American Football Wiki
Big Ten Conference
(Big Ten)
Big Ten Conference logo
Established 1896
Association NCAA
Division Division I FBS
Members 14
Sports fielded 28 (men's: 14; women's: 14)
  • Midwest
    • East North Central
    • West North Central
  • Northeast
    • Mid-Atlantic
Former names Intercollegiate Conference
of Faculty Representatives
Big Nine
Western Conference
Headquarters Rosemont, Illinois
Commissioner James Delany (since 1989)
Big Ten Conference locations

The Big Ten Conference (B1G), formerly Western Conference and Big Nine Conference, is the oldest Division I collegiate athletic conference in the United States. The conference competes in the NCAA Division I; its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I, the highest level of NCAA competition in that sport. The conference includes the flagship public university in each of 11 states stretching from New Jersey to Nebraska, as well as two additional public land grant schools and a private university.

The Big Ten Conference established itself almost 120 years ago as the premiere collective of academic institutions in the country when, in 1895, Purdue University president James H. Smart and representatives from the University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, and University of Wisconsin gathered at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago to set policies aimed at regulating intercollegiate athletics. In 1905, the conference was officially incorporated as the "Intercollegiate Conference Athletic Association".[1] The conference uses the "B1G" character combination in its branding, noting that it "allows fans to see 'BIG' and '10' in a single word."[2]

Big Ten member institutions are predominantly major flagship research universities that have large financial endowments and are well-regarded academically. Large student enrollment is also a hallmark of Big Ten universities, as 12 of the 14 members feature enrollments of 30,000 or more students. Northwestern University, one of just two full members with a total enrollment of fewer than 30,000 students (the other is the University of Nebraska–Lincoln), is the lone private university among Big Ten membership. Collectively, Big Ten universities educate more than 520,000 total students and have 5.7 million living alumni.[3] Big Ten universities engage in $9.3 billion in funded research each year.[4] Though the Big Ten existed for nearly a century as an assemblage of universities located primarily in the Midwest, the conference now has a geographic footprint which spans from the state of Nebraska in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east.

Despite the conference's name, the Big Ten has grown to fourteen members, with the following universities accepting invitations to join in the years shown: Pennsylvania State University in 1990, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2010, the University of Maryland and Rutgers University in 2014. Johns Hopkins University was invited in 2012 to join the Big Ten as an associate member participating in men's lacrosse only. In 2015, it was also accepted as an associate member in women's lacrosse.

Member schools


Institution Location Founded Joined Type Enrollment Nickname Colors
East Division
Indiana University Bloomington, IN 1820 1899 Public 48,514 Hoosiers Crimson, Cream[5]
University of Maryland College Park, MD 1856 2014 Public 37,631 Terrapins Red, Gold, White, Black[6]
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 1817 1896 Public 43,625 Wolverines Maize & Blue[7]
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 1855 1950 Public 50,085 Spartans Green, White[8]
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 1870 1912 Public 58,322 Buckeyes Scarlet, Gray[9]
Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 1855 1990 Public 45,518 Nittany
Blue & White[10]
Rutgers University–
New Brunswick
New Brunswick–
Piscataway, NJ
1766 2014 Public 40,720 Scarlet
West Division
University of Illinois
at Urbana–Champaign
Urbana and
Champaign, IL
1867 1896 Public 43,603 Fighting Illini Orange, Blue[11]
University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 1847 1899 Public 31,387 Hawkeyes Black, Gold[12]
University of Minnesota Saint Paul, MN 1851 1896 Public 51,147 Golden Gophers Maroon, Gold[13]
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Lincoln, NE 1869 2011 Public 25,260 Cornhuskers Scarlet, Cream[14]
Northwestern University Evanston, IL 1851 1896 Private 21,000 Wildcats Purple[15]
Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 1869 1896 Public 39,464 Boilermakers Old Gold, Black[16]
University of Wisconsin–Madison Madison, WI 1848 1896 Public 43,193 Badgers Badger red, White[17]

Associate member

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Nickname Colors Sport(s) Primary Conference
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 1876 2014 Private Blue Jays Columbia blue, Black
Men's and Women's lacrosse Centennial Conference
NCAA Division III

Former member

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Current Conference
University of Chicago Chicago, IL 1890 1896 1946 Private 5,027 Maroons Maroon, White[18]
University Athletic Association
(NCAA Division III)
  • The University of Chicago was a co-founder of the conference and still maintains affiliation through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.
  • Lake Forest College attended the original 1895 meeting that led to the formation of the conference, but did not join it.

