Boilers think they've earned chance to play in Capital One



Another Day, Another Dollar
Mar 1, 2002
BLOOMINGTON -- Stuart Schweigert has no say. Purdue's senior free safety does, however, have an opinion. So listen up, Capital One Bowl officials.

"I want to go to Orlando," he said, referring to the Florida site of the New Year's Day bowl. "We deserve it."

That means taking Saturday's 24-16 victory over previously wretched Indiana for what it was worth -- an anything-can-happen rivalry game that followed a gut-wrenching overtime loss at Ohio State. It means looking at the quality of a 9-3 record and not the sloppiness of Old Oaken Bucket intensity.

"We're a nine-win team," Schweigert said. "This game shouldn't take away from that."

Schweigert wants a trip to the most prestigious of the non-Bowl Championship Series events. The Capital One Bowl boasts a minimum payout of $5.06 million and a matchup with a Southeastern Conference powerhouse such as Georgia or Tennessee.

The Capital One Bowl is usually the preserve of Michigan or Ohio State, the Big Ten's glamour programs. But with those schools eyeing BCS spots (Michigan is set for the Rose Bowl; Ohio State has a shot at either the Orange or Fiesta bowls), Purdue is next in line.

"I don't know what direction they'll send us," Boilermaker coach Joe Tiller said, "but I prefer to go south instead of west."

South means the Capital One Bowl or the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. West means the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Tex., or, heaven forbid, a third straight trip to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

"I just want a Jan. 1 bowl," said Purdue wide receiver John Standeford, referring to either of the Florida games.

Freshman strong safety Bernard Pollard, a former South Side High School standout, was noncommittal.

"Wherever we go, we'll play hard, give 100 percent and work for the win."

Tiller, with as much power as Schweigert when it comes to influencing bowl officials, suggested Saturday's performance wouldn't cost the Boilermakers.

"Not many teams can win nine games. This team did."

Despite playing one of the nation's toughest schedules, Purdue was four points away from being 11-1 and "having a chance at the national title," Schweigert said. Tiller called it his "best overall team."

Capital One representative Dave Dennis said Purdue (9-3) was "in the mix" along with Minnesota (9-3) and Iowa (9-3). Bowl invitations have to be sent by Dec. 7, although Capital One officials met today to discuss their options.

"What we're looking for," Dennis said, "is the best game."

Dennis said considerations include "teams that travel well, (as in brings lots of fans), strength of schedule, rankings and record."

Purdue, which sent 30,000 fans to the Rose Bowl in 2001 and 20,000 to the Outback Bowl in 2000, fits those criteria.

Nearly blowing it against Indiana, Tiller said, reflected Hoosier effort more than Boilermaker inadequacy.

"We were fortunate to win," he said. "Indiana played inspired. At times we got outplayed."

Indiana's only chance was if Purdue had a turnover outbreak. And for three quarters it happened.

But Purdue converted linebacker Landon Johnson's interception into a field goal, thus avoiding one of the bigger choke jobs in Oaken Bucket history.

Still, Indiana showed that a program turnaround was possible. Freshman BenJarvis Green-Ellis' Jim Brown impression against the nation's eighth-best run defense -- 155 yards on 35 carries -- offered hope ("No running back has run on us like that in two years," Schweigert said).

In truth, IU's 2-10 record reflected the consequence of second-year coach Gerry DiNardo's program housecleaning that produced a roster that lacked experience, depth, physical maturity and prime-time talent. Recruiting and a rigorous offseason will address that and by next year the benefits will start showing, although it's probably two years before real results occur.

Purdue's results are real enough. We'll soon know the reward.


New member
Sep 21, 2004
they will take iowa. Iowa sent 50,000+ to the Orange bowl last year which makes those people salivate. Plus Iowa beat Michigan, the Big 10 champ.


Sep 21, 2004
They have earned, but in the big business of college football it does not mean they will get it. Looks like I owa and their masses to me.


Sep 21, 2004
They have earned, but in the big business of college football it does not mean they will get it. Looks like Iowa and their masses to me.


Jan 20, 2000
Iowa IS higher ranked in the BCS composite rankings. Purdue would have the advantage in TV markets however with Indianapolis etc.

Purdue did beat Iowa, but as noted Iowa travels well. Big Ten splits all bowl revenue so it's not a big deal in that respect. Looks like who is best connected will get the bid. My guess is that one will go to Tampa and one will go to Orlando.


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