Purdue. Harumph. I have to admit, as a die-hard Notre Dame fanatic I have trouble mustering a lot of emotion for the Purdue Boilermakers.
Traditionally being Notre Dame's third Big Televen opponent each season, they tend to get short shrift, passion wise. Michigan is first, and the passion, the intensity, the gravitas of those games is palpable. Michigan State is second, and the disdain and disrespect and active dislike is manifest. Purdue is third. Yawn.
Despite the historic nature of the series between these two teams, nobody (at least nobody on the Notre Dame side) cares that much about it. As an "in state rivalry" it's pretty tame.
The series has been lopsided (Notre Dame is 51-26-2 in the previous 79 games against PU), and the game rarely matches two highly ranked opponents. It's almost always the scrappy underdog Purdue Pete trying to derail the lofty ambitions of the favored Fighting Irish.
Coupled with Big Televen fatigue, this game often feels like playing basketball in the driveway against your younger brother. You play to win, and if you're paying attention and focus a little bit you almost always do win. But every once in a while you get lazy and he beats you, which means a lot more to him than it does to you. Good for you little fella—nice game.
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