Tag:Purdue
Posted on: February 28, 2011 5:39 pm
 

NCAA denies sixth year for Purdue WR Keith Smith

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Purdue Boilermakers' hopes for 2011 took something of a hit today as the NCAA ruled that wide receiver Keith Smith, who led the Big Ten in receptions and receiving yards in 2009, would not be allowed a sixth year of eligibility. Smith had played in just two games in 2010 before tearing an ACL and MCL, but the NCAA evidently didn't find that to be a sufficient amount of time lost to injury to allow him a medical redshirt.

The good news for Smith is that he was allowed to attend the NFL combine for 48 hours while he awaited word from the NCAA about his eligibility, so his professional career is already underway, in a sense. He didn't do any physical drills or anything -- his knee injury is only five months old, after all -- but he was measured and participated in interviews, so the trip wasn't a waste.

Still, this is bad news for Purdue, and Danny Hope didn't try very hard to contain his displeasure. "The entire Purdue football family is very disappointed for Keith," Hope said in a statement released by the school today. "We're not only losing one of the top wide receivers in the Big Ten, but one of the top leaders on our team."

At the very least, Smith should project well to the next level; he's big enough to out-muscle most defensive backs, and his route-running and hands make him a potential asset, especially on third downs. So if there's an NFL season this year*, he'll at least be getting paid handsomely to play football instead of sticking around in college for one more year. Yes, the injury will take a toll on Smith's draftability and subsequent rookie contract (there's a reason he was trying to come back for the sixth year, after all), but being forced to go to the NFL is not exactly the worst thing that can happen to a football player.


*There will not be.

Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Purdue

Posted by Adam Jacobi

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers. Today, we look at Purdue, who opens its practice on March 1.

Spring Practice Question: Is Rob Henry or Robert Marve the man for Purdue? 

As far as injuries go, nobody was hit with more rotten luck than the Purdue Boilermakers last year; four key offensive starters suffered torn ACLs, gutting the team's skill position depth and leading to the Boilermakers' worst scoring output in 15 years. That Purdue ended up going just 4-8 is, well, understandable.

Fortunately, at least three of the four injured Boilermakers -- QB Robert Marve, RB Ralph Bolden, and WR Justin Siller -- are back, while WR Keith Smith still awaits word from the NCAA as to whether he'll receive a sixth year of eligibility (an announcement was expected this week). 

There's also two other returning starting quarterbacks, though: freshmen Rob Henry and Sean Robinson. Both Henry and Robinson are coming into the spring healthy, and while both QBs saw significant time under center, it's clear that Henry was the better performer last year. Robinson's quarterback rating was an anemic 70.21, and he managed just 3.3 yards per pass attempt.

Henry, on the other hand, comes into the spring session as the putative starter as Marve recovers, and the amount of repetitions Henry should get with the first team could be invaluable as Danny Hope evaluates his signal-callers. That's not to say Marve is going to sit in his room all spring long with his PS3 on or anything like that; he's going to be rehabbing that surgically repaired knee, attending practices, and watching film just like the rest of the quarterbacks, with the intention of returning to the starting lineup in August.

But what if Marve doesn't? What if Henry's entire off-season with the first-teamers provides a level of familiarity and comfort that Marve can't recreate in practice? There's obviously talent there with Henry, but it was also obvious that he wasn't ready to be on the field quite yet. And hey, that's fine; most freshmen aren't. But for all the struggling Henry did to get acclimated to the Purdue offense game-by-game, he still finished with a passer rating that was less than a point off Marve's in 2010. 

Above all else, most college football players make their biggest strides between their first and second years on the field, and to that end, Rob Henry's going to get an opportunity to improve substantially before the first game of the 2011 season. Can Marve make up that difference through and after rehab? That's something worth watching in West Lafayette.

Posted on: February 1, 2011 1:46 pm
 

Purdue's Cortez Smith suspected of battery

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's a good thing Purdue wide receiver Cortez Smith finished his senior season in 2010, because if he had any eligibility left, there's a strong chance he'd find himself on the bench for a few games next season. Smith was arrested on suspicion of battery on January 26 after allegedly punching a man in the face outside a bar in West Lafayette on January 21.

According to witness reports, Smith had been involved in an argument with a man outside of Brothers Bar and Grill, when Wabash College student Charles Kelly tried to intervene and calm things down. Kelly was then thanked by Smith with a punch to the face. A punch that left Kelly with some facial fractures.

"According to everyone else, (Kelly) was not aggressive and never touched Cortez," said West Lafayette detective Troy Harris. "We're not sure of the exact exchange of words or what was said.  We do know that Cortez punched him in the face once. The facial fractures were the result of that one punch."

