2018 is shaping up to be a massive year for Purdue, and for the entire Big Ten Conference.
According to Athlon Sports, they are predicting that 12 of the 14 teams in the conference will take part in a Bowl Game this season. An impressive jump from the eight teams who played in bowl games last season. Maybe the conference is getting some more respect and buzz due to the fact the Big Ten went 7-1 in those Bowl Games. Way to ruin the good buzz, Michigan.
The only two teams Athlons don’t anticipate playing in a Bowl Game are Rutgers and Illinois. Even though they are rivals, it was great to see that Athlons has Indiana, Nebraska, and Maryland making the jump to become bowl eligible this season.
Personally, I loved that Athlon had Purdue playing Florida in the Outback Bowl on January 1st because it’s one of the marque Bowl Games and Purdue would be playing against a marquee school.
One of the bold predictions that caught my attention is that Purdue will be one of the biggest threats to Wisconsin in the West Division.
Purdue hosts the Wildcats on Aug. 30, in a matchup that could decide who finishes behind Iowa in the West. The Boilermakers have to rebuild a defense that limited opponents to just 20.5 points a game last fall. However, coach Jeff Brohm’s offense should take a step forward behind quarterbacks David Blough and Elijah Sindelar, along with a solid stable of running backs.
Anyone else believe that it’s kind of scary that a game in August could have such an impact on Purdue’s season? While it may not seem fair, if Purdue is able to beat Northwestern, it’s likely the team will head into their game against Ohio State on October 20th unbeaten. The only other roadblock besides Northerwestern early in their season is the game against Nebraska on September 29th.
Impressive stuff for Coach Brohm’s second season in West Lafayette.