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|8 weeks 6 days ago||Minor correction||
Purdue was actually a 5/12 upset victim last year, which makes a little more sense because The School Formerly Known As UALR was closer to the top of the remaining conference champions, but that still doesn't make up for the loss.
It's no coincidence that I really would prefer that Purdue stay up in the 4s. I think that the Boilers are much better prepared for that odd, unusual thing that some call Press* this season, but also agree that guard play is the weak spot. (Well, that and foul trouble. Put Teddy V on the floor and anything can happen.)
*I'm not sure which is more odd, that Painter could have learned more about breaking a press simply by staying in the same building and watching the women's team practice, or that Sharon Versyp can simultaneously be disappointing at her job and also know something better than Painter apparently does.
|34 weeks 5 days ago||The other good news for Purdue||
is that with a new AD, there is a greater-than-0% chance that he understands something about football coaches and whether or not the one you have (or the one you are trying to hire) is any good in your situation. The previous ... er, current lame-duck AD registered a big 0 on that scale.
Hopefully Bobinski is good at raising buyout cash.
|1 year 9 weeks ago||Another problem||
is that Purdue doesn't have a lights-out shooter to put in the corner for Hammons et al. (Not that they send a guard to the corner often enough anyway - all too often the "post game" is "dump it in to Hammons and get back on D".) So Michigan's free to double, because so what if you leave someone open?
Still another problem is that Purdue's guards do not get themselves open, and a fourth problem is that all too often they settle for passing the ball on the perimeter aimlessly before jacking up a late two that misses. (That's one of the reasons I think Swanigan has a high turnover rate: when he is on the court with Hammons, he frequently makes it a goal to feed AJ. This results in more quality shots - anything AJ puts up near the rim - but also results in more turnovers. I prefer those to 18-foot bricks.)
For a team that shoots FTs so well (among players who get minutes moving forward, only Cline is under .700, and he's only shot 7), Purdue takes a ridiculous number of shots that will not draw fouls.
Those weaknesses were ripe for exploitation by the right coach, and that's not taking into account Purdue's inability to handle any kind of pressure. I think the anomaly was the game in Mackey rather than the game in Crisler.
|1 year 10 weeks ago||Home court is part of it||
but I think a good bit of the rest is from Purdue's performance in conference play. Michigan's 104.0 OEff was the second-highest Purdue had allowed (only Iowa topped that, at 105.6) at the time, and was only the third 100+ effort the Boilers had conceded (the other two were Vermont (in a game where Purdue was at 140.6) and Florida). Since then, they've done worse than the Iowa game four times (including Iowa II) - they won two of them because they lit up Nebraska and because MSU??, but they also got thoroughly outplayed in three other road games.
Some degree of the defensive problems come from slow rotation - Mathias and Cline are most prone to this, but it's affected pretty much everyone other than Davis (even Hammons, sometimes). I think part of this is because Painter still hasn't found a starting-caliber 2 and part of it is because this team isn't a typical Purdue team defensively - they barely force turnovers at all anyway (only Cal - coached by fellow Keady player Cuonzo Martin - and MSU have lower TO% among power-conference teams), so it's not like there are one or two weak links in a strong team.
The main part is that I think they got in the habit of just funneling people to the hoop and letting Hammons, Haas and Swanigan send them away. That worked just fine in non-conference play when the only speed bumps were a young Florida team with a first-year coach and a Pitt team whose resume has been scuffing itself up in conference play ... except against Butler, who doesn't fall for that kind of stuff. In Big 14 play, it's been another story - too many quality teams, too many coaches who see the obvious and attack it.
That's the other piece. Painter's approach to halftime adjustments has been ... wanting. The in-state joke is that we've been laughing at IU fans for years because they (used to) think Crean is a great coach when he's basically a great recruiter who can't spell coach if you give him the vowels and consonants, but now it seems there may be more than one coach in the state like that, except Painter doesn't always recruit well either. The Iowa game in Mackey was particularly frustrating, because the Boilers played a first half that was far better than anything they'd done to that point ... and when Iowa came out in the second half and switched things up, Painter couldn't or wouldn't adjust.
Beilein seemed to take notes from that game, trying a halfhearted trap a few times because of how effective Iowa was at it (I mean, putting Robinson at midcourt caused Purdue's points to pick up their dribble, and it's not like he's a defensive terror), but unfortunately for Michigan, injuries mean his ability to adjust is limited. I suspect the game in January would have been different if he'd had more bodies regardless of quality, and in Crisler, he'd have that plus the crowd.
