Best regular season victories for each B1G team in last five years
Looking back on five years, sometimes it’s difficult to pick out a team’s best regular season wins. Not all important wins have long-term implications. Not all important wins are against ranked foes. Not all important wins end with fans rushing the field.
Every impact is different. In these games, the impact was great enough to solidify a place on this list. Here are Big Ten teams’ best regular season win in the last five years.
Sept. 20, 2014
Indiana 31, No. 18 Missouri 27
A ranked SEC opponent on the road? From Indiana? Yes, that certainly tops the list. I wonder how many times Kevin Wilson brought up that game in living rooms across the country.
Nov. 27, 2010
Maryland 38, No. 23 NC State 31
Offensive coordinator James Franklin led the Terps to a regular season finale victory over Russell Wilson and NC State. The Wolfpack missed out on an ACC Championship thanks to Torrey Smith and the Terps.
Nov. 26, 2011
Michigan 40, Ohio State 34
The only time the Wolverines beat the team in Ohio in the last 11 meetings was the result of a five-touchdown day from Denard Robinson. Other than that, it’s been tough sledding for the maize and blue against their rivals.
Oct. 10, 2010
No. 17 Michigan State 34, No. 18 Michigan 17
For as many quality wins Sparty has in the last five years, perhaps none made the statement like the 2010 showdown in Ann Arbor. That was the beginning of the emergence of the No Fly Zone and helped the program further squash Mike Hart’s infamous “little brother” claim.
Nov. 9, 2014
No. 14 Ohio State 49, No. 8 Michigan State 37
It took arguably the best game of J.T. Barrett’s young career for Ohio State to keep its national title hopes alive. At the time, the No. 14 Buckeyes weren’t even on the national title radar. That is, until their biggest road win of the year.
Nov. 30, 2013
Penn State 31, No. 15 Wisconsin 24
Nobody wins at Camp Randall, much less a freshman quarterback. Christian Hackenberg turned in the most clutch performance of his first year and led the Lions to a win in Madison, which prevented the Badgers from a possible BCS National Championship game.
Nov. 17, 2012
No. 22 Rutgers 10, Cincinnati 3
At the time, the Scarlet Knights’ defensive struggle in Cincy kept it in control of a possible Big East title. That, unfortunately for Rutgers, was the high point of the season.
Nov. 29, 2014
Illinois 47, Northwestern 33
The Illini needed a road win against intrastate rival Northwestern in the regular season finale to gain bowl eligibility. Fortunately for Tim Beckman, that’s what Illinois got.
Oct. 30, 2010
No. 18 Michigan State 37, No. 5 Michigan State 6
Sparty had hopes of a Rose Bowl when it came into Iowa City 8-0. Sixty minutes of Iowa’s defensive dominance turned that around real quickly.
Nov. 22, 2014
No. 25 Minnesota 28, No. 23 Nebraska 24
In order to keep the Big Ten Championship dream alive, the Gophers needed road wins in Lincoln and Madison to close the season. With David Cobb hobbled, Mitch Leidner stepped up and scored the go-ahead touchdown to stun the sellout Nebraska crowd.
Oct. 30, 2010
No. 14 Nebraska 31, No. 6 Missouri 17
Just when Mizzou was starting to gain national relevance, Nebraska’s Roy Helu ripped off a school-record 307 yards and ended the Tigers’ hopes of an undefeated season. Unfortunately for Bo Pelini, the Huskers haven’t had a top-10 win since.
Nov. 15, 2014
Northwestern 43, No. 18 Notre Dame 40
Ok, so the Wildcats weren’t bowl eligible last year. Pat Fitzgerald can’t do a lot to sway a midwest kid to Northwestern from Notre Dame, but he can always point to that historic overtime victory in South Bend.
Nov. 24, 2012
Purdue 56, Indiana 35
The Boilermakers needed three victories to close the regular season to gain bowl eligibility, ending with a Bucket Game win. A 42-point second half did more than enough for the Boilermakers to quiet their rivals.
Oct. 17, 2010
No. 18 Wisconsin 31, No. 1 Ohio State 18
The Buckeyes’ dreams of a national title ended in Madison when John Clay steamrolled the Badgers to an upset of the nation’s top team. That also served as the launching point for a season that ended in the Rose Bowl.