The 50 Greatest Big Ten Football Champions of All Time

Tom PerryCorrespondent INovember 29, 2011

The 50 Greatest Big Ten Football Champions of All Time

0 of 50

    It's a big week for the Big Ten conference, as Michigan State and Wisconsin will meet in the league's inaugural football championship game on Saturday.

    Since 1896, the Big Ten had crowned a champion through the results during the regular season.

    It should come as no surprise that legendary coaches Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler are tied with 13 championships each. Schembechler's Michigan Wolverines are the top dog with 42 championships.

    Nebraska just joined the Big Ten, so the Cornhuskers are the only current member to have never won a title. Indiana has just two since joining the conference in 1900.

    The Hoosiers should be embarrassed, especially since Chicago has seven championships. The Maroons are an original member and last won a title in 1924.

    With more than 150 championship trophies handed out over the years, it's time to rank the top 50 all-time Big Ten champions.

50. 2006 Michigan

1 of 50

    Overall Record: 11-2

    Conference Record: 7-1

    Final ranking: 8

    Lloyd Carr's Wolverines opened the season with 11 consecutive wins to reach the No. 2 ranking in the nation behind fellow Big Ten rival Ohio State.

    Michigan lost a 42-39 thriller in Columbus, which cost the Wolverines the Big Ten title and a shot at the BCS National Championship. Instead, the Wolverines faced USC in the Rose Bowl and lost 32-18.

    The Wolverines were loaded with talent this season, including quarterback Chad Henne, tailback Mike Hart, offensive tackle Jake Long and receiver Mario Manningham.

    This is the only non-Big Ten champ to make the list.

49. 1896 Wisconsin

2 of 50

    Overall Record: 7-1-1

    Conference Record: 2-0-1

    Final ranking: NR

    The Badgers hold the distinction of winning the first Big Ten championship (it was actually called the Western Conference this season).

    Phillip King's team opened with seven straight wins, including an 18-0 victory of Madison High School. But the Badgers closed the season with a 6-6 tie with Northwestern and an 18-8 loss to Carlisle.

    Wisconsin's biggest win of the season was a 50-0 blowout of Rush Medical.

48. 1921 Iowa

3 of 50

    Overall Record: 7-0

    Conference Record: 5-0

    Final ranking: NR

    After going a perfect 7-0, Iowa was invited to play Cal in the 1922 Rose Bowl. But the Hawkeyes turned down the invitation at the request of the conference.

    The Hawkeyes had some impressive victories, including a 10-7 win over Notre Dame.

    Iowa's star players in 1921 were Aubrey Devine, Duke Slater and Gordon Locke.

47. 1913 Chicago

4 of 50

    Overall Record: 7-0

    Conference Record: 7-0

    Final ranking: 1

    Coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg, one of the game's legendary figures, Chicago claimed its fifth conference championship in 1913.

    The Maroons shut out Purdue, Northwestern and Wisconsin during the season.

    The team was led by All-American center Paul Des Jardien.

46. 1995 Northwestern

5 of 50

    Overall Record: 10-2

    Conference Record: 8-0

    Final ranking: 7

    Northwestern opened the 1995 season by shocking No. 9 Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., 17-15. However, the Wildcats followed that up with a 30-28 loss to Miami, Ohio.

    Somehow Gary Barnett's team regrouped and won nine straight, including a perfect 8-0 run through the Big Ten. The Wildcats didn't lose again until the Rose Bowl when USC won 41-32.

    Running back Darnell Autry, quarterback Steve Schnur and linebacker Pat Fitzgerald were the key players from this overachieving team. Fitzgerald is the current Northwestern coach.

45. 1974 Michigan

6 of 50

    Overall Record: 10-1

    Conference Record: 7-1

    Final ranking: 3

    The Wolverines rolled to a 10-0 start and a No. 2 national ranking, and then came The Game with Ohio State.

