Danny Hope (4th year at Purdue)
2011 Record: 7-6 (4-4 Conference)
Overall Head Coaching Record: 16-21
Coach Danny Hope and the recent “Buckeye-killing” Purdue Boilermakers kick off their 2012 season with non-conference opponents Eastern Kentucky, Notre Dame (away), Eastern Michigan and Marshall. Although I predicted Purdue to boiler down and come away with tough losses against Indiana, Minnesota, and Iowa, I see their often erratic play holding strong for all four non-conference games. Yes, I just said that I believe the Boilermakers have a legitimate shot to take down Notre Dame in week two. Rumor has it that Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly is not too popular among players, boosters and the fan base overall; I can see them letting one slip to the feisty mustached-man himself in Danny Hope.
Unfortunately for the folks in West Lafayette, the Boilermakers’ B1G schedule is no cakewalk. They finish out the season vs. Michigan, vs. Wisconsin, at Ohio State (payback time), at Minnesota, vs. Penn State, at Iowa, at Illinois and vs. Indiana. I project a dismal 2-win conference record for Coach Hope, with wins coming vs. Penn State and at Illinois. Purdue is certainly unpredictable and I could be wrong, but I do not see a particularly strong team for Purdue this year. Odds they take down the Buckeyes again and have another winning season are certainly low. In fact, I’m willing to bet Coach Meyer puts the hurt on Purdue in 2012; I say it’ll be a 34-6 beat-down in Columbus in week eight. Hopefully, a Boilermaker fan will take it upon himself to start a twitter account representing Coach Danny Hope’s mustache—we’d all enjoy some playful banter between “Urban Meyer’s Stache” and Hope’s.
According to Rivals.com, the 2012 Purdue recruiting class is ranked 33rd in the country and 4th in the B1G. Scout.com ranks only one commit in the class as a 4-star recruit. Out of prep powerhouse Our Lady Good Counsel High School in Olney, MD, guard Ryan Watson will be looking to crack the starting lineup. Other incoming freshmen that may get quality minutes in 2012 include 3-star TE Carlos Carvajal and dynamic athlete Aloyis Gray. This is Coach Hope’s most highly rated class since arriving at Purdue, and in order to see most of these guys contribute, Hope may need to have a few more winning seasons to stick around.
No big name losses for the Boilermakers going from 2011 to 2012. However, as Coach Tressel would tell you, losing a reliable kicker is a BIG deal. Purdue loses K Carson Wiggs, the most accurate kicker in school history. Other losses include long-time starters T Dennis Kelly and LB Joe Holland. As I said before, Hope’s big 2012 recruiting class may need to step up earlier than expected. We’ll see how the frosh respond to football at the college level.
Overall Record: 6-6
Conference Record: 2-6
Offensive Team MVP: WR Antavian Edison
Defensive Team MVP: CB Ricardo Allen
Week 8 Boilermaker-Buckeye Brawl Score: Ohio State 34 Purdue 6