Membership timeline

Johns Hopkins UniversityRutgers UniversityUniversity of MarylandUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnPennsylvania State UniversityMichigan State UniversityOhio State UniversityUniversity of IowaIndiana University BloomingtonUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonPurdue UniversityNorthwestern UniversityUniversity of MinnesotaUniversity of MichiganUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUniversity Athletic AssociationMidwest ConferenceUniversity of Chicago

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Initiated and led by Purdue University president James Henry Smart,[19] the presidents of University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University, Purdue University and Lake Forest College met in Chicago on January 11, 1895 to discuss the regulation and control of intercollegiate athletics. The eligibility of student-athletes was one of the main topics of discussion.[20] The Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives was founded at a second meeting on February 8, 1896.[21] Lake Forest was not at the 1896 meeting that established the conference and was replaced by the University of Michigan. At the time, the organization was more commonly known as the Western Conference, consisting of Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Chicago, and Northwestern.

The first reference to the conference as the Big Nine was in 1899 after Iowa and Indiana had joined. Nebraska first petitioned to join the league in 1900 and again in 1911,[22] but was turned away both times. In April 1907, Michigan was voted out of the conference for failing to adhere to league rules.[23] Ohio State was added to the conference in 1912. The first known references to the conference as the Big Ten were in November 1917 after Michigan rejoined after a nine-year absence.[24][25][26]

The conference was again known as the Big Nine after the University of Chicago decided to de-emphasize varsity athletics just after World War II. Chicago discontinued its football program in 1939[27] and withdrew from the conference in 1946 after struggling to obtain victories in many conference matchups. It was believed that one of several schools, notably Pittsburgh, Nebraska, Michigan State, Marquette, Notre Dame, and Iowa State would replace Chicago at the time.[28] On May 20, 1949,[21] Michigan State ended the speculation by joining and the conference was again known as the Big Ten. The Big Ten's membership would remain unchanged for the next 40 years. The conference’s official name throughout this period remained the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives. It did not formally adopt the name Big Ten until 1987, when it was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation.

1990 expansion: Penn State

File:Big Ten Conference Logo.svg

Big Ten logo (1990–2011). To reflect the addition of the 11th school, Pennsylvania State, the number 11 was disguised in the negative space of the "Big Ten" lettering.

In 1990, the Big Ten universities voted to expand the conference to 11 teams and extended an invitation to Pennsylvania State University, which accepted it.[29] When Penn State joined in 1990, it was decided that the conference would continue to be called the Big Ten, but its logo was modified to reflect the change; the number 11 was disguised in the negative space of the traditionally blue "Big Ten" lettering.

Missouri had shown interest in Big Ten membership after Penn State joined.[30] Around 1993, the league explored adding Kansas, Missouri and Rutgers or other potential schools, to create a 14-team league with two divisions.[31] These talks died when the Big 8 Conference merged with former Southwest Conference members to create the Big 12.

Following the addition of previously independent Penn State, efforts were made to encourage the University of Notre Dame, at that time the last remaining non-service academy independent, to join the league. Early in the 20th century, Notre Dame briefly considered official entry into the Big Ten but chose instead to retain its independent status.[32] However, in 1999, both Notre Dame and the Big Ten entered into private negotiations concerning a possible membership that would include Notre Dame. Although the Notre Dame faculty senate endorsed the idea with a near-unanimous vote, the school's board of trustees decided against joining the conference and Notre Dame ultimately withdrew from negotiations. [1] Notre Dame subsequently joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports except football, in which Notre Dame was permitted to maintain its independent status as long as it played at least five games per season against ACC opponents. The treatment of football was believed to be the major stumbling block to Notre Dame joining the Big Ten, as Notre Dame wished to keep its ability to retain their independent home game broadcasting contract with NBC Sports, while the Big Ten insisted upon a full membership with no special exemptions.

2010–2014 expansion: Nebraska, Maryland, Rutgers

  • Main article: 2010–13 Big Ten Conference realignment

Locations of the Big Ten member institutions

In December 2009, Big Ten Conference commissioner Jim Delany announced that the league was looking to expand in what would later be part of a nationwide trend as part of the 2010–13 NCAA conference realignment.[33] On June 11, 2010, the University of Nebraska applied for membership in the Big Ten and was unanimously approved as the conference's 12th school, which became effective July 1, 2011.[34] The conference retained the name "Big Ten." This led to the interesting result of the Big Ten consisting of twelve teams, and the Big 12 consisting of ten teams.

