I started watching football in the 80s. Purdue being called “Quarterback U” and “Cradle of Quarterbacks” was in full swing. Just as the luster of the first wave of Bob Griese, Len Dawson and Gary Danielson was wearing off, and Jim Everett’s star started to fade, along came Drew Brees and company.
According to this story from 2010, Purdue quarterbacks have passed for more yards in the NFL than any other college. Sure there are other colleges that can make a claim to QB U, but putting Purdue on the short list isn’t open for debate.
That’s what made ranking the program 11th so difficult. It has a solid history of fame, and a winning bowl record. It’s problems outweigh the good, however.
They have never been a consistent winner. From 1950 to 1970, Purdue was graced with quarterbacks Len Dawson and Bob Griese. They also failed to win 8 games in a season 17 times. Joe Tiller and the run he had with Brees and company only managed one season where they lost less than 4 games. They went 9-3 one time. In their entire history they have won 10 games once.
Over the last 20 years, Purdue is next to the bottom in the Big Ten in winning percentage. Over the last 10, the Boilermakers are dead last.
Their AP poll history reflects this lack of consistent winning. They have finished in the top 10 5 times, even managing a top 5 finish once, but have finished the season ranked only 17 times. They haven’t finished ranked since 2003.
The good news if you are a Boilermakers fan is that they are really close to the team above them. If Jeff Brohm is the man, then they could pass that team in relative short order.
The bad news is that the team at 12 is trending up, and if it wins a Big Ten Championship, or even plays in the title game a time or two, it could easily pass the Boilermakers.
So here is the list after 2 weeks of B1G 2017.