We’re a week away from Auburn’s date with Purdue in the Music City Bowl, and since the two teams have never met on the gridiron, it’s time that you learn something about them ahead of our first date.
First of all, they’re younger than we are — founded in 1869 — but they’ve got a lot of similarities. We’re going to get along great when we sit down to dinner, and there should be some common interests to spark the conversation!
Engineering bros? Yep, College of Engineering founded in 1876.
Farming bros?? Yep, College of Agriculture founded in 1869... it was the first thing that Purdue did!
LAND-GRANT BROS??? Yessir. Purdue took advantage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act to get the space for their school.
So, who actually founded the school? Where does a name like Purdue come from?
This handsome and spiritous fellow, of course. That’s John Purdue, akin to Jimbo Auburn, who gave his name for our school (not true). He looks like a really fun guy, and he’s actually buried on campus, so that’s neat.
But who else is a Purduean? There are a lot.
They do like to think that they’re better than we are at the whole astronaut thing, and they might be right... Neil Armstrong and Gus Grissom both went there, but we know that while Neil walked on the moon, it was our Ken Mattingly that saved Apollo 13 from sure disaster. Neil was comforting the wives instead of helping out.
However, I will concede one victory for the Boilermakers. While Auburn’s a great ag school, and our poultry sciences division is very good, Purdue can boast Robert C. Baker as a graduate. You know what he did? He INVENTED the chicken nugget. We’d have to bring out Toni Tenille to compare to something that legendary from one of our own grads.
And while they do have some great people in the engineering fields, they can also boast pretty big names in the entertainment field. There aren’t a ton of heavy-hitters, but one guy stands out.
Other names include Herman Cain, who ran for president that time... and the former Prime Minister of Egypt? Essam Sharaf got a degree from Purdue in 1984. Okay.
As we get into the sports side, you may know Cuonzo Martin, who coaches at Missouri. He played basketball at Purdue in the early 1990s.
Oh, and this guy played way back when...
AND EVERYONE’S FAVORITE SEC ON CBS COLOR COMMENTATOR WENT THERE TOO, HOW COULD WE FORGET??
There you have it. A few factoids about Purdue, who we’ll be seeing on the gridiron exactly a week from now! If this hasn’t been fascinating and educational, then too bad. War Eagle!