    The Buckeyes prevailed 12-10 in Columbus, which ended Michigan's season.

    Bo Schembechler's team had some top-flight talent, including Rob Lytle, Dave Brown and Steve Strinko.

44. 1945 Indiana

7 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-0-1

    Conference Record: 5-0-1

    Final ranking: 4

    Indiana recorded four shutouts, including in its final three games of the season.

    It opened with three tough games and defeated Michigan 13-7, tied Northwestern 7-7 and defeated Illinois 6-0.

    This was the first of only two Big Ten titles for Indiana.

43. 1935 Minnesota

8 of 50

    Overall Record: 8-0

    Conference Record: 5-0

    Final ranking: 1

    The Golden Gophers tied Ohio State for the conference championship, but the teams didn't play each other in 1935.

    Bernie Bierman's team crushed Michigan 40-0 in Ann Arbor, and defeated Wisconsin 33-7 to close out the undefeated season.

    Linemen Bud Wilkinson, Ed Widseth and Dick Smith were all named All-American, as was halfback Sheldon Beise.

42. 1944 Ohio State

9 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-0

    Conference Record: 6-0

    Final ranking: 2

    In Carroll Widdoes' first season at Ohio State, the Buckeyes outscored their opponents 287-79 as the quality of play was improving with the end of World War II nearing.

    The Buckeyes did face a tough test from rival Michigan, but still came out on top 18-14.

    Heisman Trophy winner Les Horvath headlined the Ohio State lineup, along with Jack Dugger, Gordon Appleby and Gene Fekete.

41. 1963 Illinois

10 of 50

    Overall Record: 8-1-1

    Conference Record: 5-1-1

    Final ranking: 2

    Led by All-American linebacker Dick Butkus, Illinois didn't overwhelm anyone all season.

    The Fighting Illini actually lost to Michigan 14-8 and tied Ohio 20-20, but they still won enough to claim the conference championship and eventually beat Washington 17-7 in the Rose Bowl.

    Illinois beat California, Northwestern, Minnesota, UCLA, Purdue, Wisconsin and Michigan State.

40. 1974 Ohio State

11 of 50

    Overall Record: 10-2

    Conference Record: 7-1

    Final ranking: 3

    After opening the season at 8-0, the Buckeyes slipped up at Michigan State 16-13.

    But Woody Hayes' team rebounded and Ohio State finished with wins over Iowa and Michigan to get the Rose Bowl berth. The Buckeyes lost to USC 18-17.

    The Buckeyes were led by Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, along with three first-round draft picks—Kurt Schumacher, Doug France and Neal Colzie.

39. 1967 Indiana

12 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-2

    Conference Record: 6-1

    Final ranking: 4

    John Pont's Indiana team opened the 1967 season with eight consecutive wins before falling to Minnesota 33-7. The Gophers were one of three teams to lay claim to the championship this season.

    The Hoosiers rebounded with a 19-14 victory over Purdue, which shared the title as well. Indiana lost to USC 14-3 in the Rose Bowl.

    The team featured future NFL players Doug Crusan, Terry Cole and Brown Marks.

38. 1951 Illinois

13 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-0-1

    Conference Record: 5-0-1

    Final ranking: 3

    Outside of a scoreless tie with Ohio State, the 1951 Illinois team played and beat the best teams in the country.

    In the 1952 Rose Bowl, the Fighting Illini took it to Stanford 40-7.

    Coach Ray Eliot's team was led by Tommy O'Connell and Johnny Karras.

37. 1956 Iowa

14 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-1

    Conference Record: 5-1

    Final ranking: 3

    A 17-14 loss to Michigan might be the only thing that separated Forest Evashevski's Hawkeyes from a national championship.

    Iowa crushed Notre Dame 48-8 in the regular season finale and then rolled Oregon State in the Rose Bowl 35-19.

    Frank Gilliam and Dan Dobrino went on to play in the NFL off this Iowa team.

