Purdue has won or shared a conference championship on 12 occasions, including four Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles and eight Big Ten Conference titles. As members of the Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association and the Big Ten, the Boilermakers have amassed a record of 154–64–3 (.703 winning percentage) in conference play.
Purdue has participated in 17 bowl games throughout its history, compiling a 9–8 record. The Purdue did not appear frequently in post-season play from 1967 to 1984, but they played well, winning 4 of 5 bowl games including four consecutive wins between 1967 and 1980. When Tiller arrived in 1997, Purdue went to eight consecutive bowl games, but only won three of the eight bowl games. Tiller would lead the Boilermakers to a total of 10 bowl games in his 12 seasons as head coach. Of those 17 bowl appearances, the Boilermakers have participated in 1 "major" Division I-A/FBS bowl games, which was part of the BCS Bowl Games. The Boilermakers have never played in a National Championship Game.
Purdue has finished a season ranked in the Associated Press (AP) poll on 17 occasions. The Boilermakers have finished ranked amongst the top 10 in college football on five occasions. Purdue attained its highest-ever ranking in the polls during the preseason of the 1968 season, when they were ranked #1 in the AP Poll for 6 straight weeks before they lost to #4 Ohio State 0-13. Since the implementation of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in 1998, Purdue has finished the regular season ranked one time in the final BCS standings. While the Boilermakers are 54–175–5 against opponents ranked in the AP Poll, they have an all-time record of 111–65–10 when ranked in the AP Poll themselves.
Purdue has knocked off the #1 ranked football team in college football seven times over the years—the third most of all the Division I teams in college football. Only Notre Dame and Oklahoma have accomplished this more times.