On September 1, Delany revealed the conference's divisional split and announced the new division names on December 13, 2010: Legends and Leaders. In the Legends division were Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern. The Leaders division was composed of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin. Conference officials stated that they had focused on creating competitive fairness rather than splitting by geographical location.[35] The new "Legends" and "Leaders" names were not met with enthusiasm. Some traditional rivals, including Ohio State and Michigan, were placed in separate divisions.[36] For the football season, each team played the others in its division, one "cross-over" rivalry game, and two rotating cross-divisional games. At the end of the regular season the two division winners met in a new Big Ten Football Championship Game.[37]

On November 19, 2012, the University of Maryland's Board of Regents voted to withdraw from the ACC and join the Big Ten as its 13th member effective on July 1, 2014.[38] The Big Ten's Council of Presidents approved the move later that day.[39] One day later, Rutgers University of the Big East also accepted an offer for membership from the Big Ten as its 14th member school.[40]

On April 28, 2013, the Big Ten presidents and chancellors unanimously approved a divisional realignment that went into effect when Maryland and Rutgers joined in 2014.[41] Under the new plan, the Legends and Leaders divisions were replaced with geographic divisions.[41] The West Division includes Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin (of which all but Purdue are in the Central Time Zone), while the East Division includes Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. The final issue in determining the new divisions was which of the two Indiana schools would be sent to the West; Purdue was chosen because its West Lafayette campus is geographically west of Indiana's home city of Bloomington.[42] In the current divisional alignment, the only protected cross-divisional rivalry game in football is Indiana–Purdue.[41] As before, the two division winners play each other in the Big Ten Football Championship Game.

In 2012, the conference announced it would move its headquarters from its current location in Park Ridge, Illinois to neighboring Rosemont by the end of 2013. The new office building is situated within Rosemont's MB Financial Entertainment District, alongside Interstate 294. The move into the building was finalized on October 14, 2013.[43][44][45]


The office of the commissioner of athletics was created in 1922 "to study athletic problems of the various member universities and assist in enforcing the eligibility rules which govern Big Ten athletics."[20]

Name Years Notes
John L. Griffith 1922–1944 died in office
Kenneth L. "Tug" Wilson 1945–1961 retired
William R. Reed 1961–1971 died in office
Wayne Duke 1971–1989 retired
James Delany 1989–



When Maryland and Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014, the division names were changed to "East" and "West", with Purdue and the six schools in the Central Time Zone in the West and Indiana joining the remaining six Eastern Time Zone schools in the East. The only protected cross-division game is Indiana–Purdue. Beginning in 2016, the Big Ten will adopt a nine-game conference schedule.[42][46] Also starting in 2016, the Big Ten will no longer allow its members to play Football Championship Subdivision teams, and will also require at least one non-conference game against a school in the Power Five conferences (ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC). At the time this policy was first announced, games against FBS independents Notre Dame and BYU would automatically count toward the Power Five requirement.[47] Additionally, Big Ten teams that were already under contract to play teams in the "Group of Five" leagues (American, C-USA, MAC, MW, Sun Belt) will be allowed to honor those contracts. As of 2015, three Big Ten members had American member Cincinnati on their future schedules, one had fellow American member Connecticut on its future schedule; and one had future games scheduled against both. ESPN, citing a Big Ten executive, reported in 2015 that the Big Ten would allow exceptions to the Power Five rule on a case-by-case basis, and also that the other FBS independent, Army, had been added to the list of non-Power Five schools that would automatically be counted as Power Five opponents.[48]

West Division East Division
Purdue* Indiana*
Illinois Maryland
Iowa Michigan
Minnesota Michigan State
Nebraska Ohio State
Northwestern Penn State
Wisconsin Rutgers

* The game between Indiana and Purdue will be the only protected game between the East and West divisions (all other matchups between East and West will occur on a rotating basis).

All-time school records

This list goes through the 2015 season.