Smith was released from jail on a $5,000 surety bond. Charges have not been filed as of now, but that's because the county prosecutor is still reviewing the case. Also, the severity of Kelly's injuries will have a say in what charges are filed, if any. Batter causing bodily injury is a Class A misdemeanor in Indiana, but battery causing serious bodily injury is a Class C felony. I don't know about you, but I'd consider "facial fractures" to be a serious bodily injury.
Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:19 pm
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Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:18 pm
 

Big Ten spending shows Wolverines lagging

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Forbes
magazine writer Kristi Dosh has continued a series on college football spending that started with the SEC with a closer look at the Big Ten's revenues and profits , and though some of her findings and conclusions aren't surprising -- Ohio State spends more on football than any other member of the league, the average SEC team generates more revenue and spends more money than the average Big Ten team, etc. -- some of them are legitimately eyebrow-raising.

Perhaps the most intriguing number is the difference between the revenue generated by the Michigan  football program and how much the university re-invests in those same Wolverines. These are the figures for how much gross revenue each Big Ten team creates:
Penn State Univ. $70,208,584.00
Ohio State Univ. $63,750,000.00
Univ. of Michigan $63,189,417.00
Univ. of Iowa $45,854,764.00
Michigan State Univ. $44,462,659.00
Univ. of Wisconsin $38,662,971.00
Univ. of Minnesota $32,322,688.00
Univ. of Illinois $25,301,783.00
Northwestern Univ. $22,704,959.00
Indiana Univ. $21,783,185.00
Purdue Univ. $18,118,898.00
And here's how much each team spends:
Ohio State Univ. $31,763,036.00
Univ. of Wisconsin $22,041,491.00
Penn State Univ. $19,780,939.00
Univ. of Iowa $18,468,732.00
Univ. of Michigan $18,328,233.00
Michigan State Univ. $17,468,458.00
Univ. of Minnesota $17,433,699.00
Northwestern Univ. $15,733,548.00
Indiana Univ. $12,822,779.00
Purdue Univ. $11,821,265.00
Univ. of Illinois $11,092,122.00
Note that when it comes to revenue, Michigan is a solid No. 3, only narrowly behind their rivals in Columbus and nearly $18 million ahead of fourth-place Iowa. But when it comes to expenses, Michigan drops back to No. 5, and a distant No. 5 at that; they spend less than 60 percent of what the league-leading Buckeyes do, and despite their massive revenue advantage barely outspend even their in-state enemies at Michigan State.

Contrast the Wolverines' approach with that of Wisconsin. The Badgers come in just sixth in the league in revenue, but (as Dosh points out) reinvest an incredible 57 percent of that money back into the football program, a number that exceeds even the percentages in the SEC and puts the Badgers' raw investment well ahead of not only Michigan but even revenue leaders Penn State. It's hard to argue the Badgers aren't getting a return on that investment, either, when they've posted nine or more wins six of the past seven years and are coming off of a surprise Rose Bowl appearance.

Michigan's troubles go deeper than just spending money, of course, and it has to be pointed out that there are institution-wide advantages to hogging so much of the football team's revenue as (the Big Ten's second-largest pile of) profit; the athletic department sponsors a wide variety of varsity sports programs (no, there's no scholarship field hockey at, say, Tennessee) and does so without financial support from the university.

But if the Wolverines are serious about competing for not only conference championships against the likes of the Buckeyes but Rose Bowl championships against the likes of Oregon or USC, or national titles against the likes of the Big 12 or SEC, they're going to have to start putting more of their football money to use in football (particularly in the area of coaching salaries ). Greg Mattison is a nice start, but he's only a start.

(One other note worth noting: thanks to the Big Ten Network, a revenue stream that according to Dosh's figures falls outside of the football-only numbers, the average Big Ten athletic department remains more profitable overall than the average SEC athletic department by some $2.5 million. The Big Ten has the money to spend. They just spend more of it, it appears, on things that aren't football.)
Posted on: January 14, 2011 12:29 pm
 

5 Down: Potential 2011 disappointments

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Earlier today, our own Dennis Dodd posted his pre-preseason top 25 for the 2011 college football season. We here at the College Football Blog wouldn't dare disagree with our esteemed colleague's opinions ... but every year there's teams that vastly exceed the expectations of even the wisest prognosticators (like, say, Auburn in 2010) and some that disappoint despite some seemingly major advantages (like, say, Iowa in 2010).

So later today we'll name five more teams we think can crack Dodd's top 25 next season, and right now we'll name five that are in his top 25 that might slip out ... or, at least, fail to live up to where they're currently placed. Without further ado (and in no particular order):

1. Auburn (15). Slipping from first to 15th already seems like quite a slide, but the Tigers' losses are so major they could easily fall even further. The offensive line loses four starters representing approximately 200 collective career starts; Nick Fairley's departure is only the capper for an entire defensive tackle rotation that must be replaced; Auburn's two best linebackers are graduated, along with the best corner and best safety; and, oh yeah, that Cam Newton guy will be replaced by either a redshirt junior who's never started a game (Barrett Trotter) or a true freshman (Kiehl Frazier). The schedule also turns nasty, with this year's home dates against South Carolina, LSU, Arkansas, and Georgia all on the road. Gus Malzahn's continued presence means Auburn will have a fighting chance of getting back to eight or nine wins, but a bad break here or there could leave Gene Chizik's bunch outside the top 25 entirely.

