Well, we hope it is 100 days to Purdue football. In 100 days the season is supposed to start in Lincoln. It could be postponed. It could be cancelled. It could be played with no fans. It could be paid with 50% capacity. We honestly have no idea in (queue sappy music) these uncertain times. But (queue up triumphant music) we’re all in this together.
I still believe there will be a season in some capacity. As I said yesterday, there is too much money at stake. It is also an important one for Jeff Brohm. Purdue owes him too much money for him to not get a fifth season in 2021, but his predecessors only got four seasons each (I am giving Hazell full credit for 2016 because we paid him for it and he was the foreman of that debacle).
Brohm is 17-21 through three years. Danny Hope was 16-21 and Hazell was 6-30. Both of them failed to turn a corner in the pivotal fourth year when the program was fully theirs due to recruits and what they had built. Danny Hope tried the Florida leftovers recruiting strategy to very mild success. Hazell tried the barely recruit at all strategy to disastrous results. There is no question Brohm has been an improvement over Hazell, but this is the year that it is supposed to really come together.
Brohm still has a young team. I tend to think 2021 is the big season, but after 4-8 last year with a rash of critical injuries and a lot of freshmen playing it felt like a step back. This mostly lost offseason is not helping. I have looked at 2020 as a 6-8 win season setting the stage for a monster 2021 where the schedule is somewhat easier and Purdue can really break out.
First off, there are some very big positives. Purdue has two of the best receivers in the Big Ten in Rondale Moore and David Bell. Any team in America would love to have those two. Jared Sparks and Danny Anthrop are also savvy veterans, while there is an embarrassment of riches beyond them in the form of Amad Anderson Jr., Milton Wright, TJ Sheffield, Maliq Carr, Marcellus Moore, and Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen. Tight Ends Payne Durham, Garrett Miller, and Kyle Bilodeau are also solid.
Purdue’s defensive line should improve with George Karlaftis, Derrick Barnes, and Lorenzo Neal leading the way. There is not a lot of depth in the back seven, but the starters should be pretty solid and a new defensive look brings promise.
Of course, there are questions. There is a three-way quarterback derby now between Jack Plummer, Aidan O’Connell, and Austin Burton. The winner gets to play with all the toys mentioned above, but we need a winner first. The offensive line must develop depth after coming together late last year. There are also the questions of depth on the defense.
It is a big year. If Purdue stumbles and misses a bowl again the serious questions of Jeff Brohm will begin because of the weight of his contract. The lost offseason hurts, but everyone else lost an offseason too, so at least that is an even playing field.
Let’s hope we can start finding out in 100 days.