The large 10 is the oldest football conference in the United says — anchored by original teams Purdue, Wisconsin, Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern and also Illinois in 1895. The team later added Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State, and also Iowa, and saw the leave of Chicago by 1946. However, it was no for practically 40 years till the large Ten flourished with the enhancement of pen State.

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Between 2011 and also 2014, the conference prospered to fourteen groups with the enhancement of Nebraska in 2011, and also Rutgers and Maryland in 2014, make the large Ten the second-largest conference in between the Atlantic shore Conference.


I calculated the ELO ratings of each college football team due to the fact that 1869 and also decided to focus my analysis of each institution on the critical twenty-five years offered how much the sports has advanced as time went on. An average ELO rating is 1500 points and the scores regress back to 1500 through one-third come account because that staffing changes and roster adjustments. The dashboard analyzing team rankings have the right to be found here.


In 2001, the Illinois “Fighting Illini” surprised the conference by posting one of its most energetic performances in the critical 25 years and winning the huge Ten outright. Head Coach pole Turner joined the team in 1997, however until 2001 Illinois had compiled a 16–29 record and one key game. The Illini brushed up the conference in 2001 — outscoring pen State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin by 5, 12 points, 7 points, respectively. Illinois peaked towards the conclusion of the season through an ELO rating of 1708 points before falling to LSU in the sugar Bowl.

Since then, the team has actually struggled come repeat the success of its title-winning season and also has operated through three coaches while searching for a way back come the top. This past season witnessed the Illini score a combined 312 points, just shy of the 337 total points scored in 2014, yet gave up 473 point out which verified decisive in its can be fried 4–8 performance. Present HC Lovie Smith started calling the defensive calls after Hardy Nickerson, the previous protective coordinator, resigned mid-season and also has not mentioned any new candidates because that the duty yet. A stronger defense will be an essential and part of the setup for the Fighting Illini to come to be competitive in the huge Ten again.


Where Illinois has yet to win a conference location in 17 years, basketball-crazed Indiana’s dryness is even much more extensive. The last Hoosier football team to victory at least a re-superstructure of the title remained in 1967 once the team finished 9–2 and also ranked fourth in the nation. In the last 25 years, Indiana has frequently fallen listed below average and has yet to win its height of 1615 ELO rating points in ~ the beginning of the 1994 season. The team has actually been invited to four bowl games however has lost each one.


In 1998, long-time coach Hayden fried food retired ~ Iowa perfect 3–8 — its second-worst record in the last twenty-five years. Although plenty of in Iowa wanted Bob Stoops, previous Offensive Coordinator Kirk Ferentz returned to Iowa City and also rebuilt the regime from the ground up.

Three years into his tenure, Ferentz led the Hawkeyes to its highest ELO rating that 1741 points and a conference title, then led the team into another championship title in 2004. The program has actually ebbed and also flowed through a 4–8 record in 2012 and also 7–6 in 2014, however the Hawkeyes expect to finish 9–5 as soon as they satisfy Mississippi State later on this month.


Sometimes relocating conferences does no mean instant success for sports teams. In 2012, Maryland’s board of Regents voted to retract from the ACC and also relocate to the huge Ten — a move that was approved and went into result in 2014. Prior to the move, Maryland to be competitive in the ACC through a document ELO rating that 1733 points and also a 10–3 document in 2003 and also posted decent seasons in the year afterward. Due to the fact that the huge Ten, Maryland has had actually one winning season in ~ 7–6 and also been 0–2 in key games.

For every one of Michigan’s stumbling in the last ten years under affluent Rodriguez and Brady Hoke, the Wolverine’s show up to be choose up rate under Jim Harbaugh, former alumni, and quarterback, who took the reins that the program in 2015. Michigan dominated in the big Ten throughout the 90s and reached its highest possible ELO rating in the last 25 five years v an undefeated season in 1997 at 1826 clues under Lloyd Carr. Under Harbaugh, Michigan has actually improved and has commonly reached the mid-to-high 1700s in rating points. However, the Wolverine’s stumbling versus Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan State in ~ times has actually slowed the team climb ago to the top.

In 2015, №7 ranked Michigan State go head-to-head with other in-state competitor №12 ranked Michigan in Ann Arbor for among the strangest endings of the season. Late in the 4th quarter together time was running out, Michigan, top 23–21 needed to punt the sphere to seal the game. However, a mishandled snap permitted the Spartans to seize the ball and also run a 38-yard touchdown to success 27–23. 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 come Indiana, Minnesota has actually not watched a conference title because the 1967 season, or also a national Title since the 1960 season. In contemporary times, Minnesota’s ELO rating peaked in ~ 1675 points at the beginning of the 2004 season and has not won 10 games in a season because 2003. The 2018 season significant a change in momentum for the Gophers through a dominant win over the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison, marking the very first time because 2003 that Minnesota won such a game. The model forecasted Wisconsin a 6 in 7 favorite this year, yet Minnesota played a stronger game, rebounding its ELO rating in the process.

