School Name: Purdue University
Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
Mascot/Nickname: Boilermakers, Purdue Pete
School Colors: Old Gold and Black
Distance from College Park: 636 miles
Enrollment: 38,788 total students (29,440 undergrads)
B1G Member Since: 1896
Notable Achievements: Astronaut Neil Armstrong, comedian Jim Gaffigan and former presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain are all alumni of Purdue. Their College of Engineering is considered one of the best engineering schools in the country and churns out engineers, including the inventor of fiberglass and one of the first five members of the Federal Radio Commission. In Purdue’s favorite sport, basketball, they have reached two Final Fours (1969, 1980)and won 22 Big Ten titles.
We’ve been in the ACC since forever. Tell us which ACC school Purdue is most similar to and why.
Purdue is most similar to North Carolina State. They’re both definitely basketball schools and get behind their basketball first, but they have put together some quality football teams at times. Both schools have huge rivalries with instate foes but are sometimes overlooked in favor of their rivals in the sport they care most about. They’ve had their ups and their downs and are known for pulling off some great upsets, but heartbreak always seems to follow them. They’re both original members of their respective conferences and are seen as staples of them, too.
Let me phone a friend about this.
Our new B1G pals at Hammer and Rails, SB Nation's Purdue blog, gives us their answer on what ACC school they're most similar to.
Juan Crespo from Hammer and Rails: The first school my mind went to was NC State. There may be some bias as I have family in Raleigh who have also attended NC State, our former provost is currently the chancellor there, and they are also a land-grant school. But most important, I think of NC State because they always seem to be in the shadow of Duke and UNC. At Purdue, we are always in the shadow of Notre Dame in football and Indiana for basketball, regardless of how good Purdue is. Their banners may be dusty and older than me, but they still cast a shadow over West Lafayette that won't be broken until a national title is won (I absolutely hate to admit that, but it is true). At least NC State 2 national titles, unlike Purdue.
Travis Miller from Hammer and Rails: I would likely have to go with NC State. We're rarely very bad, but when we're good, it's often good enough to get our hopes up only to have them dealt a crushing, inhumane blow. In football we pull the occasional upset, but a conference championship (only one since 1967) is often a pipe dream. In basketball we're a respected team within the conference and often among the top half, but unlike NC State, our success on a national scale has been lacking. At least they have two national titles. We have two Final Fours, none since 1980, and have had a number of cruel fates befall us and prevent us from getting back (1988, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2010, and 2011 come to mind). We also share a state with a team that has a lot more NCAA Tournament success and likes to constantly remind us of it. God Bless Maryland again for beating them in 2002.
Athletic Facilities: Ross-Ade Stadium is home to the Purdue football team. The stadium seats 62,500 and has been around since 1924. Ross-Ade isn’t the biggest name in the Big Ten, but tickets and snacks are cheap, the area surrounding Ross-Ade is full of charm and the fans are friendly. It hasn’t been the loudest place in the Big Ten lately as Purdue football has been pretty down, but once the Boilermakers get back up the atmosphere could liven up once again.
Purdue’s basketball is played in Mackey Arena. Built in 1967, Mackey holds 14,846 fans and is home to both men’s and women’s basketball. Mackey is usually lively no matter what. The students are rowdy, the seats are full and chants of "Boiler Up" can be heard constantly throughout games. This is one of the marquee venues for Big Ten basketball, and if you have the opportunity, it would be worth experiencing.
Non-Revenue Athletics: Purdue’s most successful non-revenue sports have been golf, track and field, women’s basketball and, recently, diving. Their men’s and women’s golf teams have a combined 18 Big Ten championships and two team national championships as well as five individual national champion golfers. Purdue’s women’s basketball team won 14 Big Ten Tournaments and nine conference titles, the most in the Big Ten. The women’s basketball team in West Lafayette will be one of Maryland’s constant competitors for Big Ten championships.
Food, Beer & Town:
For this, we'll ask our SBN partner site to give us the best food locations, tell us what is awesome about West Lafayette and more.
Juan Crespo from Hammer and Rails: If you were to drive into West Lafayette today, it would probably be a ghost town since it is summer. Unlike places like Madison and Ann Arbor, West Lafayette only tends to see activity when Fall and Spring semesters are in full swing. But when classes are in session, West Lafayette can be a busy place. The campus is very compact, and you can walk from one end of the traditional campus to the other within a 15-20 minute leisurely walk. Most activity focuses along State Street, namely the Chauncey Hill area where most of the restaurants and bars are.
