As the Purdue Boilermakers begin their season of sea change, they still reside in a familiar position. New coach Darrell Hazell takes over with the Boilermakers holding a familiar position in the Big Ten pecking order. They’re ahead of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Indiana for sure. And they’re kind of around that muddled middle with Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State. Definitely a peg below Northwestern, Nebraska, Michigan and Ohio State.
Expect a more balanced approach on offense. They should have a solid ground game led by Akeem Hunt, who had 134 yards rushing in the Purdue spring game. Of course, spring games are like compliments from exceedingly drunk girls- they don’t have any real significance.
Purdue reasons to get EXCITED! ALL CAPS!: I’ll probably put one member of the DL in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft. There is no Ryan Kerrigan or Kawann Short type individual immediately coming to mind, but the unit will be the team’s strength. And someone will emerge as a pro prospect. The passing game is especially strong, and among the best in the Big Ten. Then again, the #B1G isn’t actually very good at throwing the ball. Expect Purdue to run more plays under center instead of out of the shotgun. “Basketball on grass” becomes more ground-oriented.
The punting game and kickoff return units will be very good. I know, how exciting!
Purdue reasons to get worried :( John Shoop is their offensive coordinator now. During his time with the Chicago Bears he perfected the lost art of calling 3-yard outs on 3rd &5, and 5-yard outs on 3rd & 7. “Interesting strategy Cotton, let see if pays off for them.” Too many Bears QBs under Shoop also felt the need to throw the ball to the receiver who had already fallen down. This was a common occurrence; despite it being a rather unorthodox practice. The Boilers are going through regime change. A place called hope was deserted and now a new hope is a life eventually above mediocrity in West Lafayette. I really like the new hire but it’s always tough to predict the uncertainty with a new man in charge. The defense sees little turnover at key positions, but that’s not really good news as they were a horrific 87th in the nation in scoring D last season.
The placekicking is a potential train wreck; and the WRs will probably not be as good as last year.
Purdue key games: August 31st at Cincinnati, Sept 14th versus University of Fake Dead Girlfriends, September 21st at Wisconsin. The schedule is exactly like a mullet: business in front, party in the back. Purdue could easily start 1-3 in their first four yet finish 4-0 in their last four.
Purdue Boilermakers bottom line: 5-7 to 7-5ish with an appearance in a fourth tier bowl. Hopefully that bowl won’t have another 58-14 storyline. Luckily, you’ll have plenty of exciting basketb…well Purdue is probably rebuilding in that department too. But hang tight Boilers, both programs are moving in the right direction for the long term.
Key & Peele East/West College Bowl Roster: Normondo Harris, Dolapo Macarthy, Ishmael Aristide, Da’Wan Hunte, Raheem Mostert, Dezwan Polk-Campbell
For the 2013 College Football rankings 1-77
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net. (“Quasi-endorsed” by Philadelphia Eagles Coach Chip Kelly) He’s also an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker
Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. The NFL, NBA expert does a weekly spot for 95.7 The Fan. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks), like him on FacebookFollow paulmbanks