2012-2013 Season Predictions for Purdue

In just more than a week, Purdue will open its 2012-2013 football season when it hosts Eastern Kentucky, which is head coach, Danny Hope’s, alma mater and previous coaching destination. After reading camp reports throughout the spring and fall sessions, the depth chart is a lot more clear. Here is a breakdown of Purdue’s schedule and my attempt at predicting the future:

  •  9/1 (HOME): Eastern Kentucky- Even though EKU was a top 25 FCS team (formerly D-1AA) last year and even gave Kansas State trouble last season, Purdue should run away with this one. Anything less would be a disappointment. Purdue returns 16 starters and finally goes into the season with a full stable of healthy quarterbacks. It’s time to put some points on the board, use our dominant defensive line and cornerbacks, and dominate some lesser competition. Prediction: WIN.
  • 9/8 (AWAY): Notre Dame- I’d love to say that the Boilers will bring home a victory after Notre Dame returns from a road trip to Dublin, but my gut tells me that this will be a heartbreaking loss. Sure, Notre Dame is without a proven quarterback and is now without Michael DUI Floyd, but they still return a lot of talent and have historically proven difficult for the Boilers to beat in South Bend. Purdue can hang with Notre Dame this year, but until TerBush or Marve steps up as a guy who can put Purdue on a pedestal, I’d have to think this goes down as a loss. Prediction: LOSS.
  • 9/15 (HOME): Eastern Michigan- EMU likes to run the ball, but I don’t see that working against Purdue’s dominant defensive line. Purdue has some question marks about the linebacking corps, but I think they can shut down EMU’s offense by limiting the run. Again, Purdue has to assert its dominance offensively, or else we’ll see a disappointing loss like the game at Rice last year. I don’t see that though, especially with the game being at home. Prediction: WIN.
  • 9/22 BYE WEEK
  • 9/29 (HOME): Marshall- After the early bye week, Purdue takes on the Herd out of the Conference USA. Marshall finished 7-6 last year and, while not a world beater, they deserve some mention as an upset alert. Marshall’s head coach is Doc Holliday. Research tells me that he’s not a cowboy, but I’m still skeptical. I think Marshall will try to pull out all of the stops to get a road victory and that this game turns into a nail biter. Danny Hope has shown that he’s not afraid to roll the dice, go for fourth down conversions, and play to win. Because of this, I think Purdue wins a close game with some ballsy moves and dominant athletes. Prediction: WIN.
  • 10/6 (HOME): Michigan- Here’s where it gets interesting…and brutal. Purdue opens a brutal stretch of Michigan, Wisconsin, and at Ohio State. In my humble opinion, Purdue must make its mission to win one of these games. Michigan seems to have a lot of momentum from last year when they went 11-2 and played in a BCS bowl game. I think Purdue can hang with Michigan and keep it within a couple of touchdowns, but I’d be surprised if Purdue takes down the Wolverines when an experienced Denard Robinson is at the helm. Prediction: LOSS.
  • 10/13 (HOME): Wisconsin- Call me an irrational homer, but it’s about time Purdue gets some payback against Wisconsin. I witnessed “the fumble” by Kyle Orton back in 2004 which seemed to plummet Purdue’s football surge. Last year, Purdue got pummeled 62-17 in Madison and in 2009, the Badgers blanked Purdue 37-0 at Camp Randall. Could this finally be the year? I’m going to step out on a ledge and say so. After all, Danny Hope has pulled surprises by knocking off Ohio State at home in 2009 and 2011, and beating Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2009. Purdue has a very good defensive line to help stop the Badger’s rushing attack and no quarterback is going to be as good as Russell Wilson was for them last year. Call me crazy, but I’m calling an upset. Prediction: WIN.
  • 10/20 (AWAY): Ohio State- Conversely to my optimistic Wisconsin prediction, I don’t see this as a win. In fact, I think the Buckeyes are hungry for revenge and will take it out on the Boilers for last year’s overtime loss. Urban Meyer is building buzz in Columbus, which is no surprise since he is well known as a top recruiter. Never say never, but I think Purdue goes down in the Horseshoe. Prediction: LOSS.
  • 10/27 (AWAY): Minnesota- Purdue had its way with the Gophers last year at home. I’m actually a believer in MarQueis Gray. Now that he has had a year under his belt, so I think he can put together a decent year for the Gophers. I’d be remiss in my pessimism if I didn’t pick at least one Boilermakers flub. I think the Gophers will upset Purdue in the TCF Bank Stadium. This is a game that Purdue should win, but whether it’s penalties, turnovers, or an inability to score, I see Purdue dropping a close game here (or at Illinois, but I chose this one because it follows a tough game at OSU). Prediction: LOSS.
  • 11/3 (HOME): Penn State- If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that Penn State is handicapped by multiple key departures and a lack of scholarship players. I’d really hate to see Purdue lose this game given Penn State’s lack of depth. Plus, it’s at home and Purdue is due against the Nittany Lions. I could see Penn State keeping it a low scoring game, but I think Purdue pulls out the victory. Prediction: WIN.
  • 11/10 (AWAY): Iowa- The Hawkeyes are down a starting running back, but I think at this point in the season that they will have developed another good running option. Purdue and Iowa should be on pretty similar talent levels, but the Hawkeyes are tough at home and I would still give them the edge. I don’t expect either team to light up the score board, so I think it will be a close loss for the Boilers. Prediction: LOSS.
  • 11/17 (AWAY): Illinois- Purdue has enjoyed recent success against Illinois. The Illini started out hot last year and Purdue beat a ranked Illinois team, even though they finished 2-6 in the Big Ten. Illinois has a first year coach in Tim Beckman and is undergoing a lot of changes. Beckman actually inherits some good talent, but I still think he needs a buffer year to iron out the wrinkles. For that reason, I expect Purdue to get its first road win of the season against the Illini. Prediction: WIN.
  • 11/24 (HOME): Indiana- In a mediocre season as I predict, Danny Hope is coaching for his job any time a bowl bid is on the line and a lowly rival stands in the way. Kevin Wilson seems capable of getting upgrades in overall talent as he has recruited better than his predecessor, but I think Purdue will take care of business against the Hoosiers and keep the bucket in West Lafayette. Prediction: WIN.
Overall: 7-5. This record should put Purdue in line for bowls like the Insight Bowl, Kraft Hunger Bowl (I know, what a name), Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (I’m not making these names up), or the Gator Bowl. At 7-5, Purdue takes a step forward, but it’s not quite the step it wants. Unfortunately, the Big Ten is no slouch of a league and Purdue will have to steal some upsets to play in Indy. I’d love for it to happen, but at this point I think a 7-5 record is more likely.

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