Big Ten Conference

Big Ten Conference

Infobox Athletic Conference
name = Big Ten Conference
short_name =
established =1896

logo_size =150
association = NCAA
division = Division I
subdivision = FBS
members = 11
sports = 25
mens = 12
womens = 13
region = Midwestern United States
former_names = Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives Big Nine Western Conference
hq_city = Park Ridge
hq_stateabb = IL
hq_state = Illinois
commissioner = James Delany
since = 1989
website =
color = 001C4A
font_color = FFFFFF

map_size = 250
The Big Ten Conference is the United States' oldest Division I college athletic conference. Its eleven member institutions are located primarily in the Midwestern United States, stretching from Iowa and Minnesota in the west to Pennsylvania in the east. The conference enjoys the prestige of both high athletic achievement and academic excellence. Nine of the eleven conference schools are considered Public Ivies [ [ Greenes' Guides: The Public Ivies] (accessed on September 19, 2007); see also [] .] (Purdue Unversity and the private Northwestern being the only exception). The conference competes in the NCAA's Division I; its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly known as Division I-A), the highest level of NCAA competition in that sport. Member schools of the Big Ten also are members of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a leading educational consortium. Despite the conference's name, since Penn State joined in 1990, there have been 11 schools in the Big Ten, as signified by the hidden "11" in the Big Ten Conference logo (each "1" is on either side of the "T" in "Ten"). The geographic center of the Big Ten is in LaPorte County, Indiana, near Michigan City.


The Big Ten is the only Division I conference to have all of its member institutions affiliated with the Association of American Universities, a prestigious collection of 60 research institutions, and leads all conferences in the total amount of research expenditures.

All or most member schools participate in baseball, men's and women's basketball, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, indoor and outdoor track and field, rowing, men's and women's soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, women's volleyball and wrestling.


Bowl games

Since 1946, the Big Ten champion has had a tie-in with the Rose Bowl game, now a BCS bowl. The Big Ten also has tie-ins with six non-BCS bowls. Picks are made after BCS selections; if two Big Ten teams participate in BCS bowls, the bowl with the #2 pick will have the first pick of the remaining teams in the conference:

*Capital One Bowl: Orlando, Florida (Big Ten #2 pick against SEC #2 pick)
*Outback Bowl: Tampa, Florida (Big Ten #3 pick against SEC #3/4 pick)
*Alamo Bowl: San Antonio, Texas (Big Ten #4/5 pick against Big 12 #4 pick)
*Champs Sports Bowl: Orlando, Florida (Big Ten #4/5 pick against ACC #4 pick)"The Alamo Bowl has the 4th pick in 2007 and 2008, while the Champs Sports Bowl has the 4th pick in 2009."
*Insight Bowl: Tempe, Arizona (Big Ten #6 pick against Big 12 #5 pick)
*Motor City Bowl: Detroit, Michigan (Big Ten #7 pick against MAC)

Michigan appeared in the first bowl game, the 1902 Rose Bowl. 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. It was not until the 1975 season that the Big Ten allowed teams to play in bowl games other than the Rose Bowl. Due to those rules, Big Ten powers such as Michigan and Ohio State have lower numbers of all-time bowl appearances than powerhouse teams from the Big 12 Conference (formerly the Big 8 Conference and Southwest Conference) and Southeastern Conference, which always placed multiple teams in bowl games every year.

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 turnout of the fans for past bowl games.

Men's basketball

The Big Ten has participated in basketball since 1904, and has led the nation in attendance every season since 1978. [cite book
authorlink= NCAA
title = Official 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball Records Book
publisher = NCAA
year = 2006
location = Indianapolis, Indiana
pages = 241
url =
format = PDF
accessdate = 2007-02-03
isbn = 978-1572439092
] It has been a national powerhouse in men's basketball, having multiple championship winners and often sending four or more teams to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Previous NCAA champions include Indiana with five titles, Michigan State with two, and Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio State with one each. [cite web
title = Big Ten Men's Basketball History
publisher = Big Ten Conference
year = 2004
url =
accessdate = 2007-02-03
] Ohio State played in the first NCAA tournament national championship game in 1939, losing to Oregon. Despite this, Jimmy Hull of Ohio State was the first NCAA tournament MVP. The first three tournament MVP's came from the Big Ten (Marv Huffman of Indiana in 1940 and John Katz of Wisconsin in 1941).

Big Ten teams have also experienced success in the postseason NIT. Since 1974, 12 Big Ten teams have made it to the championship game, winning seven championships. NIT champions from the Big Ten include Michigan and Ohio State with two, and Indiana, Minnesota, and Purdue with one each.

