Checking in from Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Greetings from Boilermaker country.

I'm here on Purdue's campus today to see how spring practice is coming along for Danny Hope's team. I won't get to see practice -- Hope has barred all reporters from spring workouts as Tim Tibesar installs a new defensive system -- but I'll be talking to plenty of players, including Kawann Short, Akeem Shavers and all those (finally healthy) quarterbacks.

After a couple of early interviews, it's pretty clear that the Boilers are operating with a bit more confidence this spring. That's because they finally made their first bowl game under Hope last year after a 6-6 regular season, and they won the Little Caesars Bowl against Western Michigan. With a strong nucleus returning and some actual depth under center, Purdue has a chance to make some noise in a winnable Leaders Division this season. To do so, however, this team will have to get better and more consistent than it's been the past few years.

I'll have more from Purdue later today and in the days to come on the blog, so stay tuned ...