2010 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 2010 season. Click here for the other seasons.

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

2010 Big Ten Championship:

Ohio State 33, Michigan State 28

WEEK 1: GAME OF THE WEEK -  NEBRASKA 22, MICHIGAN STATE 20

 WEEK 1 RESULTS
Ohio State 39, Illinois 11
Penn State 22, Iowa 20
Northwestern 29, Michigan 28
Indiana 30, Minnesota 23

Cornhuskers win back and forth affair against Spartans late, 22-20

In the first week of our simulated 2010 Big Ten football season, Michigan State visited Legends Division foe Nebraska. It was a back and forth affair in a game between the Cornhuskers and the Spartans, but Nebraska came out on top after Alex Henery’s 50-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and hung on for the 22-20 win.

The Cornhuskers employed a tough, smash-mouth brand of football and exploited the chinks in Michigan State’s defensive armor. Nebraska’s ground game was unstoppable, and the Cornhuskers bulled their way to 324 rushing yards. Rex Burkhead led Nebraska’s ground attack with 214 yards on 17 attempts.

Taylor Martinez threw for 72 yards while going 8-13 for Nebraska. He threw one interception. Martinez also ran for 52 yards on 20 attempts.

The Spartans’ Kirk Cousins went 23 of 31 through the air for a total of 234 yards. Cousins finished the game with two touchdowns and one interception.

Michigan State’s offense finished the game having gained 346 yards. Along with Cousins’ stats in the passing game, the Spartans also added 112 yards rushing on 37 attempts.

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WEEK 2: GAME OF THE WEEK -  OHIO STATE 34, WISCONSIN 31

 WEEK 2 RESULTS
Michigan 32, Illinois 29
Iowa 32, Minnesota 10
Michigan State 32, Purdue 22
Nebraska 27, Northwestern 14

Pryor’s aerial assault too much for Wisconsin as Ohio State beats 34-31

In the second week of our simulated 2010 Big Ten football season, Wisconsin visited Leaders Division foe Ohio State. The Buckeyes’ Terrelle Pryor led his team to a 34-31 victory over the Badgers, amassing 198 yards through the air, plus three touchdowns.

Ohio State got the winning score in the fourth quarter and withstood Wisconsin’s pressure until the final whistle. Touchdowns were plentiful, but the Buckeyes got the go-ahead score with 30 seconds left when Pryor tossed a four-yard touchdown to Dane Sanzenbacher to make the score 34-31.

Ohio State and Wisconsin passed the lead back and forth all game long. There were six lead changes in the game before the Buckeyes ended up on top for good.

All facets of Ohio State’s offense were in place and it showed against an overmatched Badgers defense. The Buckeyes gained 198 yards passing and 252 yards rushing as it dominated the Badgers’ defense.

Wisconsin’s Scott Tolzien went 13 of 27 through the air for a total of 140 yards. Tolzien finished the game with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Badgers racked up 336 total yards. Along with Tolzien’s stats in the passing game, Wisconsin also added 196 yards rushing on 45 attempts.

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WEEK 3: GAME OF THE WEEK – PURDUE 24, ILLINOIS 20

 WEEK 3 RESULTS
Wisconsin 45, Indiana 17
Michigan State 36, Michigan 26
Iowa 27, Northwestern 16
Ohio State 30, Penn State 17

Fourth quarter keys Purdue to 24-20 victory over Fighting Illini

In the third week of our simulated 2010 Big Ten football season, Illinois visited Leaders Division foe Purdue. The Boilermakers took the lead in the fourth quarter and hung on for a 24-20 victory over the Fighting Illini.

With 13:24 to go, Robert Marve found Keith Smith open for a three-yard touchdown pass to give Purdue a 23-17 lead.

Rob Henry and Smith had a passing connection going, as Smith racked up 65 yards and two touchdowns on six catches en route to a win for the Boilermakers.

Jason Ford did his best to carry Illinois’ offense, turning 10 carries into 51 rushing yards and one touchdown.