Since 1999, the Big Ten has taken part in the ACC - Big Ten Challenge with the Atlantic Coast Conference. The ACC holds an 9-0 record against the Big Ten, and Michigan State is the only Big Ten school with a winning record in the challenge.

NCAA tournament champions, runners-up and locations

"† denotes overtime games. Multiple †'s indicate more than one overtime."

Women's National Invitation Tournament championship games


Big Ten football

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. Some Big Ten rivalries include (with their respective traveling trophy in parentheses):
*Illinois-Northwestern (Sweet Sioux Tomahawk)
*Indiana-Purdue (Old Oaken Bucket)
*Indiana-Michigan State (Old Brass Spittoon)
*Iowa-Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale)
*Iowa-Wisconsin (Heartland Trophy)
*Minnesota-Wisconsin (Slab of Bacon/Paul Bunyan's Axe)
*Michigan-Michigan State (Paul Bunyan Trophy)
*Michigan-Minnesota (Little Brown Jug)
*Illinois-Ohio State (Illibuck)
*Illinois-Purdue (Purdue Cannon)
*Minnesota-Penn State (Governor's Victory Bell)
*Michigan State-Penn State (Land Grant Trophy)
*Michigan-Ohio State (No trophy)
*Penn State-Ohio State (No trophy)
*Penn State-Michigan (No trophy)

Furthermore, the Big Ten football schedule is set up with each team having two permanent rivalries within the conference, with the other eight teams in the conference rotating out of the schedule in pairs for two-year stints. Permanent rivalries are as follows:
*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

The pair of Big Ten teams that conference teams will not play during the 2007 and 2008 seasons are as follows:
*Illinois: Michigan State, Purdue
*Indiana: Michigan, Ohio State
*Iowa: Michigan, Ohio State
*Michigan: Indiana, Iowa
*Michigan State: Illinois, Minnesota
*Minnesota: Michigan State, Penn State
*Northwestern:Penn State, Wisconsin
*Ohio State: Indiana, Iowa
*Penn State: Minnesota, Northwestern
*Purdue: Illinois, Wisconsin
*Wisconsin: Northwestern, Purdue

Big Ten Basketball

Indiana and Purdue have a heated rivalry in college basketball between the two schools with the most Big Ten basketball championships. Michigan and Michigan State have an in-state rivalry. Due to their recent successes and familiarity between their players and coaching staffs, Illinois and Michigan State have developed a basketball rivalry based more on competitive matches and mutual respect, rather than animosity, which could characterize Illinois' rivalry with Indiana. These schools share a rivalry which has intensified at times, most recently due to Eric Gordon's de-committal from Illinois in order to attend and play for Indiana.

Extra-conference rivalries

Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan are among the Big Ten football teams that have rivalries with Notre Dame. After the University of Southern California with 28 wins, the Michigan State Spartans have the winningest record against the Irish, with 27. The Purdue Boilermakers follow with 26.

Penn State had a longstanding rivalry with Pittsburgh of the Big East, but the two schools have not met since 2000. Penn State also had long histories with independent Notre Dame; West Virginia, Syracuse, and Rutgers of the Big East; Maryland and Boston College of the ACC; and Temple, of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Penn State also has strong intrastate rivalries with Patriot League universities Bucknell in men's basketball 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, with the winner getting the Cy-Hawk Trophy. Iowa also holds rivalries in basketball with Drake and Northern Iowa.

Indiana has an out-of conference rivalry with Kentucky, but the rivalry has a much higher profile in basketball than in football.

Illinois has a longstanding basketball rivalry with Missouri, with the two men's teams squaring off annually in the "Braggin' Rights" game in St. Louis. This rivalry has been carried over into football as "The Arch Rivalry" with games played at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis in 2002 and 2003 and four games scheduled from 2007 to 2010. []

Wisconsin has a long-standing, in-state basketball rivalry with Marquette. The series has intensified as of late with both teams having made the Final Four in recent years. The schools also played an annual football game before Marquette abandoned its football program in 1961.

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.

Conference facilities

The Big Ten has the distinction of being the conference with the most stadiums seating over 100,000, at three (Michigan Stadium, Ohio Stadium, and Beaver Stadium). The only other stadium of that size in college football is Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference.

The three stadiums rank third, fourth, and sixth in the list of the largest sports stadiums in the world. (Camp Randall ranks 42nd in the world.)

ee also

*Big Ten Network
*List of Big Ten National Championships
*Central Collegiate Hockey Association
*Committee on Institutional Cooperation
*Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities
*Western Collegiate Hockey Association


External links

* [ Official Site of the Big Ten Conference]
* [ Short History on the Chicago-Michigan Games]
* [ Big Ten football & basketball fan site]
* [ Big Ten football & basketball forums]
* [ 2008 Big Ten Football Composite Schedule]

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