Celebrating the Remarkable in the Big Ten: A Retrospective

I was watching for the 53rd time the improbable Armstrong-Enunwa 99-yard play of amazingness that won Nebraska the Gator Bowl yesterday, and thinking "When does something like this work out for Nebraska? Or really, for anyone besides Auburn?" When you find out it's the longest play in school history, and that the 95-yard previous record holders happened in 2001 and 1965, it really hits you that you just witnessed something special.

Lost in the circus of drama that was the Nebraska football program this season was the fact that Husker fans got to see some pretty incredible things--Enunwa's catch was only one of them.

There was the Hail Mary:

There was Kenny Bell's freakish catch and touchdown against Illinois:

We saw a 7-year-old with brain cancer (now in remission!) score the best touchdown of all:

Yes, our coach came centimeters away from being fired by an ill-advised hat-slap, and years-old tapes of him eff-bombing fans came back to haunt him. Yes, our electric-if-fumble-prone, board-shorts-wearing California QB had his career very sadly cut short (#YOLOstrong forever). Yes, our offensive line (while not as badly decimated as Georgia's team, of course) got hurt in every imaginable way. Bad things happened. But we got to see some incredible things too, and it's good to remember that.

As the bitterness of more SEC bowl losses and a Minnesota-WTF moment conspire to turn this time of year into a period of lamentation and self-pity, let's take a moment to remember some of the great things we saw out of each team. At the end, tell me what I missed and what will make your list for your team's most memorable moment.

Michigan State

After a season where they did not become bowl-eligible until their final game, MSU rebounded in spectacular fashion this year. The great things here are perhaps more obvious than those for other teams, but we can't forget that we ALL witnessed The Greatest Defense in the Galaxy. You'll be telling your grandkids about it, mark the words of every MSU fan on this site.

We also saw Mark Dantonio smile:



Truly a season of memories.

Ohio State

Well, you were almost undefeated, and by most standards, that's pretty darn good. It's less good when the "almost" part of that causes you to lose a place in the NCG at the last possible moment, but it could happen to anyone, really. This year, the most remarkable thing we saw out of you was the god-man Urban Meyer descending from his throne in the heavens to come down and join us mortals in the most relatable and human of conditions:




I'll admit, I didn't watch much Wisconsin this season. Lost my taste for them a little over a year ago, I guess. I assume that the highlight of the season was this:

combined with this:

LOL at Bretter.


You were ranked #11 at one point this season. Yes, that was horrifically, grievously wrong, but you were. Never forget.

Penn State

You beat Michigan in four overtimes! Yes, it turned out it probably shouldn't have taken four overtimes to beat Michigan this year, but it was a thrilling victory nonetheless.

You beat Wisconsin too, which literally no one saw coming. Good job!


You know, not every season needs to be remembered.


Hmmm. Well, no one had shinier, stripe-ier helmets than you this year.



Good job, Hoosiers!


Everyone's favorite golden rodent had some truly magical memories this season, chief among them winning four Big Ten games in a row for the first time since the Coolidge administration or something. You also won back a trophy, which hasn't happened for quite awhile, as evidenced by your team's inexperience handling it:




Coming up empty. Sorry, Illini.




Many, many good things for the Hawkeyes this year! A girl blew a .341 and didn't die:



You won this Precious Moments figurine back from Iowa State:



And Kirk Ferentz has begun his long-awaited transformation into Bo Pelini by winning nine games this year by screaming at some refs in dramatic and televised fashion:

Though I'm not a writer for this site, like them, I don't really watch football, so feel free to tell me what I missed for your team. What crazy plays or incredible moments will live on in your memory of 2013?

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