The Big Ten might have a national image problem after the recent bowl performance and the division names debacle, but the league continues to thrive on its home soil.
The NCAA's latest attendance figures are out, and here's how the Big Ten teams fared (national rankings in parentheses).
Accumulated Attendance (total)
No. 1: Ohio State (842,221; eight games)
No. 2: Michigan (782,776; seven games)
No. 3: Penn State (729,636; seven games)
No. 13: Wisconsin (559,035; seven games)
No. 17: Michigan State (514,894; seven games)
No. 20: Iowa (494,095; seven games)
No. 38: Minnesota (346,593; seven games)
No. 41: Purdue (336,443; seven games)
No. 42: Illinois (325,126; six games)
No. 61: Indiana (251718; six games)
No. 72: Northwestern (218,696; six games)
Thoughts: This isn't the best measurement because the number of home games varies and some teams benefit more from scheduling than others. Minnesota capitalized on an attractive home schedule and maintained strong numbers despite a poor performance on the field. Northwestern saw a nice increase that can be largely attributed to the Wrigley Field game.
Average Attendance Per Game
No. 1: Michigan (111,825)
No. 2: Ohio State (105,278)
No. 3: Penn State (104,234)
No. 16: Wisconsin (79,862)
No. 19: Michigan State (73,556)
No. 21: Iowa (70,585)
No. 38: Illinois (54,188)
No. 45: Minnesota (49513)
No. 46: Purdue (48,063)
No. 57: Indiana (41,953)
No. 68: Northwestern (36,449)
Thoughts: This is a better snapshot, although stadium size must be considered as well. Iowa would pack in more fans with a bigger stadium, and so would Wisconsin and Michigan State for many games. Purdue's numbers are dropping a bit as the team has struggled the past few seasons. Indiana avoided a drop-off after its attendance increase in 2009, which is impressive given the team's 5-7 record.
Sorted By Percentage Of Capacity
No. 8: Ohio State (102.88)
No. 10: Michigan (101.75)
T-No. 15: Iowa (100)
No. 22: Wisconsin (99.43)
No. 26: Minnesota (99.03)
No. 30: Michigan State (98.07)
No. 33: Penn State (97.16)
No. 54: Illinois (86.19)
No. 69: Indiana (79.62)
No. 73: Northwestern (79.01)
No. 75: Purdue (76.9)
Thoughts: This measurement displays whether fans are showing up every week or just for big games, as one subpar crowd can lower the overall total. Purdue can't be too pleased with this number, and Penn State almost always finishes in the top 20 in this category. Illinois also took a dip from its 2009 numbers. The buzz about Minnesota's stadium continued this season despite the team's shaky state.