Big 10 Media Days concludes on Thursday in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium, the same site as the Big Ten Championship Game.

Big 10 Fun Facts

This upcoming season will be the final season before the conference adds USC & UCLA in 2024. The conference last expanded a decade before in 2014 when they added Rutgers and Maryland to grow to 14 teams. For this year, the divisions and teams within the divisions will remain the same.

Michigan enters the season as the reigning back-to-back Big Ten Champions; having parlayed their wins in the Championship Game into College Football Playoff berths. The Wolverines have never won the conference outright in 3-cosnecutive seasons.

4 teams will enter with new Head Coaches including notably Wisconsin bringing in Luke Fickell from Cincinnati, Nebraska going to the NFL to get Matt Rhule, and Northwestern moving on from longtime bench boss Pat Fitzgerald after off the field issues arose2 this offseason.

The Road To Indy

The road to Indy in the East seems like it will run through Columbus or Ann Arbor as there is a 93.1% chance the Big Ten East division winner is either Ohio State or Michigan. In the West, Wisconsin is nearly a 50% favorite to win that side of the conference, but not as clear cut as the other division.

Since moving to East-West Divisions in 2014, the winner of the Big Ten Conference has exclusively come from the East Division. The game hasn’t been decided within a touchdown since 2017 when Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 27-21.

The Big Ten has sent a team to the College Football Playoff in 7 of the 9 seasons since its inception in 2014 with last season sending two in Michigan and Ohio State. The Allstate Playoff Predictor gives the Buckeyes the best chance of any team to make it this season with Michigan the 5th best.

One looming questions is will Craig Shemon’s Indiana Hoosiers be able to stay within 50 of the Ohio State Buckeyes?  Below is a brief preview of all the Big 10 teams.  More on Shemon and Sheppard today.

  • OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (11-2, 8-1 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: Lost to Georgia, 42-41, in Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (CFP Semifinal)
    FINAL AP RANK: 4th
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 1st

    Ohio State has failed to reach the Big Ten title game in each of the last two seasons. The last time the Buckeyes went three consecutive seasons without winning/share the conference or play in the Big Ten Championship was a three-year stretch from 1999-2001.

    Ohio State

    Quarterback Kyle McCord #6 of the Ohio State Buckeyes drops back to pass during the Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 15, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images)

  • MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (13-1, 9-0 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: Lost to TCU, 51-45, in Vrbo Fiesta Bowl (CFP Semifinal)
    FINAL AP RANK: 3rd
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 6th

    The last two seasons have been back to the glory days for Big Blue, as they have in each season defeated the Buckeyes, won the Big Ten, and made the College Football Playoff.

    A big reason for Michigan’s success the past two season has been getting over the Ohio State hump. The winner of “The Game” has represented the Big Ten East in the Championship Game every year since 2017 and the past two seasons it was the Wolverines, defeating Ohio State to earn their way into Indianapolis. With a win this year, it would be their longest win streak against their down south rivals since 1995-97 (3).


    JJ McCarthy #9 of the Maize Team passes against the Blue Team during the second quarter of the Michigan Spring football game at Michigan Stadium on April 1, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images)

  • PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (11-2, 7-2 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: Won vs Utah, 35-21, in Rose Bowl Game
    FINAL AP RANK: 7th
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 10th

    Head coach James Franklin has had stability under center, going straight from Christian Hackenberg to 3 years of Trace McSorley into the 4 years of Clifford. So who’s up next for the Nittany Lions? True sophomore Drew Allar. According to ESPN, Allar was the No. 2 ranked pocket passer (No. 51 overall) in his 2022 class.

    The Nittany Lions have two dynamic backs returning, Nick Singleton ran for 1,061 yards last season (33rd in D-I, 3rd among freshmen); 1 of 3 freshmen to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. In comparison, Kaytron Allen ran for 867 yards, good for 9th best among freshmen last season.

    Penn State

    Mehki Flowers #10 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after a defensive play during the Penn State Spring Football Game at Beaver Stadium on April 15, 2023 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

  • WISCONSIN BADGERS (7-6, 4-5 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: Won vs Oklahoma State, 24-17, in Guaranteed Rate Bowl
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 20th

    Finished 7-6 & 4-5 in Big Ten play; both worst in a season since 2008
    Fired Head Coach Paul Chryst mid-season; first time in program history firing a head coach midseason. Chryst who won 72% of his games at Wisconsin from 2015-22
    Went 4-3 under interim HC Jim Leonhard to make 21st-consecutive Bowl Game appearance

    But the craziness crescendoed the day after Wisconsin’s final regular season game when they stunned the College Football world by announcing they were not naming interim Jim Leonhard the full-time coach and instead going to give the roll to Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell.


    Head coach Luke Fickell hands the championship trophy to linebacker Jordan Turner #54 of the Wisconsin Badgers after the Badgers beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys 24-17 in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl at Chase Field on December 27, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)


  • MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (5-7, 3-6 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: N/A
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 31st

    Last season, the Spartans had their most losses in a season since 2016 (finished 3-9 that season). They had some huge losses on the offensive side of the ball. Two-year starter QB Payton Thorne opted to transfer to Auburn, and the Spartans lost their top-2 receivers from last season. Keon Coleman opted to transfer to Florida State, and Jayden Reed left for the NFL.

    Michigan State

    Abdul Carter #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions sacks Payton Thorne #10 of the Michigan State Spartans during the second half at Beaver Stadium on November 26, 2022 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

  • MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (9-4, 5-4 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: Won vs Syracuse, 28-20, in Bad Boys Mowers Pinstripe Bowl
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 33rd

    2022 was a tale of 3 parts for the Gophers. They started out the season 4-0 before dropping three straight games, two of them to ranked opponents. But they finished the season 5-1 including a win in their Bowl Game to post a 9-4 season for the 2nd-consecutive year. It’s the 2nd-time ever the program has posted consecutive 9-win seasons and the first in over 120 years (6-straight from 1900-05).


