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Purdue Football: Things Have Changed

We are entering a brave new world for Purdue football

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Now that #Brohmwatch has been over for 24 hours and the #Brohmebration has had plenty of time to dance over the carcass of UL twitter, it’s time to figure out what all this actually means.

The Purdue Football Program Is Fundamentally Different Now

We have all been calling for a fundamental change in the way Purdue University treats the football program. We suffered through the penny pinching of Morgan Burke and watched as the football program withered on the vine. That all changed when Mitch Daniels hired Mike Bobinski, and gave him the specific mandate to fix the football program. Bobinski put facility improvements into motion, hired Jeff Brohm, and then put up a huge chunk of money to keep him from returning home to Louisville.

Brohm’s new contract hasn’t been divulged, but go ahead and expect that at a minimum, Purdue is paying Jeff Brohm, top 15, or more probably, top 10 money.

Let’s get this out of the way right now. Jeff Brohm’s resume, while solid, in no way indicates that he’s a top 10 coach. Purdue is paying Brohm for future results, not for any of his current accomplishments. That’s perfectly fine, and I commend the Purdue administration for getting the deal done, because losing Brohm would have been a major setback to a program just starting to pick up traction.

This contract should put the Brohmwatch on ice for a while. We’re overpaying Brohm, and I can’t see any other program willing to step up and pay him top 5 money. We might have to worry about the NFL, but that will only come about if Brohm wins big at Purdue. I’m willing to live with the uncertainty.

At the same point, expectations have been pushed to a level we’ve never seen at Purdue, both for Brohm and the fan base.

New Brohm Expectations

Brohm’s expectations have jumped from building a respectable team to building a consistent top 25 team with eventual division and conference title aspirations. This doesn’t have to happen right away. I still think he gets another two year cushion to rebuild the program before expectations start ramping up, but once that two year grace period is over, he’s going to have to produce wins on a higher level than any previous Purdue coach to justify his contract. Brohm’s a big boy, he knows this, and I’m sure Bobinski has clearly defined his expectations. This will be new territory for Purdue football and I’m excited to watch it unfold.

Minimum Brohm expectations over the next two seasons:

7 win regular season wins

Top 25 recruiting class

No major upset losses

Top 10 coaches don’t get any grace for losing to Eastern Michigan or Rutgers. He’s priced himself out of head scratching losses. Also, sneaking into bowl eligibility with a season ending win over Indiana has been fun, but we’re past that now as well. The Indiana game needs to be for Bowl placement, and I’m going to go ahead and place it in the the must win category based on the huge discrepancy between Allen and Brohm’s salaries.

Indiana is paying Allen a baseline 1.8 million dollar salary to keep Indiana respectable. I’m just going to assume that Purdue is paying Brohm 5+ million as a baseline (probably closer to 6) salary to win, and win big. I’m expecting Brohm and Purdue to crush Indiana on the field and ramp up in-state dominance in recruiting.

Minimum Brohm expectations after his two year grace period:

8 regular season wins

1 10 win season within 4 years

Top 20 recruiting class every year

Big10 West Contention every year

Big 10 Championship Game within 4 years

Those expectations may seem steep for a program at the bottom of the college football world just two short years ago, but again, Purdue is paying Brohm winning money now. If he’s going to live up to getting top 10 money, he’s going to need to produce a consistent winner with Big10 Championship aspirations.

Joe Tiller produced an occasional Big10 contender during his 12 years at Purdue. The bar has now been raised. Brohm is absolutely capable of producing on that level, but it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take everyone in the Purdue community coming together like never before.

Purdue Fan Expectations

Brohm isn’t the only one facing new expectations. The Purdue fan base was loud and clear that they expected the Purdue administration to do everything in their power to keep Jeff Brohm, and Purdue did just that. Purdue fans demanded dedication to the football program, and Purdue just made a huge commitment. The fan base has to meet that level of commitment next year.

I understand that it takes time to build attendance back up after the Hazell debacle, but I think two years of exciting football and the return of Jeff Brohm should have the problems fixed now.

This season, Purdue only cracked 50K in 2 out of 7 home games. This includes a prime time home opener against Northwestern that officially came up 10K short of capacity (and that means it was probably 12k short at least in actual attendance).

This was the scene in Ross Ade for the pivotal B.C. game

That’s not going to cut it anymore moving forward. There is no excuse for not putting 57K in the seats every game with the commitment Purdue just made, and when I say every game, I mean every single game....even ones like this.

I know the weather sucked, and I know sitting around in the driving rain watching Eastern Michigan was far from entertaining, but that happens other places as well. You pay as much as Purdue just did for Jeff Brohm, you’ve got to sit in the rain and see things through. Purdue football is no longer a hobby, it’s full time job.

I will say that I’ve been checking out social media the last few days and have been excited by the number of people vowing to either buy season tickets for the first time, or resume buying season tickets after a hiatus. Getting butts in the seats and increasing football revenue is going to be crucial in getting Purdue where they have indicated they want to go.

It’s going to take Jeff Brohm coaching and recruiting his ass off and it’s going to take Purdue fans putting their money where there mouth was during Brohmwatch. Keeping Brohm at Purdue was great, but it’s only the first step in the process. If Purdue wants to compete with the big boys they’ve got to keep the money flowing into the program. Facilities still need improving, Ross Ade needs improvements beyond what it already planned, assistant coaches have to be retained, additional support staff needs to be hired.

Things have changed for the better for Purdue football, but now Purdue fans are going to have to change as well. I have faith that the Boilermaker faithful will come through.

Welcome to big boy football Purdue. It will certainly be an interesting ride.