Purdue is just 2-3 in Tier A games in conference play, with the wins being MSU Tuesday and Wisconsin back in December when the Badgers were losing every Tier A game they played. (Wisconsin's only won one of those themselves: home to Michigan State.) Saturday is the third of a seven-game stretch that features six Tier A games for Purdue. If there's anyone on the Purdue side of things who feels comfortable with that 1-point spread, even if LeVert is out, I haven't spoken to them.
|1 year 22 weeks ago||Four Boilers taken||
a nice change from Football Draftageddon, where it would have taken about 176 rounds to find four Purdue players worth drafting. (sigh)
If you're waiting to move Purdue up to the 4 line until one of IU's players is booted for an extra recruit Tom Crean found on the side of the I-69 extension, so you can just swap the two schools, I'm cool with that.
|1 year 31 weeks ago||Ah, Cleveland||
Obviously this is a hypothetical question, given that Cleveland's needed an offense like this since Bernie Kosar retired and has yet to show one. (Also maybe Cleveland wouldn't think this was as necessary if they didn't keep drafting QBs with serious passing deficiencies.)
|1 year 43 weeks ago||I just missed that era||
As a freshman at Purdue in '85 (CS major), during orientation, we had a tour of the main terminal room and the adjacent room where people picked up their printouts (from numbered "bins", hanging folders, because you sent your files to the huge dot-matrix printers and the students who worked there would separate the printouts and sort into the bins; obvs you did not want to set your bin to anything divisible by 100, or to the other obvious numbers, otherwise you'd never find your stuff in with all the other underclassmen who thought it was funny to print to bin 69); also in that room were a handful of punch-card readers. Apparently they had recently phased those out for the common folk, so only a few grad students were using them.
I'm grateful for some of the principles I learned when I was there, because holy pants, is a lot of that other stuff outdated now. Even then, things were changing pretty quickly: in six years (I was ... not a devoted student), they'd moved from the monitored dot-matrix printers to self-serve laser printers, and computer labs were popping up on campus - obvs not the way they'd be used now, but the first time I used Office products was in a Mac lab in like 1990.
I'm glad the kids these days (adjusts onion on belt) don't have to go through some of the things we did back in the day.
|2 years 5 weeks ago||Virtually no chance Purdue adds hockey||
Among other reasons, Morgan Burke likes running a minimal athletic program (if they didn't count indoor and outdoor track separately, Purdue wouldn't even have the full 20 sports for Directors' Cup purposes), and the club team currently plays in Fishers (or other Indy-area suburbs), which is "convenient" the way having UM play on the north side of Detroit would be convenient.
And the budget is small enough that contributions from deep-pocketed alumni (say, Drew Brees) have to go to basic facilities or renovating ancient grounds rather than setting up new facilities, like a college-level hockey arena. Volleyball is probably the second-strongest sport at Purdue, and despite recent renovations to Holloway, it still doesn't have AC, which is kind of a problem when you play 4-8 matches a year in weather that makes a large room with many people in it very, very warm. Baseball and softball got new fields that AIUI are just modern. Ross-Ade expansion had to be put on hold because as you may have noticed, terrible teams at non-football schools don't draw very well, so to no one's surprise except Burke's, there isn't any extra money for anything.
Historically, Purdue's been content to run small-college athletics in a major-college conference. They're simply reaping what they've sown.
|2 years 7 weeks ago||FWIW||
A.J. Epenesa's sister Sam plays volleyball at Purdue; she was a highly-touted recruit out of Edwardsville HS and has been a solid three-year contributor (she'll be a senior in the fall).
That, plus the fact that Purdue barely garners a mention anywhere with respect to A.J., probably gives the average person perspective on the relative positions of Purdue's volleyball and football programs. (It is true that those sports offered package deals last year for days when both teams played. It's not true that you got a discounted football ticket with a volleyball ticket stub ... but maybe they should have done it that way.)
|2 years 21 weeks ago||FWIW, Weber was also a long-time Purdue assistant||
and was there with Keady when Painter played. Painter also took over at SIU after Weber left for Illinois.
|2 years 27 weeks ago||speaking of bad AD ideas||
Yeah, we posted about that when it came out: http://boiledsports.com/2014/heres-a-helmet-idea-that-wasnt-stolen.html. BTN had a follow-up post, and the final product apparently didn't look awful. I could go on at length ...
