Purdue Football Outlook: Not That Bleak

Justin YoungContributor IApril 30, 2009

EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 08:  Head coach Joe Tiller of the Purdue Boilermakers looks on as his team plays the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on November 8, 2008 in East Lansing, Michigan.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

I read a piece in the South Bend Tribune today that made me blink multiple times before I re-read the article.


I feel that the intention was not to paint the picture of how Danny Hope is coming to Purdue to resurrect a fallen program. On the contrary, it was meant to highlight the intrinsic difficulties in following a respected coach who was a campus icon. 


But that being said, the article reads almost with the air of an obituary for Coach Hope. Much of this editorial aftertaste is attributed to the closing of the piece, whih enumerates all the obvious issues that Purdue will be facing going into next season.


Touching on Justin Siller’s dismissal and McBurse’s clearinghouse process leaves a reader feeling sorry for Coach Hope in his new position.




Personally, I do not think that the cupboard is as bare as the article implies.


I, of course, am always hopefully optimistic regarding our team. I grew up in the Fred Akers/Jim Colletto years of Purdue football, and there is therefore still a sparkle in my eye, despite the last 10-plus years of Boilermaker play.


Coach Hope has at his disposal a competent stable of running backs, bolstered by McBurse’s clearance to play by the NCAA. To boot, Jaycen Taylor will by cleared by fall, and Ralph Bolden is an up-and-coming dual threat back who is just a sophomore. 


Quarterback Joey Elliot is a fifth-year senior who had enough game experience and skill to actually vie for a starting spot last year against Curtis Painter, who is now with the Indianapolis Colts.


Yes, there are question marks, as with every program. 


Will the receiving corps step up and deliver? Is the defense going to be able to carry the offense early in the season until the unit gels?


Only time will tell, but as writers and fans, these quandaries will at least entertain us until the season begins.




I think that the Boiler faithful are ready and excited for Coach Hope. 


Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke has done a masterful job of managing the alumni and fan base expectations through two major coaching transitions. Using the succession plan model has given both Coach Hope and Coach Painter head-starts in public relations and recruiting, and that's set both coaches up for success rather than failure. 


Coach Hope’s energy and passion have been well documented and on display; they'll help inject tremendous positive energy into the team and the people in the stands.


There is no denying that the last couple years of Purdue football have lacked the excitement and enthusiasm that existed during Tiller’s early years. However, Coach Hope is taking over at exactly the perfect time.


Here’s wishing Coach Hope the wisdom, purpose, and energy for a successful tenure at Purdue University.