2008 Big Ten Football Season Simulation

What if Nebraska had been a Big Ten Conference member for the past 15 seasons and the 12 schools competed in two six-team divisions for a decade and a half? BTN.com partnered with WhatIfSports and Narrative Science to simulate those mythical Big Ten Conference football seasons. Below is the 2008 season. Click here for the other seasons.

STANDINGS W L
IOWA 7 1
NEBRASKA 6 2
MICHIGAN STATE 4 4
NORTHWESTERN 2 6
MINNESOTA 1 7
MICHIGAN 0 8
STANDINGS W L
PENN STATE 8 0
OHIO STATE 7 1
WISCONSIN 5 3
ILLINOIS 5 3
PURDUE 2 6
INDIANA 1 7

2008 Big Ten Championship:

Penn State 26, Iowa 10

WEEK 1: GAME OF THE WEEK – NEBRASKA 31, WISCONSIN 17

 WEEK 1 RESULTS
Minnesota 24, Michigan 12
Iowa 27, Northwestern 7
Ohio State 40, Purdue 4
Penn State 56, Indiana 3

Nebraska pulls out the win late against Wisconsin, wins back and forth affair 31-17

In the first week of our simulated 2008 Big Ten football season, Wisconsin of the Leaders Division visited Nebraska of the Legends Division. No advantage was safe when the Cornhuskers and the Badgers were on the field, as they traded leads all day long. Eventually, Nebraska went up for good on Nate Swift’s six-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and hung on for the 31-17 win.

Joe Ganz and Swift had a passing connection going, as Swift racked up 53 yards and two touchdowns on five catches en route to a win for the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska’s passing game looked unstoppable at times against Wisconsin’s defense. The Cornhuskers’ air attack was uncontainable, as they torched the Badgers for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Ganz completed 26 of 36 passes for Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers’ offense finished the game having gained 405 yards. Nebraska complemented Ganz’s passing with 105 yards rushing on 41 attempts.

Dustin Sherer threw for 244 yards while completing 12 of 27 passes for Wisconsin. Sherer finished the game with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Mike Newkirk was perpetually in the Cornhuskers’ backfield, and he recorded two sacks. He sacked Ganz for a six-yard loss on first-and-10 during a key drive in the third quarter.

The Badgers’ offense finished the game having gained 367 yards, including 301 passing yards on 15 completions. Wisconsin’s rushing attack also contributed 66 yards to the total, with the tally coming on 45 carries.

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WEEK 2: GAME OF THE WEEK –  ILLINOIS 31, MICHIGAN STATE 28

 WEEK 2 RESULTS
Ohio State 48, Indiana 3
Northwestern 19, Michigan 6
Nebraska 40, Minnesota 17
Penn State 49, Purdue 4

Ringer has huge day rushing, but not enough as Spartans fall 31-28 to Fighting Illini

In the second week of our simulated 2008 Big Ten football season, Michigan State of the Legends Division visited Illinois of the Leaders Division. Javon Ringer’s 155 rushing yards and one touchdown weren’t enough to lead the Spartans to victory, as Michigan State fell 31-28 to the Fighting Illini.

Juice Williams piled up 249 yards and three touchdowns through the air on 18-for-27 passing en route to the win.

Illinois didn’t capture the lead until the fourth quarter. With 3:56 to go, Matt Eller kicked a 47-yard field goal to give the Fighting Illini a 31-28 lead.

Illinois’ offense finished the game having gained 478 yards. The Fighting Illini complemented Williams’ passing with 229 yards rushing on 58 attempts.

Brian Hoyer threw for 206 yards while completing 14 of 27 passes for the Spartans. Hoyer tossed two touchdowns while throwing one interception.

Danny Fortener was perpetually in Illinois’ backfield, and he recorded two sacks. His biggest play came on a critical drive in the second quarter, when he sacked Williams on third-and-1 for a six-yard loss.

Michigan State racked up 385 total yards. The Spartans’ rushing attack contributed 179 yards on 43 carries in addition to Hoyer’s passing effort.

READ THE BOX SCOREPLAY GRIDIRON DYNASTY

WEEK 3: GAME OF THE WEEK –  NORTHWESTERN 35, MINNESOTA 33

 WEEK 3 RESULTS
Penn State 42, Illinois 11
Iowa 45, Indiana 6
Michigan State 28, Michigan 8
Wisconsin 30, Purdue 13

Sutton runs all over Minnesota in Northwestern’s 35-33 victory

In the third week of our simulated 2008 Big Ten football season, Minnesota visited Legends Division foe Northwestern. Tyrell Sutton put the team on his back in the Wildcats’ 35-33 win over the Golden Gophers, rushing for 156 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Northwestern got the winning score in the fourth quarter and withstood Minnesota’s pressure until the final whistle. Touchdowns were plentiful, but the Wildcats got the go-ahead score with 40 seconds left when Amado Villarreal made a 58-yard field goal to make the score 35-33.

Northwestern’s offense dominated, ripping off huge chunks of yardage. The Wildcats burned the Golden Gophers’ defense for five plays of more than 20 yards. With 9:29 to go in the first quarter, Sutton ran 58 yards, Northwestern’s biggest gain of the game. The big gainer was part of a six-play drive capped off when Sutton pounded in a two-yard touchdown run. That gave the Wildcats a 10-0 lead.

Northwestern’s C.J. Bacher was good for 281 yards during the game, completing 23 of 41 passes. Bacher finished the game with one touchdown and one interception. Bacher looked for Eric Peterman often. He hauled in five catches for 64 yards.

The Wildcats racked up 484 total yards. Along with Bacher’s stats in the passing game, Northwestern also added 203 yards rushing on 51 attempts.

Adam Weber threw for 261 yards while completing 17 of 27 passes for Minnesota. Weber finished the game with two touchdowns and one interception. Weber’s favorite target on the day was Eric Decker. He caught seven passes for 122 yards and one touchdown.

The Golden Gophers’ offense finished the game having gained 314 yards. In addition to Weber’s efforts through the air, Minnesota also rushed 39 times for 53 yards.

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WEEK 4: GAME OF THE WEEK –  ILLINOIS 33, INDIANA 10

 WEEK 4 RESULTS
Iowa 35, Purdue 7
Nebraska 45, Michigan 8
Wisconsin 21, Northwestern 13
Ohio State 31, Michigan State 7

Williams’ passing attack proves too much for Indiana in Illinois’ 33-10 victory

In the fourth week of our simulated 2008 Big Ten football season, Illinois visited Leaders Division foe Indiana. Juice Williams threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Fighting Illini to a 33-10 victory over the Hoosiers.

Illinois’ passing game looked flawless, despite the efforts of Indiana’s secondary. The Fighting Illini’s air attack was uncontainable, as they torched the Hoosiers for 249 yards and two touchdowns. Williams completed 13 of 19 passes for Illinois.

Home run plays keyed the Fighting Illini’s scoring attack. Illinois burned Indiana’s defense for four plays of more than 20 yards. The Fighting Illini added to the highlight reel when Williams found Arrelious Benn open for a 38-yard pass with 10:20 left in the second quarter. The big gainer was part of a 12-play drive capped off when Williams pounded in a 10-yard touchdown run. That gave Illinois a 16-7 lead.

Kellen Lewis threw for 173 yards while completing 16 of 31 passes for Indiana. Lewis tossed one touchdown while throwing no interceptions.

Indiana’s offense finished the game having gained 311 yards, including 173 passing yards on 16 completions. The Hoosiers’ rushing attack also contributed 138 yards to the total, with the tally coming on 38 carries.

Doug Pilcher was perpetually in Indiana’s backfield, and he recorded two sacks. His biggest play came on a critical drive in the first quarter, when he sacked Kellen Lewis on first-and-10 for a five-yard loss.

The Fighting Illini’s offense finished the game having gained 428 yards. Illinois’ rushing attack contributed 179 yards on 57 carries in addition to Williams’ passing effort.

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WEEK 5: GAME OF THE WEEK –  IOWA 37, MICHIGAN 9

 WEEK 5 RESULTS
Nebraska 31, Michigan State 20
Ohio State 33, Illinois 11
Penn State 37, Northwestern 4
Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 16

Greene and Stanzi team up to send Hawkeyes past Wolverines 37-9

In the fifth week of our simulated 2008 Big Ten football season, Michigan visited Legends Division foe Iowa. The Hawkeyes beat the Wolverines 37-9 thanks to a tag-team effort from Shonn Greene and Ricky Stanzi.

Stanzi passed for 227 yards, while Greene ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

Iowa’s passing game looked flawless, despite the efforts of Michigan’s secondary. The Hawkeyes’ air attack was uncontainable, as they torched the Wolverines for 227 yards and one touchdown. Stanzi completed 14 of 26 passes for Iowa.

The Hawkeyes’ offense dominated, ripping off huge chunks of yardage. Michigan’s defense gave up four plays of at least 20 yards. With 12:40 to go in the second quarter, Stanzi found Derrell Johnson-Koulianos open for a 61-yard pass, Iowa’s biggest gain of the game. The big gainer was part of an eight-play drive capped off when Stanzi found Brandon Myers open for an 11-yard touchdown pass. That gave the Hawkeyes a 14-9 lead.

