Ohio State-Purdue: How Likely Is an Upset Victory for Boilermakers?

Tim CarySenior Analyst IOctober 16, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - SEPTEMBER 20:  A Purdue fan cheers during play against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 20, 2008 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

There's no question a Purdue victory over Ohio State Saturday afternoon in Ross-Ade Stadium would be a monumental upset. 

The Boilermakers are struggling through a five-game losing streak, consistently failing to make critical plays, and turning the ball over about as often as the words "balloon boy" have been uttered in the last 48 hours.

The Buckeyes, on the other hand, are once again ranked in the nation's Top 10, hardly ever lose conference road games, and have won at least a share of the Big Ten championship in four straight seasons.  OSU is also in good shape for their fifth consecutive title, as they enter Saturday's game with a 5-1 record and four-game winning streak.

If there's any small consolation for the Boilers, it's that Ohio State's offense has struggled recently (Wisconsin gained twice as many yards as the Bucks in Ohio Stadium last weekend), and Purdue has also played OSU relatively close in the last ten years (winning in 2000 and 2004 at Ross-Ade).

The visiting Buckeyes are double-digit favorites, and Purdue fans (myself included) are hard-pressed to see any scenario on paper that would allow the Boilers to pull a shocker. 

Well, I take that back--I guess there's one scenario: Ohio State will be without the services of defensive lineman Dexter Larimore and running back Daniel Herron, so if coach Jim Tressel should decide to rest his other 20 starters for some reason, the Boilermakers' prospects would improve somewhat.

Now that you see my pessimistic outlook on Purdue football...and with an Ohio State win in West Lafayette seeming to be a virtual certainty...I took an informal poll on Twitter today to give disappointed fans a chance to list things that are more likely than a Purdue win over the conference-leading Buckeyes.

Highlights of the responses include:

The Lions in the 2009 playoffs—more likely than a Purdue upset of Ohio State.

A snowless Indiana winter—better chance of that than a Boilermaker win.

A balanced budget—okay, so the odds of both are about nil.

Hoosiers in the Final Four—also a toss-up, but IU probably does have the better chance.

Chicago hosting the 2018, 2020, and 2022 Olympics—even though they're not even one of the 2018 bid cities , their chances are still better than the Boilers'.

And my favorite: Bobby Knight wearing Old Gold and Black is more likely than a Purdue win over the Buckeyes.

Feel free to add your own fill-in-the-blank answers in the comments.

And yes, I'd love to be wrong.

Special thanks to Twitter readers @mrboilermaker , @yagelski , and @sarayelich for their contributions to this column.  This article is also featured on FirstandBigTen.com , a Bleacher Report blog dedicated to Big Ten football.