36. 1953 Michigan State

15 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-1

    Conference Record: 5-1

    Final ranking: 3

    Michigan State pretty much rolled past every opponent in 1953, until a 6-0 slip-up against Purdue in the fifth week of the season.

    Clarence Munn's squad rebounded to win four straight to finish the regular season 8-1. The Spartans earned a trip to the Rose Bowl and Michigan State defeated UCLA 28-20.

    NFL Hall of Famer Earl Morrall was on the roster, but didn't start. The Spartans were led by quarterback Tom Yewcic and running backs Leroy Bolden and Evan Slonac.

35. 1960 Iowa

16 of 50

    Overall Record: 8-1

    Conference Record: 5-1

    Final ranking: 2

    Iowa's lone loss came to eventual national champion Minnesota, who the Hawkeyes shared the conference title with.

    The Hawkeyes rebounded from the loss to the Gophers by soundly defeating Ohio State (35-12) and Notre Dame (28-0).

    Iowa had two players drafted from this team—halfback Willie Fleming and back Bernard Wyatt.

34. 1961 Ohio State

17 of 50

    Overall Record: 8-0-1

    Conference Record: 6-0

    Final ranking: 2

    Woody Hayes and the Buckeyes opened the 1961 season by tying TCU 7-7 in Columbus, and then went on an eight-game winning streak.

    Despite winning the Big Ten, Ohio State rejected an invitation to the Rose Bowl. Minnesota actually accepted it and went on to defeat UCLA 21-3.

    Ohio State was captained by Mike Ingram and Tom Perdue, but it also included a dandy basketball player by the name of John Havlicek.

33. 1958 Iowa

18 of 50

    Overall Record: 8-1-1

    Conference Record: 5-1

    Final ranking: 2

    Iowa entered the 1958 season with enormous expectations, despite losing stars Alex Karras and Jim Gibbons to graduation.

    Instead, the Hawkeyes turned to senior quarterback Randy Duncan, who finished second in the Heisman voting. After opening with a big win over TCU, Iowa was shocked by a 13-13 tie with Air Force.

    Iowa's only Big Ten loss came at home to Ohio State, 38-28. In the Rose Bowl, the Hawkeyes easily defeated California 38-12.

32. 1962 Wisconsin

19 of 50

    Overall Record: 8-2

    Conference Record: 6-1

    Final ranking: 2

    Wisconsin opened the season 4-0 and catapulted to No. 5 in the rankings, but then the Badgers ran into Ohio State and lost 14-7.

    Milt Bruhn's team rebounded to win the next four and earn a spot in the Rose Bowl with USC. However, the Trojans pulled out a tough-fought 42-37 win.

    Quarterback Ron Vander Kelen had a breakout season after missing both the 1960 and 1961 seasons. The team also had All-American tight end Pat Richter.

31. 1970 Ohio State

20 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-1

    Conference Record: 7-0

    Final ranking: 2

    Ohio State rolled to a Big Ten championship by going 9-0 in the regular season with non-conference victories against Texas A&M and Duke.

    The Buckeyes closed the regular season with a convincing 20-9 win over rival Michigan and Woody Hayes and Co. were ready for a shot at the national title and the Rose Bowl.

    The stage was set as No. 1 Texas lost to Notre Dame, and all Ohio State had to do was dispatch of No. 12 Stanford. However, Stanford rallied for 27-17 shocking win.

    Ohio State's roster was loaded with future NFL players, including Jack Tatum, John Brockington, William Anderson, Leo Hayden and Jim Stillwagon.

30. 1975 Ohio State

21 of 50

    Overall Record: 11-1

    Conference Record: 8-0

    Final ranking: 4

    The 1975 season is remembered as the year that Archie Griffin became the first (and only) two-time Heisman Trophy winner.

    The Buckeyes recorded three shutouts and a big 41-20 victory over UCLA at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the regular season.

