The Rivalry, Esq.'s 2009 Closing Argument - Purdue Boilermakers

But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal – there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. 

-Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird

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We, The Rivalry, Esq. place before this college football court, the 2009 season of the Purdue Boilermakers.  It has been a summer of change for Purdue, as Danny Hope replaces Joe Tiller.  The question has been debated: will the change lead to increased success?  I say to you, ladies and gentlemen of the college football jury, ENOUGH!  Let this court give them the fair assessment that they deserve.

Illini-purdue-02_medium

I. Case History

You can look at 4-8 as disappointing, and you'd be right.  But what gets lost in the won/loss record is the performance that the defense put up in October.  In two consecutive games, Purdue held the Co-Big Ten Champs to 20 and 16 points.  Aside from when Ohio State and Penn State faced off, no one held the teams to less.  For a program that made its name in the late '90's for being "basketball on grass," it was a very impressive turn.

There were losses in games against Oregon and Iowa that slipped away, but I'm sure the team will try to build on the successes that they had against Michigan and Indiana.  Those victories always feel sweet. 

 

II. Factual Summation

A. The Rivalry, Esq. Says

Here's some of what we've written about Purdue over the off-season

Spring Preview

Evaluating Joey Elliot

Previewing the NIU Game

The 'stacheThe Oaken BucketBoiler Up! 

B. Michael Jackson Says

Because all blogs are required to compare athletic teams to some random entertainment icon, we're equating Big Ten Teams and Michael Jackson songs.  The quality of the reading improves if you listed to the barely justified song choice as you continue.

Purdue's has gone and made a change.  Is it gonna feel real good.  Is it gonna make a difference?  Is it gonna make it right?


III. Emotional Plea

A. I Hate Purdue

Maybe its because he's lived too long in the South, where hatred is a tangible commodity, but Bama Hawkeye has felt his hatred for Big Ten rivals boiling.  Here's why he hates Purdue.

I hate Purdue because people act as if Joe Tiller was the first Big Ten coach to ever have his team throw a forward pass...I hate that "Boiler Up!" chant that their crowd yells after every play...I hate that their colors are a bit too similar to Iowa's...I hate that you absolutely can't win in the Big House.  When was the last time?  1966?  Seriously?...I hate that I still don't know what the word Purdue means...I hate that in 2002 on a late 4th and 1, you let Ohio State throw long to Michael Jenkins for the game winning touchdown.  That kept Ohio State undefeated and Iowa out of the Rose Bowl...I hate Purdue.

B. Why You Should Love Purdue

Because the mascot carries a sledgehammer.  Because the nickname is a college drinking right of passage.  Because they took players that nobody wanted and made it to a Rose Bowl.  Because they have earned the moniker Quarterback U.  Because that Big Drum is cool and still contains the original 1921 frame.  Because they're in the Big Ten.

Sports_pb_sheets1123_z_medium

 

IV. Verdict

A.The Rivalry, Esq. Calls the Games

 

Opponent Graham Filler Picks Law Buckeye Picks Bama Hawkeye Picks
Toledo_medium Purdue_medium Purdue_medium Purdue_medium
@ Oregon_medium Oregon_medium Oregon_medium Oregon_medium
Northern_illinois_medium Northern_illinois_medium Purdue_medium Purdue_medium
Notre_dame_medium Notre_dame_medium Notre_dame_medium Notre_dame_medium
Northwestern_medium Northwestern_medium Northwestern_medium Northwestern_medium
@ Minnesota_medium Minnesota_medium Minnesota_medium Minnesota_medium
Ohio_st_medium Ohio_st_medium Ohio_st_medium Ohio_st_medium
Illinois_medium Illinois_medium Illinois_medium Purdue_medium
@ Wisconsin_medium Wisconsin_medium Wisconsin_medium Wisconsin_medium
@ Michigan_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium
Michigan_st_medium Michigan_st_medium Michigan_st_medium Michigan_st_medium
@ Indiana_medium Indiana_medium Indiana_medium Purdue_medium
FINAL RECORD 1-11 (0-8) 2-10 (0-8) 4-8 (2-6)

B. Bama Hawkeye Calls the Bowl Game

Another year without a bowl for the Boilermakers.  They can still confort themselves in the one bowl that will have them.

Queso
Mmmmmmmmm...queso!

V. On Appeal

Words from an SBNation blogger on their team.  Here are some thoughts from Boiler T Mill of Hammer and Rails about the possibility of Notre Dame leaving the Purdue schedule.

I have mixed feelings about Notre Dame potentially going off the schedule. Though they are no longer a viable national title contender, on name recognition alone it does draw plenty of attention to Purdue when we play them. I do love it when we beat them because all the irrational Notre Dame fans pretty much freak out when it happens. The sole reason we get a night game this season is because it is Notre Dame. ESPN/ABC has a rare chance to broadcast one of their games instead of NBC, so they jumped at the chance to put it in prime time. As much as I hate it, people watch the Irish. We benefit from that once a year, so losing that game will cost us some exposure.

On the other hand, it does free us up to do some more creative scheduling. Unless the program makes a drastic turn northward and starts contending for Big Ten title every season (possible, but unlikely), we are going to schedule our non-conference games to give us 2 or 3 wins before jumping into conference play. 2009 is one of our most ambitious non-conference schedules in recent memory. Much like 2008, getting three non-conference wins will be tough. It is unlikely we're going add a big name opponent as long as the Irish are on our schedule. In recent years we have played BCS conference teams at or below our level like Arizona, Wake Forest, and Oregon, but they aren't the elite of the elite. Oregon is probably the best of those teams, being one of the better Pac-10 teams.

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