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Any Hope that Mitch can save Boilermakers?


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This week’s picks column is dedicated to Purdue University President-elect Mitch Daniels, who has quite a challenge ahead of him attempting to, among other things, make the school’s football program relevant again.

Been to Ross-Ade Stadium lately? The once-raucous structure that housed Brees-to-Morales only 12 years ago has become a library with goal posts. So high is the indifference level that I’ll be stunned if 45,000 make it to West Lafayette for the Old Oaken Bucket battle against Indiana on Nov. 24.

Talk to me in a week. I might have lowered it to 40,000. And that’s in a stadium that accommodates 62,500 football fans.

Good luck, Mitch. Indiana under Kevin Wilson is trending upward, which is great. Do what’s necessary to aim Purdue’s football fortunes in the same direction.

Notre Dame 34,

Wake Forest 14

The Irish, who are a much

better product this time around with more to play for, won by a touchdown last season on Wake’s home turf. Let me see ... (doing the math in my head) ... rout.

Purdue 31, Illinois 20

{span}Welcome, fans, to the Attrition Bowl. Just come on in, admission is free. Sit at the 50 if you like. Boilermakers score a second straight road win by beating a horrific Illini squad{/span}.

Penn State 20, Indiana 14

The Hoosiers have never won in State College or, for that matter, ever beaten Penn State in football. The Nittany Lions play every game as if it’s their bowl game (which it is). IU will make its history next October when Penn State comes to Bloomington.

Michigan 27, Iowa 17

Wolverines fans say goodbye to their seniors at the Big House. Too much emotion for the Hawkeyes to overcome.

Northwestern 24, Michigan State 23

Normally I take the Wildcats to lose in enemy territory, but MSU isn’t scaring anybody this season. Wildcats post a “W” in East Lansing.

Nebraska 40, Minnesota 21

A Golden Gophers football team hasn’t won in Lincoln since 1960. That was 10 United States presidents and six expansions to Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium ago. History is not on Minnesota’s side.

Ohio State 28, Wisconsin 24

Arguably the two best teams in the Big Ten duke it out with lower stakes with the Buckeyes ineligible for postseason play. It’s the battle of the league’s most obnoxious fan bases, and OSU behind QB and soon-to-be conference MVP Braxton Miller gets it done on the road.

NFL

New England 35, Indianapolis 27

This (ouch!) really ... (ow!) ... hurts, but with the game in Foxborough I have to favor coach Dullachick and the Patriots. Stay tuned for riveting postgame commentary from the New England coach regarding Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck (“He’s pretty good”) and receiver Reggie Wayne (“He’s having a good season”). Pats’ defense is vulnerable, but at this time it’s more likely Tom Brady has the bigger outing.

Dallas 30, Cleveland 17

Now this is more the Cowboys’ speed. Team owner Jerry Jones might be on the horn as we speak trying to lobby to play Cleveland and Cincinnati eight times apiece each regular season. Might be the only way to get Dallas into the playoffs.

Cincinnati 23, Kansas City 21

Bengals beat the Chiefs because, well, everyone beats the Chiefs.

Last week’s record: 6-1

Season record: 80-25

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