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Posts Tagged ‘Purdue’

Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 2 (Sept. 8)

Let’s not beat around the bush: this isn’t a great week. I mean, it’s great – better than what we’re used to, better than any non-football weekend – but it’s not great, all things considered. There’s no Michigan and Alabama to end the night; there’s no prime-time game on ABC at all, in fact. Instead, we’ll close our night with Nebraska and U.C.L.A., Georgia and Missouri and, later on, Arizona and Oklahoma State. Very, very intriguing games. But with perhaps the exception of Georgia, depending on how highly you think of the Bulldogs, these games don’t carry any title implications. That doesn’t make the games any less interesting – or change the fact that every game, especially while teams find their footing, carries some level of importance. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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    No. 73: Purdue

    Last season’s bowl berth, Purdue’s first since 2007, was a just reward for a year pocked with would-be roadblocks: injuries, most notably, but also the sort of ineffective play that has plagued the program over the last half-decade. For overcoming those wounds — those out of his control and those self-inflicted — Danny Hope was rewarded with a two-year contract extension that runs through the 2016 season. The extension solidifies the future of the program; it’s not a mere token gesture, as adding two years to Hope’s contract sends along the message that he remains in the good graces of the university and its athletic department. But the new deal also comes with a mandate: improve. Sink or swim, as no amount of added years or extra zeroes will withstand further mediocrity, let alone a step back to a bowl-free existence in 2012 and beyond. But that sort of responsibility comes with the territory.
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      Ranking the Big Ten’s Class of Quarterbacks

      Another Wisconsin-themed hypothetical question: Where would you have ranked the Badgers’ quarterbacks against the rest of the Big Ten if Danny O’Brien had instead opted for, say, Penn State? If Wisconsin had gone into 2012 with options like Joe Brennan and Jon Budmayr, it would have joined Michigan State as the only two teams in the conference to not return a quarterback with at least one career start under his belt. So consider the toppling dominoes: O’Brien should start, which should push Brennan into a more fitting role as his backup, which will allow Budmayr to heal and former walk-on Joel Stave to develop.

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        For Marve, One Last Shot at a Starting Job

        Robert Marve broke his arm in a car accident months after he signed with Miami (Fla.) in February of 2007, which in hindsight can be viewed as a harbinger of rocky days to come. He took a redshirt that fall, in 2007, and was the starter — technically — for all but one game in 2008, when he split time with then-freshman Jacory Harris; Marve started, but Harris was the Hurricanes’ better option. With his competition looking like Miami’s future at the position, Marve, who was also going through some academic difficulties, opted to transfer following the 2008 season.

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          Who Might Benefit From New Kickoff Rule?

          More bullet points. The teams that have the potential to greatly benefit from the kickoff changes announced yesterday will have one or more of the following traits:

          1. A capable leg on kickoffs, which would allow a team to either put the ball into the end zone nearly without fail or, should a coach so choose, to place the kickoff at or near the opposing goal line.

          2. Strong coverage on kickoff returns: averaging about 22 yards allowed per return, give or take, with few lapses in coverage.

          3. Below average to weak production in its own return game: little explosiveness and a lack of field position-turning big plays.

          4. A strong field goal kicker, one able to make attempts in the 45-yard range with a high degree of consistency.

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            The Big Ten’s 2012 Non-Conference Schedule

            After looking at the non-conference schedules found in the SEC, let’s turn our attention to the Big Ten, where every school but one, Nebraska, has filled out its dance card for the coming season. The Cornhuskers are close: three games down, one to go. And considering how Nebraska’s scheduled trio of games look, there’s little doubt that the program will look to fill that open date with the easiest, most cupcake-like opponent available on that particular Saturday — that would be Sept. 22, by the way, if you’re a lower-level program looking to plop a six-figure check in the school coffers. And the F.C.S. is certainly in the conversation: Nebraska has played one such school in each of the last two years after not doing so from 2007-9.

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              The Year in Review: Purdue (7-6, 4-4)

              For the first time since 2007, Purdue scored more points than it allowed. Not coincidentally, this fall saw the Boilermakers’ back in bowl play since that same year. This return to postseason action has been a long time coming, and the end result, a spot on national television in December, is the just rewards from a season pocked with would-be roadblocks: injuries, most notably, but also the sort of ineffective play that has plagued the program over the last half-decade. For overcoming those wounds — those out of his control and those self-inflicted — Danny Hope was rewarded with a two-year contract extension that runs through the 2016 season.

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                P.S.R. 1-120: Week 12 Re-Ranking

                With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, but with mere weeks left in the regular season, things are growing clearer.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.