I was talking with someone before the Wisconsin game and we were discussing the chances that Purdue wins the West and heads to the Big Ten title game for the first time. It didn’t, and still doesn’t, seem out of the realm of possibility. Purdue is currently behind Illinois for the lead in the West but the two teams play later this season and should Purdue come out victorious they would control their own destiny.
The best thing that ever happened to Purdue football was getting placed in the West division. If Purdue were situated with Ohio State and Michigan there’s no chance that Purdue would ever get to a Big Ten title game. Well, I shouldn’t say no chance but the chances would certainly be greatly reduced. So, the odds of me being cast as the next great Marvel star, I mean, my name isn’t even Chris. By being in the West with Iowa and Wisconsin, instead of the aforementioned Michigan and Ohio State, Purdue gets the chance for these teams to have a down year and for Purdue to get by them for a division crown. This year looks like just one such year. Sure, Wisconsin just gave Purdue a beat down, but Wisconsin has their own problems. Iowa’s offense can’t seem to find the end zone. Illinois lost to IU. Everyone in this division has problems.
So this morning I popped over to Draft Kings to look at the odds of Purdue winning not the West but the conference as a hole. Right now Purdue sits at the 4th best odds to win the conference at +3000 which honestly isn’t bad. Purdue is behind Ohio State (obviously), Michigan (again, obviously), and Illinois (makes sense). I think if you were to go back in time and tell me that Purdue had the fourth best odds to win the conference I would not have believed you. Despite the up and down season Purdue is having, despite all the come from behind wins and come from ahead losses, despite the injuries Purdue still has found a way to be in a position to win their division for the first time.
Purdue has four game remaining on the schedule. Iowa is coming up next, at home. This is one of the worst offenses I can remember in all of college football. The defense though can hold their own against anyone in the country as evidenced by their ability to at least hang in with Ohio State for the first half. I think Purdue can win this game. Then, Purdue heads to Illinois for the toughest challenge left on their schedule. I don’t really know if Illinois is good or not. That seems like an absurd thing to say about a team that is ranked #17 in the country but it’s how I feel. They lost to IU to start the year. Maybe they’ve jelled since then and are a completely different team. It wouldn’t be unheard of but it’s hard to get that out of my head. Purdue has a chance in this game as long as they don’t shoot themselves in the foot.
The remaining two games are against Northwestern and IU and are games that if Purdue truly wants to prove that they’ve gotten over the hump they have to win. Northwestern is having a very down year and IU seems to have found their level after a buoyant couple of seasons in recent memory.
Purdue sits at 5-3 on the season. If Purdue does that I hope and believe they can do, they could end the regular season at 9-3, winners of four straight and eight of their last nine, and be heading to play either Ohio State or Michigan for a shot at the Big Ten title. There, they could win their 10th game and break all expectations. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but would I bet on it? I’m not so sure.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.