Something's brewing in West Lafayette

Updated: October 13, 2004, 1:16 PM ET
By Beano Cook | ESPN Insider
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    You have to root for Purdue.

    Purdue is in a position of hitting the lottery right now. All it needs is the right Powerball number to collect everything.

    When most people think of Purdue, they don't think of football.

    They might think of Perdue chicken or Will Perdue but not football.

    Maybe they think of the Golden Girl.

    In name recognition, Purdue ranks no higher than third in its own state of Indiana, behind Notre Dame (of course) and the Indiana Hoosiers, although few outside the state probably realize the Boilermakers have won more Big Ten basketball titles than IU.

    And please explain why is there a West Lafayette. Is Lafayette that big?

    Then there's the name of the stadium -- Ross-Ade Stadium. It sounds more like an appetizer for an expensive meal in Paris (is there any other kind?).

    Joe Tiller
    Tiller
    Suddenly, and refreshingly, all of that is changing: The identity crisis is over, and it's because of Joe Tiller, who is emerging as one of the top coaches in the country.

    This year, the Boilermakers are 5-0 and have become a strong contender to win the Big Ten title and maybe even the national title.


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    Beano Cook

    College Football
    Carroll H. "Beano" Cook joined ESPN in March 1986 and served as a college football studio commentator and occasional sideline reporter, in addition to offering college football commentary on ESPN Radio. He died in October 2012.