There is not a lot of real college football news out there to track as we are in the dark days of the offseason, but there is one very, very interesting story:
Nick Saban and mighty Alabama are afraid of Purdue.
Now, I can hear you laughing. You think there is no way this is real. Since getting to Alabama in 2007 Saban is 114-19 with four national championships. In that time Purdue is a paltry 43-80 with just two winning seasons and two bowl wins. The two schools, on paper, could not possibly be further apart.
Still, ‘bama is scared, y’all. Why else would they be coming into our back yard:
That is George Karlaftis. He is a 2019 prospect that is already rated as a four-star player and he plays for West Lafayette High School. Purdue has officially offered, of course, because Jeff Brohm realizes that at least offering 4-star prospects in your own damn city is a good idea unlike others. Alabama is afraid though. Why else would they be coming into our yard?
It goes beyond that, however:
Alabama has never played Purdue in football
Purdue has been playing for 130 years now and not once have the Crimson Tide played us. They are ducking us. They would rather have easier games against the likes of Wisconsin and Michigan State.
Nick Saban has a losing record vs. Purdue
There is no question Saban is one of the best coaches in the history of college football. You don’t win five titles without knowing what you’re doing. That said, his record against Purdue is quite sad. In fact, Purdue is the only school with three straight wins against him. After a 35-35 tie in 1995 and a 51-14 win over the Boilers in 1996 Saban dropped the next three to Purdue. That included a comeback 22-21 win in 1997, another comeback 25-24 win in 1998 (both times Saban’s teams blew a double-digit lead inside the last five minutes) and a 52-28 beatdown in 1999. That 1999 game saw Drew Brees throw for 5 touchdowns and Chris Daniels catch 21 passes for 301 yards and 3 TDs.
At the time Saban and Michigan State were ranked 5th in the nation, undefeated, and thinking of a BCS national title. Purdue ruined their perfect season, and Saban quit. He ran off to the SEC, where, since LSU and Alabama have never played Purdue, he wouldn’t have to worry about the Boilers ruining his fun again.
Also, Purdue is the ONLY school to beat him three straight times.
He won’t play us because he doesn’t want to make it four straight losses.
Purdue is currently outrecruiting Alabama
Yes, even after a 3-9 season and a coaching change Purdue currently has a better recruiting class than the Tide, who won 14 games last year. Now wonder Saban is scored and is recruiting West Lafayette. Too bad his record is a sad 0-2-1 at Ross-Ade Stadium. It is time to hand him another loss. He can run his ass back beyond the Tippecanoe County line then.
Alabama is probably still upset because of Chris Kramer
On December 12, 2009 Mark Ingram became the first Heisman winner in Alabama history. It was the one missing piece from the long and stories history of the program. As it happens, the Crimson Tide basketball team was hosting Purdue that night. With a rowdy crowd on hand to see the No. 5 ranked Boilermakers those in attendance were even more excited once it was announced Ingram won the Heisman. The Tide jumped out to a nine point lead at halftime and a 48-32 lead with 16:40 left.
Enter Chris Kramer.
The Tide thought they could keep on winning, but their long-time nemesis, Purdue, put an end to that. Kramer led Purdue defensively as Alabama did not make a field goal in the final 8:45. Alabama not making a field goal in the closing moments must be habit-forming. The Boilers came storming back behind Kramer’s defense and 23 points from Robbie Hummel. Purdue won 73-65, outscoring the, 41-17 in the final 16:40 for the win. The crowd got so mad that a fan was ejected.
Alabama did go on to win that year’s BCS national title at 14-0, but once again, Purdue was there to be a thorn.
So, if you’re keeping score at home, Purdue currently has a 3 game winning streak over Nick Saban, made him leave the Big Ten and head to the SEC, cost him a sixth national title, ruined Alabama’s Heisman night, has a better recruiting class than the Tide, and has Saban so scared that he is recruiting and trying to steal guys from us here in West Lafayette.
Instead of us wanting ‘bama, when is ‘bama going to want us?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Obviously this is all VERY much said tongue-in-cheek. Alabama would do filthy, unspeakable things to Purdue in football right now. Still, this is fun to think about and look at.