Michigan has a significant advantage in that the helmet design does not lend itself to Brandonesque clown games. OTOH, maybe a stunt like that would have gotten him fired sooner. (At least other big-money donors are stepping up to oppose Ross now - at least that's how I interpreted Denise Ilitch's public comments. Regent + Ilitch name/money = influence.)
|2 years 27 weeks ago||Re: uniforms||
I'm far from the target market for such things (I'm 47) but I'm not a fan of altering uniforms randomly at all. I definitely agree that it is a thing that works for Oregon, but I look at changing uniforms to draw recruits and/or fans kind of like Rodriguez and the 3-3-5: the thing that really works for Oregon is that the kids wearing the horribly ugly uniforms are also in a system that is churning out top-10 teams with offenses that are extremely fun to watch. Put MSU and South Florida in uniformz and that game is still one of the worst "football" experiences that have ever occurred. (Were they wearing uniformz? I can't even remember.)
I will also note that Purdue's dalliance with uniformz is not causing five-star talent to commit to West Lafayette. (It's also an odd thing for Purdue to do, because Morgan Burke usually won't spend a dollar unless he has a 50% off coupon and can haggle you down to 20 cents. Uniformz may be mostly free for the school - although I think there'd be a marginal cost in terms of storage and such for keeping an entire extra set of uniforms around - but it isn't as though the Boilers are good enough to get people to rush out and buy new jerseys just because they're different.)
|2 years 27 weeks ago||FWIW||
Etling has been benched in favor of Austin Appleby, who is managing to make a John Shoop offense not look like a train wreck. Pretty impressive, even with such a low bar.
Appleby's raw QBR in his starts are 98.2 and 45.7, but the former was against Illinois' "defense", so take the usual small-sample-size disclaimer and embiggen it.
On a related note, one thing I will grudgingly admit is that through the first three quarters of every game, the best QB is probably Cook. Fortunately for us all, the fourth-quarter hex Dantonio has brought upon himself is clouding Cook's stats ... even against the weak Boiler defense, he was pretty ineffective in the 4th.
|2 years 29 weeks ago||I hope it does hurt Brandon's ability||
to hire a new coach, by being another step in a process that results in Brandon being fired.
Questions about "stunts" should be directed at the guy who spends more time planning them in the stadium than understanding how to run a football program, much less actually running one.
|2 years 37 weeks ago||Same here, maybe||
It was either '72, because I think I was in kindergarten, or '74, because I thought the final was 49-0 only we left early when it was 42-0. So maybe we didn't leave early and it was only ever 42-0. I dunno. It's hard to tell when you're 5. Or 7.
Anyway, it was at once too much to comprehend and also quite a bit understated. The Big House is so big when you're little and it's full of people and you're coming in at kind of the middle, so it goes up a long ways and down a long ways ... but Minnesota back then was hardly a challenge, so it wasn't much more than a scrimmage, I think, especially not to the untrained eyes of a kid just learning about sports.
And then we left for the Land that Football Forgot, and I have not been back for a game. I had a chance in 2000, but, um ... it didn't seem like the right reason to ask permission to leave the state.
Anyway, I did see the 2008 48-42 loss to Purdue in West Lafayette. I had a friend at the time who liked to organize outings to games with people from both sides - at the time, it seemed cute, but looking back (and taking other things into account), it was maybe a bit sadistic. So I sat with a couple of Michigan-only fans in the crappy end zone section that was recently demolished, surrounded by Purdue fans, and watched a game that was exciting for about half the fans in the stands (obvs by then Purdue was selling a lot of tickets to away fans). I couldn't get my friend to understand why I wasn't excited by the win: a bad Purdue team (thankfully, Tiller's last) losing to a bad Michigan team. (I kind of root for the team that is better to win so that at least one of them has a chance at a good season ... so in football it's pretty much always Michigan.)
|2 years 43 weeks ago||Yeah, if you go back and watch,||
CR7 found himself offside on a number of occasions, and on at least one, he basically just stood there, knowing he was so far offside he'd never get back. On another, he had 3-4 of his teammates with him. Nothing like timing the offside trap so that the entire attacking section of your opponent is offside.
Contrast that with Dempsey's goal, where IIRC the Portuguese defender is sliding to prevent a cross, but by his presence also preventing anyone from being offside.
|2 years 44 weeks ago||Let me be the first||
to express my concern about the value of Ronaldo's playing career; if it's truly in the balance, I think we can all agree that the important thing is the health of the player, and naturally that would mean resting his knee, starting immediately, rather than putting further strain on it.
|2 years 45 weeks ago||In literal terms, I don't think there is one||
At least one site has the US as 250-1 to win the World Cup ... in 2013, one oddsmaker had the longest shot to win the conference, Illinois, as 100-1. (I haven't seen 2014 odds yet?) So from that perspective, it's probably Purdue: not gonna happen, next question.
