For the ten coaches that played Purdue during their first season, the game against the Boilermakers has surprisingly been a good indicator of a coach's future success, as the four coaches that won by 17 or more all went on to win National Championships. Leahy didn't play Purdue in his first season, although he did beat Purdue 49-6 in 1946 after his two year hiatus as coach. Even Elmer Layden (.770 record at ND) won by a double digit margin.
Certainly one game doesn't serve as a (cough) referendum on any coach, and the Purdue teams of days gone by were not as talented as the teams of today, but it was interesting to see the correlation between this game and a coach's future success.
First Year Games vs. Purdue
|Result||Score||Location|| Purdue's |
|1986||* Lou Holtz||.765 ||W||41-9||Home||3-8|
|1918||* Knute Rockne||.881 ||W||26-6||Away||3-3|
|1964||* Ara Parseghian||.836 ||W||34-15||Home||6-3|
|1975||* Dan Devine||.764 ||W||17-0||Away||4-7|
|1934||Elmer Layden||.770 ||W||18-7||Home||5-3|
|2002||Ty Willingham||.583 ||W||24-17||Home||7-6|
|1981||Gerry Faust||.535 ||L||14-15||Away||5-6|
|1997||Bob Davie||.583 ||L||17-28||Away||9-3|
|1954||Terry Brennan||.640 ||L||14-27||Home||5-3-1|
|1959||Joe Kuharich||.425 ||L||7-28||Away||5-2-2|
* won a National Championship