Morgan Burke doesn't believe in soft football schedules.
Purdue's athletic director has never shied away from strong competition. When it became apparent that the traditional football rivalry between the Boilers and Notre Dame would require a break, Morgan didn't seek patsies.
Instead, the Irish will be replaced with traditional bowl participants Virginia Tech and Missouri.
"This is going to give Purdue an opportunity to bring some people into Ross-Ade Stadium we haven't been able to do," Burke told GoldandBlack.com, a Purdue sports publication. "You're going to continue to see a BCS-type conference (opponent) in here, and you're going to see an extra Big Ten game, both of which are something our fan base said they'd like to see -- a schedule that has more strength to it. That's what we're trying to create."
First, though, Purdue has a 2014 game with Notre Dame at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium. The Sept. 13 contest, which will the Irish's home game, will be televised by NBC. Purdue will have access to 10,000 seats -- twice the normal visiting school allotment.
“We are excited to bring this great instate rivalry game to Indianapolis next season,” Burke said in a university release. “Both schools have great fan and alumni bases there, so it will make for an entertaining evening of college football.”
Purdue and Notre Dame last played in Indianapolis in 1984 for the dedication of the Hoosier Dome. The Boilers upset the No. 8 Irish 23-21.
After next year, the teams won't play again until 2020 at Purdue. They'll also play in 2021, 2024, 2025 and 2026.
The teams have played every year since 1946. But the combination of the Big Ten's move from an eight- to a nine-game conference schedule, and Notre Dame's joining the ACC, made continuing the series a problem, Burke said.
“(Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick) and I tried everything we could to keep the series going without interruption,” Burke said. “But, it just didn't work out. The series is important to both schools, and we are pleased that we are able to extend it through 2026.”
To make up for the loss of such a marquee non-conference game, Burke set up a home-and-home series with Virginia Tech -- 2015 at Ross-Ade Stadium, 2023 at Virginia Tech. The teams have never met before.
Virginia Tech has become a bowl regular under coach Frank Beamer, who is 224-108-2 in 27 seasons, including 9-11 in bowls. The Hokies (8-4) will play No. 17 UCLA (9-3) in the Sun Bowl.
Also, a previously schedule 2017 home game against Eastern Kentucky has been moved to 2016. A previously scheduled 2016 home game with Cincinnati has been moved to 2017.
Finally, Purdue and Missouri are wrapping up a home-and-home series for 2017 and 2018. The No. 9 Tigers (11-2) have made a successful transition from the Big 12 to the SEC. They will play No. 13 Oklahoma State (10-2) in the Cotton Bowl.
The Boilers and coach Darrell Hazell have plenty of work to do to get ready for those schedules. They went 1-11 in Hazell's Purdue debut season. Burke has made it clear that he expects the Boilers to contend for Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl appearances.