Even if you were looking at, say, the World Cup vs. the Hot New Play-Off Thing, the US is more like Northwestern, I think: once upon a time, they gave it a good run, but things were a lot different back then, and except for one crazy run where they came up well short, since then, they've never really had a chance at all. The quality simply isn't there.
With respect to getting out of the group stage, they probably have a better shot to do that than Michigan does to win the Big Tenteen, although the concerns could be similar: a lot of questions about offense, with a defense that's doing what it can but sometimes has unfortunate lapses. One really talented guy can't carry the offense himself; even with two or three really good players, you've still got other guys on the field that have to do their thing, too.
|2 years 47 weeks ago||Wigan players unable to convert chances?||
(tries to find shocked face)
Figueroa contributed well to the Latics, as Espinoza does now, but IIRC it's been years since they had a consistent goal-scorer that wasn't on loan from United. Injury troubles on the back line eventually dropped them to the Championship, and Coyle's mismanagement gave them a deficit that may have affected their playoff odds, but scoring pretty much overcomes everything if you can get it, and they haven't done that consistently ... so I'm not too surprised to see a couple of their name players continue that in international play.
|3 years 4 weeks ago||Purdue grad chiming in||
One of the hotly-debated issues on Purdue blogs this year was exactly how much leadership they had in the first place: whether this was even more of a blow or whether it was addition by subtraction (see: Guptill and Di Guiseppe). Given Painter's consistent comments throughout the season, I lean toward the latter.
Purdue does return three of their four most efficient players, in Smotherman, Davis, and Stephens, but as with Carroll (9.9% of possessions), none of them were even in the Significant Contributor range. The two who were Major Contributors are Hammons and Scott, and neither of them posted numbers to be thrilled about. (Scott's ORtg was 91.4, using 25.8 of possessions, the highest figure on the team. MIGHT BE A PROBLEM)
With the offense at its worst since Painter's first year (cleaning up the mess that Keady left) and the defense rapidly approaching that, another hot topic has been whether Painter is a good coach/recruiter who's struggling to find the right combination, or if he just got lucky with Moore, Johnson, and Hummel, and basically rode that group to an extension he did not deserve.
People in the former camp ask for patience and want to give Painter a couple of years to straighten this out. Without knowing the details of the buyout clause in Painter's contract, I can't be sure if that will happen, but I would not be surprised if he had exactly one more season to fix things.
Purdue has finished alone in last place in the conference five times in league history. Painter was the coach for two of them: 2005-06 (the first year after Keady) and this year. If it happens again next season, I can't see Burke retaining him. Gutting the football and basketball programs at the same time kind of affects your ability to generate revenue, and Burke is sensitive to that.
If Painter stays, I agree that it will take a while to turn things around. I don't think there are signs in his recent recruiting classes that he can draw another group of Baby Boilers and rebuild the team quickly. If he goes, a quick rebuild is possible, depending on who's available and interested. The Purdue job can be a decent one, given the relative importance of men's basketball on campus (i.e. above football), but it might also be perceived as a position where the rebuilding task is greater than most coaches might want to try in a power conference.
|3 years 18 weeks ago||Did someone say "fan of Michigan and Detroit teams"?||
But wait, there's more! As an added bonus, I also root for my alma mater, you know, the Big Ten school that backed into a CBI invite and had the worst power-conference football team in the country. (Also the one that lost a regular-season volleyball match in five sets at home to Northwestern (??) and got whacked in the regional final by Wisconsin after crushing overrated Missouri at Missouri and sweeping Illinois at Illinois.)
And as awesome as the FA Cup final was, that was followed shortly thereafter by Wigan being relegated to the Championship, sleepwalking through much of the first half of that campaign, and then collapsing in Europa League play after being in position to qualify for the knockout stage with two matches left and their destiny in their hands.
|3 years 27 weeks ago||Another thing about Linehan||
is that he does not insist on running the ball when the team is not good at it. In 2011 (let's forget 2012 - no, really), the Lions were 31st in rushing attempts, just 10 carries ahead of a 4-12 Tampa Bay team that was probably worse than their record. He didn't go away from the run because the Lions sucked, he did it because the running game sucked.
