Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bucket Game Prediction

The Purdue Boilermakers and the Indiana Hoosiers play this Saturday for the Old Oaken Bucket. It is the 82nd meeting between these two in-state rivals. The Boilers hold a 66-35-6 advantage in the series, that is a lot more P's than I's. Under Coach Tiller, Purdue has only lost once to Indiana in 9 seasons. That loss came in 2001 when Purdue lost 13-10 in Bloomington under monsoon-like conditions.

Indiana is a much improved team, having won 3 Big Ten contests this year. When they upset Iowa earlier this season, it was hailed as a "toppling of a Big Ten behemoth" by the Indy Star. IU received much national attention as an upstart program from talking heads such as Lou Holtz & Mark May. Terry Hoeppner even called his program a "shooting rocket" in a post-game interview. A couple weeks later, IU comes back down to earth after a blowout loss to the high-powered passing offense of Minnesota. Its also now very apparent that Iowa was a tad overrated this year. Even though the Big Ten teams Indiana has beaten this year are at the bottom of the conference standings, the fact that they've beaten anyone is a big step forward for Terry Hoeppner and their program.

I would give the Hoosiers a chance in this game if it were played at Memorial Stadium, but it is not. The game is at Ross-Ade stadium and the Boilers are two touchdown favorites. If Indiana gets burned by the passing offense of Minnesota, just imagine what Curtis Painter and his receiving corps are capable of. I predict a Bucket Beatdown just as Kyle Orton gave the Hoosiers in 2004. Curtis Painter and the Boilermaker offense is too much for the IU secondary.