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B1G Things to Know: Big Ten Championship Game

Big Ten Football

“B1G Things to Know” is your weekly gathering of the 10 most important things you’ll want to know about this week’s Ohio State game. These 10 facts will help you be the most knowledgeable fan at your Game Day activity, no matter where you gather across Buckeye Nation to cheer on the Men of the Scarlet & Gray.

Northwestern University is a private research university based in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern was chartered on January 28th, 1851 by John Evans, for whom the city of Evanston is named, and eight others. The university was the first to receive a charter by the Illinois General Assembly. Classes started in 1855, and women were first admitted in 1869.

Northwestern’s first football team took the field in 1882, although evidence of football being played by NU as far back as 1876 is available. In 1896, Northwestern was among the founding members of the Big Ten, where they have fielded athletic teams ever since.

The Wildcats have an all-time record of 544-644-44. They have won eight Big Ten championships, and ended their season in a bowl game 14 times prior to the 2018 season. NU has a 4-10 record in those games.

The Buckeyes face off with the Wildcats Saturday at 8:00 PM at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The 2018 Big Ten Championship is the eighth championship showdown in Big Ten history, and the fifth since the conference went to the current East vs. West format.

This is Northwestern’s first appearance in the championship game. Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Purdue, and Rutgers are the only schools to have not yet made an appearance in a Big Ten Football Championship Game

Ohio State’s appearance, their fourth, trails only Wisconsin for the most all-time. A win by Ohio State would give the Buckeyes the most conference championships won in the championship game era and their 37th overall. Currently OSU is tied with Wisconsin and Michigan State with two wins apiece in this game.

The winner will earn the Big Ten’s automatic berth in the Rose Bowl, unless the team is selected to play in the College Football Playoff and take home the Stagg Championship Trophy

  1. Northwestern claimed the Big Ten West Division by sweeping its inner-divisional opponents for the first time in program history and finishing the Big Ten slate with an 8-1 mark.
  2. Ohio State and Northwestern are meeting for the first time since 2016, a 24-20 Buckeye victory at Ohio Stadium. This will be the 77th all-time meeting between OSU & NU. Ohio State leads, 61-14-1.
  3. The Wildcats enter the 2018 Big Ten Championship game with victories in seven of the last eight overall, a winning streak of nine games away from Ryan Field and wins in 15 of their last 16 Big Ten contests.
  4. NU Head coach Pat Fitzgerald is the winningest coach in school history, having amassed 96 victories over his 13-year career. He was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Bronko Nagurski Award winner during his playing days for the Wildcats.
  5. Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson has started all 51 games of his career. His 51 starts are the most by any quarterback in Big Ten history and the fourth most overall. Thorson is the only quarterback in Big Ten history to throw for 10,000 yards and rush for 25 touchdowns.
  6. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Northwestern is the first team in FBS history to go winless in non-conference play and win a division title.
  7. Ohio State Head coach Urban Meyer earned his 81st Ohio State victory Saturday. The win over Michigan tied Meyer with Earle Bruce for fourth on Ohio State’s all-time wins list.
  8. OSU QB Dwayne Haskins already owns multiple single-season Ohio State records and last week added two Big Ten records to his resume: single-season passing yards (4,081) and touchdown passes (42).
  9. NU linebacker Paddy Fisher, the first sophomore captain in the Pat Fitzgerald era, is one of just seven sophomore captains in FBS entering the regular season. Fisher is one of just four Power 5 sophomore captains, a list that includes Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland.
  10. Northwestern’s roster features 18 players from the state of Ohio. Tuf Borland is the lone Illinois native on Ohio State’s roster.

And there you have it! You are now officially ready to begin your Game Day activities. You can now lay claim to the title of “Smartest Buckeye Fan at your Tailgate/Watch Party.” Go Bucks!


Each week, Mike Meals scours through the Media Guides of Ohio State and that week’s opponent to find you the 10 most fascinating, important, and/or crazy facts to prepare you for that week’s game. You can also catch Mike along with Hayes & Cannon Content Manager/Writer Brandon Zimmerman on the weekly episodes of “The Sons of Schmidt” podcast on the Ozone Radio Network. Follow Mike on twitter (@mmeals)

3 Responses

  1. Not trying to be a smart-ass, Mike, but I think ‘inner-divisional” should more properly read intra-divisional.

    1. It should. “Inter” for cross-divisional and “intra” for within a division.

    2. I would probably agree…except that’s straight out of the Northwestern Media Guide notes and I’m going to go ahead and trust them enough to report exactly what they reported. Sorry guys

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