# Team Records Pct. Division
Big Ten
Claimed National
1 Michigan 925–331–36 .730 0 42 11
2 Ohio State 875–320–53 .722 3 35 8
3 Nebraska 880–368–40 .700 1 0 5
4 Penn State 856–382–42 .685 0 3 2
5 Michigan State 681–441–44 .603 3 9 6
6 Wisconsin 674–486–53 .577 2 14 0
7 Minnesota 674–504–44 .570 0 18 7
8 Iowa 625–543–39 .534 1 11 1
9 Maryland 623–562–43 .525 0 0 1
10 Purdue 598–546–48 .522 0 8 0
11 Illinois 597–566–51 .513 0 15 5
12 Rutgers 645–629–42 .506 0 0 1
13 Northwestern 513–645–44 .445 0 8 0
14 Indiana 465–638–45 .425 0 2 0

† Numbers of championships shown reflect Big Ten history only and do not include division and conference championships in former conferences. Maryland and Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014. Nebraska, Penn State, and Michigan State joined in 2011, 1990, and 1950, respectively.

Big Ten Conference Champions

  • Main article: List of Big Ten Conference football champions

Big Ten Championship Game

  • Main article: Big Ten Football Championship Game
Season Date Leaders Division Legends Division Site Attendance MVP
2011 December 3, 2011 #15 Wisconsin 42 #11 Michigan State 39 Lucas Oil Stadium 64,152 QB Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
2012 December 1, 2012 Wisconsin 70 #14 Nebraska 31 Lucas Oil Stadium 41,260 RB Montee Ball, Wisconsin
2013 December 7, 2013 #2 Ohio State 24 #10 Michigan State 34 Lucas Oil Stadium 66,002 QB Connor Cook, Michigan State
Season Date West Division East Division Site Attendance MVP
2014 December 6, 2014 #11 Wisconsin 0 #6 Ohio State 59 Lucas Oil Stadium 60,229 QB Cardale Jones, Ohio State
2015 December 5, 2015 #4 Iowa 13 #5 Michigan State 16 Lucas Oil Stadium TBA TBA

Rankings from the AP Poll.

Template:Dagger In 2012 Wisconsin finished third in the Leaders division, but division champion Ohio State and second place Penn State were banned from postseason play due to sanctions.

Bowl games

Since 1946, the Big Ten champion has had a tie-in with the Rose Bowl game. Michigan appeared in the first bowl game, the 1902 Rose Bowl. After that, the Big Ten did not allow their schools to participate in bowl games, until the agreement struck with the Pacific Coast Conference for the 1947 Rose Bowl. From 1946 through 1971, the Big Ten did not allow the same team to represent the conference in consecutive years in the Rose Bowl with an exception made after the 1961 season in which Minnesota played in the 1962 Rose Bowl after playing in the 1961 Rose Bowl due to Ohio State declining the bid because of Ohio State faculty concerns about academics. Due to the Big Ten's "Rose Bowl or bust" policy, the 1972, 1973 and 1974 Michigan squads did not play in bowl games despite posting 10 wins in each season.

It was not until the 1975 season that the Big Ten allowed teams to play in bowl games other than the Rose Bowl. Michigan, which had been shut out of the postseason the previous three years, was the first beneficiary of the new rule when it played in the Orange Bowl vs. Oklahoma. Due to the pre-1975 rules, Big Ten teams such as Michigan and Ohio State have lower numbers of all-time bowl appearances than powerhouse teams from the Big 12 Conference (previously Big Eight and Southwest Conferences) and Southeastern Conference, which always placed multiple teams in bowl games every year.

Starting in the 2014–2015 season, a new slate of bowl game selections will include several new bowl games.[49]

Pick Name Location Opposing Conference Opposing Pick
1 Rose Bowl* Pasadena, California Pac-12 1
2/3/4 or 2 Citrus Bowl or Orange Bowl^ Orlando or Miami Gardens, Florida SEC or ACC 2 or 1
2/3/4 Outback Bowl Tampa, Florida SEC 4/5/6/7
2/3/4 Holiday Bowl


San Diego, California Pac-12 3
5/6/7 Music City Bowl or TaxSlayer Bowl[51] Nashville, TN or Jacksonville, FL SEC 4/5/6/7
5/6/7 Foster Farms Bowl


Santa Clara, California Pac-12 4
5/6/7 Pinstripe Bowl


New York City ACC 3/4/5/6
8/9 Quick Lane Bowl


Detroit, Michigan ACC 7/8/9
8/9 Heart of Dallas Bowl or Armed Forces Bowl[50] Dallas or Fort Worth, TX C–USA

* If the conference champion is picked for the College Football Playoff in years the Rose Bowl does not host a semifinal, the next highest ranked team in the committee rankings, or runner up, shall take its place at the Rose Bowl.