Purdue’s Marve was good for 58 yards during the game, completing seven of 13 passes. Marve finished the game with one touchdown and no interceptions.

The Boilermakers racked up 374 total yards, including 227 yards passing while completing 22 of 38 attempts. Purdue also rushed 48 times for 147 yards.

Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 79 yards while completing seven of 14 passes for the Fighting Illini. Scheelhaase tossed one touchdown while throwing no interceptions.

Illinois racked up 201 total yards. The Fighting Illini’s rushing attack contributed 122 yards on 44 carries in addition to Scheelhaase’s passing effort.

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WEEK 4: GAME OF THE WEEK -  NORTHWESTERN 30, INDIANA 20

 WEEK 4 RESULTS
Michigan State 25, Iowa 24
Nebraska 34, Minnesota 10
Penn State 27, Purdue 17
Wisconsin 40, Illinois 15

Persa’s arm too much for Indiana as Northwestern beats 30-20

In the fourth week of our simulated 2010 Big Ten football season, Indiana of the Leaders Division visited Northwestern of the Legends Division. Dan Persa threw for 167 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Wildcats to a 30-20 victory over the Hoosiers.

Northwestern and Indiana took the lead from one another all game long. The game featured five lead changes before the Wildcats finally pulled ahead for good.

Home run plays keyed Northwestern’s scoring attack. The Wildcats burned the Hoosiers’ defense for five plays of more than 20 yards. Northwestern added to the highlight reel when Mike Trumpy ran 50 yards with 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the big play went to waste.

The Wildcats racked up 456 total yards. In addition to Persa’s efforts through the air, Northwestern also rushed 65 times for 289 yards.

Ben Chappell threw for 227 yards while completing 19 of 39 passes for Indiana. Chappell tossed two touchdowns while throwing one interception. Chappell looked for Damarlo Belcher often. He caught six passes for 43 yards and one touchdown.

The Hoosiers’ offense finished the game having gained 338 yards. Indiana’s rushing attack contributed 111 yards on 31 carries in addition to Chappell’s passing effort.

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WEEK 5: GAME OF THE WEEK -  WISCONSIN 31, IOWA 24

 WEEK 5 RESULTS
Northwestern 28, Minnesota 16
Nebraska 32, Michigan 20
Ohio State 36, Purdue 12
Penn State 35, Indiana 19

Tolzien’s passing too much for Iowa as Wisconsin wins 31-24

In the fifth week of our simulated 2010 Big Ten football season, Iowa of the Legends Division visited Wisconsin of the Leaders Division. Scott Tolzien threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Badgers to a 31-24 victory over the Hawkeyes.

Wisconsin and Iowa traded the lead all game long. The game featured five lead changes before the Badgers finally pulled ahead for good.

Wisconsin’s passing game looked unstoppable at times against the Hawkeyes’ defense. The Badgers’ air attack was uncontainable, as they torched Iowa for 278 yards and three touchdowns. Tolzien completed 23 of 34 passes for Wisconsin.

Home run plays keyed the Badgers’ scoring attack. The Hawkeyes’ defense gave up eight plays of at least 20 yards. Wisconsin added to the highlight reel when John Clay ran 39 yards with 3:33 left in the first quarter. Later in the drive, Tolzien snuck in from one yard out, which gave the Badgers a 7-3 lead.

Wisconsin’s offense finished the game having gained 437 yards. The Badgers’ rushing attack contributed 159 yards on 51 carries in addition to Tolzien’s passing effort.

Ricky Stanzi threw for 284 yards while completing 22 of 37 passes for Iowa. Stanzi finished the game with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Hawkeyes racked up 354 total yards. In addition to Stanzi’s efforts through the air, Iowa also rushed 32 times for 70 yards.

