Purdue and Indiana did not play each other in football last year for the first time since 1919. It wasn’t by choice. Yes, Indiana probably would have won a second straight Bucket and sixth in eight years, but they got to keep it by default and pandemic. After the Bucket took up near permanent residence in West Lafayette during the Tiller and Hope years, having it gone six of the last eight years feels strange.
The good news is that it should return. Indiana’s dream season has turned into a nightmare of injuries and stalled offensive possessions. The Hoosiers are winless in conference play, but would love nothing more at this point than to come to West Lafayette and take a big dump on Purdue’s surprise year. Until about 7pm the Bucket is officially in their possession, but hopefully around that time student manager will plod to midfield and return it to its rightful place.