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WHO'S GOING TO COACH PURDUE?

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A SOBER AND REASONED ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL CANDIDATES

It's the story that's making headlines across America, gripping the national psyche and keeping us all on the edges of our seats: who is going to be the next head football coach at Purdue University?

In a shocking turn of events last week, the Boilermakers dumped coach Darrell Hazell after a respectable 9-33 start to his tenure in West Lafayette. With this program fixture out, who can step in to fill his shoes?

Our crack analysts have reviewed the possibilities. Join us, won't you?


LES MILES



The number one choice of Purdue fans, based on the best scientific assessment available to us (like, two people I follow on Twitter), Miles's appeal is obvious. A native Midwesterner who coached at the highest level of college football for a decade and a half, amassing a career record of 141-55, Miles could instantly bring a veneer of prestige to a program that's lacked it for a long, long time.

But Miles's success at LSU was, in large part, due to excellent recruiting - in fact, his recent teams often underperformed their recruiting rankings. Pulling top-flight players to West Lafayette is a different ballgame than in Baton Rouge, and Miles could struggle to squeeze results from 2- and 3-star players.

Also, as a fan of Cincinnati myself, I'd caution anyone against thinking a top-level retread coach is going to succeed at a mid-major program. Hypothetically.

Likelihood: 2/10 but it's nice to think about

PJ FLECK



Possibly the hottest young coaching candidate in the nation (non-Tom Herman category), Fleck's boundless energy and enthusiasm have taken the Western Michigan Broncos to their first-ever AP ranking, on the heels of a 6-0 start to the season. Surely, Purdue fans would love to see Fleck row his boat the short trip south from Kalamazoo to West Lafayette, where his youthful fire could reignite the dormant program.

Thing is, though - Fleck's star may have risen too fast for Purdue to grab hold. With coaching vacancies likely at a number of top programs this offseason, whoever doesn't steal Herman away from Houston may well turn to Fleck, and the Boilermakers may not even get a call back.

Likelihood: 1/10 like my parents always told me, we all want nice things but some of us aren't "nice things" people


ART BRILES

No.

Likelihood: no

JEFF BROHM



The former Louisville quarterback and Bobby Petrino assistant has built on the work of his mentor at Western Kentucky, delivering a high-flying offense and bowl wins in his first two seasons in Bowling Green. Having helmed a program in a lesser recruiting area, Brohm might be well-positioned to capitalize on Purdue's limited footprint but strong potential financial resources and produce some entertaining shootouts at Ross-Ade.

So, you know, that's not gonna happen, because why would they do that, this thing that makes sense

Likelihood: 5/10, but really, 0/10


SOME ASSISTANT FROM OHIO STATE



Likelihood: 10/10 this is definitely what they're doing, the rest of this is a waste of time

THE MAN IN THE YELLOW HAT



Pros: long history of managing young, seemingly uncoachable talent. Experienced at getting out of jams. Has a reputation as an educator.

Cons: what's his freaking deal, though

Likelihood: he'll never make it through the vetting process that dude's got skeletons


WALTER FIELDING AND ANNA CROWLEY, THE COUPLE FROM "THE MONEY PIT"



An outside-the-box candidate, this fictional couple from a middling 1980s comedy could really build on their experience to conduct a full rebuild of the program. Besides, it's not like Tom Hanks says no to anything these days.

Likelihood: 3/10 Purdue does like to hire like they're clearing out an old Blockbuster video, never say never


THE RACCOONS THAT LIVE OVER MY GARAGE



Tenacious. Elusive. Eats garbage. Possibly diseased? They scream "Northern Indiana", and I'd really like them out of there.

Likelihood: please, they stole my car keys and I have to go to work


A SACK FULL OF DOORKNOBS



This former Bret Bielema assistant may not be the flashiest candidate, but it runs a straightforward, no-nonsense offense that would be easy to implement in the Big Ten West.

Likelihood: [swinging sack wildly] HIRE HIM IF YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU


THE HONOR SYSTEM

Hear me out: we just put a sign in the middle of the field that says "please record the game result that you think would have been appropriate". Don't even show up. Put it on them.



Gotta figure it's good enough for the occasional win over Iowa.

Likelihood: tough shit Purdue I'm filling my pockets with Take 5 bars and conference wins


THE GLOWERING, DEAD-EYED VISAGE OF PURDUE PETE HIMSELF



Likelihood: My family is safe and sound and I have included Purdue Pete of my own volition. Everything is fine. Do not send police.

TERRY BOWDEN


C'mon, you guys said you wanted a big-name coach.