As 2015 began to fade into 2016, I started to think about some of the high points as a fan of the Purdue Boilermakers over the last year and created Purdue Boilermaker New Year’s Resolutions.
Matt Painter led the Boilers to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012. They had a resurgence during the second half of the season, that made the Boilers truly fun to watch again. They had a strong Big Ten season that included 12 wins. I tried to think of some highlights for the Purdue football team, but lets be honest, NCAA football teams that average 2 wins a year over a three year stretch do not offer a lot in terms of season high points. So with all of this said, I started to think of things I would like to see changed or resolved, if you will, in 2016 for the Purdue basketball and football teams.
In order for New Year’s resolutions to be successful they need to be logical and attainable. To ask the 2016 version of Purdue football to compete for a Big Ten championship or even a Big Ten division championship is unreasonable. So my resolution for the Purdue football team is to create some hope. And I’m not talking about Danny Hope. I want to wake up on Saturday mornings and want to watch Purdue play football instead of feeling like I have to watch them play football.
Hope will be given to fans and players alike when Purdue gets back to consistently beating MAC and Conference USA teams. I know former football coach Joe Tiller did not always win or play well against the upper echelon teams in the Big Ten but Coach Tiller’s team always beat the teams they were supposed to beat. Coach Tiller rarely lost to MAC schools. Right now, MAC schools come into Ross-Ade Stadium and are expected to win. Hope will come when Purdue is expected to beat lesser teams in weaker conferences and weaker teams in the Big Ten. Hope will also come when Purdue maintains some consistency and develops an identity.
I am nervous and excited at the same to write my resolution for the Purdue basketball team, but I feel confident in the resolution I have for the basketball team. I want the Boilers to make a run to the Final Four this spring. I know it sounds outlandish to say, but I really believe this team has the ability to make a deep run this season. They are a deep basketball team with a star they can count on in A.J. Hammons and a leader in Rapheal Davis that has given this team an identity. Add all of this to the fact that there is a lot of parity in college basketball this year and you have the ingredients for what could be a special season for the Boilermakers.
Adam Crawford covers Purdue basketball and football for Deep Dish Sports, you can follow him on twitter @kebenzer