This is THE Big 10 on GridironHistory!
On January 11, 1895, 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 to discuss the regulation and control of intercollegiate athletics. The eligibility of student-athletes was one of the main topics of discussion. The Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives was founded at a second meeting on February 8, 1896. 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, but was turned away both times. In January 1908, Michigan was voted out of the conference for failing to adhere to league rules. Ohio State was added to the conference in 1912. The first reference to the conference as the Big Ten was in November 1917 after Michigan rejoined following a nine-year absence.
Big Ten logo (1990-2011). To reflect the addition of the 11th school, Penn State, the number 11 was disguised in the negative space of the "Big Ten" lettering.
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 and withdrew from the conference in 1946 after struggling to gain 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. On May 20, 1949, 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. In 1990, the Big Ten universities voted to expand the conference to 11 teams, and extended an invitation to Penn State, which accepted it. 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 is disguised in the negative space of the traditionally blue "Big Ten" lettering.
Missouri had shown interest in Big Ten membership after Penn State joined. Around 1993, the league explored adding Kansas, Missouri, and Rutgers, or other potential schools, to create a 14-team league with two divisions. These talks died when the Big 8 Conference merged with former Southwest Conference members to create the Big 12.
Locations of the Big Ten member institutions
Following the addition of previously independent Penn State, efforts were made to encourage the University of Notre Dame, 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 to maintain its independence instead. 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 ND board of trustees decided against joining the conference and Notre Dame ultimately withdrew from negotiations.
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 2010-12 NCAA conference realignment. 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. The conference retained the name "Big Ten".
On September 1, Delany revealed the conference's divisional split and announced the new division names on December 13, 2010: Legends and Leaders. The new "Legends" and "Leaders" names were not met with enthusiasm. Some traditional rivals, including Northwestern and Illinois, were placed in separate divisions. For the football season, each team plays the others in its division, one "cross-over" game, and two rotating cross-divisional games.
Standings for the 2021 and 2020 seasons
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All records are ON FIELD records, including Bowl Games, Classics, Forfeits, Playoffs and/or Vacated games.
Inaugural Game is based on dates. If the indicated "Inaugural Game" is incorrect, it's because the date for that game is not set (as in we do not have this information).
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Past and Present Big 10 History