September 2, 2010

NCAA Division I FBS: Big Ten Conference, 2010 season – attendance map (2009 figures), and modern era helmet history chart. Plus maps of the two Big Ten Divisions starting in 2011.


Big Ten reveals divisional breakdown (article from September 2, 2010, from ESPN/College, {here}).
Below are two maps I assembled today, that show the two unnamed divisions in Big Ten football which will be instituted in 2011, when Nebraska makes the Big Ten football conference a 12 team organization. Included are the permanent rivalries [ie, match-ups that will have a game played each season].

Click on each image below to see full map of each future division set-up…



Here is a list from the standpoint of who filled their stadium the best last season… the accumulated percentage capacities of Big Ten teams from 2009 [with 100% being a sell-out/team played to capacity; and a figure above 100% meaning the team played to capacity plus standing-room-only. (Ranking then listed in context of all 120 teams in FBS - I ; {then average attendance listed; then percent increase or decrease versus 2008 average attendance}).]…
Ohio State – 102.87% capacity (and the 3rd highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 105,261 per game {+0.3% vs. 2008 avg. attendance}).
Michigan – 102.57% capacity (and the highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 108,933 per game {+0.3% vs. 2008 avg. attendance}).
Minnesota – 101.61% capacity (and the 42nd highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 50,805 per game {+1.7% vs. 2008 average attendance}).
Penn State – 99.74% capacity (and the 2nd highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 107,008 per game {-1.1% vs. 2008 average attendance}).
Wisconsin – 99.74% capacity (and the 15th highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 80,109 per game {+1.7 % vs. 2008 average attendance]).
Michigan State – 99.65% capacity (and the 18th highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 74,741 per game {-0.1% vs. 2008 average attendance}).
Iowa – 99.47% capacity (and the 21st highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 70,214 per game {+0.1% vs. 2008 average attendance}).
Illinois – 94.71% capacity (and the 29th highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 59,545 per game {-3.5% vs. 2008 average attendance}).
Indiana – 84.98% capacity (and the 56th highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 41,833 per game {+31.6% vs. 2008 average attendance}).
Purdue – 80.73% capacity (and the 44th highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 50,457 per game {-11.1% vs. 2008 average attendance}).
Northwestern – 51.33% capacity (and the 83rd highest average attendance in FBS-I, at 24,190 per game {-15.4% vs. 2008 average attendance}).

Thanks to the NCAA site, for 2009 attendance figures, ‘NCAA Accumulated Attendances, FBS’ (pdf).

New Michigan State helmet, here (at Motown Lowdown, a SB Nation blog), featuring a tapered grey stripe at top of helmet, and a slightly darker green helmet color.

You will notice I placed a small rectangle for the Nebraska Cornhuskers on the main map page. Of course, Nebraska will be joining the Big Ten next season, in 2011, but I figured people would like to see geographically where the Cornhuskers’ home, Lincoln, Nebraska, is located in relation to the other 11 Big Ten teams’ locations.

On the main map page, the modern-era helmet history of each team is not completely comprehensive, but shown are all major helmet design changes of each Big 10 team from the post-World War II era to the present time (approximately 56 to 64 years). That includes face mask color changes. As usual on these maps and charts, all modern, plastic composite helmet designs of each team in the Conference are shown, and they are arranged chronologically from left to right.

The plastic composite helmets replaced the old leather ones in the years following the end of World War II. By 1949, most NFL teams, and many college teams, had started using the new type of helmets, which had come out of technological innovations made during the WW II era. By the early 1950s, every college team was using the new helmets. Each teams’ helmet history on the chart thus starts when that school started using the safer and shinier new headgear. I made exceptions with Penn State and Michigan, because there was room for a leather helmet there, and I was able to find images of their final leather-helmet era designs. Believe me, if I could, I would have included the leather-helmet histories of all the teams, but sadly that visual history is very hard to unearth and there is no source out there for even incomplete depictions of what teams’ helmets looked like circa, say, 1900, or even 1940 {like the Michigan Wolverines helmets included in this photo from University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library site, here. Full article (‘Michigan’s Winged Helmet’, here}. The following link has (and sells) leather helmets of college teams, but some of them are probably not accurate, like the Michigan State helmet. And back then, with some manufacturers, leather helmet colors only came in black or tan, and sometimes if a school wanted their football team to wear helmets in the school colors, they had to paint them themselves. So anyway, at the Past Time Sports site, you can see the old , circa 1930 to 1940s, leather helmet designs of Michigan (top of page); and further down the page teams such as Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State, {click here}. And you can go to MG’s Helmets site for a nice set of pages that shows, year-by-year, the helmet design of the popularly recognized National Champion, here …Note: go to the 11th category on the left-hand sidebar called ‘NCAA National Champs [1936 to present]‘. There you can see the 1936, 1940, and 1941 AP #1 Minnesota Golden Gophers’ maroon leather helmet and the 1942 AP #1 Ohio State Buckeyes’ silver leather helmet with top red stripe.

