Posted on: October 18, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:14 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Now that Minnesota has officially fired Tim Brewster the search for a new head coach in Minneapolis has already gotten under way. Heck, the Gophers have already been turned down by their top target, Tony Dungy.
Though Dungy is willing to help his alma mater out in finding its next coach, and he even has somebody in mind. Unfortunately for Minnesota, the man that Dungy has in mind is not the answer to what ails the Gophers. I'd also guarantee that the man the school does need is not on Tony Dungy's radar.
Pirates prefer to stay off the radar.
While Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Lesley Frazier may be a good coach, the fact is he's never been a head coach, and no matter how much Tony Dungy likes him, Frazier won't make Minnesota a destination.
Mike Leach would.
If Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi doesn't place a call to Mike Leach before he does Frazier, or any other potential candidate, he's doing a disservice to his school. Mike Leach is a head coach that would not only bring attention to Minnesota, but he'd also reinvent the program, and just might turn the Gophers into a legitimate threat in the Big Ten.
When was the last time Minnesota could say that?
Yes, there are possible distractions with Leach. I can't look past the alleged treatment of his former receiver, Adam James. Still, I can't help but think that if Adam James wasn't the son of ESPN's Craig James, Leach's pirate ship would still be anchored at Texas Tech.
Aside from that one mistake in Lubbock, though, look at what Leach has done with his football teams on the field. In ten seasons at Texas Tech the Red Raiders never had a losing season, has had ten straight bowl appearances, and never won less than seven games in a season.
You know how many times Minnesota can say they've done any of that in the last ten years? Let's see, the Gophers have had five winning seasons since 2000, four of which came when Glen Mason was the head coach. The school has won more than seven games only twice in those ten years, though they have gone to eight bowl games.
They finished higher than fifth in the Big Ten once in those ten years.
In other words, the Gophers have had very similar success to what Texas Tech had before they hired Mike Leach.
So the question for Maturi is this: does he want to go with the career coordinator who might bring a winning tradition to Minnesota, and is good friends with Tony Dungy, or does he want to go with the coach who has proven he knows how to win football games and can put a school on the map?
Seems like an easy decision to me. If Minnesota wants change then a mutiny is in order, and you need a real pirate to do that.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 11:48 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2010 9:19 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
1. It's anybody's conference. With Wisconsin putting the finishing touches on a stunning 31-18 upset of the Ohio State Buckeyes, here are the teams that are at least tied with OSU in the Big Ten standings: Michigan State, Iowa, Purdue, and Wisconsin. Purdue is probably not going to contend for the Big Ten title, but the other three teams mentioned certainly will. Michigan State, of all the teams, must be the most ecstatic about the result in Madison; the Spartans are undefeated, the only Big Ten team who's 3-0 in the conference, and they miss Ohio State this year. But Iowa's at 2-0 in conference play, and the Spartans have to visit Iowa City in two weeks. Who would have thought back in August that MSU at Iowa could be the most pivotal contest of the Big Ten season?
2. Denard Robinson is most certainly mortal. It's not as Denard Robinson was a non-factor against the Iowa Hawkeyes today: Robinson racked up 204 yards of total offense in about 35 minutes of work. But for the third time this season, Shoelace left a game with an injury, and for the second time, that injury shelved him for the rest of the game. One of the most remarkable things about Robinson's production thus far is the sheer heft of Robinson's workload. Yes, he can't lead the nation in rushing and throw for over 200 yards without either throwing or rushing on the vast majority of Michigan's snaps. But that's an incredibly difficult thing to do, and now we're seeing some evidence that it's just not sustainable -- especially now that Robinson's not facing cupcake defenses like Massachusetts or Notre Dame (I kid, ND, I kid). Thanks to a bye week, Robinson has two weeks to recover before his next start, at Penn State. Does Tate Forcier still gets some snaps in relief at Beaver Stadium? Should he?