    The Buckeyes got a rematch with the Bruins in the Rose Bowl, but this time UCLA won 23-10.

    Woody Hayes' team was led by Tim Fox, Brian Baschnagel and Griffin.

29. 1998 Wisconsin

22 of 50

    Overall Record: 11-1

    Conference Record: 7-1

    Final ranking: 5

    The 1998 Wisconsin team may have benefited from not having to play Ohio State or Michigan State, and the Badgers never climbed any higher than eighth in the regular season rankings.

    Wisconsin's lone loss came at Michigan, 27-10. The Badgers still finished in a three-way tie with the Buckeyes and Wolverines and earned the conference's bid to the Rose Bowl.

    The Badgers were considered no match for sixth-ranked UCLA, but Barry Alvarez's team rose the occasion and won 38-31.

    Wisconsin boasted All-Americans Tom Burke, Aaron Gibson and Ron Dayne. Dayne would go on to win the Heisman Trophy in 1999.

28. 1998 Ohio State

23 of 50

    Overall Record: 11-1

    Conference Record: 7-1

    Final ranking: 2

    The 1998 Ohio State team finishes one spot ahead of Wisconsin because it played a tougher schedule and finished second in the nation.

    The Buckeyes should have won the national championship, but a 28-24 loss to Michigan State in Columbus cost them a shot.

    Instead of the Rose Bowl, Ohio State beat Texas A&M 24-14 in the Sugar Bowl.

    OSU was led at quarterback by Joe Germaine, and also had three first-round draft picks in receiver David Boston, defensive back Antoine Winfield and linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer.

27. 1979 Ohio State

24 of 50

    Overall Record: 11-1

    Conference Record: 8-0

    Final ranking: 4

    In Earle Bruce's first season as the head coach at Ohio State, he led the Buckeyes to a perfect 11-0 regular season.

    Ohio State didn't taste defeat until a 17-16 loss to USC in the Rose Bowl.

    The Buckeyes dominated almost every opponent, except for close games with Minnesota (21-17), UCLA (17-13) and Michigan (18-15).

    Even more impressive than the players on the field was the coaching staff, which included Pete Carroll and Glen Mason.

26. 2005 Penn State

25 of 50

    Overall Record: 11-1

    Conference Record: 7-1

    Final ranking: 3

    After back-to-back losing seasons, Penn State returned 18 starters and the Nittany Lions played up to their potential.

    Joe Paterno's squad opened 2005 with six straight wins before dropping a 27-25 heartbreaker at Michigan. The Lions bounced back to win their next four games and earn a spot in the Orange Bowl against Florida State.

    Penn State needed three overtimes but defeated the Seminoles 26-23.

    The roster included standouts Paul Posluszny, Michael Robinson, Tamba Ali and Levi Brown.

25. 1902 Michigan

26 of 50

    Overall Record: 11-0

    Conference Record: 5-0

    Final ranking: 1

    In Fielding Yost's second season with the Wolverines, Michigan outscored its opponents 644-12.

    Michigan thrashed rival Ohio State 86-0, but followed that with its closest win (6-0 over Wisconsin). The only teams to score on the Wolverines was Case and Minnesota.

    Quarterback Boss Weeks ran an offense that averaged 58.6 points a game, while halfback Albert Hernstein led the team in scoring with 135 points on 27 touchdowns.

24. 1980 Michigan

27 of 50

    Overall Record: 10-2

    Conference Record: 8-0

    Final ranking: 4

    After struggling early, Michigan won its final nine games of the season, including a 23-6 victory over Washington.

    The losses were both close. After beating Northwestern 17-10, the Wolverines lost to Notre Dame 29-27 and South Carolina 17-14. Winning the Big Ten was somewhat of a surprise, as most experts considered Ohio State and Purdue to be the top two teams.

    Michigan wide receiver Anthony Carter was one of the team's best players, but the Wolverines' roster also included Keith Bostic, Butch Woolfolk and Bubba Paris.

