“Let’s play football,” is not just the best response to a XFL reporter by former XFL QB and current Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm. It will also be the ethos to this year of BIG10 football. In the year of Covid and the sports uncertainty it has brought us, I want to focus on the positive. Sure, the Big10 is only playing 8 games. Sure, many great players have decided to opt out. Sure, Purdue fans and students will not be able to attend the season opener. But you know what… let’s just be grateful that Purdue football and Big10 football as a whole are back. “Let’s play football.” Purdue opens against a great rival in the Iowa Hawkeyes. Purdue is only a 3 point dog, which is rare. Purdue has a promising young roster with some NFL talent to boot. Call me excited!
Spread: Iowa -3 @ Purdue
The spread opened at Iowa -4.5 and has been bet down. In other words, Purdue is taking a considerable amount of money in Vegas! This is reverse line movement due to Iowa taking 58% of the bets!
Game Time/Location: 3:30 pm EST; West Lafayette, IN
Iowa had a tough 2019 and an even tougher offseason. The investigation into racial bias within the Iowa program, fair or not, has been a terrible distraction for the team. As of this writing, 8 former players are suing he school for $20 million dollars and asking for the removal of long time head coach Kirk Ferentz. They have on the field issues as well. They must replace qb Nate Stanley as well as half of their 2019 offensive starters. Their defense returns just over half of their production but loses their stud pas rusher AJ Epenesa to the NFL. Even with his loss, the Iowa front 7 will still be above average this year.
Purdue is coming off a 4-8 season last year including some heartbreaking close losses to Nevada, Minnesota, and Indiana. While that record does not sound great, it was better than you think. Our beloved Boilermakers were ravaged by injuries last year. It got so bad, that by the end of the year Purdue had a streak of 19 straight touchdowns scored by freshman. That is unheard of in power 5 football. It speaks to how great of a coach Jeff Brohm is and it gives me hope for the future of the program. Purdue needs to get better in close games though. Six of their losses in the last two years were decided by 4 or less points. I do want to take a moment and thank the good lord for the return of Rondale Moore. He originally opted out for the NFL draft when Covid hit, but when the Big10 announced its return, Moore returned the favor. He is one of the most explosive wide recievers in the country and he has a very talented receiver in David Bell to join him. Purdue returns 73% of last years production on defense. I know I’m biased, but I think Purdue has a legitimate shot to shock the Big10 this year…. I don’t think we’ll win the whole thing, but look out Wisconsin, we are coming for you.
Final Analysis & Pick:
There was a huge blow to Purdue this week when they lost their appeal for Jeff Brohm to coach remotely after testing positive from Covid. This loss cannot be understated as I think Brohm is a top 10 coach in the country. However, the loss doesn’t scare me as much with his younger brother Brian taking over operations. I think Iowa’s issues and off-field distractions more than outweigh Jeff Brohm’s loss. Not to mention, this is the first time Purdue has been fully healthy in more than a year. Take Purdue +3
Michael’s 2019 Purdue Picks Record:
Purdue Picks: 7-5, 58%