Top 25 Big Ten football teams over the past 25 years

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Top 25 Big Ten football teams over the past 25 years

Last week, the Associated Press released their Top 100 college football teams of the past 80 years.

A total of seven Big Ten teams landed on the list, highlighted by Ohio State at No. 1 overall. The Buckeyes have ranked in the AP Poll for more weeks than any other team (852) during that span, including the most at No. 1 (105).

This got me thinking, who are the best Big Ten teams in recent memory? Obviously, the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes come to mind in recent memory, but what about before that?

I got together with BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart to create a list of the Top 25 Big Ten football teams over the past 25 years.

We based these rankings on the following metrics: Total wins, Big Ten championships, final AP rankings, and bowl appearances.

Here is a look our list.

* Only teams that played in the Big Ten Conference were considered for this list. For example, Nebraska pre-2011 was not included in this piece.

1. 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 14-0
Big Ten champion: Yes
Final AP ranking: No. 1
Bowl result: Won Fiesta Bowl, 31-24 over Miami

2. 1997 Michigan Wolverines

Record: 12-0
Big Ten champion: Yes
Final AP ranking: No. 1
Bowl result: Won Rose Bowl, 21-16 over Washington State

3. 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 14-1
Big Ten champion: Yes
Final AP ranking: No. 1
Bowl result(s): Won CFP Smeifinal at Sugar Bowl, 42-35 over Alabama; Won College Football Playoff National Championship, 42-20 over Oregon

4. 1996 Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 11-1
Big Ten champion: Yes
Final AP ranking: No. 2
Bowl result: Won Rose Bowl, 20-17 over Arizona State

5. 1994 Penn State Nittany Lions

Record: 12-0
Big Ten champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 2
Bowl result: Won Rose Bowl, 38-20 over Oregon

6. 2013 Michigan State Spartans

Record: 13-1
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 3
Bowl result: Won Rose Bowl, 24-20 over Stanford

7. 1998 Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 11-1
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP ranking: No. 2
Bowl Result: Won Sugar Bowl, 24-14 over Texas A&M

8. 2006 Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 12-1
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 2
Bowl Result: Lost BCS Championship game, 42-14 to Florida

9. 2005 Penn State Nittany Lions

Record: 11-1
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 3
Bowl Result: Won Orange Bowl, 26-23 (3OT) over Florida State

10. 1999 Wisconsin Badgers

Record: 10-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 4
Bowl Result: Won Rose Bowl, 17-9 over Stanford

11. 2005 Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 10-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 4
Bowl Result: Won Fiesta Bowl, 34-20 over Notre Dame

12. 2007 Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 11-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 5
Bowl Result: Lost BCS Championship Game, 38-24 to LSU

13. 1998 Wisconsin Badgers

Record: 11-1
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 6
Bowl Result: Won Rose Bowl, 38-31 over UCLA

14. 1992 Michigan Wolverines

Record: 9-0-3
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 5
Bowl Result: Won Rose Bowl, 38-31 over Washington

15. 2002 Iowa Hawkeyes

Record: 11-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 8
Bowl Result: Lost Orange Bowl, 38-17 to USC

16. 2010 Wisconsin Badgers

Record: 11-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 7
Bowl Result: Lost Rose Bowl, 21-19 to TCU

17. 2006 Michigan Wolverines

Record: 11-2
Big Ten Champion: No
Final AP Ranking: No. 8
Bowl Result: Lost Rose Bowl, 32-18 to USC

18. 2015 Michigan State Spartans

Record: 12-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 6
Bowl Result: Lost CFP Semifinal at Cotton Bowl, 38-0 to Alabama

19. 2009 Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 11-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 5
Bowl Result: Won Rose Bowl, 26-17 over Oregon

20. 2010 Michigan State Spartans

Record: 11-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 14
Bowl Result: Lost Capital One Bowl, 49-7 to Alabama

21. 1995 Northwestern Wildcats

Record: 10-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 8
Bowl Result: Lost Rose Bowl, 41-32 to USC

22. 2003 Michigan Wolverines

Record: 10-3
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 6
Bowl Result: Lost Rose Bowl, 28-14 to USC

23. 2004 Iowa Hawkeyes

Record: 10-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 8
Bowl Result: Won Capital One Bowl, 30-25 over LSU

24. 2008 Penn State Nittany Lions

Record: 11-2
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: No. 8
Bowl Result: Lost Rose Bowl, 38-24 to USC

25. 2000 Purdue Boilermakers

Record: 8-4
Big Ten Champion: Yes
Final AP Ranking: 13
Bowl Result: Lost Rose Bowl, 34-24 vs. Washington

Sean Merriman, BTN.com web editor

BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman covers football and men's basketball and provides original content for BTN.com. You can follow him on Twitter @BTNSean.

Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

About Tom Dienhart: BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

Advertisement

BTN Plus on BTN2Go

BTN Plus on BTN2Go

all times ET
Tomorrow
7:00 PMMinnesota at Michigan St.Watch
7:00 PMWisconsin at IndianaWatch
8:00 PMSan Jose St. at NebraskaWatch
8:00 PMRobert Morris at IowaWatch
Saturday Dec 10
2:00 PMPittsburgh at Penn St.Watch
3:00 PMC. Michigan at IllinoisWatch
7:30 PMWisconsin at MichiganWatch
8:00 PMIowa St. at IowaWatch

Watch hundreds of live non-televised Big Ten events via BTN Plus on BTN2Go.