Bradley Fletcher and Tyler Sash teamed up to lead Iowa’s defense. Fletcher led the unit by picking off two the Wolverines passes. He came up big during a crucial moment in the third quarter, when he intercepted Nick Sheridan on third-and-7.

The Hawkeyes’ offense finished the game having gained 457 yards. In addition to Stanzi’s efforts through the air, Iowa also rushed 60 times for 230 yards.

Steven Threet threw for 138 yards while completing 16 of 31 passes for Michigan. He also threw two interceptions.

Austin Panter was perpetually in the Hawkeyes’ backfield, and he recorded two sacks. On a critical drive in the second quarter, he sacked Stanzi on second-and-8 for a 19-yard loss.

The Wolverines racked up 216 total yards, including 158 yards passing while completing 18 of 37 attempts. Michigan also rushed 32 times for 58 yards.

READ THE BOX SCOREPLAY GRIDIRON DYNASTY

WEEK 6: GAME OF THE WEEK –  PENN STATE 21, OHIO STATE 16

 WEEK 6 RESULTS
Iowa 37, Minnesota 9
Michigan State 29, Indiana 10
Nebraska 40, Purdue 11
Wisconsin 27, Illinois 25

Penn State captures lead in fourth quarter in 21-16 victory over Ohio State

In the sixth week of our simulated 2008 Big Ten football season, Penn State visited Leaders Division foe Ohio State. The Nittany Lions took the lead in the fourth quarter and hung on for a 21-16 victory over the Buckeyes.

With 3:39 to go, Evan Royster turned a handoff into a 23-yard touchdown to give Penn State a 21-16 lead.

The Nittany Lions’ explosive offense used big plays to take down Ohio State. Penn State had five plays of 20 yards or more on its way to victory. With 5:16 to go in the second quarter, Daryll Clark found Graham Zug open for a 24-yard pass for the Nittany Lions’ biggest gain of the game. Despite the highlight, Penn State failed to score on that drive, which stalled at the Ohio State 34-yard line.

Royster carried the offensive load for the Nittany Lions, piling up 87 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts.

Terrelle Pryor threw for 214 yards while completing 12 of 22 passes for the Buckeyes. Pryor tossed one touchdown while throwing no interceptions.

Ohio State’s offense finished the game having gained 334 yards. The Buckeyes complemented Pryor’s passing with 120 yards rushing on 56 attempts.

Penn State’s Clark was good for 210 yards during the game, completing 18 of 36 passes. Clark tossed one touchdown while throwing no interceptions.

The Nittany Lions racked up 316 total yards. Along with Clark’s stats in the passing game, Penn State also added 106 yards rushing on 38 attempts.

READ THE BOX SCOREPLAY GRIDIRON DYNASTY

WEEK 7: GAME OF THE WEEK –  PURDUE 17, MICHIGAN 13

 WEEK 7 RESULTS
Ohio State 22, Iowa 14
Wisconsin 34, Indiana 12
Michigan State 25, Minnesota 14
Penn State 35, Nebraska 16
Illinois 20, Northwestern 13

Purdue captures lead in fourth quarter in 17-13 victory over Michigan

In the seventh week of our simulated 2008 Big Ten football season, Purdue of the Leaders Division visited Michigan of the Legends Division. The Boilermakers took the lead in the fourth quarter and hung on for a 17-13 victory over the Wolverines.

With 1:32 to go, Curtis Painter threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Keith Smith to give Purdue a 17-13 lead.

Painter threw for 346 yards while completing 25 of 37 passes for the Boilermakers. Painter finished the game with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Desmond Tardy was the player Painter targeted most often. He hauled in six catches for 102 yards.

Purdue’s offense dominated, ripping off huge chunks of yardage. The Boilermakers had six plays of 20 yards or more on their way to victory. With 2:26 to go in the first quarter, Painter found Jerry Wasikowski open for a 34-yard touchdown pass, Purdue’s longest play on the day. The touchdown gave the Boilermakers a 7-0 lead.

Michigan’s Steven Threet went 16 of 31 through the air for a total of 180 yards. Threet finished the game with one touchdown and no interceptions.

The Wolverines racked up 364 total yards. Michigan’s rushing attack contributed 184 yards on 43 carries in addition to Threet’s passing effort.

Purdue’s offense finished the game having gained 440 yards. In addition to Painter’s efforts through the air, the Boilermakers also rushed 43 times for 94 yards.

