In 1896, a group of universities in what was then known as the western United States decided something needed to be done about the influx of what amounted to ringers in the burgeoning world of college athletics. The conference is still well regarded for its commitment to academics, but after 117 seasons and 44 claimed national championships, there have been more than a handful of top athletic talent to emerge from the Big Ten.
With well over a century's worth of All-Americans, Heisman Trophy winners and national champions to sort through, we've compiled a list of the best of the best; those who stand out amongst a large group of college football stars. The true, immortal greats of Big Ten football.
Here we present Bleacher Report's All-Time All-Big Ten football team selections.
Included on this list are only those players who played in the Big Ten (which excludes Nebraska players who completed their college careers prior to 2011, Penn State players before 1990, Michigan State players before 1950, Ohio State players before 1912, Indiana and Iowa players before 1899, Chicago players after 1946 and Michigan players who played only between 1907 and 1917).