    Minnesota Golden Gophers players celebrate after Minnesota defeated the Syracuse Orange to win the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on December 29, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  • IOWA HAWKEYES (8-5, 5-4 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: Won vs Kentucky, 21-0, in TransPerfect Music City Bowl
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 37th

    The 2022 Hawkeyes season at times was indescribable. The good was their defense, which BY FAR was the engine to the team. They ranked highly nation wide in a host of categories and led FBS with the most games allowing 14 points or fewer (10).

    But the best way to describe their impact was they outscored their own offense in 4 separate games (vs SDSU 4-3, vs UK 14-7, vs Rutgers 14-13, vs OSU 7-3).


    Running back Leshon Williams #4 of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs through pads during the Iowa Spring Open Practice at Kinnick Stadium on April 22, 2023 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

  • MARYLAND TERRAPINS (8-5, 4-5 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: Won vs NC State, 16-12, in Duke’s Mayo Bowl
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 44th

    Maryland is coming off a season in which it won 8 games, the Terps’ most in a season since they won 9 games in 2010. Maryland is seeking to finish above .500 for the third consecutive season. The last time they did that was 2001-2003.

    One major plus is the offense is led by returning QB Taulia Tagovailoa, who is just one of two primary starting QBs to return to their team in the conference (Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy). Tagovailoa is already the program leader in several passing categories, including career passing yards (7,879) and Pass TD (51).


    Head coach Mike Locksley of the Maryland Terrapins looks on after defeating the North Carolina State Wolfpack 16-12 during the Duke’s Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium on December 30, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

  • ILLINOIS ILLINI (8-5, 5-4 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: Lost to Mississippi State, 19-10, in ReliaQuest Bowl
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 45th

    8-5 record – first winning season since 2011
    8 wins – most wins in a season since 2007 (9)
    5-4 conference record – first winning season in Big Ten play since 2007 (6-2)


    Tommy DeVito #3 of the Illinois Fighting Illini celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the ReliaQuest Bowl at Raymond James Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

  • PURDUE BOILERMAKERS (8-6, 6-3 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: Lost to LSU, 63-7, in Cheez-It Citrus Bowl
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 50th

    Purdue is one of four Big Ten programs with a new head coach this season, Nebraska (Matt Rhule), Wisconsin (Luke Fickell) and Northwestern (David Braun). After spending the last two seasons as Illinois defensive coordinator, Ryan Walter gets his first head coaching opportunity. He led a defense last season that was one of the best in the nation. Walter is one of the youngest head coaches in the FBS.


    TJ Sheffield #8 of the Purdue Boilermakers celebrates a touchdown during the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl against the LSU Tigers at Camping World Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (4-8, 3-6 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: N/A
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 52nd

    It’s been a while and in terms a generation since Nebraska has accomplished some of their lofty goals:
    2016: Last winning season & Bowl Game appearance
    2015: Last Bowl Game win
    2012: Last 10-win season & Conference Championship Game appearance
    1999: Last conference championship (Big 12)
    1997: Last National Championship

    In order to clean house, the program fired Huskers legend Scott Frost midway through last season and did not bring back interim Head Coach Mickey Joseph. They now turn to a complete midwestern outsider in Matt Rhule to run the program.


    Quarterback Jeff Sims #14 of Nebraska Cornhuskers passes ahead of the rush from lineman Blaise Gunnerson #97 of Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on April 22, 2023 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

  • NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS (1-11, 1-8 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: N/A
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 67th

    It was a pretty benign offseason for the Wildcats until early July, when it was reported that Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald was being suspended for two weeks by the university after an investigation found evidence to support a claim of problematic conduct in regards to hazing happening within the team.

    That was July 7th. Just four days later on the 11th, the situation had escalated to the point where Fitzgerald was fired by the school for the claims. Fitzgerald had been Northwestern’s Head Coach since 2006 & was by far the school’s most decorated Head Coach, holding all-time program distinctions for longest tenured Head Coach (17 seasons), most wins (101), most 10-win seasons (3) & most Bowl Game victories (5).


    A.J. Hampton Jr. #11 of the Northwestern Wildcats celebrates his fumble recovery against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the fourth quarter on November 12, 2022 at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated Northwestern Wildcats 31-3.(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

  • INDIANA HOOSIERS (4-8, 2-7 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: N/A
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 75th

    Craig, Craig Craig..

    After going 6-2 during the COVID-shortened season in 2020, the Hoosiers have won 6 games combined over the last 2 seasons. Indiana had possibly the worst defense in the conference last season. They ranked dead last in Opp PPG (33.9), Opp YPG (450.3), and 20-yard plays (63).


    Tiawan Mullen #3 of the Indiana Hoosiers celebrates a defensive play during the first half against the Purdue Boilermakers at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)


  • RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (4-8, 1-8 in Big Ten)

    2022 POSTSEASON: N/A
    2023 FPI PRESEASON RANK: 78th

    It doesn’t look like Greg Schiano’s return to Rutgers has been successful. The team is 12-22 over that span, and have the third-worst record in the conference. However, the Scarlet Knights have nearly as many wins in the last 3 seasons (12), as they did in the previous 5 seasons combined (13).


    Wide receiver Rashad Rochelle #8 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights is tackled by defensive backs Zilan Williams #15 and Joe Lusardi #37 during their Scarlet-White Spring football game at SHI Stadium on April 29, 2023 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Sign me up for the ESPN Southwest Florida email newsletter!

You love listening to ESPN Southwest Florida, now make sure you’re getting all the extra perks. Sign up today to be an ESPN Southwest Florida Insider!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.