This guy was the last man to actually see a decade where Purdue was more successful than Indiana. Yes, even in Indiana's worse decade in history they're leading the series 12-9. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The intent of this article is to shed light on, refute or plainly trivialize Purdue memes that are incredibly inaccurate. The rivalry has a ton of chatter from both sides, but it appears that Purdue's side has less of a leg to stand on when it comes to historical comparisons, inferiority complexes and demographics. Without further ado, let's get into it.
1. Little Brother
You know how younger siblings are always quick to jump on the failures of older siblings to say "see, they aren’t so great either!" Well that is Purdue to Indiana. I would like to qualify myself to speak on this topic as I am a Colts fan. I don’t care what people say, the average Colts fan worries so much more about New England and Tom Brady losing than they do anything else. It is the same scenario with Indiana and Purdue. When Indiana loses a game, Twitter and Facebook explode with "haha, Indiana sucks" lines. Go check out the Purdue’s Rivals.com free board some time after an Indiana loss. Of the 50 front page threads, half will be dedicated to talking about Indiana in some format or another. In turn, do the same when Purdue loses on IU’s equivalent site. Certainly you’ll see a couple threads basking in the schadenfreude, but rarely will they dominate the board.
My personal Facebook will explode, with IU sucks rhetoric after Indiana loses. I mean we’re talking 20+ statuses in an hour or so. What about when IU wins? You wouldn’t know that college basketball existed. Not a peep. Even when Purdue wins, there are never "good win Purdue" statuses or tweets. It is a lot of "Purdue wins, this is how that win compares to IU". Hell, when Purdue saved its season on Saturday by winning against an injured Northwestern on the road, the first thing you hear about their win is not Hummel getting a shot to finally go in the basket. You get tweets across the blogosphere about how Matt Painter has more road wins this year than Tom Crean since he took over the program. It’s kinda sad in that aspect. At Purdue, there is really more emotional investment hanging on the failings of Indiana than the successes of Purdue.
Add in the constant complaining from Boilers about Purdue not getting half the media attention IU does or the fact that they’re treated as a second rate program in their own state and it is enough to drive you insane. Boilers will incessantly drone on and on about how the Hoosiers get all the favoritism of the officials and Purdue gets none. Never mind the fact that the amount of contact allowed at a game in Mackey would qualify as sexual molestation in most states. Purdue is always the victim in any scenario involving sports and especially basketball, just ask them.
2. The Dusty Banners Logic
Indiana University basketball fans are not allowed to be proud of their five National Championships, because the last one came in 1987. However, Purdue is more than happy to tout all of their B1G Championships that they have taken home. But what about the fact that of the 22 B1G Championships they have taken home only 5 have come since Indiana’s most recent banner in the rafters? That’s right, the logic that IU’s NCs don’t count because they are old doesn’t apply to all the dusty B1G Championships Purdue has won. In fact, the number of championships between Purdue and Indiana since 1987 sees Purdue at a 5-4 advantage and IU has had its worse 3 year run in history to go with that time span. Add in the fact that four of Purdue’s Conference ‘Ships came before IU was even in the B1G and IU is winning that statistical race as well 20-18.
But what about Purdue’s great winning record against every team in the conference?! Well, that one has some issues as well, by the dusty banner logic. Purdue holds the overall record by a margin of 112-84, but let’s dig deeper into that one shall we? IU and Purdue first met head to head in March of 1901. They have met at least once a year for nearly every year since. Purdue started the series with a 50-10 advantage. Since WWII broke out
Purdue was dominant when the game of basketball was invented but since 1980 their winning percentage is nothing special at 64%. For the record, in the current and by far the worst decade of IU basketball, the Hoosiers have a winning percentage of 55%. Since that same 1980 time stamp (the furthest back I can even find record of Purdue’s year to year records without more than typing "Purdue basketball records" into Google)
3. Our School is Better than Yours
Not really. Let’s take a look at U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings for some assistance in the matter. Purdue is indeed ranked higher than IU but minimally. Purdue is in a six way tie for #62 on the list in the brand new 2012 rankings. Then three tied at 68, four at 71 and IU at #75. So good for your rankings. You’re a school that has a seven school difference between IU.
Speaking of rankings, what exactly does US News and World Report use to decide their rankings? Well a major factor in rankings is selectivity and retention after first year. For IU this is a hindrance since being as everyone wants to go school in
Another fun addition to argument is that Yahoo! Education just recently released a study of the 5 most useless college majors. Useless degree #1? Agriculture. Useless degree #4? Animal Science. Useless degree #5? Horticulture. Yikes. Have fun with that in West Lafayette.
**Indiana and Purdue use different scoring standards on the SAT. IU still reports the traditional 3 part SAT score. Purdue uses the new four part SAT scoring. So comparisons are hard to come by without any connection to either enrollment office. For this reason, we’re just going to assume IU is better.