3. Wisconsin's rushing game is alive and well. Coming into today, John Clay was having a pretty good season, but considering Wisconsin's opposition, Clay wasn't looking dominant. That changed this week, when the big junior running back was running untouched through giant rushing lanes against Ohio State. That's not entirely surprising, but if Iowa doesn't have the best defensive line in the conference, then Ohio State surely must, and that Buckeye front four was absolutely gouged today. So if the Badgers can run all over Ohio State, they can probably run all over everybody left on their schedule. Again, the only remaining great defensive line on Wisconsin's schedule is Iowa, and that game's coming up this week. That should be just a little fun to watch.
4. Congratulations to Penn State, who did not lose this week. Technically, it didn't play, but any iota of good news is welcome in Happy Valley these days.
5. Don't be that surprised if Illinois runs the table from here on out. It would be foolish to look at Illinois and see just another .500 team. Illinois' three losses are to still-undefeated Missouri, still-undefeated Michigan State, and only-recently-defeated Ohio State. In every one of those games, Illinois was competitive into the fourth quarter. And guess what: Illinois doesn't have any games against ranked competition left. Nathan Scheelhaase and Mikel LeShoure are growing as a QB-RB tandem week to week, and the toughest opponent left on the Illini schedule is, oh, let's say Northwestern. Illinois may be 3-3 today, but it may be 8-4 (or even better) before you know it.
6. The Tim Brewster farewell tour's going to be hard to watch. Fans of comedy in college football are going to lose an important ally this season, as Minnesota informed the world that Tim Brewster's not coming back next season. It's a shame, really, but it's only surprising insofar as Brewster hasn't been asked to clean out his office right now instead. Minnesota's got some decent athleticism, especially on the edges, so if that talent gets in the hands of a decent coach (MIKE LEACH MIKE LEACH MIKE LEACH DO ITTTTTTT), that program up north might wake up and make some noise next season. But only if Minnesota hires Leach.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 9:34 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 9:35 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Well, the word came earlier this week that if Minnesota lost to Purdue on Saturday that Tim Brewster would be fired. Minnesota lost 28-17 to the Boilermakers on Saturday afternoon, and now reports are surfacing that Brewster has been fired. Though Brewster told the Pioneer Press that nobody from the school had talked to him about his job status , a report from GopherIllustrated.com says that Brewster has been informed he will not return next season , but that he will finish out the 2010 season.
The article is for subscribers only, but the site did publish this tweet.
Still, it's important to point out that no official word has come from the University of Minnesota just yet, and until that happens we can't really be sure what's going on in Minneapolis.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 2:17 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:15 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Coming into today's game, 1-5 Minnesota was desperate for a big win; not only did the Gopher need to keep a faint hope of bowl eligibility alive, but reports were that Tim Brewster was coaching with his job on the line.
Well, apparently Brewster doesn't respond well to pressure, because Purdue is putting the hurt on these Gophers. An Antavian Edison receiving touchdown pushed the score to 21-0, but Minnesota is shooting itself in the foot.
Minnesota had a chance to make the score 14-7 early in the second half when Minnesota linebacker Gary Tinsley intercepted Rob Henry and embarked on a long return. But Tinsley fumbled the ball into the pylon, which is by rule a touchback. No points for Minnesota, 1st and 10 Purdue at the 20 yard line.
Purdue turned that new opportunity into the touchdown mentioned above, and the Gophers appeared to respond with a touchdown of their own. But Adam Weber 's 13-yard scoring pass was nullified on an illegal shift, and Minnesota had to settle for a field goal on 4th and 14.
So that's 11 points taken directly off the board for the Gophers, and that doesn't even take into effect the botched punt snap late in the first half that Purdue turned into a touchdown with a short field. So let's add that, and there's an 18-point swing in an 18-point game. That's not to make excuses for Minnesota or to suggest that they should be tied; turnovers and mistakes are every bit a part of football as rushing or passing, after all, and Minnesota's regular proclivity for those turnovers and mistakes is a big reason why Tim Brewster's time atop the program is likely coming to an end.
Posted on: October 15, 2010 8:15 pm
Posted by the College Football Blog Staff
Every season, every month, every week, there are several outcomes and achievements that, frankly, nobody operating within reason would ever predict. Who could have predicted Nebraska would beat Florida for the 1995 title by 38 points, or that Boise State would pull off three late trick plays to knock off Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, or that Les Miles would look like the endgame genius against Urban Meyer and Florida? Nobody... until now. We're going to try capture that lightning in a bottle by making similarly absurd predictions every week. Are they at all likely to come true? No. Do we even believe the words we're writing? No. But if we make even one correct call on these, we will never stop gloating. Ever.
Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore sprains his knee when he trips while running onto the field during pregame ceremonies, and all of a sudden, the Broncos must face San Jose State with a brand new quarterback. Boise coach Chris Peterson blames San Jose State and their groundskeeping for the mishap, and feeling untold amounts of shame, SJSU coach Mike MacIntyre forfeits the game. Moore recovers fully for the Broncos' next game, and Boise's march to a 12-0 regular season continues unabated. -- Adam Jacobi
As the closing seconds count down on the scoreboard at Ross-Ade Stadium, Tim Brewster looks up at it to see the final score: Purdue 37, Minnesota 13. Knowing that these are probably the last few seconds that he'll spend on a sideline COMPETING and FIGHTING with the Gophers, his emotions get the best of him. Danny Hope begins to make his way to midfield to meet the coach, but instead Brewster bursts into tears and sprints off the field. He then hides in a supply room deep within the bowels of the stadium, refusing to come out until eventually Minnesota AD Joel Maturi lures him out by promising he's not going to fire him. Brewster then opens the door and comes out, his face red and blotchy, covered in tears. "Really?" he asks Maturi. "No, you're totally fired," says Maturi before kicking him in the groin. -- Tom Fornelli
Arizona's slide continues after falling to Oregon State despite getting some help from the replay officials. This time, facing Washington State, the home officials give the Wildcats a taste of their own medicine and refuse to replay a game-winning touchdown that was actually an incomplete pass. Mike Stoops has no timeouts, and the Cougars quickly kick the extra point to pick up that elusive first conference win. It is later revealed that the replay official was Washington State alumnus Drew Bledsoe, who emerges from the booth in full Wazzu regalia and facepaint. The Pac-10 finds no fault in this. -- Chip Patterson
With Texas trailing Nebraska 24-7 just before halftime, Mack Brown makes his way over to Colt McCoy who is watching the game from the sidelines. "Listen, I need you to come to the locker room at halftime. Give these boys a pep talk." McCoy agrees, but Brown was lying. Instead Brown locks Garrett Gilbert in a shed -- hey, it's popular in Texas -- and convinces McCoy to put on Gilbert's uniform. McCoy then goes out and leads Texas to a comeback victory, finding James Kirkendoll for the game-winning touchdown with, you guessed it, one second left on the clock. -- Tom Fornelli
Michigan's defense pitches a shut out against Iowa. The Big House rocks as Denard Robinson totals 600 total yards of offense and the Wolverines bounce back from the loss to "Little Brother" with a performance for the ages as the Wolverines reclaim a spot in the Top 25 with a 48-0 win over the Hawkeyes. Adrian Clayborn, struck with grief, eats 400 cheeseburgers on the ride home and gives up on the NFL for a career in the lawn and garden industry. Turns out Clayborn is quite the green thumb. -- Chip Patterson
The Kansas football team shows up to an empty Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. Head coach Turner Gill and his Jayhawks were under the impression that their game would be played on Saturday, and thanks to various elaborate pranks by Kansas State fans, they had no idea that they had been scheduled to play on Thursday night. KSU coaches, upon finding out that Kansas had not appeared for the game, dressed their scout team in KU colors and had them put up token opposition. Somehow, they also had a scout team Turner Gill. The garbage-time touchdown Kansas State allowed to its double agents was a sublime touch. -- Adam Jacobi
McNeese State trots into Death Valley on Saturday night and shines under the lights. LSU quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson combine for an NCAA-record 11 interceptions, five of which are returned for touchdowns. The other six picks are hideous arm-punts that prevent the Tigers from finding the end zone once. Patrick Peterson returns 4 kick offs for touchdowns, but LSU falls 35-28. -- Chip Patterson
