Boilerquest: Plumbing Unheard-Of Depths!

Submitted by Brian on November 5th, 2013 at 3:44 PM



LAST TIME ON BOILERQUEST: I ignored that Illinois went winless last year. Purdue was on pace to be the worst team since 1981, which is moderately impressive.


  • MSU beats Purdue 14-0.
  • Sweet merciful bye week.
  • OSU beats Purdue 56-0.


The worst team in Big Ten history has no wins and no ties; nonconference doesn't matter; 1930 is the cutoff since before that teams played highly variable schedules. Teams from WWII are included. We are going on a straight ranking by scoring ratio, which is:

point scored / (points scored + opponent points scored)

This should help normalize for the fact that football has gotten progressively higher scoring as the years have progressed.

Purdue will be the worst Big Ten team since X if they do Y…

2012: Lose all their games. The last winless Big Ten team was last year's Illinois outfit.

2005: Lose and finish with scoring ratio below 25%. This is what Illinois did last year.

1981: Lose and finish with scoring ratio below 21%. 2005 Illinois managed 21% and their 1997 team matched that. The 1981 Northwestern Wildcats scored 75 points in nine league games but gave up 425 for a scoring ratio of 15%.

1961: Lose and finish with scoring ratio below 15%. 1961 Illinois never reached double digits or came within two touchdowns of an opponent (23-9 versus Purdue was their closest game) and had a scoring ratio of 12.3%.

1960: Lose, scoring ratio below 12.3%. 1960 Indiana managed just 11.8.

1957: Lose, scoring ratio below 11.5%. 1957 Indiana.

1944: Lose, scoring ratio below 8.9%. Iowa 1944 set a low bar, and then they lost to Iowa Pre-Flight, though Iowa Pre-Flight was 10-1 that year.

Pretty Much Ever: Lose, scoring ratio below 8.7%. Harry Kipke's 1934 Wolverines managed this.

Boilerquest Status Report


Purdue is currently on pace to be the worst Big Ten team since…


Not scoring against MSU and OSU while piling up tons of points ceded drives Purdue's current scoring ratio under ten percent to 9.9%. Iowa and Penn State are up next, and then the tough part: can Illinois and Indiana shut the Boiler offense down? Survey says… probably not. But maybe!

BONUS ILLINIQUEST CHECK IN: Don't get your hopes up. Illinois scores way too much to be a factor here, and almost won a game against PSU last week. Their scoring ratio is a relatively healthy 33%.



November 5th, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

I feel too close to Michigan's disasterous 2008 season, not to mention uncomfortable wins against Akron and UCONN, to really take sport in Purdue's struggles.  But... firing the Mustache can't seem like a good idea right now. If you don't have a mustache, and/or look like Wilfred Brimely playing a cop, you are going to struggle at Purdue.  (Of course, Joe Tiller had both going for him, and Hope looks like a cop, and would have aged into the very picture of Brimely).


November 10th, 2013 at 3:03 PM ^

It's true that we're 6-2, but even so it still isn't satisfying to bask in purdue's problems. Our program's offense is arguably in free fall right now. This is bad karma.