2. Michigan State (9). The Spartans lived on the margins somewhat in 2010, needing big late comebacks to beat teams like Northwestern and Purdue while stumbling badly against more talented teams like Iowa and Alabama. And now Mark Dantonio loses three senior offensive linemen, soul-of-the-defense All-American linebacker Greg Jones, and offensive coordinator Don Treadwell, who took the vacant Miami (Ohio) head coaching position. For a team that may have already been not-quite-as-good as their record, those are big blows.

3. South Carolina (17). Their appearance on this list isn't necessarily about the Gamecocks themselves, though the losses of end Cliff Matthews on defense and guard Garrett Chisolm on offense will be larger than people think. It's about their SEC divisional rivals at Florida and Georgia bouncing back from subpar seasons, and a schedule that hands them tough road trips to Athens, Knoxville, Starkville, and Fayetteville. It's the sort of slate that likely has four losses on it lurking somewhere.

4. Northwestern (24). We love the plucky Wildcats as much as anyone, but the way the 'Cats were memorably run over at Wrigley by Illinois, it's hard to see them being physical enough to make that much headway in the new-and-improved Big Ten. Five of their seven 2010 wins came by a total of just 15 points, and for a quarterback whose underrated running skills are as much a part of his success as his throwing accuracy, Dan Persa's Achilles injury is a killer.

5. Oklahoma State (7). OK, so with Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon back and the Big 12 South not yet back to its 2008 glory days, it's not likely for the Cowboys to slip all the way out of the top 25. But the Cowboys haven't always done well with the kind of expectations they'll be dealing with in 2011, the defense still needs major work, and without Kendall Hunter the Pokes will have to work to ensure the running game can keep opponents from simply blanketing the Weeden-to-Blackmon connection. But the biggest loss by far is Dana Holgorsen, without whom the 2009 Cowboy offense was shut out by Oklahoma even with weapons like Hunter and Zac Robinson around. If Mike Gundy doesn't find a quailty replacement, the Cowboys may wind up as 2011's most overrated team.

Posted on: January 5, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 6:07 pm
 

Da'Quan Bowers declares for NFL draft

Posted by Adam Jacobi

It's nearly impossible for a defensive end to have a better season than Clemson junior Da'Quan Bowers had in 2010. Bowers led the nation in sacks, tied Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan for most tackles for loss, was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, was a unanimous first-team All-American, and won the Ted Hendricks Award in December. How many more exclamation points does one college career need?

To that end, Bowers surprised very few by declaring for the NFL draft today. Here's his statement released to the media, via The Herald:

"I want to thank everyone at Clemson for all they have done for me the last three years. I want to especially thank Coach (Dabo) Swinney and his staff for helping me develop on the field, and mature as a person, he said.

You hear people talk about the Clemson family, and when my father passed this past summer, I saw that first hand. There is a great support system at Clemson. The coaches and players were all there for me and I will never forget that.

I also want to thank my teammates for all the support the last three years. I would not have received these honors this year without them. I made lifelong friends at Clemson.

I feel I am ready to go to the next level and I look forward to working hard in preparation for the draft.”

It's hard to disagree that Bowers is ready; he was an elite prospect coming out of high school, and he's grown into a 6'4", 280-pound terror in just three years at the collegiate level. Bowers has even drawn comparisons to Reggie White and Bruce Smith from NFL draft analysts, and while those are certainly lofty goals, Bowers seems like the best prospect to meet those two's standards since, well, them. It's time for Bowers to start working toward those new goals and get paid handsomely to do so.


Posted on: December 13, 2010 12:52 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2010 6:24 pm
 

Big Ten updates logo, annouces division names

Posted by Adam Jacobi

With the Big Ten adding Nebraska to the fold earlier this year, the old Big Ten logo with the subtle "11" embedded was suddenly rendered obsolete. The Big Ten's response? A Big Ten logo with a subtle "10" embedded. Here's the new logo unveiled by commissioner Jim Delany on the Big Ten Network today:

As for the division names, yes, they're "Legends" and "Leaders." The announcement was made after a five-minute presentation about alumni of each and every school doing good things, and as the image above indicates, the split is like this:

LEGENDS

  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Northwestern

LEADERS

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Ohio State
  • Penn State
  • Purdue
  • Wisconsin

There'll be a time and place for editorializing about the new branding, but for now, here's what it all is. Reactions go in the comment section below.



 
 
 
 
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