Emboldened by reports that he was coaching with his job on the line, Tim Brewster leads his team to an emotional 35-34 victory over a frisky Purdue squad... then rips off five more wins to finish the season, culminating in a 55-0 revenge win over Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota's 7-5 (6-2) record and a host of other conference losses among the rest of the Big Ten vault the Gophers into the Rose Bowl, making them the first five-loss team to earn a trip to Pasadena. A month before the game, Brewster announces that he's leaving the Gophers to coach his beloved Texas Longhorns; Mack Brown has retired, as expected, but the program was stunned when defensive coordinator (and presumptive next head coach) Will Muschamp pulled a simultaneous "sympathy retirement." The Gophers hire Mike Leach on the spot, and the new Pirate Gophers stun Oregon on January 1st, 45-31. -- Adam Jacobi
There's nothing out of the ordinary taking place in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night. It's early in the fourth quarter and the Alabama Crimson Tide have a healthy 24-6 lead over the Rebels, but then suddenly a bright, white light can be seen in the sky. Those who notice it assume that it's a comet or meteor passing by the planet, but it keeps getting bigger and bigger before everyone suddenly realizes it's coming right for them. As it gets closer, it becomes clear that it is some kind of UFO, in fact, the space ship actually looks like a piece of fried calamari. It lands at the 50-yard line, and out comes Admiral Ackbar. Knowing immediately what's taking place, the new Ole Miss mascot makes a break for it before he is apprehended by members of the Rebel Alliance. The Rebel Alliance then holds a trial on the field, determining whether or not the Bear shall live. This does not please Nick Saban. After a few minutes Saban walks briskly up to Admiral Ackbar, takes his gun, and executes the Bear himself before saying, "There. NOW GET THE HELL OFF OF MY FIELD." Ackbar and his soldiers sheepishly retreat to their ship and take off. Not even the Rebel Alliance wants to mess with Nick Saban. -- Tom Fornelli
Tags: Admiral Ackbar, Adrian Clayborn, Alabama, Alien Invasions, Arizona, Boise State, Chris Peterson, Colt McCoy, Danny Hope, Denard Robinson, Drew Bledsoe, Garrett Gilbert, Insane Predictions, Iowa, Iowa, James Kirkendoll, Jarrett Lee, Joel Maturi, Jordan Jefferson, Kansas, Kansas State, Kellen Moore, Kirk Ferentz, Les Miles, LSU, Mack Brown, McNeese State, Michigan, Mike Leach, Mike MacIntyre, Mike Stoops, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nick Saban, Ole Miss, Ole Miss Mascot, Oregon, Oregon State, Patrick Peterson, Purdue, San Jose State, Texas, Tim Brewster, Turner Gill, Urban Meyer, Washington State, Will Muschamp
Posted on: October 15, 2010 3:51 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet. Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.
Main Course - #13 Michigan State vs. Illinois - Noon - Big Ten Network
Yes, the morning menu is still incredibly light this week. You'd think I'd be beyond complaining about it at this point since it's been this way all season, but I assure you, I am not above complaining about anything . Though this Michigan State and Illinois game isn't as unfulfilling as it may seem at first glance.
Michigan State is 6-0, after all, and coming off of a very big win against Michigan. Illinois has also played well lately, with a win not many saw coming on the road against Penn State last week. Also, let's not forget that the Illini gave Ohio State a very tough time in Champaign a few weeks ago.
There's enough cause to believe that another upset may be in the works this weekend. First of all, Michigan State is coming off that Michigan win, and there could be a letdown this weekend. Second, it is Michigan State. Completely unexpected losses at home against teams they should beat after getting off to a good start to the season wouldn't exactly be a new phenomenon for the Spartans.
Side Orders: If you don't get the Big Ten Network, and don't have the choice of watching Michigan State and Illinois between Ro-Tel and Velveeta commercials, there are other options. Florida State and Boston College square off in Tallahassee, or you could tune in to what could be Tim Brewster's last game when Minnesota takes on Purdue. Of course, if you want to watch that game I'd suggest spending three hours talking to some sort of counselor instead. Maybe you should watch Syracuse and Pitt instead, just to see if you should actually take this Syracuse team seriously.
