The History of the Big Ten Football Conference

The Illini swept the conference in 2001 — outscoring Penn State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin by 5, 12 points, 7 points, respectively..This past season saw the Illini score a combined 312 points, just shy of the 337 total points scored in 2014, but gave up 473 points which proved decisive in its ultimate 4–8 performance..However, the Wolverine’s stumbling against Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan State at times has slowed the team’s climb back to the top.In 2015, №7 ranked Michigan State went head-to-head with fellow in-state rival №12 ranked Michigan in Ann Arbor for one of the strangest endings of the season..Despite a similar upset by Nebraska in the following game, the Spartan’s ELO rating reached 1810 points after winning the Big Ten Championship over Iowa before Alabama shut them out in the playoff.Similar to Indiana, Minnesota has not seen a conference title since the 1967 season, or even a National Title since the 1960 season..The 2017 Northwestern team accomplished an FBS record winning three consecutive games in overtime, and this season has scored a combined 308 points while allowing 305 points.In the last 25 years, Ohio State may not have won a conference championship or a National Title every year, but the Buckeyes continually post strong performances relative to the average team..Despite these setbacks, Ohio State has not been outscored combined by opponents.When questioned about losing to Ohio State this season, Head Coach James Franklin admitted that Penn State was “not an elite program yet.” Even before Joe Paterno was fired in 2011 in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, Penn State reached a peak in 2008 and began to slide in ELO ratings leading to 2011..Penn State achieved a record ELO rating of 1820 points in 1994 — the team that Nebraska edged out to become national champions..Franklin has turned the Nittany Lions around with a 2016 Big Ten Championship and increasing the team’s ELO rating to the mid-to-lower 1700s.After winning nine games between 2013 and 2016, Jeff Brohm’s rebuilding of Purdue has posted the programs first winning season in 2016 since 2017, and the Boilermaker’s first win over a top 5 team in 2018 for the first time since 1984 (ironically, both times were against Ohio State)..But the 2017 team set a record with an ELO rating of 1841 points, scoring a combined 473 points and allowing a combined 173 points.. More details

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