In yesterday's story, we reviewed the 1997 season and controversy between Nebraska and Michigan.
Today, we are going to discuss our new conferences' beginnings. The Big Ten Conference was founded in 18(96) as the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives. It was also referred to as the Western Conference (no relation to the Western Athletic Conference). The founding members included Purdue University, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota, the University of Illinois, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University.
In 1899, the University of Iowa and Indiana University joined the conference and it became known as the Big 9. Michigan actually left the conference in 1908, but came crawling back in 1917. Ohio State University joined in 1912 and when Michigan came back, the conference became knows as the Big 10. The conference had no need to expand until the University of Chicago withdrew from the conference in 1946. Michigan State joined up in 1949 and it would be 41 years until Penn State came aboard in 1990. Of course, we all know that Nebraska will be an official memeber of the Big Ten on July 1st of this year. The University of Nebraska tried on several occasions to join the Big Ten. J. Hudson wrote up a very good story about this.
The Big Ten conference has also created a new series of annual trophies/awards to acknowledge the conference MVP's. They love their trophies and I have a feeling that I'm going to hate that word by the end of this countdown. If you are interested in the National Championships that Big Ten schools have won, click here.