4. The Anti-Movement Rhetoric
First of all, I love Purdue fans spouting how terrible IU’s 2012 recruiting class will wind up. Everyone is overrated according to them and just being inflated in the rankings by ESPN because it is IU. Plus, the rankings don’t matter. Didn’t you know that? All these recruit rankings mean jack squat because I can point to maybe three guys every year that were better than given credit for. Never mind the 100 guys that these recruiting gurus were right about, it is the two times they were wrong that completely invalidates everything they say. Except….
When Purdue has three guys rated in the top 100 for the upcoming class the rankings are obviously fantastic. Of course Dave Telep and the brain trusts at Scout and Rivals know what they’re talking about. "Ronnie Johnson is obviously a world beater. He’s underrated! I’m stoked he’s ranked but he should be top 10! Yogi Ferrell is the one that is garbage!" The few things Purdue and Purdue fans do better than crapping the bed in march is being hypocrites the rest of the year.
Let’s add in that fun little story that Jeremy Hollowell reportedly wanted to commit to Purdue but Painter wouldn’t let him because he wasn’t good enough. Jeremy Hollowell in the latest Scout recruit rankings is now the top 4 star recruit in the country and one player away from being a 5 star player. Yeah, I’m sure that Matt Painter told the kid no and he committed to IU out of spite. If that is true, then Hollowell was just saved from the biggest mistake of his young life and Matt Painter is the biggest idiot on the planet. Now Hollowell has blown up as a prospect (which everyone and their dog saw coming) and is at high school games signing autographs for little kids as a senior in high school. You think he regrets his decision?
5. Tom Crean Sucks, Matt Painter is Bobby Knight Reincarnate
Of course talent means absolutely nothing when you just have an amazing coach like Matt Painter. Just look at what he’s done with a much less talented team than Tom Crean has. Oh wait, what? You’re telling me that according to recruit ranking sites, Purdue has been running a team out on the court the last four years that averages a recruit rating of sub 100 coming out of high school? This of course is including two top 40 players and a top 75. Well that can’t be right. In turn, Indiana’s best average starting lineup pertaining to recruit rankings was last year with an average of 134. So obviously, Matt Painter is the greatest head coach alive. Just ask any Boiler.
The Baby Boilers of ’07 were God’s gift to Purdue. A stacked recruiting class vaulted them to the top of conference. It wasn’t all Matt Painter. Talent appears to outweigh coaching being as their roster talent has come back to Purdue like proportions and they’re struggling to beat anyone in the top 40 in the nation. Hell, it took Luka Mirkovic falling over dead and a last second shot for them to beat Northwestern.
For the first time in 4 years, Indiana has a similar talent level to their competition and Crean is looking at National Coach of the Year nominations. That is running with a starting lineup with an average of 89 coming out of high school. Lord knows what the Hoosiers are capable of next year when their projected starting lineup will have an average of a 66 rating. Plus the first four players off the bench will average a rating of 75. Good lord, the Boilers better get their last chance shots in this season, because their chances of being favored against Indiana are dwindling fast.
6. Defense Lives Here
Even this season, Purdue fans are citing the reason they’ll beat Indiana at home and on the road is because Indiana doesn’t play defense. Hypocrisy alert, neither does Purdue. Purdue’s perimeter defense is just as non-existent as Indiana’s. In fact, Purdue gives up 3 pointers at a 36.3% clip defensively. That is good enough for one of the worst eighty teams in the nation at guarding the three. In every other defensive category they are completely average.
Let’s even take a statistical comparison to see who wins what categories this season in defense. Effective FG%? Indiana 115th in the nation, Purdue is 162nd. Rate at which they force turnovers? Indiana wins that one too. Offensive rebounding given up? Purdue takes the cake by keeping opponents off the offensive glass an extra .4% of the time. To be entirely honest nearly every defensive statistical stat is negligible across the board. There just is no difference in Purdue and IU’s defenses outside of the 3 point FG% and Purdue getting to face considerably less capable free throw shooting teams. Unfortunately for them though, they can’t take advantage of that because my 3 year old nephew shoots better free throws than that team. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t let Purdue fans tell you they’ll beat Indiana because the Hoosiers don’t play defense. The Boilers don’t either.
7. All Hoosiers fans are trailer dwelling hilljacks
I have some unfortunate news for Purdue fans on this one as well. In the state of Indiana there are 25 counties with a prefabricated home population (all trailers are prefabs, not all prefabs are trailers) above 1.3%. Guess where the majority of those counties lie. You guessed it, 17 of them reside north of Indianapolis. Of the eight counties in "southern Indiana", four of them are within a two county radius of Indianapolis. Three share a border with the city of Louisville and the final one is immediately east of Evansville. Yeah, that’s correct. The majority of trailer dwelling individuals are in northern Indiana. Not to say there is anything wrong with that, but if Purdue fans are going to use it as a derogatory insult they better make sure they aren’t talking about themselves.
In the end, the hypocrisy and banter between both fan bases is what makes this a great rivalry on all fronts, not just athletics. However, you are now more educated to counter Purdue’s vitriolic outburst with facts. I’m sure there is plenty more that gets to you guys so please feel free to add in the comments with your factual rebuttals. This is intended as a living document, a reference sheet to counter all the crap you hear come out of West Lafayette and the facts to counter their garbage.