With a win on Saturday over in-state rival Indiana, Purdue would become the 10th bowl-eligible team in the Big Ten. Even for a conference that has averaged an impressive seven bids per season in the past decade, 10 would be quite the feat. But back when Mike Lantry was booting field goals for the Michigan Wolverines from 1972-74, the rules differed drastically and six wins didn’t cut it.
The Big Ten underwent numerous changes since the 2010 season came to a close. There was the addition of Nebraska, of course, which paved the way for the conference to create two divisions, Legends and Leaders, and a championship game. A little more under the radar, however, was the addition of 18 new trophies, two for the championship game, two for postgraduate awards and 14 for annual awards. Every trophy is named after two Big Ten historical figures (Nagurski-Woodson Award, Defensive Player of the Year). Watch now as the BTN crew offers its 2011 Legends Division trophy contenders.
One thing’s certain: the addition of Nebraska makes the Big Ten football schedule even more entertaining. “You add a team [Nebraska], but you add an incredibly high-profile team,” BTN host Dave Revsine said. “You look at every single weekend — suddenly it takes on a heightened importance with loads of good games.” No joke. The Huskers open Big Ten play Oct. 1 at Wisconsin and host their first Big Ten game the following weekend against Ohio State, which will welcome back their suspended players that week. Watch now as Revsine breaks down all of the best Legends Division games.
There will be plenty of great Big Ten games during the conference season for the Leaders Division. Conference play starts off with a bang on October 1st, with two much-anticipated match-ups: Michigan State at Ohio State and Nebraska at Wisconsin. Ohio State hasn’t lost a conference opener since 2004, but that could change when it faces the Spartans. Wisconsin, meanwhile, becomes the first team to take on Nebraska in conference play when the Cornhuskers visit Camp Randall. Things won’t get any easier for Nebraska after that, as they play host to Ohio State the following week. Watch now as Dave Revsine gives you the rundown of all the great Leaders Division match-ups.
One of the biggest stories in college athletics this past year was Nebraska’s decision to move from the Big 12 to the Big Ten. But how did the Big Red make the transition to the Big Ten? Watch now and learn more about the timeline and how the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten.