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B1G All-Decade Grades: Purdue

The football program struggled but the Boilermakers shined on the hard court in the 2010s.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

While 2020 has come out the gates in relatively crummy fashion, the decade leading up to it were some of the Big Ten’s best. Huge TV deals, and overall success highlighted the 10 year span in the conference.

In an attempt to reflect upon the good times — the period of time from 2010 to 2019 — we at B5Q have set out to grade each football and basketball program over that time span.

Next up, we take a look at the Purdue Boilermakers.

Football grade: D

It has been a rough past decade on the gridiron for Purdue. After a successful run under head coach Joe Tiller in the late-1990s and early-2000s, including eight straight bowl berths and a Rose bowl appearance in 2000, the Boilermakers fell on some hard times in the 2010s. Tiller retired in 2008 and was replaced by Eastern Kentucky head coach Danny Hope. Hope lasted four years in West Lafayette and two straight bowl berths in 2011 and 2012 (both 6-6 seasons) weren’t enough to save his job.

The Boilermakers hit rock bottom under Hope’s replacement, Darrell Hazell. The former Kent State head coach struggled mightily over three and a half years at the helm, going 9-33 overall and winning only three Big Ten games. These were dark times in West Lafayette, as the Boilermakers became the worst program in the conference for a four year stretch, just fifteen years removed from a Rose Bowl berth.

Current head coach Jeff Brohm was hired in 2017 and seems to have Purdue moving in the right direction. Brohm led the Boilermakers to bowl games in his first two seasons, going 6-6 both years, before taking a step back in an injury-riddled 2019 with a 4-8 record. The recruiting has improved under Brohm, with players like Rondale Moore, David Bell and George Karlaftis choosing to play for Purdue. After a mediocre and often times abysmal decade behind them, the Boilermakers are in good hands heading into the 2020s.

Basketball grade: B+

Under the guidance of head coach Matt Painter, Purdue was one of the best programs in the Big Ten over the past decade. The Boilermakers made the NCAA Tournament seven times and finished third or higher in the Big Ten standings six times, including regular season titles in 2017 and 2019.

In ten seasons, Painter led the Boilermakers to a total record of 225-118 and made two Sweet Sixteens and an Elite Eight. The Boilermakers have also produced seven NBA draft picks since 2010 and currently have three former players from the past decade in the NBA in Carsen Edwards, Caleb Swanigan and E’Twaun Moore.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

As great as Purdue has been, their lack of deep runs in the NCAA Tournament keeps them from earning an A. The Boilermakers didn’t reach a Final Four this decade, something fellow Big Ten contenders Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State all accomplished.

Yes, Purdue has had recent success in the Big Dance reaching the Sweet Sixteen in 2017 and 2018, and the Elite Eight in 2019. But the Boilermakers were upset in the second round by eleventh seeded VCU in 2011, arguably Painter’s best team ever, and lost in the first round as a five seed in 2016.

Even though the Boilermakers are still searching for their first Final Four, there is no denying they have been one the five best programs in the Big Ten during the 2010s.


Grading Purdue football for the past decade

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    (6 votes)
  • 12%
    (27 votes)
  • 57%
    (130 votes)
  • 26%
    (59 votes)
225 votes total Vote Now


Grading Purdue basketball for the past decade

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    (70 votes)
  • 58%
    (135 votes)
  • 7%
    (18 votes)
  • 0%
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    (5 votes)
230 votes total Vote Now