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Purdue Closing Arguments 2023: Will the Boilermakers repeat at West division champions?

The final look at the Boilermakers before the season kicks off

Big Ten Football Media Days Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

It’s only been a few weeks since Purdue week 2023, so there really isn’t all that much new information for me to share about the upcoming Boilermakers season. There’s been one new player departure, we’ve seen some new photos of Ross-Ade, a couple more video clips from practices on Twitter (I will not change what I’m calling that site), and heard that Purdue will be wearing Joe Tiller era uniforms for the opener.

I. Opening

A. Case History

Purdue v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Last season saw Purdue out B1G West the rest of the B1G West and conquer the most competitive of conference divisions. Despite the annual loss to wisconsin, missteps against Iowa, Penn State, and Syracuse, and then more lopsided losses to Michigan and - checks notes... LSU? I don’t remember playing LSU. - Purdue achieved 8 wins in two consecutive seasons for the first time in 15 years.

Ryan Walters comes in to replace Jeff Brohm. This is the place where I would talk about his head coaching history, but it doesn’t exist. His Illini defense last year was second in points allowed nationally.

B. Opening Statement

Syndication: Journal-Courier Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ladies, gentlemen, and robots of the jury, I have no idea how this year’s Purdue Boilermakers will do. It’s a new staff with a bunch of coaches taking on new levels of responsibility. While many of them have been very successful at past stops, we can’t pretend that there will be no growing pains. The roster has been turned over. Despite bringing in a bunch of transfers to plug holes, depth is a concern particularly at the QB and offensive tackle positions.

Purdue’s success rides along a knife’s edge this season. It’s unlikely but not impossible they they repeat and win the West again. However, growing pains with the new staff and new schemes for the players are expected and should temper expectations. Injuries at a handful of thin positions could derail this train quickly as there aren’t many guaranteed victories until the end of the season and if Purdue’s season has crumbled into a long losing streak then even those won’t be guaranteed at that point.

II. Discovery

A. What We’ve Written

Wow, I wrote a lot. Next year I’ll write less just so I have less links to put in the related articles section.

B. New Stuff

CB Jamari Brown has departed the team and already found a new spot at Mississippi State. While this does hurt the cornerback depth a bit, due to the timing it likely means Brown was not going to be a starter this season. While Brown had plenty of athletic gifts, his play never seemed to reach the heights they were capable of.

The injury status of Gus Hartwig, Daniel Johnson, and Josh Kaltenberger remain unknown. Or they were unknown as of Sunday when I wrote this. The weekly depth chart usually comes out sometime early in the week so hopefully we’ve received positive news before this article goes live.

True freshman Jaron Tibbs keeps making one handed catches in practice. He could be difficult to keep off the field.

III. Schedule of Events

Saturday September 2, 12PM Fresno State Bulldogs - BTN

Saturday September 9, 12PM AT Virginia Tech Hokies - ESPN2

Saturday September 16, 7:30PM Syracuse Orange - NBC

Friday September 22, 7 PM wisconsin Badgers - FS1

Saturday September 30, 3:30/4/7:30 PM Illinois Fighting Illini - TBD

Saturday October 7, 3:30/4/7:30 PM AT Iowa Hawkeyes - TBD

Saturday October 14, TBA THE Ohio State Buckeyes - TBD

Saturday October 28, 12/3:30/4 PM AT Nebraska Cornhuskers - TBD

Saturday November 4, TBA AT Michigan Wolverines - TBD

Saturday November 11, TBA Minnesota Gophers - TBD

Saturday November 18, TBA AT Northwestern Wildcats - TBD

Saturday November 25, TBA Indiana Hoosiers - TBD

IV. Emotional Appeal

I don’t have a bunch of time to figure out what sort of emotional appeal would work as I’m preparing for a last minute work trip this week. I never did publish the mailbag responses to your questions during Purdue week though, so I’ll copy and paste my answers here instead. Hopefully that’s enough to convince you that you should root for Purdue to go 15-0 this season.

cericjo: Is Pudue butt-hurt because they finally reached the final two weeks of the preview and all anyone really cares about is ReALignMenT? P.S., F*** Notre Dame.

Answer: First off it is spelled Purdue not Pudue. Secondly, we’re just happy to be here.

HoustonBoiler: Now that that’s out of the way, what are your thoughts on the importance of the Battle of Waterloo?