Main Course - #7 Auburn vs. #12 Arkansas - 3:30pn - CBS
Now that Alabama has lost, it leaves the door open to a couple of teams in the SEC West. Auburn is one of them. Arkansas, who has already lost to Alabama, has an outside chance, but to make the most of it, a win over Auburn is a must have.
Of course, even if there wasn't so much on the line for both teams in this game, I'd recommend tuning in just to watch Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett face off. In other words, expect a lot of points, and what could turn out to be a very exciting, back and forth affair.
Auburn's pass defense left a bit to be desired against Kentucky last week, and don't think that Bobby Petrino didn't pick up on a few things when watching the game tape. The Auburn defense is going to need to play very well if the Tigers want to leave this one with their perfect record still intact.
Side Orders: There are a couple of other dishes available in the afternoon, including the one that's often best-served cold, which Nebraska is hoping to give Texas tomorrow afternoon. There's also Michigan and Iowa in the Big House, which will be a defining game for the Wolverines. We find out if Michigan is either a good team that lost a tough game against a rival last week, or it's still the same old Michigan we've grown accustomed to the last few years.
Main Course - #18 Wisconsin vs. #1 Ohio State - 7pm - ESPN
It's been a while since the Buckeyes found themselves ranked as the best team in the country, but if they're not careful, it's not going to last long. The Buckeyes have gotten off to a 6-0 start this season, but this is the first real test they'll have faced. Yes, Miami was a tough game, but that was at home and Miami has proven to be pretty average this season.
This is the road, at night, at Camp Randall Stadium. Ohio State's defense hasn't faced a punishing ground game like it'll be seeing against Wisconsin with John Clay and company. Ohio State has only ventured outside of Columbus once this season, and that was what turned out to be their worst game of the season against Illinois.
And trust me, it's a lot easier to win in Champaign than it is in Madison.
Side Orders: Kentucky nearly knocked off Auburn at home last week, and it will try to do this same this week when it hosts South Carolina. The Gamecocks are coming off their biggest win ever, so a let down could be in order. There's also Florida looking to end its two-game losing streak taking on Mississippi State and old friend Dan Mullen, and the Crimson Tide look to take out their frustrations from last week against Ole Miss and its new mascot.
Late Night Snack
Oregon State may have had some troubles with non-conference foes like TCU and Boise State, but it's off to a nice start in conference play. They look to improve to 3-0 in the Pac-10 when they head to Washington to take on the Huskies Saturday night on ESPN.
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Bobby Petrino, Boston College, Cam Newton, Dan Mullen, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, John Clay, Kentucky, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Ryan Mallett, Saturday Meal Plan, South Carolina, Syracuse, Texas, Tim Brewster, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 15, 2010 1:53 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2010 1:55 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster believes that his squad could be 5-1 and sitting near the top of the Big Ten right now. The coach has remained positive about his Golden Gophers squad despite the current five game losing streak that has included dropping games to Northern Illinois and South Dakota. In fact Minnesota's only win was a 24-17 squeaker against Middle Tennessee. Brewster has been sitting on a flaming hot seat since the beginning of the season, and now it looks like his time at Minnesota could be closing quickly.
Yahoo! Sports' Tom Dienhnart reported Friday that Brewster may be coaching for his job against Purdue on Saturday.
Granted, Minnesota's AD could have been having routine discussions with Brewster's representatives, but chances are that this threat could be very real. Brewster's firing has been a done deal in the opinion of many, and this just puts a final date on it.
For more breaking news and analysis follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 10, 2010 3:38 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
1. Perhaps Denard Robinson's competition matters. Hey, we'll be the first ones to admit to falling in love with Denard Robinson's early-season performance. Sure, Michigan's opposition wasn't very good (at all), but lots of other teams were playing cupcake schedules at the same time, and nobody -- except maybe for Cam Newton -- was doing what Shoelace was doing. But Michigan State provided a pretty easy blueprint for containing Robinson: have a decent defense and don't do anything stupid with them. The Spartan defense, led as always by All-American linebacker Greg Jones, played disciplined defense against the explosive sophomore and forced him into three interceptions -- two of which came in Michigan State's end zone. Sure, Robinson ended up accounting for 301 yards (215 passing, 86 rushing), and those are good numbers, but remember: he's basically their entire offense. So while giving up 301 yards of offense to one guy isn't ideal, holding the entire team to 377 yards is much more palatable, and that's exactly what the Michigan State defense did. Next up for the Wolverines: Iowa -- and 60 more minutes of that defensive intensity.