In twenty-five years, Nebraska has won three national Titles and also four Conference titles in the large 8 and huge 12. A 38 point win over Florida in the 1995 nationwide Championship put the Huskers over 1900 ELO rating points and its strongest document yet. Since then, the Huskers have actually gone through five coaches and only one, Tom Osborne, retirement in his very own right from the regime at the finish of 1997. The other 4 coaches to be fired either as a an outcome of shedding seasons or dramatic losses.

The result of turnover and also losing seasons have seen Nebraska’s ELO fall over time, and it got to its lowest allude in twenty-five year under existing coach Scott Frost. Frost go 0–6 mid-season before ending 4–8 and earlier to wherein the Huskers finished as soon as Riley was fired in 2017.

Head Coach Gary Barnett achieved something in 1995 and 1996 the Northwestern had actually never excellent — insurance claim a conference title every year and also win nine and also ten gamings in ’95 and also ’96, respectively, a very first for the school. The result sent the Wildcats’ ELO rating to 1688 point out and solid national rankings. After Barnett resigned come coach Colorado, Northwestern’s climb earlier to the top has been slow. The 2017 Northwestern team accomplished an FBS record winning three consecutive gamings in overtime, and also this season has actually scored a linked 308 points while allowing 305 points.

In the last 25 years, Ohio State might not have actually won a conference championship or a nationwide Title every year, however the Buckeyes continuous post solid performances relative to the mean team. The 2014 Buckeyes, the many recent nationwide Championship team, scored a linked 672 points to 330 scored by your opponents and also reached one ELO the 1886 points. As soon as Ohio State walk lose, it’s regularly in a destructive blow that sends their ELO rating down such together a shutout come Clemson in the 2016 playoff, a 31 point loss come Iowa in 2017 and also a 29 suggest loss to Purdue in 2018. In spite of these setbacks, Ohio State has not to be outscored an unified by opponents.

When questioned around losing come Ohio State this season, Head Coach James Franklin admitted that penn State was “not an elite regime yet.” Even before Joe Paterno was fired in 2011 in the wake up of the Sandusky scandal, penn State got to a optimal in 2008 and also began to on slide in ELO ratings causing 2011. Penn State completed a document ELO rating that 1820 points in 1994 — the team that Nebraska edged the end to come to be national champions. Franklin has turned the Nittany Lions approximately with a 2016 huge Ten Championship and increasing the team’s ELO rating come the mid-to-lower 1700s.

After winning nine games between 2013 and also 2016, Jeff Brohm’s rebuilding that Purdue has actually posted the programs an initial winning season in 2016 due to the fact that 2017, and the Boilermaker’s an initial win end a peak 5 team in 2018 for the very first time due to the fact that 1984 (ironically, both time were against Ohio State). The an outcome put the Boilermakers end 1600 ELO rating points — a very first since 2007. Purdue is no at the level the the 2003 and also 2004 teams that peaked at 1700 points, or the 2000 season that caused a re-superstructure of the big Ten title, yet it is a comprehensive turnaround that put a spotlight on Brohm. Time will certainly tell whether these improvements stand in the future.

As Rutgers walk head-to-head through Kansas this season, fans took to Twitter come joke about both teams fighting to avoid being the worst the the worst. Never mind that Kansas defeated the Scarlet Knights in a landslide — Rutgers’ 1–11 season provides it daunting to remember the over the last 25 years, there have actually been rays of irradiate in the program. The 2006 Scarlett Knights qualified for their third bowl game, however recorded their first success in a bowl game in school background — finishing 11–2 and with an ELO rating close come 1700 points. Because joining the huge Ten, however, Rutgers has qualified because that one bowl game yet lost 42 games.

The 2017 Wisconsin Badgers’ performance was the 3rd season that posted one loss, the very first was in 1993 and the second in 1998 v a 10–1–1 and also 11–1 record, respectively. Yet the 2017 team collection a record with an ELO rating that 1841 points, scoring a an unified 473 clues and enabling a linked 173 points. Back the following season in 2018 fell quick after the Badgers to be ranked in the optimal 10 in preseason polls, do a bowl video game 23 out of 25 times due to the fact that 1993 quiet is an superior run.


Data to be pulled from, and the idea because that these calculations was influenced by FiveThirtyEight. My very first article was found here.

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Northwestern was excluded from list of charter members of the conference and also has because been added.