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Our Most Hated Rival: A History of Iowa Being Better Than Purdue

Iowa is better than Purdue. And we have the history to prove it.


Hammer & Rails, the loathsome weblog dedicated to serving as the internet propaganda mouthpiece for Our Most Hated Rival, Purdue University, published a post today purportedly chronicling the respective histories of Iowa and Purdue.  As one might expect from such an odious source of information, truth was in scant supply and facts were practically non-existent.  In short, it was riddled with dastardly lies, scurrilous half-truths, and fiendish misinformation.  Of course, we would expect nothing less from the band of reprobates and charlatans that contribute material to that wretched hive of scum and villainy.  Fortunately, Black Heart Gold Pants is here to set the record straight.

1847: The University of Iowa is founded, less than two months after Iowa is granted statehood.  Purdue University is not founded until 1869, some 53 years after Indiana was granted statehood and 49 years after Indiana University was founded.

1855: Iowa becomes the first public university in the United States to admit men and women on an equal basis.  20 years later, Purdue gets around to admitting men and women on an equal basis.

1865: The University of Iowa College of Law is founded, the oldest law school in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River.  Purdue University remains -4 years old and never does bother to establish a law school.

1873: The University of Iowa College of Law becomes the first institution to grant a law degree to a woman (Mary B. Hickey Wilkinson).  Purdue continues to have no law school.

1876: Emerson White is named president of Purdue University; one of White's most infamous proposals was to ban fraternities from Purdue.  White's plan was foiled, but the long and storied tradition of West Lafayette as a fun-hating hellhole was established.  Meanwhile, 140 years later, the University of Iowa was voted the #1 Party School in the country, formally recognizing its long-standing tradition of general awesomeness.

1879: The University of Iowa College of Law becomes the first institution to grant a law degree to an African American (G. Alexander Clark). Purdue still has no law school.

1895: Frank Holbrook becomes the first African American to compete on a varsity athletic team at the University of Iowa (football) and is believed to be one of the nation's first black college athletes.  Purdue finally desegregates its sports teams in 1947.

1900: Iowa wins a share of the Big Ten Championship -- in their first year in the Big Ten.  Purdue has to wait until 1918 for their first Big Ten Championship, a "championship" they won by going... 1-0.

1910: Iowa wins the first-ever meeting between Iowa and Purdue, 16-0.  Purdue has to wait until 1915 to record its first win over Iowa.

1912: After losing their first two games against Iowa by a combined score of 27-0, Purdue takes a break from the rivalry.  It does not resume until 1915.

1921: Iowa wins its first solo Big Ten Championship.  Purdue doesn't claim a solo Big Ten Championship until 1929.

1924: After losing four games in a row to Iowa (by a combined score of 100-12), Purdue again takes a break from the rivalry.  It does not resume until 1929.

1939: Nile Kinnick wins Iowa's first (and only) Heisman Trophy.  No Purdue player has ever won the Heisman Trophy.

1957: Iowa makes their first appearance in the Rose Bowl after claiming a Big Ten Championship.  Purdue is so dismayed that they refuse to play Iowa the following season, ending 28 consecutive years of games between Iowa and Purdue.

1958: Iowa is recognized as National Champions by Football Writers Association of America.  Purdue is still waiting for its first officially-recognized national championship in football.

1967: Purdue makes their first appearance in the Rose Bowl after claiming a Big Ten Championship finishing second to Michigan State and being awarded the Rose Bowl spot because Michigan State had gone to the Rose Bowl in 1966 and Big Ten rules at the time prevented a team from going to the Rose Bowl in back-to-back years.  Hooray for technicalities!

1969: Purdue finally gets around to establishing an official seal, which depicts a griffin, a fictional creature.  Reports suggest it narrowly beat out a unicorn and a hippogriff in the final vote.  The official seal of the University of Iowa was established decades earlier and features a bald eagle, a creature that is 1) real, and 2) badass.

1972: Apollo 17 becomes the final manned lunar landing mission.  NASA officials report that future moon landings have been canceled because "too many assholes from Purdue have already been there."  Meanwhile, the film adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five, one of the enduring science fiction stories of the 20th century, is released.  Kurt Vonnegut, of course, wrote Slaughterhouse-Five while serving as an instructor with the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

1979: With their program mired in the doldrums, Iowa hires Hayden Fry, a mustachioed offensive innovator from cowboy territory (Texas).  He leads Iowa to three Big Ten Championships and a 12-5-1 record against Purdue.

1994: Iowa and Purdue tie, 21-21.  Two years later, college football enacts overtime rules to prevent the two hated rivals from ever being tied again. Having found the tie so distasteful, Purdue refuses to play Iowa for two years, ending 36 consecutive years of games between Iowa and Purdue.

1997: With their program mired in the doldrums, Purdue hires Joe Tiller, a mustachioed offensive innovator from cowboy territory (Wyoming).  WONDER WHERE THEY GOT THAT IDEA FROM.

2000: Purdue claims their eighth Big Ten Championship and second trip to the Rose Bowl thanks to a three-way clusterfuck at the top of the league.  It is not coincidence that this happens in a year without Iowa on their schedule.

2002: Iowa goes 8-0 in the Big Ten for the first time in the program's history.  Purdue has never gone 8-0 in the Big Ten.  Also, this game happened.

2004: Iowa beats Florida 37-17 in the Outback Bowl, recording the 10th bowl win in the program's history.  Purdue is still waiting to record its 10th bowl victory.

2008: UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) designates Iowa City as a City of Literature, one of just three in the world at the time.  West Lafayette continues to consider Reader's Digest the pinnacle of literary achievement.

2010: Iowa beats Georgia Tech, 24-14, in the Orange Bowl.  Purdue has neither won nor even played in an Orange Bowl.

2011: Nebraska becomes the 12th member of the Big Ten, leading to the creation of the Legends and Leaders divisions (rumors persist that the names were submitted by a Purdue alumnus) and cross-divisional rivals.  Iowa and Purdue are aligned as cross-divisional rivals by Jim Delany, formally recognizing the decades-long cold war that has festered between the two schools as an official rivalry.  BHGP marks the first game against Purdue as an officially-recognized rival by embarking on a road trip to West Lafayette.  The proprietors of Black Heart Gold Pants and Hammer & Rails engage in an uneasy détente over chili.

2014: Maryland and Rutgers become the 13th and 14th members of the Big Ten, leading to divisional realignment along the East/West axis.  The state of Indiana proves a tricky stumbling block in this new realignment, forcing wise Commissioner Delany to embrace the lesson of his forbear, King Solomon, and split the baby state in two, with Indiana staying with the Eastern teams and Purdue being sent with the Western teams.  Big Ten insiders whisper that Purdue was sent West to maintain the Iowa-Purdue rivalry as an annual outlet for grievances, lest the Big Ten be consumed in a fiery apocalypse as Iowa and Purdue forces engage in a full-scale conflict.