clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gauging the Most Success in the B1G Ten

It’s Probably Not Your School

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 03 Maryland at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We are in unprecedented times.

Yeah, yeah pandemic, no fall sports, virtual classes, mass stupidity blah blah… I don’t mean any of that. I mean success rates.

Let me back up.

The Big Ten is a venerable institution. It’s the oldest Division 1 collegiate athletic conference in the U.S. In 1895, Purdue University president James H. Smart gathered luminaries from the University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, and the University of Wisconsin.

The group got together to figure out how to regulate intercollegiate athletics. And thus, the B1G was born. By the way, our august conference predates the NCAA by a decade.

Later, the group begrudgingly began to add schools. Indiana and Iowa joined in 1899. They regrettably extended an invitation to future SEC mid-tier Ohio State in 1912. The University of Chicago bowed out in 1946 and the conference added Michigan State in 1950.

It took another 40 years before the B1G began to expand again, adding Penn State in 1990, Nebraska in 2011, Maryland and Rutgers in 2014.

The Year Each School Joined the Big Ten

School Year Joined School Year Joined
School Year Joined School Year Joined
Michigan 1896 Indiana 1899
Illinois 1896 Iowa 1899
Wisconsin 1896 Ohio State 1912
Chicago 1896 Michigan State 1950
Minnesota 1896 Penn State 1990
Northwestern 1896 Nebraska 2011
Purdue 1896 Maryland 2014
Rutgers 2014

Throughout that time, schools achieved various levels of success in sports. Over the course of 124 years of play, even the least competitive managed to pull in a badminton or rhythmic gymnastics championship. The list below illustrates that success (mostly).

Total Conference Titles Per School

School Conference Titles School Conference Titles
School Conference Titles School Conference Titles
Michigan 397 Michigan State 98
Illinois 252 Penn State 79
Ohio State 238 Northwestern 76
Wisconsin 198 Chicago 73
Indiana 180 Purdue 73
Minnesota 167 Maryland 22
Iowa 109 Nebraska 14
Rutgers 0

Now, before the buckeye fans begin to riot, we need to look at this through a different lens. As you will see, time in conference matters…except for Rutgers. They suck. Why did we add them again?

Lets review the conference again by success rate. We define that as conference championships per year of membership. In other words, Nebraska fans, what you did elsewhere don’t mean shit. Only what you did since you got here.

That way, we can compare apples to apples (honeycrisps obviously…) in conference play. The table below bestows the bragging rights for the B1G. Hold on to your cheese curds.

Success Rate per School

School Success Rate School Success Rate
School Success Rate School Success Rate
Maryland 3.7 Indiana 1.5
Michigan 3.2 Chicago 1.5
Penn State 2.6 Michigan State 1.4
Ohio State 2.2 Minnesota 1.3
Illinois 2.0 Iowa 0.90
Wisconsin 1.6 Northwestern 0.61
Nebraska 1.6 Purdue 0.59
Rutgers -

Some observations here.

• Congratulations to Maryland fans. That’s impressive, 22 titles in just 6 years. (For the rest of us, get ready for some insufferable TT homers taking a victory lap.)

• It’s interesting that for all the posturing around football, OSU mustered just 4th in total success rate.

• Look at you Illinois! This is a unique opportunity to look down on the bulk of the B1G.

• I had to break out the scores below 1.0, because I didn’t want virtual fisticuffs between Northwestern and Purdue.

• And shame on you, Rutgers. Shame. On. You.

Your friend,



What do you think of Maryland at the top?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    This is bulls$%&
    (67 votes)
  • 9%
    Woo Illinois
    (26 votes)
  • 13%
    Wisconsin is ranked too low
    (37 votes)
  • 38%
    Did we really add rutger?
    (107 votes)
  • 14%
    Pete Mote Esquire
    (41 votes)
278 votes total Vote Now