^ The Big Ten, along with the SEC, will be eligible to face the ACC representative in the Orange Bowl at least three out of the eight seasons that it does not host a semifinal for the Playoff over a 12-year span. Notre Dame will be chosen the other two years if eligible.

† The Big Ten and ACC will switch between the Music City and TaxSlayer bowls on alternating years.

‡ The Big Ten and Big 12 will switch between the Heart of Dallas and Armed Forces bowls on alternating years.

Bowl selection procedures

Although the pick order usually corresponds to the conference standings, the bowls are not required to make their choices strictly according to the won-lost records; many factors influence bowl selections, especially the likely turnout of the team's fans. Picks are made after CFP selections; the bowl with the #2 pick will have the first pick of the remaining teams in the conference.

For all non-College Football Playoff partners, the bowl partner will request a Big Ten team. The Big Ten will approve or assign another team based on internal selection parameters.

When not hosting a semifinal, the Capital One Orange Bowl will select the highest-ranked team from the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame to face an ACC opponent. The Big Ten Champion cannot play in the Orange Bowl. If a Big Ten team is not selected by the Orange Bowl, the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl will submit a request for a Big Ten team.

The Outback, Foster Farms and Holiday Bowls will feature at least five different Big Ten schools over the six-year agreement (through 2019 season). The Music City and Taxslayer Bowl will coordinate their selections allowing only one to pick a Big Ten team. The Big Ten will make appearances in three of each bowl games over the term of the agreement (through 2019 season).

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl will feature a minimum of six different Big Ten teams over the eight-year agreement (through 2021 season).

The Quick Lane, Armed Forces and Heart of Dallas Bowls will select a bowl-eligible Big Ten team, subject to conference approval. [55]

Head coach compensation

The total pay of head coaches includes university and non-university compensation. This includes base salary, income from contracts, foundation supplements, bonuses and media and radio pay.[56]

Conference Rank Institution Head Coach 2014 Total Pay[57]
1 Michigan State University Dantonio, MarkMark Dantonio $5,636,145
2 University of Michigan Harbaugh, JimJim Harbaugh $5,000,000
3 Ohio State University Meyer, UrbanUrban Meyer $5,800,000
4 Pennsylvania State University Franklin, JamesJames Franklin $4,300,000
5 University of Iowa Ferentz, KirkKirk Ferentz $4,075,000
6 University of Nebraska–Lincoln Riley, MikeMike Riley $3,077,646
7 Northwestern University Fitzgerald, PatPat Fitzgerald $2,480,967
8 University of Wisconsin–Madison Chryst, PaulPaul Chryst $2,300,000
9 University of Minnesota Kill, JerryJerry Kill $2,100,000
10 Purdue University Hazell, DarrellDarrell Hazell $2,090,000
11 University of Maryland, College Park Edsall, RandyRandy Edsall $2,033,660
12 Indiana University Bloomington Wilson, KevinKevin Wilson $1,301,644
13 Rutgers University–New Brunswick Flood, KyleKyle Flood $987,000
14 University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Cubit, BillBill Cubit (Interim) $915,000

Conference individual honors

  • Main article: Big Ten Conference football individual honors

Coaches and media of the Big Ten Conference award individual honors at the end of each football season.


  • Main article: List of Big Ten Conference football rivalry games

Intra-Conference Football Rivalries

The members of the Big Ten have longstanding rivalries with each other, especially on the football field. Each school has at least one traveling trophy at stake. The following is a list of active rivalries in the Big Ten Conference with totals & records through the completion of the 2013 season.