The best place to eat has to be Triple XXX (which some people used to call "Tri-Chi"), which is a traditional diner that has many items on its menu named after Purdue legends. My 2 favorites there are the Drew Brees First Choice and the Duane Purvis All-American. The Drew Brees is a breakfast special with 2 eggs cooked to order, your choice of 1/3 lb of ground sirloin or chicken fried steak, fried potatoes or hash browns w/ sausage gravy, and 2 grilled buttermilk biscuits (yes I have that almost memorized). The Duane Purvis is a delicious cheeseburger (made with 100% sirloin) and served with peanut butter. You may raise your eyebrows when you first hear of that combination, but when you bite into one, your taste buds ascend into heaven because they never tasted anything so heavenly. My one suggest though is that it is nearly impossible to get spots at Triple XXX if you have a group of 4 or more given the limited seating. There is also Route 66, which is just north of Purdue and has the exact same menu, that works better for groups, and also won't be as crowded on game day.
For a drink, I always recommend Harry's Chocolate Shop. It's a bar that was found in 1919. Since it was getting close to the prohibition around that time, they were named the chocolate shop but still served alcohol as a speak-easy. Now, it's just an old-style bar with good drinks and delicious popcorn (just don't block the popcorn). However, this place gets crowded quickly since it is beloved by Purdue alums and students, which can be a turn-off for non-Purdue people (their prices tend to be higher too, but the drinks are stronger. Drink 'em Cute). Other bars include Jake's and Brothers, both of which are reasonable but also get crowded. If you want to dance, there is also "Where Else?" just around the corner from Jake's. It's old location, right next to Brothers, had a bad reputation, with many Purdue athletes managing to get into trouble there. The new location hasn't seen as much trouble, is cleaner (for now), and seems to be getting more popular (from what I've heard).
If you in town on Thursday night, then the place to go west of the Wabash is The Cactus, which features drink specials, a DJ and a dance floor. Most importantly, it features Bruce the Piano Man, who can sing and play nearly any song there is and never censors his language (and it's awesome). If you go, never ever ever whip out your cell phone or you'll be called out by Bruce and be called every dirty word in the English language by him and the audience. If you want something more chill on Thursday, head across the river into Lafayette to Chumley's, which has a wide selection of beers on tap and bottled, for Schooner Night. It is much more relaxing and a good place to catch up with old friends (I recommend the tortilla chips as a side, which comes with salsa, queso, and guacamole).
As for places to see on campus:
Memorial Union: One of the top union's in the country thanks to its architecture.
Clapping Circle: Just north of the Union, where if you stand in the center and clap/make any noise, you can summon demons (just kidding, your claps will just make a high pitch noise).
Memorial Mall: A big field of grass, very picturesque, and home of gigantic job fairs.
The Railroad Tracks: Incoming students jump over them to signify their start at Purdue and then jump over them again after graduation.
The Bell Tower: Built in the 1995, it resembles the old Bell Tower from the first half of the 20th Century, which also coined the term "One Brick Higher." Students don't walk under the bell tower, as there is a myth that if one does, they will not graduate in 4 years.
The Engineering Fountain: The giant bad-ass concrete fountain in the heart of campus. You'll notice a giant metal tube in the center of it, which used to not be there. From what I've heard and scene in old pictures, the water simply shot out of the bottom and some people would try to run through this. Of course, the strong water pressure would knock them off their feet, get some injured and caused problems for Purdue. So they put the giant metal tube around this so people wouldn't get hurt. Apparently, this used to be called "The Condom" because it was for protection. The nicknamed seemed to have died out, but I want to bring it back.
Stadium Mall: Leading away from the Engineering Fountain towards the Northwest, it is home to many engineering buildings and heads towards Cary Quad and Ross-Ade Stadium (which can be scene looming above the Quad).
I also recommend crossing the river and taking a stroll in Downtown Lafayette. There's a pedestrian bridge that goes across the river and takes you right into downtown. You'll find more bars that are more popular with the older students (especially grad students) and townies. It also quite nice and features many small shops and restaurants.
I know I said a lot for this section, but for me, West Lafayette will always be home. It may not be as great or busy as Ann Arbor, Madison, or State College, but for me it was just the right fit and allowed me to have the best 4 years of my life.
Travis Miller from Hammer and Rails: West Lafayette is very much a typical college town. The best recommendation I can give is my updated Guide to West Lafayette for visitors. However, I am a big fan of Von's Dough Shack in the Village. They have over 40 different styles of calzones.
How likely is Maryland to develop a rivalry with this school?
Relatively unlikely. Purdue isn’t in Maryland's division in football so the Terps won’t be playing them often. They have a prestigious basketball program and Maryland and Purdue could have some classics in the future that have big impacts on Big Ten titles race. Even so, Purdue is a bit too far and already has Indiana to focus their hate on. There could be some annoyance aimed at Purdue from time-to-time because of a few basketball games, but I don’t anticipate much more than that.