Purdue came into the 2012 season hoping to return to the national stage.
After back-to-back blowout losses at home, the Boilermakers would settle for simply proving this quest isn't hopeless at the midway point.
Two weeks ago, the Boilermakers (3-3, 0-2 Big Ten) seemed perfectly positioned to make good on those preseason promises.
They were off to a 3-1 start, their best in five years, and a favorable schedule meant they would start league play against demoralized Michigan and struggling Wisconsin in West Lafayette. Winning either game, or both, would have sent a clear signal that Purdue was back.
Instead, the Boilermakers were victimized by too many mistakes.
That's certainly not the way the Boilermakers thought they would head to Columbus, Ohio, for their biggest test of the season against the seventh-ranked Buckeyes (7-0, 3-0).