Teams Rivalry Name Trophy Meetings Record Series leader Current Streak
Illinois Indiana Illinois–Indiana football rivalry 70 45–23–2 Illinois Illinois lost 2
Northwestern Illinois–Northwestern football rivalry Land of Lincoln Trophy 108 55–48–5 Illinois Illinois won 1
Ohio State Illinois–Ohio State football rivalry Illibuck 101 30–67–4 Ohio State Illinois lost 7
Purdue Illinois–Purdue football rivalry Purdue Cannon 90 44–40–6 Illinois Illinois won 2
Indiana Illinois Illinois–Indiana football rivalry 70 23–45–2 Illinois Indiana won 2
Michigan State Indiana–Michigan State football rivalry Old Brass Spittoon 61 14–45–2 Michigan State Indiana lost 6
Purdue Indiana–Purdue rivalry Old Oaken Bucket 117 39–72–6 Purdue Indiana won 2
Iowa Minnesota Iowa–Minnesota football rivalry Floyd of Rosedale 108 44–62–2 Minnesota Iowa lost 1
Wisconsin Iowa–Wisconsin football rivalry Heartland Tophy 89 43–44–2 Wisconsin Iowa won 1
Nebraska Iowa–Nebraska football rivalry Heroes Trophy 45 13–29–3 Nebraska Iowa lost 1
Maryland Penn State Maryland–Penn State football rivalry 38 2–35–1 Penn State Maryland won 1
Michigan Michigan State Michigan–Michigan State football rivalry Paul Bunyan Trophy 107 68-34-5 Michigan Michigan lost 2
Minnesota Michigan–Minnesota football rivalry Little Brown Jug 101 73–25–3 Michigan Michigan lost 1
Ohio State Michigan–Ohio State football rivalry 111 58–47–6 Michigan Michigan lost 3
Michigan State Indiana Indiana–Michigan State football rivalry Old Brass Spittoon 61 45-14–2 Michigan State Michigan State won 6
Michigan Michigan–Michigan State football rivalry Paul Bunyan Trophy 107 68–34–5 Michigan Michigan State won 2
Penn State Michigan State–Penn State football rivalry Land Grant Trophy 29 14–14–1 Tied Michigan State won 2
Minnesota Iowa Iowa–Minnesota football rivalry Floyd of Rosedale 108 62–44–2 Minnesota Minnesota won 1
Michigan Michigan–Minnesota football rivalry Little Brown Jug 101 25–73–3 Michigan Minnesota won 1
Nebraska Minnesota–Nebraska football rivalry $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy 55 31-22-2 Minnesota Minnesota won 2
Penn State Minnesota–Penn State football rivalry Governor's Victory Bell 13 5–8 Penn State Minnesota won 1
Wisconsin Minnesota–Wisconsin football rivalry Paul Bunyan's Axe 125 59–58–8 Minnesota Minnesota lost 12
Nebraska Iowa Iowa–Nebraska football rivalry Heroes Trophy 45 29–13–3 Nebraska Nebraska won 1
Minnesota Minnesota–Nebraska football rivalry $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy 55 31-22-2 Minnesota Nebraska lost 2
Wisconsin Nebraska–Wisconsin football rivalry Freedom Trophy 9 4-5 Wisconsin Nebraska lost 2
Northwestern Illinois Illinois–Northwestern football rivalry Land of Lincoln Trophy 108 48–55–5 Illinois Northwestern lost 1
Ohio State Illinois Illinois–Ohio State football rivalry Illibuck 101 67–30–4 Ohio State Ohio State won 7
Michigan Michigan–Ohio State football rivalry 111 47–58–6 Michigan Ohio State won 3
Penn State Ohio State–Penn State football rivalry 30 17–13 Ohio State Ohio State won 3
Penn State Maryland Maryland–Penn State football rivalry 38 35–2–1 Penn State Penn State lost 1
Michigan State Michigan State–Penn State football rivalry Land Grant Trophy 29 14–14–1 Tied Penn State lost 2
Minnesota Minnesota–Penn State football rivalry Governor's Victory Bell 13 8–5 Penn State Penn State lost 1
Rutgers Rutgers-Penn State football rivalry 25 23–2 Penn State Penn State won 8
Ohio State Ohio State–Penn State football rivalry 30 13–17 Ohio State Penn State lost 3
Purdue Illinois Illinois–Purdue football rivalry Purdue Cannon 90 41–43–6 Illinois Purdue Won 1
Indiana Indiana–Purdue rivalry Old Oaken Bucket 117 72–39–6 Purdue Purdue lost 2
Rutgers Penn State Rutgers-Penn State football rivalry 25 2–23 Penn State Rutgers lost 8
Wisconsin Iowa Iowa–Wisconsin football rivalry Heartland Trophy 89 44–43–2 Wisconsin Wisconsin lost 1
Minnesota Minnesota–Wisconsin football rivalry Paul Bunyan's Axe 125 58–59–8 Minnesota Wisconsin won 12
Nebraska Nebraska–Wisconsin football rivalry Freedom Trophy 9 5-4 Wisconsin Wisconsin won 2