23. 1996 Ohio State

28 of 50

    Overall Record: 11-1

    Conference Record: 7-1

    Final ranking: 2

    The John Cooper years were filled with teams that had great talent, but underachieved.

    The 1996 team was the perfect example.

    The Buckeyes opened the season with 10 straight wins and climbed to No. 2 in the rankings. But Cooper's teams couldn't beat Michigan and the Buckeyes lost the season finale 13-9.

    Ohio State still won the Big Ten and defeated Arizona State 20-17 in the Rose Bowl.

    The Buckeye lineup included Orlando Pace, Andy Katzenmoyer, Shawn Springs and Mike Vrabel.

22. 1905 Chicago

29 of 50

    Overall Record: 11-0

    Conference Record: 7-0

    Final ranking: 1

    The only team to score on the Maroons in 1905 was Indiana, but Chicago still played a close 4-0 game with Wisconsin and 2-0 game with Michigan.

    Good thing for that stingy defense.

    Amos Alonzo Stagg's team romped over Illinois 44-0 and Iowa 42-0.

21. 2006 Ohio State

30 of 50

    Overall Record: 12-1

    Conference Record: 8-0

    Final ranking: 2

    Ohio State almost ran the table as the nation's top-ranked team.

    The Buckeyes ran off 12 consecutive wins and were the only BCS team undefeated at the end of the regular season.

    Ohio State had Heisman winner Troy Smith, but he had his worst game of the season against a relentless Florida offense in the BCS National Championship game.

    The Buckeyes missed out on earning a second championship in the Jim Tressel era.

    Besides Smith, Ohio State also had Ted Ginn Jr., Brian Robiskie, Antonio Pittman, Beanie Wells, Vernon Gholston and James Laurinaitis.

20. 1922 Iowa

31 of 50

    Overall Record: 7-0

    Conference Record: 5-0

    Final ranking: NR

    Iowa tied Chicago and Michigan for the Big Ten championship in 1922, but the Hawkeyes had the best overall record at 7-0.

    Iowa had an 8-7 win over Illinois and a 12-9 win over Ohio State.

    The team was led by All-American end Lester Belding and running back Gordon Locke, along with All-Big Ten performers quarterback Aubrey Devine, tackle Duke Slater and fullback Fred Lohman.

19. 1914 Illinois

32 of 50

    Overall Record: 7-0

    Conference Record: 6-0

    Final ranking: 1

    Robert Zuppke's team earned the nation's top spot by pitching shutouts in Illinois' first four games.

    The Illini closed with easy wins over Minnesota, Chicago and Wisconsin.

18. 1942 Ohio State

33 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-1

    Conference Record: 5-1

    Final ranking: 1

    While the Buckeyes lost to No. 3 Wisconsin 17-7, Paul Brown's team was dominant in pretty much every other game.

    Ohio State was able to win the national championship after No. 1 Boston College dropped its final game of the season.

    The Buckeyes had five All-Americans (Charles Csuri, Gene Fekete, Lindell Houston, Paul Sarringhaus and Bob Shaw).

17. 1929 Purdue

34 of 50

    Overall Record: 8-0

    Conference Record: 5-0

    Final ranking: NR

    James Phelan's squad didn't lose a game all season, but Notre Dame was crowned national champs.

    Outside of a 7-0 win over Iowa, Purdue cruised past its other seven opponents.

16. 1960 Minnesota

35 of 50

    Overall Record: 8-2

    Conference Record: 6-1

    Final ranking: 1

    Minnesota benefited from the final poll coming out before the bowl games.

    The Golden Gophers went 8-1 during the regular season, with a loss to Purdue.

    Top-ranked Minnesota lost to Washington 17-7 in the Rose Bowl to finish with two losses.

    Guard Tom Brown made almost every All-American team, while end Tom Hall and center Greg Larson were all-conference performers.