2. Don't run up the score on Tim Brewster, please. The second-oddest thing about this week of Big Ten play was seeing Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster get into an arguing match with Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema after Wisconsin's 41-23 victory over the Golden Gophers. The oddest thing came about six minutes prior, when Bret Bielema elected to try a two-point conversion after the Badgers scored a touchdown to extend their lead to 41-16. The try failed, because not even Football God hates Minnesota that much, but Brewster certainly took it personally; the Minnesota coach said some very unprintable words to Bielema on the field, and used the word "wrong" to describe Bielema's decision about 15,000 times in his postgame press conference. Bielema said his little when-should-you-go-for-two card dictated that his team attempt the two-point conversion in that scenario. Even assuming Bielema's excuse is true, we have to wonder why Bielema didn't heed his card's advice 5:16 earlier, when his team scored a fourth-quarter touchdown to go up by 25 the first time. After John Clay's third touchdown of the game, Wisconsin led 34-9 with 11:55 to go, and Bielema kicked a harmless extra point then. Maybe, maybe Minnesota could have engineered 27 points in 11:55, but there was no chance of it happening with 6:39 left, so there's really no sense in kicking the extra point the first time but not the second. Bielema doesn't necessarily owe Brewster an apology; he's Bret Bielema, and he's kind of a jerk, and that's what he does. But at the very least, he owes Brewster and the rest of Big Ten fans an actual explanation of what the heck he was thinking going for two.
3. Penn State just isn't very good. Okay, we sort of knew coming into this season that Penn State would be taking some more lumps than usual on account of their true freshman quarterback, Rob Bolden, winning the starting job in Week 1. And sure, their 24-3 losses to Alabama and Iowa were disappointing, but not really shocking; 'Bama and the Hawkeyes are both pretty legit programs with pretty legit defenses. But 21-point losses to top-15 teams are one thing; a 20-point loss to middling Illinois is another altogether. Illinois controlled the action on both sides of the ball Saturday, shredding Penn State's vaunted front seven for 282 yards on the ground. Mikel LeShoure was a workhorse with 119 rushing yards and a 32-yard reception, and Illini QB Nathan Scheelhaase was both efficient (15-19, 151 yards, 1 TD) and mobile (eight carries, 61 yards). Meanwhile, Bolden had one of his worst starts of his nascent career, going 8-21 for 142 yards, a score, and a pretty bad pick-six to Nate Bussey that pushed Illinois' lead to 14-3. It was a freshman mistake, of course, and one he probably won't make next season and beyond. But it's that sort of thing, coupled with a general lack of special talent on the rest of the offense, that dooms the Nittany Lions when their defense isn't perfect. The Nittany Lions are 3-3 (0-2) now. Right now, it's pretty hard to guarantee they're going to a bowl this season.
4. Northwestern is also not very good. Going back to 2008, Northwestern's habit of winning games by close margins -- which is to say, playing both up and down to the competition -- has never really come back to haunt them; coming into Saturday's game the Wildcats were 14-4 in one-possession games since '08, a streak that's both remarkable and completely doomed to come back down to earth sooner or later, and that's where we find the Wildcat today. Two special teams disasters in the fourth quarter -- a blocked field goal and a poorly-kicked game-tying attempt with a minute left -- effectively kept six points off the board for the Wildcats, and a Dan Dierking rush from 7 yards out sealed the 20-17 upset for lowly Purdue. It's a bummer of a loss for the Wildcats, but the type of inexplicable upset that besets them pretty much every year. Their benchmark game is likely their next: Michigan State comes to town, and a win would put Northwestern back on the map. But it would take the Wildcats' best performance of the season, and any time the prerequisite for respectability is something a team hasn't yet shown itself to be capable of doing, odds are that the fans will go home disappointed.