Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Half empty or half full? BC schedules two game series with Purdue
I am glad BC scheduled a two-game series with Purdue. I've been complaining about soft scheduling and the flimsy excuses for our recent schedules, so I view booking a Power 5 team as the right step. Doing it in advance (the series is for 2018 and 2020) also solidifies BC's Power 5 requirement for the next few years (Notre Dame is scheduled for 2017 and 2019). Great news! Congrats to Brad Bates for booking the series! We get to play and Big Ten team we've never faced! Give us all ya got, Boilermakers!
Yet for all the excitement, there is still a sense of cynicism in this series. Right now Purdue is a very bad team. Arguably better than BC, but still bad. We have no idea what they will be like in 2018 or 2020, but the odds are they won't be great. It will take a long time for Darrell Hazell or more likely his successor, to become good again. Maybe it will be by 2018, but unlikely. Even if Hazell is fired next year, 2018 will only be Year 2 of the new coach's tenure. Purdue's situation certainly factored into the scheduling. Addazio and Bates used their first Power 5 matchup not as a chance to test the team or excite their fanbase, but to win a game. They are not the first to schedule like this and won't be the last but that doesn't make it fun.
When BC scheduled the USC series, they were still a dynasty. When we finally played them, we caught them in a down cycle and went 1-1. But we still were able to rally around playing and beating the Trojans. Even if we go 2-0 against Purdue, I don't see the series providing any residual benefit beyond meeting the Power 5 mandate. It is a wasted opportunity. Few will get excited about a trip to West Lafayette. While good academically, Purdue is not considered a peer school. Indiana is not a focal point in recruiting.
I hope the series with Purdue is great. I also hope this is just the first step in more exciting scheduling. And I hope BC wins and I hope I am wrong about BC's motivations in scheduling.