On February 8, 1896, a meeting was held at the Palmer House in Chicago between faculty members from seven Midwestern universities to form the Western Conference, now known as the Big Ten.
The institutions represented at the meeting were University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University, Purdue University, and the University of Michigan. The conference was officially incorporated in 1987 and officially dubbed the Big Ten. The conference has produced many outstanding professional athletes.
Many great athletes played for Big Ten schools. They include former Super Bowl champion Drew Brees (Purdue), the only two time Heisman Archie Griffin (Ohio State) and Bears great Dick Butkis (University of Illinois). Basketball player included Magic Johnson (Michigan State), John Wooden (Purdue) and Isiah Thomas (Indiana).
The Big Ten Conference expanded until they had to divide the institutions into two divisions. The Legends include Michigan State, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Michigan and Northwestern. The Leaders include Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Indiana, Illinois and Purdue.
As a whole the conference has taken home 280 national championships and individual players are constantly recognized and awarded for their achievements.
Related Links: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/888915-big-ten-football-the-50-greatest-players-of-all-time/page/1 (50 greatest Big Ten football players of all time) http://bleacherreport.com/articles/743569-college-basketball-power-rankings-the-25-greatest-players-in-big-ten-history/page/1 (Top 25 Big Ten basketball players) http://www.bigten.org/school-bio/big10-school-bio.html (History of the Big Ten)
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