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WEEK 6: GAME OF THE WEEK -  PENN STATE 34, ILLINOIS 16

 WEEK 6 RESULTS
Michigan State 40, Indiana 23
Michigan 34, Minnesota 22
Ohio State 27, Nebraska 14
Wisconsin 38, Purdue 17

Bolden and Moye display chemistry in Penn State’s 34-16 victory over Illinois

In the sixth week of our simulated 2010 Big Ten football season, Illinois visited Leaders Division foe Penn State. Robert Bolden found Derek Moye frequently, as both helped the Nittany Lions notch a 34-16 victory over the Fighting Illini.

Moye made himself available to Bolden for four receptions for 26 yards and two touchdowns.

Penn State’s passing game looked unstoppable at times against Illinois’ defense. The Nittany Lions’ air attack was uncontainable, as they torched the Fighting Illini for 312 yards and four touchdowns.

Mikel LeShoure did his best to carry Illinois’ offense, turning 21 carries into 162 rushing yards and one touchdown.

The Nittany Lions’ Bolden went 17 of 30 through the air for a total of 249 yards. Bolden finished the game with three touchdowns and one interception. Bolden looked for Evan Royster often. He hauled in five catches for 55 yards.

The Fighting Illini’s Nathan Scheelhaase passed for 110 yards, completing seven of 14 throws. He threw no interceptions. Scheelhaase was also a threat on the ground, as he rushed for 43 yards on 19 attempts.

Illinois racked up 327 total yards. The Fighting Illini complemented Scheelhaase’s passing with 217 yards rushing on 51 attempts.

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WEEK 7: GAME OF THE WEEK -  WISCONSIN 41, MINNESOTA 22

 WEEK 7 RESULTS
Nebraska 31, Illinois 14
Michigan State 31, Northwestern 20
Penn State 32, Michigan 24
Ohio State 43, Indiana 12
Iowa 28, Purdue 16

Clay runs all over Minnesota in Wisconsin’s 41-22 victory

In the seventh week of our simulated 2010 Big Ten football season, Wisconsin of the Leaders Division visited Minnesota of the Legends Division. John Clay put the team on his back in the Badgers’ 41-22 win over the Golden Gophers, rushing for 152 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

All facets of Wisconsin’s offense were in place and it showed against an overmatched Golden Gophers defense. The offense for the Badgers hummed along to the tune of 180 passing yards and 232 rushing yards.

A lone bright spot for Minnesota was Adam Weber, who made enough good throws to finish with 347 passing yards. He was 20 for 43 on pass attempts.

The Golden Gophers racked up 438 total yards. Minnesota’s rushing attack contributed 91 yards on 37 carries in addition to Weber’s passing effort.

Wisconsin’s Scott Tolzien went 14 of 23 through the air for a total of 180 yards. Tolzien tossed two touchdowns while throwing no interceptions.

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WEEK 8: GAME OF THE WEEK -  PENN STATE 37, NEBRASKA 36

 WEEK 8 RESULTS
Illinois 29, Indiana 28
Iowa 32, Michigan 22
Ohio State 37, Northwestern 11
Purdue 30, Minnesota 16
Wisconsin 33, Michigan State 25

Penn State stuns Nebraska in waning seconds, wins 37-36

In the eighth week of our simulated 2010 Big Ten football season, Nebraska of the Legends Division visited Penn State of the Leaders Division. The Nittany Lions clinched a dramatic 37-36 last-second win over the Cornhuskers, as Matthew McGloin found Justin Brown open for a two-yard touchdown pass as the game clock struck zero.

The winning play came after Penn State drove 59 yards in 53 seconds.

The two teams combined for 1103 total yards of offense. With both offenses running wild, the Nittany Lions took the lead in the fourth quarter and refused to give it back.

Evan Royster rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns, and Silas Redd picked up 116 rushing yards and one touchdown of his own, as the dynamic backfield duo led Penn State’s ground attack.

The Nittany Lions’ offense dominated, ripping off huge chunks of yardage. Nebraska’s defense gave up nine plays of at least 20 yards. With 4:41 to go in the third quarter, Redd ran 72 yards to paydirt, Penn State’s longest play on the day. The touchdown gave the Nittany Lions a 24-20 lead.

