Great job by the Purdue football coaching staff and the players today to beat Michigan in the Big Outhouse today. After laying a goose egg in Madison last week which included accomplishing an amazing feat of completing just 5 of 23 passes, I must say seeing Michigan favored by only six was very tempting to bet my life savings on the Wolverines (seriously). But Purdue came out inspired today, never let up, played with heart and intelligence, and pulled off something that hadn't occurred in my lifetime - a victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor.
This Purdue team has to be the most inconsistent team I have ever seen in any sport. Last week's goose egg, a loss to Northern Illinois, a home loss to Northwestern, a blowout loss to Minnesota. On the flip side, a win over tOSU, outplayed Oregon on the road, and a win over Michigan in Ann Arbor. Granted, Michigan is not a good team by any stretch of the imagination, but they do have more talented players than the Boilers.
After the Oregon game I really liked what I saw from the coaching staff relative to playcalling and gametime adjustments. Then that seemed to disappear altogether (even in the Ohio State win, I thought OSU gave us the game more than Purdue beating them) and I thought we had seen an aberration. I saw the same strong playcalling and gametime adjustments today against Michigan. Which begs the question: do Hope and his staff have any sort of football strategy or philosophy? Or are they winging this week in and week out? Hopefully this team can gain some consistency.
A bowl is now within reach. It will take a home win over Michigan State and a road win over IU. Both very average, beatable teams, but also both teams that can easily hand Purdue a loss.
I think these next two games are important for sizing up Hope and Purdue for the coming years. If Purdue wins out I will say I am damn impressed after starting the season 1-5. If they lose out, I'd say overall the season was disappointing. In between? Then there is Hope for the future...