Extra-Conference Football Rivalries

Teams Rivalry Name Trophy Meetings Record Series leader Current Streak
Illinois Missouri Illinois–Missouri football rivalry 24 7–17 Missouri Illinois lost 6
Indiana Kentucky Indiana–Kentucky rivalry 36 18–17–1 Indiana Indiana won 1
Iowa Iowa State Iowa–Iowa State football rivalry Cy-Hawk Trophy 63 41-22 Iowa Iowa won 1
Maryland Navy Maryland–Navy rivalry Crab Bowl Trophy 21 7–14 Navy Maryland won 2
Virginia Maryland–Virginia football rivalry Tydings Trophy 78 44–32–2 Maryland Maryland won 2
West Virginia Maryland–West Virginia football rivalry 51 22–27–2 West Virginia Maryland lost 1
Michigan Notre Dame Michigan–Notre Dame football rivalry 42 24–17–1 Michigan Michigan lost 1
Michigan State Notre Dame Michigan State–Notre Dame football rivalry Megaphone Trophy 77 28–48–1 Notre Dame Michigan State lost 3
Nebraska Missouri Missouri–Nebraska football rivalry Victory Bell 104 65–36–3 Nebraska Nebraska won 2
Penn State Pittsburgh Penn State–Pittsburgh football rivalry 96 50-42-4 Penn State Penn State lost 1
Syracuse Penn State–Syracuse football rivalry 71 41-23-5 Penn State Penn State won 5
Temple Penn State-Temple football rivalry 44 39–4–1 Penn State Penn State lost 1
West Virginia Penn State–West Virginia football rivalry 59 48–9–2 Penn State Penn State won 4
Purdue Notre Dame Notre Dame–Purdue football rivalry Shillelagh Trophy 86 26–58–2 Notre Dame Purdue lost 7


From 1993 through 2010, the Big Ten football schedule was set up with each team having two permanent matches within the conference, with the other eight teams in the conference rotating out of the schedule in pairs for two-year stints. Permanent matches were as follows:Template:Citation needed

  • Illinois: Indiana, Northwestern
  • Indiana: Illinois, Purdue
  • Iowa: Minnesota, Wisconsin
  • Michigan: Michigan State, Ohio State
  • Michigan State: Michigan, Penn State
  • Minnesota: Iowa, Wisconsin
  • Northwestern: Illinois, Purdue
  • Ohio State: Michigan, Penn State
  • Penn State: Michigan State, Ohio State
  • Purdue: Indiana, Northwestern
  • Wisconsin: Iowa, Minnesota

This system was discontinued after the 2010 season, as teams became grouped into two divisions, and would play all teams in their division once, with one protected cross-over game, and two games rotating against the other five opponents from the opposing division.

Most of the above permanent rivalries were maintained. By virtue of the new alignment, a handful of new permanent divisional opponents were created, as all pairs of teams within the same division would face off each season. Furthermore, three new permanent inter-divisional matches resulted from the realignment: Purdue-Iowa, Michigan State-Indiana, and Penn State-Nebraska. The following past permanent matches were maintained across divisions: Minnesota-Wisconsin, Michigan-Ohio State, and Illinois-Northwestern.

The new alignment, however, caused some of the above permanent rivalries to be discontinued. These were: Iowa-Wisconsin, Northwestern-Purdue, and Michigan State-Penn State. These matchups would continue to be played, but only twice every five years on average. More rivalries were disrupted, and some resumed on a yearly basis, when the league realigned into East and West Divisions for the 2014 season with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers. The two new schools were placed in the new East Division with Penn State, and the two Indiana schools were divided (Indiana to the East and Purdue to the West). With the move to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016, all cross-division games will be held at least once in a four-year cycle except for Indiana–Purdue, which is the only protected cross-division game.[41] The conference later announced that once the new scheduling format takes effect in 2016, members will be prohibited from playing FCS teams, and required to play at least one non-conference game against a team in the Power Five conferences (ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC; presumably, this would also allow for non-conference games against Big Ten opponents that are not on the conference schedule). Games against independents Notre Dame (an ACC member in non-football sports) and BYU will also count toward the Power Five requirement.[47]

Extra-conference rivalries

Three Big Ten teams—Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan—had rivalries in football with Notre Dame. After the University of Southern California with 35 wins (including a vacated 2005 win), the Michigan State Spartans have the most wins against the Irish, with 28. The Purdue Boilermakers follow with 26, and Michigan ranks fourth all-time with 24.