Of course he also had/has Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson and a bunch of receivers not named Calvin Johnson who can still get open from time to time, and Borges does not (although Borges has a TE who can catch, at least until he officially becomes a WR), and Detroit is running the ball more this season because they have a back who can run in that offense ... but that just means Linehan is tailoring his play calls to the ability of his players. He is not calling power run after power run and hoping that his opponents magically do not detect the huge POWER RUN indicator in six-foot-tall letters above the formation he's just sent in.
|3 years 29 weeks ago||1972 as well||
although I was just 5, so other than "we played Minnesota" and "we beat them handily", I couldn't really remember anything else for sure. Oh ... also "the stadium is the most biggest thing ever." (Which is probably the case even if you are not five years old.)
For years I was convinced that we had left early and that it was actually a 49-0 game. (I lucked into a ticket when a friend's family had an extra one for some reason, and we moved three years later, so by the time I was old enough to wonder, it was too late to ask.)
So it was pretty much what you'd expect at the time: not Ohio? Then it'll be an easy win.
That turned out to be the only home game I've seen (see: moved three years later), so Michigan's averaging 42 points per home game I see in person. I should make plans for the Ohio game.
|3 years 31 weeks ago||What's interesting to me||
is that the punting and field-goal decisions basically come from the same idea: never mind trying to win, just don't make the loss look too bad. (So you punt to make the other team drive farther for the next TD, or kick a FG to lose by 32 instead of 35.)
And it may be just perception - although I trust you more than my general ideas, because you have data at your fingertips - but it does seem like the current changes are only about punts. Coaches still love them some FGs, even if they are relatively long attempts (a 40+ kick in the NFL is no sure thing; in college, it's even less certain).
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Sure, in a normal game||
but that's the problem that USF has. They're so bad that there are some situations where no decision is any good.
I mean, 6 for 26. They were 19 of 40 against McNeese State. If there were ever a modern team for which the quick kick was designed, it's USF.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||South Florida's decision was definitely correct||
They ended up averaging 2.5 yards per play, both passing (!!) and running, were 1-13 overall on third down (with the conversion by penalty, of course), and were facing a team with an offense nearly as bad as theirs. Their previous possession ended on a failed 4th-and-4 from the Spartans' 32, the only USF fourth-down attempt of the game. Their only hope to cut into that deficit was to give the ball back to MSU and force them to run some plays ... sadly, it didn't work out, but in this particular case, I think it was the right call.
On the other hand, on the second play of the fourth quarter, South Florida punted from their own 8 ... for 15 yards. (Sparty did get a touchdown on that drive, but not before ending up with a 3rd and 21.) So ... maybe the problem was not punting on third down.
We were watching that game in preparation for the big one. It was one of the worst offensive showings I've ever seen, and my family had season tickets to IU games in the late '70s.
|3 years 34 weeks ago||Carlson's long was 48||
and he was no stranger to kicks from 40-49. (H/T Bentley. No Rose Bowl box? Anyway, it says 1938-78, but 1989-1991 are there too.)
Kicks by game, with misses in parens:
Notre Dame: none
1-1 under 20
That was some solid kicking.
|3 years 35 weeks ago||The thing about big schools||
is that people who haven't gone to one seem to have this idea that every day, everyone on campus runs around in random directions all the time, so you can't possibly see anyone more than once, because OMG TENZ OF THOUSANDZ OF PEEPUL OMG. (The best is when they now live in NYC or San Francisco or Chicago and can tell you about how they always run into this one couple on the way home from work. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.)
But when you consider only the people that have classes at the same time on a particular day, and then only the people that actually get up and go to those classes, and then only the people who are heading to class in the same direction, from the same direction, suddenly it's not such a big group after all.
Exactly how this works probably differs a bit depending on how campus is laid out - at Purdue, campus was/is basically one area, so even if you live off-campus, you're going to head in basically the same direction, so the group of Potentially Identifiable People is larger. If your destinations are spread out more, you're looking at even smaller groups, probably to the point where you can look out your window and see Hat Guy going by and think "crap, he's the last guy on time to class, I'm late".
|3 years 41 weeks ago||makes sense||
given that Indiana-Purdue is protected, it's probably easier to keep seven matchups the same across those two years and then do the same moving forward.
|3 years 42 weeks ago||except for all the others||
Stevens wouldn't leave for another NCAA job, but Lickliter and Matta had no trouble leaving the Horizon for the Big Ten. I would imagine the next coach will be more like the latter two than Stevens.