IU and Purdue first played each other in football in 1891, and in 1908 the two schools began the tradition of concluding their regular seasons by playing each other. This tradition has been interrupted occasionally (World War I, September 11, Hawaii trips), but for the most part, IU and Purdue have ended the season by playing each other for the last century. In those nearly 100 season-ending matchups, this is only the eighth time that IU and Purdue have entered the game with identical records, but it has now happened three times in the last five years.
1940: Indiana 3, Purdue 0 (West Lafayette): IU and Purdue each would post an undefeated season in the next five years, but both teams were 2-5 for the Bucket game in 1940. A lone field goal gave Bo McMillin and the Hoosiers the win.
1948: Purdue 39, Indiana 0 (West Lafayette): both teams were 2-6 in 1948, but the Boilers dominated at home and ended IU's four year Bucket winning streak (the Hoosiers' longest in the series).
1967: Indiana 19, Purdue 14 (Bloomington): of the eight games that the Hoosiers and Boilermakers entered with identical records, this was the only one in which the teams held winning records. This game was, of course, the most significant win in IU's football history because it sent IU to its only Rose Bowl to date. Purdue was undefeated and ranked #3 in the AP poll, while IU, which had been ranked as high as #5, had fallen from the rankings after a loss to Minnesota the week before. Here's the late Terry Cole scoring the decisive touchdown:
1972: Purdue 42, Indiana 7 (West Lafayette): Five years later, John Pont, who was unable to use the magical 1967 season as a springboard to consistent success, lost his final game as IU's coach. Both teams were 5-5 before the game.
1985: Purdue 34, Indiana 21 (Bloomington): In Bill Mallory's second year, IU won its first four games but lost 6 in a row to enter the Bucket game with a 4-6 record. Purdue entered with the same record and won comfortably.
2005: Purdue 41, Indiana 14 (Bloomington): IU led early, but ultimately, the turnover-prone Hoosiers, who were 4-6, lost by a wide margin to the Boilers. Purdue finished 5-6 but missed a bowl for the first time in Joe Tiller's tenure as head coach.
2008: Purdue 62, Indiana 10 (West Lafayette): Painful as it is, I'll be discussing this one a bit more as the week transpires, but this was IU's most lopsided loss to a team with a losing record (not just a Purdue team with a losing record. Any team with a losing record).
The bad news? As with the overall rivalry, Purdue holds an advantage in this category, a 5-2 advantage in the games in which IU and Purdue have identical records. The good news? The teams met with identical records only five times in the first 97 years that the teams played to end the season, but three times in the last five seasons. Despite the Boilers' decided advantage in the series during the Tiller era, these programs aren't as far apart as that record would suggest. It's about time that IU holds up its end of the bargain in this rivalry.