We’re down to the last roundtable question of the week and we’re 5 days from kickoff, so let’s make this one easy:
What is your pick for the final record this year and why?
Juan: I think 6-6 is an realistic optimistic prediction. While Purdue gets the benefit of four straight home games and all 3 non-cons at home, the B1G schedule certainly looks tough this year with OSU and MSU on our B1G East slate. Of course, teams that look tough on paper at the beginning of the season could turn out to be declawed kittens by Thanksgiving, so we will just have to tackle each opponent one at a time.
Andrew: Much like Agent Mulder, I want to believe. I do. Truly. Like, I really want to believe. I didn’t believe last year and then Purdue went and surprised me with the 6-6 regular season followed up by a bowl victory. If I have to go with my gut right now before the team even plays a down of REAL football I will settle on 6-6. So much of what happens this year is going to be shaped by what happens in the Northwestern game. College sports are so interesting because of the rapid turnover of players via graduation, draft, or transfer that team continuity can be difficult to maintain unless you’re one of the big boys in the land. Purdue lost so much off the defensive side of the ball this offseason that I’m in a wait and see approach with them. On offense I feel like the weapons are there for the team to be good but they are just unproven. Who is gonna catch the ball? Anthrop is proven but you can’t just rely on one guy. What will the JUCOs give us in year two? Can Rondale Moore truly be the breakout player so many publications suggest? Plus, who is going to run the ball for Purdue? Seemingly every running back on the team is hurt right now so despite a wealth of talent in the backfield I’m extremely nervous about that position. I don’t know a ton about most of our opponents but I’ll learn as the season goes on so I reserve the right to change this 6-6 as the season progresses. Right now though the schedule LOOKS tough, much tougher than last year, so the question becomes has Purdue truly improved that much? From the Hazell era of course, but this is a whole new era and big things are expected. 2018 could be another step in that direction even if the record doesn’t indicate it.
Drew: I’m going to do a more in-depth post on this, but I see Purdue as a favorite in 4 games, pick em in 5 games, and under dogs in 3 games. We sweep the games we’re favored in, go 3/5 in the pick em, and pull off an upset and that gets us to 8-4 going into Bowl Season.
Kyle: I am going to roll with 7-6 and another bowl victory. The defense will struggle, but the offense will be able to score enough to keep us in games. Also, I selfishly don’t want 8 or 9 wins yet, so teams will stay off of Coach Brohm longer. In all honesty, we should be happy with another 6-6 season, while we wait for Coach Brohm to rebuild with the 2018 and 2019 classes, there are holes all over being filled by young players.
T-Mill: I am on the record as being very down on Purdue basketball. We just won 30 games, but in the season we have been building to for ages we really won nothing (no Big Ten, no B1G tournament, no fall tourney, no Final Four). We lost a lot and it is hard to see us reaching the same heights as last year, which was ultimately disappointing. Once again, we were so close only to fall short, just like so many other times over the last 38 years.
That said, I am the opposite on Purdue football. I am putting a ton of faith in Nick Holt because the biggest questions are on defens. He worked a near miracle last season with a defense that had been awful for a long time. Most of the guys who will play this year were on the team last year learning behind the starters. They know Holt by now, and because of that I think the defense will surprise. I also think the offense is going to be smoother, more efficient, and more consistent. Jeff Brohm offenses normally drop 45 without breaking a sweat. We often struggled to break 30 last year. I don’t think that is an issue. I think we start dropping 30 on anyone with impunity with Rondale Moore going nuts. We surprise a lot of people. We drop a a game we shouldn’t, but we make up for it by beating Michigan State, Ohio State, or Wisconsin. If it is Wisconsin, it might even be enough to win the West. We’re going 9-3 before bowl (or B1G championship) season and we play on New Year’s Day.