15. 1957 Ohio State

36 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-1

    Conference Record: 7-0

    Final ranking: 1

    Ohio State finished first in the Coaches Poll, but second in the AP Poll following a 9-1 season.

    Woody Hayes' Buckeyes opened the season with an 18-14 loss to TCU, only to rebound with nine straight wins.

    OSU had a close 16-13 win at Wisconsin and a 17-13 win over Iowa in Columbus to earn a trip to the Rose Bowl.

    The Buckeyes pulled out a 10-7 win over Oregon.

14. 1973 Michigan

37 of 50

    Overall Record: 10-0-1

    Conference Record: 7-0-1

    Final ranking: 6

    Michigan tied Ohio State 10-10 in the regular season finale and tied the Buckeyes for the Big Ten crown.

    However, Ohio State earned the bid to the Rose Bowl.

    Bo Schembechler's squad rolled through the season, but didn't get a bowl game to reward the Wolverines.

    Dave Gallagher and Dave Brown were both All-Americans.

13. 1948 Michigan

38 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-0

    Conference Record: 6-0

    Final ranking: 1

    In Bennie Oosterbaan's first season in Ann Arbor, the former Michigan All-American led the Wolverines to a national championship.

    Michigan beat second-place Northwestern 28-0 and held off Ohio State 13-3.

    The team was led by All-Americans Dick Rifenburg, Pete Elliott and Alvin Wistert, as well as captain Dominic Tomasi.

12. 1954 Ohio State

39 of 50

    Overall Record: 10-0

    Conference Record: 7-0

    Final ranking: 1

    Once again, Ohio State won a split national championship as the Buckeyes claimed the AP Poll.

    Woody Hayes and the Buckeyes played some tough contests, including a 21-13 win over California,  20-14 win over Iowa and 14-7 win over Northwestern.

    Despite poor weather at the Rose Bowl, Ohio State still managed to roll up 304 yards in a 20-7 victory over USC.

    The Buckeyes were led by its three All-Americans (end Dean Dugger, halfback Howard Cassady and guard Jim Reichenbach).

11. 1994 Penn State

40 of 50

    Overall Record: 12-0

    Conference Record: 8-0

    Final ranking: 2

    After a 10-2 campaign the year before, Penn State played like a team that was prepared to win a national title.

    However, Joe Paterno's team came up short and finished No. 2 despite going 12-0. The Nittany Lions destroyed second-place Ohio State 63-14.

    Penn State reached the Rose Bowl and downed Oregon 38-20 behind a strong offense that was led by running back Ki-Jana Carter, tight end Kyle Brady and quarterback Kerry Collins.

10. 1940 Minnesota

41 of 50

    Overall Record: 8-0

    Conference Record: 6-0

    Final ranking: 1

    This was the first of back-to-back national championships for Bernie Bierman's Golden Gophers.

    Minnesota worked its way up the rankings by defeating Michigan (7-6), Purdue (33-6) and Wisconsin (22-13) to close out the season.

    The Gophers were led by All-American tackle Urban Odson and All-American halfback George Franck.

9. 1973 Ohio State

42 of 50

    Overall Record: 10-0-1

    Conference Record: 7-0-1

    Final ranking: 2

    Another great Ohio State team coming so close to winning a national championship, but a 10-10 tie with Michigan may have cost the Buckeyes.

    Woody Hayes' Buckeyes were so loaded this season that they recorded four shutouts, and only allowed a team to reach double digits in points in the final three games of the season.

    Ohio State rolled into the Rose Bowl and pushed around USC for a 42-21 win in Pasadena.

    Guard John Hicks and linebackers Rick Middleton and Randy Gradishar were each first-round draft picks. The Buckeyes also had sophomore Archie Griffin at running back.

8. 1997 Michigan

43 of 50

    Overall Record: 12-0

    Conference Record: 8-0

    Final ranking: 1

    Michigan shared the 1996 championship with Nebraska as the Wolverines claimed the AP Poll and the Cornhuskers earned the Coaches Poll.

