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)}.

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