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Posts Tagged ‘Ralph Bolden’

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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    No. 76: Purdue

    Ten years ago on this past Nov. 18, Drew Brees-led Purdue clinched a Rose Bowl berth by defeating Indiana, 41-13, capturing in the process the program’s fourth consecutive Old Oaken Bucket. Oh, those were the days – that was the program’s high-water point under the since-departed Joe Tiller, who compiled an 87-62 mark over 12 years in West Lafayette. Purdue celebrated the 10-year anniversary of that momentous occasion by coughing up an 11-point fourth quarter lead against Michigan State, ending its slim bowl hopes, and put some icing on the cake by losing to Indiana – at home, no less – to cap an ugly, injury-laden 2010 season. That makes three straight losing seasons for a program that experienced 10 non-losing seasons during Tiller’s dozen years in charge, which is an unwelcome feeling for a fan base that waited a long, long time for teams good enough to challenge the Big Ten’s best.

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      The Countdown

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