Penn State’s McGloin went nine of 13 through the air for a total of 131 yards. McGloin tossed two touchdowns while throwing no interceptions. McGloin’s favorite target on the day was Derek Moye. He caught five passes for 103 yards and one touchdown.

The Nittany Lions’ offense finished the game having gained 524 yards, including 342 passing yards on 24 completions. Penn State’s rushing attack also contributed 182 yards to the total, with the tally coming on 39 carries.

Taylor Martinez threw for 317 yards while going 16-23 for the Cornhuskers. He threw one touchdown and no interceptions. Martinez also ran for 46 yards on 14 attempts.

Nebraska racked up 579 total yards. The Cornhuskers’ rushing attack contributed 262 yards on 47 carries in addition to Martinez’s passing effort.

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WEEK 9: GAME OF THE WEEK -  OHIO STATE 42, MICHIGAN 24

 WEEK 9 RESULTS
Iowa 19, Nebraska 18
Michigan State 37, Minnesota 14
Northwestern 24, Illinois 21
Wisconsin 32, Penn State 21
Purdue 31, Indiana 25

Ohio State’s Herron has big day rushing against Wolverines in 42-24 victory

In the ninth week of our simulated 2010 Big Ten football season, Ohio State of the Leaders Division visited Michigan of the Legends Division. Daniel Herron put the team on his back in the Buckeyes’ 42-24 win over the Wolverines, rushing for 130 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Ohio State’s passing game looked flawless, despite the efforts of Michigan’s secondary. The Buckeyes’ air attack was uncontainable, as they torched the Wolverines for 253 yards and four touchdowns. Terrelle Pryor completed 17 of 25 passes for Ohio State.

The Buckeyes’ offense dominated, ripping off huge chunks of yardage. Michigan’s defense gave up six plays of at least 20 yards. Ohio State added to the highlight reel when Brandon Saine ran 46 yards with 6:25 left in the second quarter. Later in the drive, Pryor hit Corey Brown in the endzone from 11 yards out, which gave the Buckeyes a 28-0 lead.

Denard Robinson threw for 59 yards while going 5-11 for the Wolverines. He threw one touchdown and no interceptions. Robinson also ran for 123 yards on 27 attempts.

Michigan racked up 468 total yards. Along with Robinson’s stats in the passing game, the Wolverines also added 409 yards rushing on 64 attempts.

Ohio State’s offense finished the game having gained 469 yards. The Buckeyes’ rushing attack contributed 216 yards on 46 carries in addition to Pryor’s passing effort.

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2010 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – OHIO STATE 33, MICHIGAN STATE 28

Herron pads his rushing stats against Michigan State in 33-28 win

In the tenth week of our simulated 2010 Big Ten football season, Ohio State of the Leaders Division visited Michigan State of the Legends Division. Daniel Herron broke out against the Spartans, piling up 229 rushing yards and scoring one touchdown to lead the Buckeyes to a 33-28 victory.

Edwin Baker was a bright spot in defeat for Michigan State, as he rushed for 185 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns.

Ohio State and the Spartans traded the lead all game long. The game featured nine lead changes before the Buckeyes finally pulled ahead for good.

Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins was good for 332 yards during the game, completing 22 of 42 passes. Cousins tossed two touchdowns while throwing five interceptions. Cousins’ favorite target on the day was Mark Dell. He caught five passes for 90 yards and one touchdown.

The Spartans’ offense finished the game having gained 542 yards. In addition to Cousins’ efforts through the air, Michigan State also rushed 45 times for 210 yards.

Terrelle Pryor threw for 84 yards while going 8-14 for Ohio State. He tossed two touchdowns and gave up no interceptions. Pryor also ran for 22 yards on 11 attempts.

The Buckeyes racked up 371 total yards. Ohio State’s rushing attack contributed 287 yards on 51 carries in addition to Pryor’s passing effort.

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