Purdue didn’t just upset, but blew out No. 2-ranked and previously undefeated Ohio State by a score of 49-20 this past Saturday. In a game where Ohio State never lead, Purdue was dominant from start to finish, shutting down any chance of a late Ohio State comeback scoring four touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
This is, without a doubt, arguably the biggest upset of the college football season so far, and will dramatically shake up the race to the College Football Playoff. However, this being said, given Purdue’s success at home against the Buckeyes in recent years, should more of us have seen this coming?
Since the year 2000, Ohio State hasn’t lost more on the road to a Big Ten team than they have against Purdue. Given the fierce competition in the Big Ten, with the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa, it would be hard to imagine that Purdue, of all teams, has been the one to give the Buckeyes the most problems in recent years.
However, if you look at the back at the records, this does in fact happen to be the case. In their last seven road games against the following Big Ten teams, Ohio State is: 6-1 at Michigan, 6-1 at Michigan State, 5-2 at Wisconsin, 5-2 at Penn State and 5-2 at Iowa. After last nights upset, the Buckeyes are now 3-5 in their last eight road games against Purdue.
Given the Buckeyes struggling away record against Purdue, this isn’t the first time the Boilermakers have handed them a big upset. On October 17th, 2009, the 5-1 and No. 7-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes lost at Purdue, 26-18, against the 1-5 Boilermakers. Prior to that matchup, that year the Boilermakers had lost four of their games by just seven points or less.
This season, Purdue started their season 0-3, losing each of those games by four points or fewer to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan and Missouri respectively. While some may see this loss as a shocker, looking at the history between these two programs shows that it may be history repeating itself.
This result also has large impacts on both teams going forward throughout the rest of their seasons. For Purdue, despite their 0-3 start, this is their fourth win in a row and their second against a ranked opponent this season (the other being a 30-13 victory against previously No. 23 Boston College). Next weekend they travel to No. 24 Michigan State, which will be another tough test for the Boilermakers.
For Ohio State, this loss will surely see them fall in the rankings. The only top 10 team to lose this week was the Buckeyes, and with a bye next week this certainly won’t help their case as the first College Football Playoff rankings are set to come out on October 30th. While a spot in the College Football Playoff isn’t out of the picture just yet, the Buckeyes will likely need to win the rest of their games to have a chance. A similar road blowout upset loss to Iowa last year is what cost them a spot in the playoffs, so the fate of their season is certainly up in the air.