Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke hasn't said anything about firing coach Danny Hope at the end of the season, but in a one-paragraph statement released Monday, it's clear he expects better results during the final third of the season.
"Everyone around our football program has high expectations for the 2012 season," Burke said. "We have worked very hard over the past four years to improve our personnel, facilities and every phase of our program, which is evident."
Hope is 19-26 since replacing Joe Tiller, the winningest coach in school history, including a 3-5 record this season.
In the preseason, many expected Purdue to make a run at the Big Ten Leaders Division championship and after a 3-1 start, which included a loss on a late field goal to Notre Dame, those feelings intensified.
But Purdue has yet to live up to its expectations. The Boilermakers are 0-4 in conference play. And despite a 29-22 overtime loss to Ohio State, Purdue has lost by an average 19.5 points in those league games.
With contests against Penn State, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana remaining, the Boilermakers have a chance to get three more wins for bowl eligibility, but it's not going to be easy. Penn State is playing as well as anyone in the league and Iowa is also fighting for its postseason life. Illinois is probably out of the running for a bowl game and Indiana, which is also 3-5, is in the same boat as the Boilermakers.
Hope, who is in his fourth season as head coach, has had just one winning season -- last year's 7-6 campaign with a win in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Hope will need to find the team everyone thought Purdue had at the beginning of the season if he wants to keep his job at the end of it.
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