READ THE BOX SCOREPLAY GRIDIRON DYNASTY

WEEK 8: GAME OF THE WEEK –  INDIANA 16, MICHIGAN 13

 WEEK 8 RESULTS
Illinois 27, Purdue 13
Penn State 48, Minnesota 6
Iowa 28, Michigan State 13
Nebraska 30, Northwestern 11
Ohio State 32, Wisconsin 10

Indiana stuns Michigan in waning seconds, wins 16-13

In the eighth week of our simulated 2008 Big Ten football season, Michigan of the Legends Division visited Indiana of the Leaders Division.  The Hoosiers clinched a dramatic 16-13 last-second win over the Wolverines, as Austin Starr drilled a 27-yard field goal as the game clock struck zero.

The winning play came after Indiana drove 84 yards in 1:54.

Kellen Lewis picked apart Michigan’s secondary, completing 17 of 32 passes for 171 yards and one touchdown on the day.

Steven Threet kept the Wolverines’ offense on track, throwing for 214 yards and one touchdown on 16 of 30 passing.

The Hoosiers racked up 335 total yards, including 211 yards passing while completing 21 of 41 attempts. Indiana also rushed 47 times for 124 yards.

Michigan’s offense finished the game having gained 257 yards, including 214 passing yards on 16 completions. The Wolverines’ rushing attack also contributed 43 yards to the total, with the tally coming on 35 carries.

READ THE BOX SCOREPLAY GRIDIRON DYNASTY

WEEK 9: GAME OF THE WEEK –  OHIO STATE 34, MICHIGAN 6

 WEEK 9 RESULTS
Illinois 27, Minnesota 17
Iowa 28, Nebraska 23
Michigan State. 16, Northwestern 13
Penn State 42, Wisconsin 12
Purdue 21, Indiana 15

Wells runs all over Michigan in Ohio State’s 34-6 victory

In the ninth week of our simulated 2008 Big Ten football season, Ohio State of the Leaders Division visited Michigan of the Legends Division. Chris Wells broke out against the Wolverines, piling up 167 rushing yards and scoring three touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes to a 34-6 victory.

Home run plays keyed Ohio State’s scoring attack. The Buckeyes burned Michigan’s defense for seven plays of more than 20 yards. With 12:26 to go in the third quarter, Wells turned a handoff into a 52-yard touchdown, Ohio State’s longest play on the day. The score gave the Buckeyes a 24-6 lead.

Steven Threet threw for 158 yards while completing 15 of 31 passes for the Wolverines. He also threw two interceptions. Threet’s favorite target on the day was Martavious Odoms. He hauled in five catches for 40 yards.

Michigan racked up 292 total yards, including 164 yards passing while completing 16 of 37 attempts. The Wolverines also rushed 42 times for 128 yards.

Malcolm Jenkins and Mark Johnson were each solid on the defensive side of the ball. Jenkins led the unit by picking off two Michigan passes. His biggest play came on a critical drive in the first quarter, when he intercepted Threet on third-and-6.

Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor went nine of 17 through the air for a total of 164 yards. He also threw one interception.

The Buckeyes racked up 378 total yards. Along with Pryor’s stats in the passing game, Ohio State also added 214 yards rushing on 54 attempts.

READ THE BOX SCOREPLAY GRIDIRON DYNASTY

2008 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – PENN STATE 26, IOWA 10

Nittany Lions win 26-10 after topping Iowa in third quarter

In the tenth week of our simulated 2008 Big Ten football season, Penn State of the Leaders Division visited Iowa of the Legends Division. The Nittany Lions took the lead in the third quarter and hung on for a 26-10 victory over the Hawkeyes.

With 4:29 to go, Kevin Kelly made a 34-yard field goal to give Penn State a 13-10 lead.

Daryll Clark threw for 282 yards while completing 23 of 34 passes for the Nittany Lions. He also threw one interception.

Home run plays keyed Penn State’s scoring attack. The Nittany Lions burned Iowa’s defense for five plays of more than 20 yards. Penn State added to the highlight reel when Clark found Jordan Norwood open for a 47-yard pass with 10:16 left in the fourth quarter. The big gainer was part of a seven-play drive capped off when Evan Royster pounded in a 16-yard touchdown run. That gave the Nittany Lions a 20-10 lead.

The Hawkeyes’ Ricky Stanzi was good for 168 yards during the game, completing 14 of 28 passes. He also threw no interceptions.

Iowa racked up 261 total yards. In addition to Stanzi’s efforts through the air, the Hawkeyes also rushed 40 times for 93 yards.

Penn State’s offense finished the game having gained 431 yards. Along with Clark’s stats in the passing game, the Nittany Lions also added 149 yards rushing on 42 attempts.

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