Fourteen Fun Facts about Big Ten football in '14

Included: Garth Brooks and the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama (Ralph Orlowski/Reuters)
The Dalai Lama (Ralph Orlowski/Reuters)

Maryland and Rutgers are officially Big Ten members as of Monday, and the disappointment is just starting to fade.

The disappointment about the U.S.’ loss to Belgium Tuesday, that is. That was tabloid-cover stuff in New York City. Rutgers football? Uh, no.

So to commemorate the growth of the Big Ten to 14, here are 14 Fun Facts about the league’s football teams:

1. Ohio State is 24-2 over the last two seasons, but just 14-12 against the spread.

2. Michigan State was unbeaten at home in 2010, 2011 and 2013, but 2-5 at Spartan Stadium in 2012.

3. Michigan has had just one season better than 8-5 in the last six years. Michigan football is supposed to be a big deal, right?

4. Maryland and Rutgers are a combined 3-57-1 against Penn State.

5. Wisconsin outscored Indiana in their last four meetings by a total of 255-44. They don’t play each other this season.

6. The largest crowd Rutgers played before last season was 55,168 at Louisville. The Scarlet Knights play at Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State this season.

7. Nebraska has committed 23 more turnovers than its opponents over the last two seasons, the worst among all Big Ten teams.

8. Michigan is 19-2 at home under Brady Hoke, 7-11 elsewhere.

9. Iowa is playing former ACC member Maryland for the first time this season. Of current ACC teams, the Hawkeyes have never played Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech or Wake Forest.

10. Penn State is playing Central Florida in Dublin’s Croke Park on Aug. 30. Garth Brooks is scheduled to perform five concerts at Croke Park this month, but some Dubliners aren’t happy about it.

11. Minnesota scored 3 points last year against Michigan State, 7 against Iowa and Wisconsin. The Gophers rang up 34 against Nebraska.

12. But Nebraska beat an SEC team in a bowl last season.

13. Illinois has home games against Youngstown State, Western Kentucky and Texas State. The Illini’s largest home crowd last year was 47,362 for Wisconsin.

14. Rutgers plays at High Point Solutions Stadium. Nine years ago, the Dalai Lama gave a lecture in the stadium entitled “Peace, War, and Reconciliation” before a gathering of 36,000.

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