Penn State has a longstanding rivalry with Pittsburgh of the ACC, but the two schools have not met since 2000. However, the Penn State-Pittsburgh rivalry will be renewed with an alternating home-and-home series from 2016 to 2019. Penn State also has long histories with independent Notre Dame; Temple of The American; Syracuse, and Boston College of the ACC; and West Virginia, of the Big 12 Conference. Additionally, Penn State maintains strong intrastate rivalries with Patriot League universities Bucknell in men's basketball and men's lacrosse, and Lehigh in wrestling. Most of these rivalries were cultivated while Penn State operated independent of conference affiliation; the constraints of playing a full conference schedule, especially in football, have reduced the number of meetings between Penn State and its non-Big Ten rivals.

Iowa has an in-state rivalry with Iowa State of the Big 12, with the winner getting the Cy-Hawk Trophy in football. Iowa and Iowa State also compete annually in the Cy-Hawk Series sponsored by Hy-Vee (as of 2011 this series is now sponsored by The Iowa Corngrowers Association), the competition includes all head-to-head regular season competitions in all sports.

Indiana has an out-of conference rivalry with Kentucky of the SEC (see Indiana–Kentucky rivalry). While the two schools played in football for many years, the rivalry was rooted in their decades of national success in men's basketball. The two no longer play one another in football, but their basketball rivalry continued until a dispute about game sites ended the series after 2011. In the last season of the rivalry (2011–12), the teams played twice. During the regular season, then-unranked Indiana defeated then-#1 ranked Kentucky 73–72 at Assembly Hall. The Wildcats avenged the loss in the NCAA tournament, defeating Indiana 102–90 in the South Regional final in Atlanta on their way to a national title.

In the early days of the Big Ten, the Chicago-Michigan game was played on Thanksgiving, usually with conference championship implications and was considered one of the first major rivalries of the conference.

Also in the early days of the conference, and at Knute Rockne's insistence, Northwestern and Notre Dame had a yearly contest, with the winner taking home a shillelagh, much like the winner of the USC-Notre Dame and Purdue-Notre Dame contests now receive. The Northwestern-Notre Dame shillelagh was largely forgotten by the early 1960s and is now solely an element of college football's storied past.[59]


The Big Ten is second to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in football stadiums that seat over 100,000, with the Big Ten having three to the SEC's four. The Big Ten's 100,000-seat stadiums are Beaver Stadium, Michigan Stadium, and Ohio Stadium. Only five other college football stadium have such a capacity: Texas A&M's Kyle Field, Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee, Bryant-Denny Stadium of the University of Alabama and LSU's Tiger Stadium in the SEC, and Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium at the University of Texas at Austin in the Big 12 Conference. The three stadiums are three of the four largest football stadiums in the United States, as well as the third, fourth, and seventh largest sports stadiums in the world.

Football facilities

School Football stadium Capacity
Illinois Memorial Stadium 60,670
Indiana Memorial Stadium 52,929
Iowa Kinnick Stadium 70,585
Maryland Byrd Stadium 51,802
Michigan Michigan Stadium 107,601
Michigan State Spartan Stadium 75,005
Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium 52,525
Nebraska Memorial Stadium, Lincoln 87,000
Northwestern Ryan Field 47,330
Ohio State Ohio Stadium 104,944
Penn State Beaver Stadium 106,572
Purdue Ross-Ade Stadium 57,236
Rutgers High Point Solutions Stadium 52,454
Wisconsin Camp Randall Stadium 80,321


As of 2010, the Big Ten has carriage agreements with the following broadcast and cable networks.[60]

Broadcast television

  • ESPN on ABC broadcasts football games within the conference, primarily in the 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT slot on Saturdays, but occasionally at noon and during Saturday Night Football.
  • CBS Sports carries select men's basketball games on weekends, including the semifinals and championship game of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.
  • Fox Sports carries the Big Ten football championship from the 2011 through 2016 seasons.

Cable television

  • Big Ten Network was created in 2006 through a joint partnership between the Big Ten and News Corporation and debuted the following year, replacing the ESPN Plus package previously offered to Big Ten markets via syndication. Based in downtown Chicago, the network's lineup consists exclusively of Big Ten-related programming, such as a nightly highlights show, in addition to live events.[61]
  • ESPN Inc.-Big Ten football, basketball and volleyball air on ESPN and ESPN2, and sometimes on ESPNU and ESPN Classic. The conference's contract with ABC/ESPN also allows for the transmission of events through ESPN Mobile,, and On Demand platforms.

See also

  • List of Big Ten National Championships
  • Big Ten Universities


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External links

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