    Lloyd Carr's team had some battles during the season, but the regular season finale with fourth-ranked Ohio State was a thriller in Ann Arbor that Michigan pulled out 20-14. The Wolverines followed that up with a 21-16 victory over the Ryan Leaf-led Washington State Cougars in the Rose Bowl.

    Michigan defensive back Charles Woodson won the Heisman Trophy, but the Wolverines also had quarterback Brian Griese, nose tackle Rob Renes, guard Steve Hutchinson and tight end Jerame Tuman.

7. 1965 Michigan State

44 of 50

    Overall Record: 10-1

    Conference Record: 7-0

    Final ranking: 1

    The Spartans would go on to win the Big Ten championship, and despite being defeated in the Rose Bowl, they still earned a share of the national championship.

    Tackle Harold Lucas led the team in the trenches, and he was selected in the second round of the NFL draft.

    The Spartans never gave up more than 14 points all year.

6. 1901 Michigan

45 of 50

    Overall Record: 11-0

    Conference Record: 4-0

    Final ranking: 1

    In Fielding Yost's first season in Ann Arbor, Michigan won the first of 11 national championships. Yost went on to win five more at Michigan.

    It was a much different schedule in those days as the Wolverines opened with 55-0 victory over Albion. Of course, they also beat typical Big Ten foes and downed Stanford 49-0 in the Rose Bowl.

    Michigan recorded a shutout in all 11 games. The team was led by Hugh White and Neil Snow.

5. 1941 Minnesota

46 of 50

    Overall Record: 8-0

    Conference Record: 5-0

    Final ranking: 1

    Bernie Bierman's Golden Gophers enjoyed their second straight national championship in 1941.

    Minnesota was basically the No. 1 team all season as it rolled through the Big Ten.

    The Gophers were led by halfback Bruce Smith and tackle Dick Wildung.

4. 2002 Ohio State

47 of 50

    Overall Record: 14-0

    Conference Record: 8-0

    Final ranking: 1

    Jim Tressel's Buckeyes shocked the nation with a 31-24 double-overtime victory over No. 1 Miami in the BCS National Championship.

    Ohio State had some close calls during the season, including a 23-19 win over Cincinnati and a 10-6 win over Purdue.

    The Buckeyes were led by freshman Maurice Clarett, and a hard-hitting defense.

3. 1966 Michigan State

48 of 50

    Overall Record: 9-0-1

    Conference Record: 7-0

    Final ranking: 2

    Outside of a close 11-8 victory over Ohio State, Michigan State was rolling through the regular season.

    Then Duffy Daugherty's team played in the "Game of the Century" and tied Notre Dame 10-10.

    The Spartans were loaded with talent, including Bubba Smith, Clinton Jones, George Webster and Gene Washington.

2. 1947 Michigan

49 of 50

    Overall Record: 10-0

    Conference Record: 6-0

    Final ranking: 1

    Fritz Crisler's Wolverines controlled the Big Ten, but was still challenged by Illinois (14-7) and Minnesota (13-6).

    Michigan traded the top spot with Notre Dame throughout the season, but after the Wolverines defeated USC 49-0 in the Rose Bowl.

    The team was led by Bump Elliott, Bob Chappuis and Al Wistert.

1. 1968 Ohio State

50 of 50

    Overall Record: 10-0

    Conference Record: 7-0

    Final ranking: 1

    Woody Hayes' team had to pull out some close victories over Michigan State (25-20), Purdue (13-0), Iowa (33-27) and Illinois (31-24), but the Buckeyes didn't lose a game.

    The Buckeyes had 11 future All-Americans and six first-round NFL draft picks, including future Hall of Famer Jack Tatum.

    Ohio State ended the regular season with a 50-14 victory over Michigan and then beat USC 27-16 in the Rose Bowl.

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