Answer: Waterloo was insignificant. The French had lost the minute the Great Powers meeting at the Congress of Vienna formed the Seventh Coalition, declared Napoleon an outlaw, and all pledged 150,000 soldiers to end his rule. France was up against Austria, Prussia, Russia, the UK, Baden, Bavaria, Brunswick, Hanover, Nassau, Netherlands, Sardinia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tuscany, Wurttemberg, and royalist French forces. On their side was Naples. Against a coalition force of 850,000 men, Napoleon put together an army of 250,000 Frenchmen. Barely 1/8 of the Coalition’s forces had gathered before Waterloo, so had Napoleon won he would have only delayed the inevitable.

ProveIt: Why didn’t Purdue - Indiana - Illinois - NW use their 3 preserved yearly games to keep their quad together?

Answer: The important rivalries were requested to be preserved. Indiana-Northwestern isn’t a thing unless you were super interested in the race to 700 program losses. Indiana-Illinois was only ever a basketball thing not a football thing (and hasn’t been much of a basketball thing in recent years). The only game not protected that you could have made an argument for was Purdue-Northwestern and at best it’s the third most important game for either side. Both programs would rather play Michigan/Ohio State State/Michigan State/Iowa/etc. more often than lock in that game though.

ziowa9: No mention of Purdue’s 28-13 win over Western Michigan on September 11, 1993? As it was Purdue’s only win of the season, wasn’t that game significant?

Answer: While I appreciate ziowa9’s attention to detail, no that game does not rate as one of Ross-Ade most memorable or significant games.

dlrhawks: I know this is mainly a football week, but was the FDU NCAA game the worst moment in Purdue athletics history as far as being a fan of the school? To me as an outsider that doesn’t know their entire history across all sports - I’d have a difficult time thinking there’d be one that is worse.

Answer: I’m not even sure it was top five in my history (which only dates back to 2008). Painful and super embarrassing sure but the knife has been twisted more viciously than the FDU loss. Despite the high seed, this was not Painter’s best roster and last year was not a team anybody had huge expectations for. The loss sucked, but it’s quite different than losing out on a Final Four in the final seconds of regulation or seeing Robbie Hummel go down to a knee injury when you believe your team is the best in the nation.

IUinVA: What will an 18-team B1G basketball schedule look like? Assuming that the correct answer is protected rivals, will they differ from the 16-team B1G football rivals?

Answer: I see your question and am not ignoring it, but will tackle this and other basketball realignment issues in more detail closer to basketball season. The short answer is either maintain the 20 game schedule or possibly even expand it to 22 with limited protected rivalries (IU-Purdue, UM-MSU, etc.) in place. The protected rivals absolutely are different in basketball than football.

andpurdruew: Which is a likelier win for Purdue this year? At home versus Ohio State or at the Big House versus Michigan? Bonus question… Does Purdue beat IU or Northwestern by more points?

Answer: I think Michigan is the better team overall and matches up better against Purdue. Add in the fact that Michigan is a road game and yeah Ohio State is the more likelier win out of the two. Indiana and Northwestern are so late in the season that its hard to say which of the two teams will still care at that point (for that matter Purdue could have succumbed to crippling injuries by then). I’ll say Northwestern but don’t think either game is a guaranteed victory due to when they come in the schedule.

V. The Verdict

A. Jury’s Verdict

The correct answer for Purdue’s 2023 win total is 5.5. Since that’s not a number you are allowed to pick, most writers went with 5 or 6 wins. Surprisingly, Nebraska and wisconsin writers were the highest on Purdue this season. I continue to think 6 wins, but nothing outside of the 3 to 8 range would truly surprise me.


How many Big Ten games will Purdue win in 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    7+ (seek help)
    (19 votes)
  • 18%
    (24 votes)
  • 17%
    (23 votes)
  • 23%
    (30 votes)
  • 20%
    (27 votes)
  • 3%
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    1 or less
    (2 votes)
129 votes total Vote Now


How many games will Purdue win in 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    10+ (seriously, seek help)
    (9 votes)
  • 6%
    8 or 9
    (8 votes)
  • 26%
    (34 votes)
  • 37%
    (49 votes)
  • 16%
    (22 votes)
  • 3%
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    3 or less
    (3 votes)
130 votes total Vote Now