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Geography Fun in the Big Ten

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Get pumped, nerds.

These dinguses managed to navigate their way across Big Ten country (eventually.) Can you do the same?

My football team is dreadful and my volleyball team lost two matches this week, so rather than dwelling on either of those things, I’m going to get my educator on and create a fun little quiz for us!

The idea for this was born, as so many things are, from the dregs of the comments in SMCD. Various locales were dismissed as being “in the middle of nowhere,” trees were decreed to be the pinnacle of what the average college football recruit desires in his educational experience, and many other very stupid things were said. Nevertheless, in the spirit of resilience, I decided to take some of these ill-informed musings and create something fun from them. Much like a late-night comedian over the past few years, it may not be the material one wants, but it is the material one has.

So, see how much you know about the Midwest and also New Jersey and Maryland, and then come lie brag truthfully about how you did in the comments! The prize is the friends you made along the way. (Answers are at the bottom of the quiz so you don’t cheat, cheaters.)

1. Tall Places!

Huron Mountains, Michigan

Poll

Which state in the Big Ten has the highest elevation?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Pennsylvania
    (613 votes)
  • 17%
    Nebraska
    (158 votes)
  • 7%
    Michigan
    (66 votes)
  • 8%
    Minnesota
    (80 votes)
917 votes total Vote Now

2. At Home on the “Plains”

Georgia: Not in the Big Ten, which is good news for all of our football teams.

Poll

Where in the Big Ten is the town of Plains?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Nebraska
    (420 votes)
  • 27%
    Indiana
    (229 votes)
  • 15%
    Minnesota
    (127 votes)
  • 6%
    Pennsylvania
    (56 votes)
832 votes total Vote Now

3. Big Bad Busy City

Pictured: Piscataway, New Jersey. JK, it’s Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Poll

AFTER Minneapolis and Columbus, the biggest two by a long shot, which Big Ten school is located in the largest city? (Actual city proper population only, not the metro, sorry Rutgers.)

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Madison, WI
    (418 votes)
  • 8%
    Evanston, IL
    (76 votes)
  • 15%
    Ann Arbor, MI
    (140 votes)
  • 28%
    Lincoln, NE
    (251 votes)
885 votes total Vote Now

4. Washed Away

Dubuque, IA.

Poll

Which of these Big Ten states does NOT have an elevation equal to sea level?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    New Jersey
    (47 votes)
  • 55%
    Illinois
    (461 votes)
  • 28%
    Pennsylvania
    (241 votes)
  • 10%
    Maryland
    (88 votes)
837 votes total Vote Now

5. Brought to you by Math

Aw, they grow up so fast.

Poll

Which B1G state has the biggest difference between its highest point and its lowest point?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Pennsylvania
    (534 votes)
  • 16%
    Michigan
    (140 votes)
  • 10%
    Nebraska
    (84 votes)
  • 8%
    Ohio
    (69 votes)
827 votes total Vote Now

6. Size Matters

Insert Scott Frost joke here.

Poll

Which Big Ten state is the biggest by area?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Michigan
    (225 votes)
  • 49%
    Minnesota
    (411 votes)
  • 20%
    Nebraska
    (169 votes)
  • 3%
    Illinois
    (27 votes)
832 votes total Vote Now

7. So Long, Farewell

The US overall had its second-slowest rate of population growth from 2010-2020. However, only one Big Ten state actually lost population:

Poll

Which state saw a population decline from 2010 to 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Michigan
    (257 votes)
  • 17%
    Nebraska
    (149 votes)
  • 37%
    Illinois
    (315 votes)
  • 13%
    Indiana
    (112 votes)
833 votes total Vote Now

8. It’s Not the Size that Matters, It’s How you Use It

All the, small things.

Poll

Which state is the smallest Big Ten state by area?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Maryland
    (385 votes)
  • 2%
    Iowa
    (20 votes)
  • 50%
    New Jersey
    (423 votes)
  • 1%
    Indinia
    (15 votes)
843 votes total Vote Now

Be sure to let us know how you did in the comments!

Answers:

1) Nebraska (At 5,427 ft., Panorama Point is more than 2,000 feet higher than Hoye-Crest, Maryland at 3,360 ft., and positively dwarfs 3,213 ft., Mt. Davis in Pennsylvania.)

2) Pennsylvania

3) Lincoln, NE (291,082 in 2020). Madison is very close behind Lincoln, with 269,840.

4) It’s Illinois, though its lowest point is pretty low at only 280 feet above sea level. In a metaphorical sense, the town located at this point (Cairo, IL) is also extremely low - give this a read if you like very sad things.

5) Nebraska! You had a hint on this one if you got the first question correct. “Flat” Nebraska has a difference between its lowest and highest points of 4,587 ft, Maryland with a difference of 3,360 ft. has a slight edge over Pennsylvania once again with 3,213 ft. (some mountains, eh?)

6) Michigan is the largest state in area (thank the UP, you guys), followed by, in order: Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

7) Illinois

8) New Jersey. Thank goodness, right? Ascending from there, it’s Maryland, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.