It’s common knowledge that Big Ten member schools are highly competitive. But they also know when to stop taking themselves so seriously and have a little fun. From their noble beginnings to their more recent lighthearted hijinks, Big Ten schools have a knack for making headlines—and shaking things up.
As the oldest Division I athletic conference in the United States, the Big Ten Conference is steeped in history and tradition. Nearly 120 years ago, leaders from some of the country’s top universities came up with the idea of the conference, with the goal of developing principles to regulate intercollegiate athletics.
Today, the Big Ten is known for its many athletic and academic accomplishments, with its programs having won more than 300 team and nearly 1,700 individual NCAA Championships.
Current member schools include:
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Indiana University Bloomington
- University of Iowa
- University of Maryland, College Park
- University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
- Michigan State University
- University of Minnesota — Twin Cities
- University of Nebraska – Lincoln
- Northwestern University
- The Ohio State University – Columbus
- Pennsylvania State University – University Park
- Purdue University – West Lafayette
- Rutgers University – New Brunswick
- University of Wisconsin – Madison
Big Ten schools are fiercely competitive and their respective students are intensely loyal. Understandably, there are many heated intra-conference rivalries, particularly on the football field. But when they aren’t squaring off on the gridiron, they've been known to join forces from time to time, often with hilarious results.
The Big Ten’s mascots may be the embodiment of their schools’ team spirit, but it seems that Taylor Swift’s hit song “Shake It Off” is a uniting force. Eleven of the 14 Big Ten mascots recently teamed up to create a music video set to T-Swift’s latest earworm. In case you haven’t already gotten enough of the song, watch the mascots’ video below, and then check out our list of Interesting Team Mascots!