Future Big 10 Expansion? Playoff System? Legendary Purdue QB Mark Herrmann’s Thoughts


Former Purdue Boilermakers and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Mark Herrmann was the first to throw for both 8,000 and 9,000 career passing yards. That record has since been broken numerous times, but he’s a perfect example of how the game of college football has evolved. And the perfect person to talk with on where the game is evolving next. I had such a discussion with Herrmann on the day he was enshrined into the college football hall of fame.

“I’m not sure we’re done with Big Ten expansion, there could be a couple more down the line,” he said.

“There was talk of Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse. We would have loved to see Notre Dame come in. That would have solved a lot of issues I think. But I’m not sure that’s going to happen. A number of schools have been bandied about, but it may be a year or two before anything else happens,” Hermann continued.

Herrmann is really excited about the addition of the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the conference.

“There’s great fan support for football, I’m not sure if I’m ready to see 20-30,000 red shirts in Ross-Ade Stadium, but that may be the case because I know they travel well. From a football standpoint you can’t beat it, they’ll bring even more power to the conference.”

In 1980, he was selected first team All-American, Big Ten MVP, and fourth in Heisman voting. He is one of only three Purdue quarterbacks to start in three consecutive bowl games (Drew Brees did the same, and Kyle Orton started four straight). Herrmann won and was chosen MVP in all three of his bowl games: the 1978 Peach Bowl, the 1979 Bluebonnet Bowl, and the 1980 Liberty Bowl. He also holds the Liberty Bowl record for passing touchdowns. Mark played 11 years in the NFL, with six teams including the Rams and Colts.

Herrmann’s thoughts on conference mergers, and the playoff system:

“You don’t know where this is going to lead, but as we go along, there may be fewer conferences and more super-conferences. You could end up having four major conferences and do a quick play-off. But for now the BCS kind of rules and you just got to deal with that.”

On Purdue being the “cradle of quarterbacks”

“There has been a long line of them, and it’s a great legacy Purdue has developed at that position. I was very pleased to be a part of it, and it raises the level of expectation. When you get behind the center at Purdue, you’re expected to perform well. They’ve started to market the “cradle of quarterbacks,” with Drew Brees, Kyle Orton, and the other guys who are prolonging the quarterback legacy.”

Here’s more of Herrmann’s opinions on college football and Purdue topics.

on “basketball on grass”

“When Joe Tiller came to town, he really opened things up, and they were fast-paced and were wide open, whether they had a lead or were behind, it was the same deal. And they really caught the league by storm. People started to catch on and figure out ways to defend it. But for those fist 2-3 years it was really fun to watch.”

on PU bringing the spread-option to the mainstream:

“They were kinda the pioneers in this league, and who would have thought your traditional powers like Ohio State and Michigan would spread it out like they do these days? Everyone has a portion of the spread attack in their offense. Some use it more than others, but Purdue certainly kind of opened the gate on that with the 5 wide receiver sets.”

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter

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