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80 Reasons to Love the Big Ten - Nos. 72-70

No. 72 - Nighttime Halides


Sure, most stadiums brim with color, but few fortresses are as brutally blinding as Beaver Stadium at night.  As Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel writes:

"If I was a Circuit City employee trying to woo a customer into buying a $2,000 High-definition plasma television, the first thing I would show him is Saturday night's broadcast of the Penn State-Illinois game. Even seeing it for a third time, it was impossible not to be awed by the visual grandeur of Penn State's "White Out," which manages to turn a 110,000-seat stadium one enormous flashbulb. It's powerful, it's organized (right down to the block "S" in one corner) and, quite frankly, it's awesome.

Two words of advice to all the other schools trying to mimic it: Just stop. Seriously."

No. 71 - Midwest Farmer's (Sons &) Daughters


You can't talk college in the heartland without giving a nod to the collective co-eds that keep the crowd pumped up on the sidelines.  From mega-mounts to megaphones, Big Ten Cheerleaders are some of the sweetest around.   

No. 70 - Polar Express


Situated parallel, and less than a mile from the dark breakers of Lake Michigan, Northwestern's Ryan Field has a serious wind problem.  In November, these brazen bursts become bone chilling.  The solution for the numb?  A rich cup of hot chocolate from the stadium concession stand.  Served frothy and thick in large styrofoam cups, this sweet tongue-searing elixir is a second-half haven.