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Comparison: 2008 Big 10 Standings v Big 10 Results of the Last Ten Years

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A shift of power was legitimately felt in the Big 10 this year. Highly hyped traditional powers suffered once-in-a-generation upsets and surprising losing streaks, while mediocre programs followed their new coaches to in-conference success. Don't believe me? Check the statistics from the past ten years. (Note: The numbers in parentheses are the finishing Big 10 ranking of the team in 2008. For ranking the teams that had the same in-conference record in 2008, I went to overall record. If that didn't resolve which team was ranked higher, I went to head-to-head match-up.)

Team Overall Record In-Conference Record Bowl Record Big 10 Championships
#1 Ohio State(2) 94-27 60-20 5-4 5
#2 Michigan(10) 93-32 63-17 5-5 4
#3 Wisconsin(6) 90-37 44-36 6-3 2
#4 Penn State(1) 74-48 42-38 5-1 1
#5 Purdue(9) 74-51 45-35 3-6 1
#6 Iowa(5) 64-57 40-40 3-3 2
#7 Minnesota(7)
62-59 31-49 3-4 0
#8 MSU(3) 61-59 32-48 2-2 0
#9 Northwestern(4) 50-69 29-51 0-3 1
#10 Illinois(8) 48-69 27-53 1-2 1
#11 Indiana(11) 40-75 21-59 0-1

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Michigan's well-documented fall from perennial power is shown in its -8 difference. Wisconsin's -3 difference, while not as dramatic as the Wolverines, seemed especially steep because of the Badgers #8 preseason national ranking. Michigan State and Northwestern, spurred on by their intense coaches and solid defenses, both show a +5 difference thanks to their strong play.