Thanks to Elite Deals site, where I got most of the current Big Ten helmet photos. I also got a couple photos from Score

Special thanks to the two sites that were instrumental in making this helmet history chart…the brilliant site Helmet Hut. Helmet Hut/College.
And the singular Helmet Project page, which is the only site I can find that has attempted to tackle helmet histories of college football teams (even if it is only from 1960 to the present day)…

One more thing…the Ohio State buckeye-leaf decals were green in the 1970s, were black around 20 years ago or so, and now are a very dark green (I think). My last post on Big Ten football, in November, 2008 {here} linked to a now-infamous thread on {here}, which featured an ex-Buckeye player who showed photos of his helmet (this ex-player is early 1990s Ohio State punter Scott Tema), and provided vociferous arguments for the fact that the buckeye decals have always been black, but some outlets sell fake ones that are green. Well, 25 pages on, and a mention later {here…(‘Lunatics Guide to College Football’, by Justin Peters on Aug. 29, 2007 @…see Ohio State/Bizarre fixation)}, the jury was still out but leaning towards dark hunter green, and certainly leaning towards the fact that during the 1970s, at least, the buckeye decals were definitely green. So I decided to use the Ohio State ‘s entry on the subject {here}. I did find out one thing for certain, though…the leaf decals were being awarded starting in 1967, not 1968, like is popularly believed. 1967 was the last year that Ohio State wore a red helmet. On page 17 of the thread, you can see a photo that proves this {here (halfway down the page)}.

November 9, 2008

NCAA Division I-A/ Football Bowl Subdivision, the Big Ten: Attendance Map (2007 figures) and Team Profiles.

Filed under: NCAA Gridiron Football,NCAA/fb-Big Ten — admin @ 7:28 am


The Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives was founded on February 8, 1896.  The conference became popularly known as the Western Conference.  Its original schools were Chicago,  IllinoisMichiganMinnesotaNorthwesternPurdue,  and Wisconsin.   Indiana and Iowa joined in 1899,  and the conference became popularly known as the Big Nine

Michigan left the conference in 1908 (for a time);  Ohio State joined in 1913.  When Michigan re-joined in November 1917,  the conference started to be known as the Big Ten.

The University of Chicago decided to de-emphasize athletics,  and their football team left the conference in 1939.  By 1946,  that school’s athletic program was out of the conference entirely,  and the conference once again became known as the Big Nine.  Three years later, 1949,  Michigan State joined,  and it was the Big Ten again. 

It is interesting to note that throughout this whole time,  the conference was officially known as the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives.  The conference did not shed this anachronistic name until 1987,  when the Big Ten was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation.  Three years later,  Penn State joined,  but it was decided to keep the name Big Ten (after all, it’s foolish to mess with an established brand name}.  The conference slyly acknowledges their 11 schools,  though,  by having a logo which shows the number 11,  in the spaces to either side of the T in Ten.

On the team profiles chart on the right,  in most cases I have concentrated on showing the evolution of the teams’ headgear design,  rather than load up on alternate logos.   It’s interesting to note that two teams won national titles in the 1960s in the first season after changing their helmets.  In 1965,  Michigan State first introduced a logo on their green helmet,  a Spartan warrior’s head in profile.  The team went on to win the consensus national title,  with a 10-1 record.   Ohio State,  in 1968,  adopted the iconic style they use to this day,  a silver helmet with red, white, and black stripes,  accented with buckeye-leaf decals (awarded to players for stand-out play).  Coach Woody Hayes won his last National Title that season,  as the Buckeyes were undefeated,  and were the undisputed national champions.

This time,  I have used photos (instead of illustrations) of each teams helmet logo and/ or design, in the rectangles to the immediate left of the teams’ names.  The Ohio State design was perplexing,  because it was difficult to tell if the decals are black,  or green.  They do sell green decals on the internet,  but it appears these are not authentic.  And there are illustrations of Ohio State helmets out there that depict green buckeye-leaf decals {see this},  but they appear to be inaccurate.  From this Ohio State fan site message board thread,  it seems the case is solidly made that they are are black {see this,  a thread from the Buckeyes Planet site}.   But on Ohio State coach Jim Tressel’s site,  he uses green icons to chart the player’s decal-award tally {see this}.   Still,  the photo on that site certainly shows black leaves.

The Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan has an excellent site.  I have set the following link to the Michigan Stadium Story page,  but there are lots of pages to peruse {Click here}.  Here is the Michigan versus Ohio State rivalry section, set at the two team’s stadiums comparison {Click here};  and art of  UM vs. OSU football program covers  {Click here}.

Thanks to the invaluable College Football Data Warehouse site:  {Click here}.  Thanks to Helmet Hut  {Click here}.   Thanks to the College Football All-Time Database,  at .  

Thanks to the contibutors to the Big Ten pages at Wikipedia  {Click here}.   Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page,  at .   Thanks to Logo Shak,  at .   Thanks to Logo Server,  at .   Thanks to the NCAA site,  specifically for this list of college football National Champions  {Click here}.   Thanks to the College Football History site  {Click here}.

Next up…the Pac-10,  to be posted Thursday.

November 5, 2007

NCAA Football, The Big Ten. 2006 Average Attendances.

Filed under: NCAA Gridiron Football,NCAA/fb-Big Ten — admin @ 7:26 am


The Big Ten is actually an 11-team conference, since Penn State joined in 1990.  It boasts 3 of the top 4 draws in all of American collegiate football (Tennessee is third).  The amount of spectators that the big-time college football programs draw is staggering.  In 2006, 57 teams had average attendances over 40,000.  The helmets on this map are sized proportionally to reflect the teams average gate.  Thanks to the NFL Helmet Store for the photographs.  

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