Notre Dame (2020, 2021, 2024, 2025, and a neutral site in 2026), Vanderbilt (2019 and 2029), and Wake Forest (2026 and 2027), but no one is lined up for 2022. There are even return games for recent visitors to Ross-Ade (Nevada in 2019 and Virginia Tech in 2023), but nothing for 2022.

Since the Big Ten is not doing FCS games anymore and the conference is encouraging at least one game against a Power 5 opponent we can likely guess that SOMEONE from a major conference shows up on the schedule. In fact, in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2026 Purdue already has two major conference opponents.

Also, since the Big Ten current has the 5 home games/4 away games in conference play with the divisions alternating which years they get five home conference games (currently, the West gets 5 home games in odd years) we can guess that there will be only four Big Ten home games. That increases the likelihood that Purdue will host all three non-conference games in order to keep 7 home games. The 2017 season is the first season where Purdue has not had 7 home games since 2005 (and it probably would have 7 if not for the Lucas Oil opener against Louisville). Currently, the 2019 season is this way with a road game at Nevada and a home game against Vanderbilt, but we can probably put a MAC level team in the one open non-conference spot. Ed. note: I wrote this on Friday just before the announcement regarding TCU. Needless to say, that spot is filled now).

Purdue currently has non-conference games schedules with an independent (Notre Dame), the SEC (Vanderbilt and Missouri), and the ACC (Boston College and Wake Forest). It is not unusual to schedule a home and home with a Pac-12 team, either. Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona have all come to West Lafayette in my time as a Purdue fan, so why not keep with the theme of getting other gold and black teams (like Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, and Missouri) to give us a home and home. Therefore, let’s play the Colorado Buffaloes from the Pac-12 in 2022. Unfortunately, they already have TCU, Air Force, and Minnesota, but we can move things around.

Seriously though, this schedule is wide open. I expect one MAC level game, one major conference game, then a wild card in there.

Who Plays?

It is hard to believe, but the players that Jeff Brohm signs on signing day next February will be among those that play in 2022. They would then be fifth year seniors, so some of the names we are already hearing in 2018 recruiting will still be around then.

Is Jeff Brohm still the coach?

I certainly hope so, because if he is it means he was the answer to our problems. Danny Hope lasted four years and went to two bowl games. He was infinitely better than Hazell, who lasted 3.5 years and was a complete disaster. If Brohm is still the coach it likely means we have been to at least one bowl game and he has the program pointed in the right direction. If not, it means two things: either he failed miserably and we’re still in the wilderness of college football or he was so successful someone bought him out from us. I would welcome the latter, obviously.

What does the NCAA and football in general look like?

And here is your fun question. Football, to me, has increasingly become a guilty pleasure with all the injuries and everything. These young men are literally sacrificing their bodies and for what? Domonique Young shredded his knee last year, has pretty much zero pro prospects, and hopefully finishes his Purdue degree this spring to at least have something to fall back on.

Then you have the NFL, who is starting to verge on a glorified and very expensive blood sport. I can’t even stand the NFL much anymore because of all the corporatized greed it represents, all while caring very little for player safety. What does that say about the college game? Can it be passed off that at least they are providing kids with an education to fall back on as a noble pursuit? Is it good that as brutal as the game can be, the majority are done with it after college? I don’t know.

Then you have the escalating TV rights deals which will be at an all-time high in 2022, because that is likely when the current contracts will be winding down and entering into a new round of negotiation. In the interim, it means a boatload of cash for Purdue, but is there a limit? Surely they can’t just keep skyrocketing. And what about the players whose backs are being used to build these enormous cash reserves, all while being punished if they have too many bagel toppings on a recruiting visit.

We’re headed for change, and I honestly don’t know what that means.

Part of the fun in having a new regime is that we have hope again. Remember: There was even optimism when Hazell was hired. It only came crashing down August 31, 2013 when the team imploded in Cincinnati. So with that hope, let’s see what your favored prediction is:

Poll

What is most likely to happen by 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Jeff Brohm is fired for never making a bowl game.
    (26 votes)
  • 1%
    Indiana wins 9 straight Buckets
    (18 votes)
  • 9%
    Jeff Brohm wins a Big Ten title
    (85 votes)
  • 82%
    Purdue returns to at least one bowl game
    (753 votes)
  • 2%
    A Purdue player wins a major national award (i.e.: Ray Guy, Bednarik, etc.)
    (26 votes)
908 votes total Vote Now