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B1G 2017 // History proves the Purdue Boilermakers football team can go undefeated... kinda

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Seriously, they did it twice. No, it’s not exactly recent. Just keep reading.

The Potluck continues by going back in time to when Purdue was an undefeated powerhouse... Seriously, it happened.

Since 1982, the Purdue Boilermakers have had exactly one coach who finished his tenure with a winning record. With due respect for Joe Tiller aside, we can more or less point to one of the many faults of this football team at the feet of its inability to cash in on coaching changes.

Whether it was recent messes like Darrell Hazell or older messes like the coaching remains of Fred Akers, Purdue has swung and missed on the man in charge. With a new hope in Coach Jeff Brohm, the Boiler family has some positive things to look forward to, but that’s really not where I’m going here.

See, one of the fascinating things in researching for these questions is you uncover things you really never knew. In the case of Purdue, did you know that they actually were pretty great at coaching hires right off the bat. In fact, from 1889-1905, Purdue managed to have coaches who finished with .500 career winning percentages or better, which was fascinating to me.

One guy who jumped out to me is Knowlton Ames. This guy apparently was an early TD record holder, a Princeton graduate, and led Purdue to back-to-back undefeated seasons. Think about that. Purdue spent two seasons as a team to be reckoned with. If you told Coach Ames then that 100 years later, Purdue would be something of a laughing stock, he’d have probably punched you in the face.

The point is, it can happen, and that leads me to today’s question. If you were to go back in a time machine and tell them that the future, what would be the most surprising outcome? When did you go back to? What would you tell that person to do differently?

If it’s historically possible for Purdue football to be an undefeated champion and bully, it’s possible for anything, right? Right. Let me know what you think.

MNW: I would go back in time and warn younger me. Just...of so many things.

...oh, we were talking sports? Specifically Northwestern? I guess I’d tell the 1930-31 basketball team (NATIONAL FUCKING CHAMPS WHAT UP) that their program was about to experience 86 years of at best one shining moment of above-average performance, most often crippling mediocrity, and at worst abject failure.

Then they’d ask me why I was being a prick and why the fuck do I talk like that and can you please spare a dime because the economy’s just crashed and this Hoover doesn’t seem to have many answers. (Yeah, Joan Hoff Wilson. You heard me. Your boy sucks.)

I guess if I were trying to affect an outcome I would tell Gary Anderson to follow through or something. Or Brett Favre to RUN FOR THE FUCKING FIRST DOWN.

...this wasn’t healthy, Jesse. Why would you dredge this all up?

GF: Some dark stuff here, won’t someone check on MNW please?

Tell Chris Webber that Michigan actually doesn’t have any timeouts left, but convey it in an effective manner that allows him to remember...

Jesse: So there are a lot of different avenues here, but with MNW talking pro sports, it would probably be good to go back to 1990 and tell Buffalo Bills fans that they would - in the not-so-distant future be a constantly just-below-average team who doesn’t make the playoffs and doesn’t crater enough to gain a top pick.

Or, you know, tell Nebraska fans in 1997 that the future was bleak.

Or, you know, tell Nebraska fans they’d be in the Big Ten just to really eff with them.

DJ: Lets do pro sports. Id tell former Redskins ownership to NEVER SELL TO DAN SNYDER. Oh, what it could have been without Snyder in charge....

babaoreally: If this were serious, then I would obviously do something that would help save someone (or many people’s) lives. It’s not so let’s just say I’d go back in time to when the internet started up, and tell them that they should quit making the internet because it will lead to the creation of offtackleempire.com.

Stew: Jesse, you should probably go ahead and tell them that now:

Or, you know, tell Nebraska fans in 1997 that the future was bleak.

Anyway, Iowa has been a powerhouse a few times in the past and then fallen into dark times. I’d probably go back to when Forest Evashevski retired from coaching to take over as AD. Evy was the best coach in Iowa history, but is also probably the worst AD in school history. If Evy had stuck around as coach for a while longer, Iowa could have had a similar history to UNL. Though, if I told him that he’d probably punch me in the face. He was kind of a badass.

MNW: Forgot one! I would also go back to the banks of the ol’ Rare ‘n’ Tan in 1869 and congratulate those young men (maybe not young men! Back in Ye Olden Days of college football dudes would just switch to another school halfway across the country and magically gain another four or eight or ten years of eligibility!) on a well-played game of soccer.

Then I would show them that .gif of Chris Ash crying or just generally looking like that, tell them that was their future, and they’d hang me for being a witch or something.