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B1G 2017 // Can Jeff Brohm do anything with the remains of the Darrell Hazell era?

Jeff Brohm brings a 30-10 record to West Lafayette from Western Kentucky University. Pull up a chair and let’s talk Purdue over discussion over local pub food.

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CUSA Championship - Louisiana Tech v Western Kentucky Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Last week we didn’t get off to a good start with our potlucks. We’ll just copy what we did last year and have one question a day paired with some food from a restaurant I found while googling “Best Restaurants West Lafayette”

Appetizer: Beef Brisket from South Street Smoke House

The Questions:

Purdue has been a horrible football team since the departure of Joe Tiller. Danny Hope and Darrell Hazell were obviously not good stewards of the house that Tiller built. Jeff Brohm brings a 30-10 record from Western Kentucky to West Lafayette.

How will Coach Brohm do his first year given the roster he’s inherited? Is it possible for him to take the Boilermakers bowling within 3-4 years? Is it reasonable to think there might be some pieces here to build something other than a burning dungheap of disaster that Purdue has been for the better part of a decade?

LPW: My gut feeling is he’ll probably have the same experience Chris Ash did last year at Rutgers. Get ready for pain. Excruciating pain. I’m not entirely certain Hazell left Brohm a decent roster. I certainly enjoyed Northwestern constantly scoring on Purdue when I visited last fall.

In an ideal world, a coach would get five years to see an entire recruiting class cycle through. Sometimes, you get glaring mistakes like Notre Dame giving (Cincy) Moeller HS coach Gerry Faust five years.

Realistically, Brohm will have four years. He should make sure the Boilers don’t get their asses kicked too badly this year, then next year make sure the losses are tight, then the year after that win close games (preferably not against Northwestern and Indiana), and then go bowling in year four.

I’m personally furious/sad that Purdue did not play Rutgers last year for the toilet bowl of crappy Big Ten teams.

Jesse: Uh, well, for starters, I’m just really happy Nebraska didn’t get Purdue Harbored last year. Two years ago, getting beat by Darrell Hazell and the little engine that could was absolutely the worst. That being said, last year was kind of one of those things where you had to step back and ask what the hell was going on. I had high - relatively speaking - hopes for Purdue, and the 3-2 start to the season made me wonder if there was something brewing.

Seven consecutive losses later, and we’re left to ask why it was that Hazell got hired in the first place. Anyhow, what was the question? Oh right, what can we reasonably expect from the new guy. Four years of last, or barely second-to-last in recruiting in conference means that you should not expect a lot. Add in three extremely losable out-of-conference matchups, and you’re looking at a disaster waiting to happen. I hope the Boilermakers do better than two wins, but I just see so many ways this is that bad or worse. I’ll hedge, hope for three wins, and better recruiting. Get better than dead last in that area, and maybe we can talk about a bowl in four years.

BRT: I'll be honest, I don't think I watched a single Purdue game last year. Instagramic evidence suggests that I attended the Nebraska-Purdue game... but I have no memory of it at all. So, I don't know, Purdue. My impression is that perhaps the QB had a few moments of adequacy, hamstringed by nothing else on the team being adequate. Would that be accurate?

I'm not sure I see an Ash-ian season for them though, if mostly because outside of Wisky and Michigan (let's hope Ruth's Chris Steakhouse learned its lesson last year) there aren't a lot of teams on the schedule likely to hang a 70-0 loss on the Boilermakers. The long-awaited/dreaded Rutgers matchup is a nice chance to grab a win, and Illinois is still pretty bad, right? Maybe they can even grab a win over #TeamSEC in the non-con, as Mizzou is presently quite awful. If they sneak a Harbor in there, they could be at four wins. So in four years, they could be up to six wins, sure. Why not?

babaoreally: Next year may not be great, but it will be an improvement for sure. After the last coaching change, Purdue went 1-11. That will not happen this year. The new coaching staff is just too competent. 3-9 is possible, and I think the ceiling is 5-7. Bowling is certainly possible within a few years. The main thing I am looking for as a Purdue fan is that the Boilers become interesting to watch and do not get blown out all of the time. It is a very low bar to clear, and I think we can do it if we all think happy thoughts and eat our vitamins.

Stew: I think the Brohm is likely a helluva coach. However, this just ain’t the year. The cabinet is not just bare, but has been also been gutted, and used for kindling. But yeah, I think Brohm is certainly the coach to get Purdue back to it’s Tiller identity, and competing for bowl slots regularly in a few years. With the changes in regimes this past season, really think Purdue takes over Indiana’s spot of fun, offensive, Chaos Team.